November 15, 2021
The Concealed Carry market is thriving with more people than ever choosing to carry a handgun for personal protection. Some of the most popular pistols on the market are the latest generation of ultra-compact 9mm polymer frame pistols with double-stack magazines like SIG Sauer’s P365. Why? They are easy to conceal and you can carry them all day without noticing they are there. Yet, they chamber a service pistol caliber and carry a large reserve of ammunition. So, they provide respectable terminal performance while also having substantially more ammunition than a traditional single-stack gun, like a Glock 43. In the case of the Mossberg MC2c, one 13-round magazine plus a spare 15 rounder and one round in the chamber provides 29 rounds of 9mm to protect you and your loved ones with. All in a small but still easy to hit with pistol you can happily carry day in and day out. This is important so you actually have it when you need it. Basically, any problem that can be solved with a pistol can be solved with a Mossberg MC2c.
The idea of Mossberg making a pistol was a wild fantasy until a few years ago, and now they have a serious contender for the “I need a compact 9mm pistol that holds a bunch of bullets” contest. The MC2c has a just under four-inches long barrel, and the frame, made of polymer, is long enough to contain a 13-round magazine. That also makes it long enough that even those of us with big mitts can get a full set of fingers on the frame. If you want more, Mossberg also ships it with an extended magazine holding 15 rounds, and sells extra magazines as well.
The slide, made of stainless steel, can be had one of two ways. You can get it in the bare, matte-finished stainless, or you can have it done in Black DLC (Diamond-Like Coating) to keep it low-profile. On top of the slide, Mossberg puts a set of three-dot night sights, mounting in transverse dovetails, as your aiming system. By using dovetails (easy to machine, simple to deal with) you can easily fine-tune the sights to whatever load you are using. Move either or both just a bit left or right, and you can shift the point of impact. If the point of impact is too high or low, then you simply swap out the front or rear for one that moves the group to the sights. My prediction is this: you won’t have to. However, if you have a specific preference, and want to exchange the mounted 3-dot sights that come on it for some other brand of Tritium-capsuled night sights, that’s easy to do with the dovetails.
The barrel is one-piece with an integral feed ramp, and a fully-supported chamber, so you need not worry about brass life should you be one of those who practice and load your own training ammo. Behind the chamber, Mossberg has mounted a hefty, spring-loaded extractor, to haul the fired cases out when it cycles. The slide has cocking serrations both in front and behind the ejection port, which is also the locking abutments for the barrel. No internal locking lugs, just the simple and straightforward lock the barrel to the slide in the ejection port opening, here.
One detail on the MC2c that you see only on some other pistols in this price range, is the profile of the slide snout. The front end of the slide is rounded, so as to make it easier to re-holster one handed. Had Mossberg left the muzzle end blunt, getting the pistol back into a holster would be more work. Anything that makes it more work increases stress and adds a bit of hazard. Also, by making one-handed re-holstering easy, it avoids the too-common unsafe reaching back with the off hand to pry the holster wider. That’s always a bad thing, and the MC2c slide design helps avoid that.
The frame is polymer, with the polymer composition reinforced by the addition of glass fibers. By mixing glass fibers into the polymer, Mossberg strengthens the polymer in exactly the same way rebar does for concrete. The front of the dust cover of the frame has an accessory rail, with a single cross-slot. This is in part because the serial number is on a metal plate inset in the dust cover, and adding a second slot would mean no room for the serial number. Also, you only need one slot, because this is a compact pistol. You aren’t going to be mounting a goiter-sized light/laser on the end of it.
The frontstrap is gently curved to aid in gripping, without becoming designated finger grooves. The problem with finger grooves is that they never seem to correspond to the actual fingers of anyone who is holding a pistol. Mossberg makes it even more secure without making it un-ergonomic. The frame also has molded-in non-slip panels of texture, also to keep the MC2c solid in your hand. There’s a slight but noticeable palm swell in the frame, so you get some more grip retention from the ergonomics of the swell. The MC2c does not have a backstrap that can be swapped out for something of a different size. This is all the rage in design, and yet I have never found changing sizes made any difference in shoot-ability. Now, if your hands require a particular size, and the MC2c is not it, then I have to say for you the lack of a swappable backstrap might be a deal killer. Then again, I have not run into anyone who found a compact 9mm to be “too big” or “the wrong size” so in this regard Mossberg just made life easier.
The trigger guard is over-sized, so even those with big mitts, or when you might be wearing gloves, will find the trigger guard opening is not restrictive. The trigger is straight, with a flat-blade safety lever in the middle of it. The trigger pull is refined, compared to the early days of striker-fired pistols, and while it is heavy enough to be a proper defensive trigger, it is light and clean enough that you can shoot good groups with it. At the other end of the frame, the magazine well has a small shoulder at the back, working as a guide on reloads.
The magazines are steel tubes, with polymer baseplates on the bottom. Long gone are the days when magazines were designed to be holders of .40 S&W ammunition, and then given crimped-in grooves to proportion them for 9mm. As proper 9mm magazines, the MC2c mags are slim, and while the flush-fit magazine holds 13 rounds, Mossberg makes an extended version that holds 15 rounds. The MC2c comes with one of each, and spare magazines can be had from Mossberg for $28. So, with the flush-fit 13-round magazine in your MC2c, one in the chamber, and two extended magazines on your belt, you have 44 rounds of 9mm emergency-handling ammunition at your disposal. That is very reassuring if you get caught in a bad situation and facing a violent mob or multiple attackers.
At the range I noticed the magazines loaded easily until the last few rounds which required a bit more effort. The mag well is large, so inserting magazines is fast and easy. Rounds chamber smoothly and the trigger is acceptable for its intended usage. The sights are bold and easy to pick-up at speed. Recoil is not bad with standard pressure loads but a bit snappy if you step up to +Ps. Due to its relatively compact nature, it is very important to obtain a good grip before you draw it. It presents quickly and is fast on target. Follow-up shots are slightly slower than with a larger and heavier pistol, but still plenty fast for personal protection. Plus, the large magazine capacity allows you to service multiple targets before you need to reload. Magazines ejected with the push of the button, and fresh ones inserted easily and locked securely into place. Accuracy all the way back at 25 yards was quite good.
The MC2c sent here did not fail to function with any ammunition I had to feed it. One I tried is my competition load, a 125-grain lead round-nose that is coated with a polymer coating by Blue Bullets. I load it over 4.3 grain of Vihtavuouri V-330, in part because I have a truckload of that powder on hand, but mostly because it is a soft-shooting and accurate load. It just makes Minor in most pistols, and is so soft to shoot it is a great load to have new shooters fire to get them used to a centerfire pistol. It, like all the other ammunition tried, shot to the sights, shot nice-sized groups, and functioned the MC2c 100%.
Disassembly of the MC2c will require that you actually read the owner’s manual, or read it closely. Unload the MC2c. Lock the slide to the rear. Press the center panel of the rear face of the slide in with a fingertip. Now slide the rear plate assembly down off of the slide. You can now wrangle the striker assembly out of the slide. That is the part that has the yellow/orange guide tube on the rear of it. With the striker assembly out, you can then grab the slide and control it, and release the slide stop, allowing the slide to now move forward off of the frame. From there, it is the usual scrub the gunk, lube the friction points, and reassemble.
If you, or your significant other, are looking for a compact and easy to conceal 9mm pistol for personal protection, the Mossberg MC2c is a good option to consider. It’s simple to operate, has good bold sights, shoots well and holds enough bullets to solve any problem you’re going to solve with a 9mm handgun. A handgun like this, combined with some good training and regular practice will provide a lot of peace of mind in an emergency. Hope you never need it, but if you need it one day you will be very glad that you have it, and know how to use it.
If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at FirearmsNews@Outdoorsg.com.
About the Author:
Patrick Sweeney is a life-long shooter, with more than half a century of trigger time, four decades of reloading, 25 years of competition (4 IPSC World Shoots, 50 USPSA Nationals, 500+ club matches, and 18 Pin Shoots, as well as Masters, Steel Challenge and Handgunner Shootoff entries). He spent two decades as a professional gunsmith, and two decades as the President of his gun club. A State-Certified law Enforcement Firearms Instructor, he is also a Court-recognized Expert Witness.
Specifications, Mossberg MC2c
- Caliber: 9mm Luger
- Operation: Short Recoil
- Capacity: 13+1 round (15+1 w/extended mag)
- Barrel: 3.9 inches
- Length: 7.1 inches
- Height: 4.9 inches (flush mag), 5.5 inches (extended mag)
- Width: 1.1 inches
- Weight: 21 ounces
- Trigger: 5 lbs, 4 ozs
- Finish: Black DLC & polymer
- Sights: 3-dot blade and notch
- MSRP: $505
- Maker: Mossberg, Mossberg.com
This article originally appeared in the 2021 issue of Be Ready! magazine.