Returning to its Roots

Mossberg’s New 9mm MC1sc
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When you think of Mossberg ...

When you think of Mossberg, I bet the words that come to mind are probably along the lines of “tough,” “rugged,” “affordable,” “reliable,” etc. I bet “innovative” was not in there. Why is that? Because you probably associate the brand with the iconic 500 pump shotgun, a long-running symbol of solid reliability. But this would be unfair, as Mossberg has a long history of developing influential and trend-setting products. Did you know Mossberg developed and patented the cantilever scope mount system? Bet you didn’t …

... I bet the words that come to mind are probably along the lines of “tough,” “rugged,” “affordable,” “reliable,” etc. I bet “innovative” was not in there. Why is that? Because you probably associate the brand with the iconic 500 pump shotgun, a long-running symbol of solid reliability. But this would be unfair, as Mossberg has a long history of developing influential and trend-setting products. Did you know Mossberg developed and patented the cantilever scope mount system? Bet you didn’t …

Speaking of history, 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the Mossberg brand. Interestingly enough, the first Mossberg was not a field-ready shotgun but rather a little four-barreled .22 pistol small enough to fit in a pocket. Why do I bring this up? Because of the new Mossberg you are reading about today — the MC1sc 9mm pistol.

The new MC1sc from Mossberg is a compact 9mm pistol designed for CCW. It is compact, capable and a truly amazing performer once you get it on the range. Image courtesy of Mossberg.

Looking Back, And Forward

The result of a three-year development project, the MC1sc was made right here in the United States and represents Mossberg’s move back into the handgun market, focusing on the biggest part of that firearm segment — concealed carry. The model designation stands for “Mossberg Carry, Model 1, subcompact.”

The pistol follows a familiar format for modern pistols — it features a polymer frame for light weight and durability, and employs a striker-fired double-action-only firing system. It weighs in at 19 oz. unloaded, has a 6+1 (7+1 with extended magazine) capacity and the base model is priced at $421. Variants with TruGlo night sights, Viridian lasers, etc., go up in price from there. It’s also offered with and without a manual safety located just to the rear of the triggerguard. Pick what you like the most, and pay no penalty as both are priced at $421.

Mossberg is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019, and its first gun was actually a pistol — the four-barreled “Brownie” in .22. Image courtesy of Mossberg.

While the Mossberg has a flush-fitting 6 round magazine, it also has an extended 7 rounder as well with a grip extension. Image courtesy of Mossberg.

Yeah, I get it. A polymer-framed 9mm pistol designed for CCW is not particularly revolutionary. But, making a good pistol for a good price that works is something notable. Also, the MC1sc does have some innovative features. What struck me first when I began examining it was the “Clear-Count” magazine. These translucent polymer mags have bright orange followers and give immediate visual access to the round count in a mag. I like it. A lot. But, I wondered if they were tough enough to stand up to abuse. More on that in a moment.

Innovative features of the pistol include the STS Safe Takedown System that requires a user to remove the slide’s backplate and pull the striker for full takedown. Image courtesy of Mossberg.

The other notable innovation is the STS (Safe Takedown System) that requires you to unload and clear the firearm with the magazine removed and action locked open; the striker system can then be removed from the rear of the slide. Finally, the  slide can be removed for full disassembly.

The pistol is simple to break down for cleaning. Note the orange housing for the striker and the translucent magazine body.

Hands On

We actually had a chance to go hands-on in-depth with the pistol at a training event at Gunsite Ranch in Paulden, Ariz., in late 2018 to wring out the pistol in a multi-day course. In fact, I personally put more than 800 rounds through my test pistol in three days without a cleaning or lubing during the event. What did I think, you may ask? Let’s tackle how the pistol performed over our time at Gunsite.

To be frank, the MC1sc might at first blush appear to be nothing unique from the rest of the market — apart from having Mossberg on the slide. But, we learned fast on the range the is pistol really is a standout. Remember the 800 rounds in three days I mentioned? My gun (and every other one on the line I observed) ran without a hitch in the dusty, desert environment at Gunsite without any cleaning or maintenance.

Mike got to really put the MC1sc through its paces at Gunsite in late 2018 and was impressed by not only how well it worked, but also how well it shot!

Right out of the gate, a new pistol design from a long-gun manufacturer functioning without a hitch at an event like this with that round count was impressive. I’ve seen more expensive guns from established handgun makers choke on less. But wait, there’s more! Not only does the gun work (the most important consideration for a self-defense pistol), it shoots. It shoots well. It shoots really well. In fact, it shoots way better than a pistol its size should.

Once we and the instructors began to get a gauge on how well they could shoot, they set us up to shoot a plate sized like an upper torso of a silhouette target at 35 yards. Once we proved we could hit it at the 35-yard line, they pushed us back to 50. Any guess as to how it went? Most all of us were consistently hitting the plate at that distance. One shooter even nailed it five rounds in a row out of a six-round mag — and the last “miss” was just off the edge of the plate. Did I mention this gun shoots way better than it has any business shooting for its size?

The trigger of the pistol has a notable forward cant, but proved to be a comfortable distance for Mike’s trigger finger. It also had a very nice break, helping it shoot exceptionally well.

Conclusion

Yes, the CCW market has a lot of small 9mm pistols in it. I get it. So why should you care about this one? Because I think Mossberg did an outstanding job of developing and delivering exactly what they intended — a great gun for a good price. The fact that it performs beyond what I think should even be expected just means Mossberg followed the sound principle of under-promising and over-delivering. To learn more, visit www.mossberg.com/category/series/mc1sc