Mossberg’s Higher Capacity Solution to Personal Defense: The Slim MC2c Pistol – Full Review – SHOT Show 2020

For more details on the MC2c visit Mossberg.

Mossberg is primarily known as a long gun manufacturer, but the first firearm they produced 100 years ago was a handgun.  The family-owned business is still at it, and they have a brand new pistol hitting the market.

I was fortunate enough to be at the Mossberg media event at Gunsite Academy to spend a couple days getting to know the MC2c. The time on the range with the pistol, with the Gunsite facility, and with the Mossberg staff definitely left favorable impressions.

The MC2c is a trim, glass-reinforced, polymer-framed, double-stack, compact 9mm pistol. With a width of only 1.1 inches it definitely feels slim for a high capacity pistol. The magazine, slide and frame have been designed with concealed carry in mind. 

Buttery smooth edges make for easy carry and handling

There will be five variations available based on sights, safety, and finish options. The standard sights are a low profile three-dot design set in dovetails in the stainless-steel slide. This allows drift adjustment for windage corrections.

TRUGLO Tritium Pro night sights are available as an option as is a matte stainless slide instead of the DLC black finish. Mossberg was kind enough to use SIG #8 dovetail sight cuts for those wanting to go shopping for other sighting options.

A model with a manual cross-bolt style safety is also available with different sighting options. This is an excellent choice for those carrying the pistol off body, e.g. in a purse or pack, or for those who desire additional safety alternatives.

The flush-fitting steel double-stack magazine holds 13 rounds and the 15-round extended magazine is also included with the pistol, giving you the best of both worlds; concealability and high capacity. 

Rather than try to reinvent the wheel Mossberg sourced the magazines from Mec-Gar, one of the best mag manufacturers in the world. Using a steel magazine, as opposed to a polymer one, allowed them to keep the gun thinner.

In all the drills at Gunsite while I was testing the MC2c the magazines functioned flawlessly, and performing reloads seemed easy with the tapered mags.

Simple take-down of the MC2c requires no tools.

The polymer frame is well designed with a lightly undercut trigger guard and though it doesn’t have “finger grooves” there is a slight recess on the front strap for the top finger. The beavertail is high and well undercut making it very comfortable during firing.

The Mossberg signature grip texturing has a nice grab that provides good traction without being overly aggressive. The vertical portion of the front of the trigger guard is well designed for those shooters that place their support hand index finger there for additional recoil control.

The textured magazine release is made of steel and is reversible for southpaws. This was the only area of the pistol that presented any issues for me during the duration of the Gunsite trial period.

While firing at speed, I would occasionally release the magazine due to the recoil. The Mossberg engineer at the event quickly investigated and documented each issue so they could be addressed before the official product launch. These guys were serious about working out any issues before it went into full production.

Ergonomic grip, generous beavertail, and dual cocking serrations add to the MC2c design 

I’ve had similar issues in years past on competition guns with large magazine releases and reduced tension springs. This type of issue is easily corrected with a slightly heavier spring, more magazine engagement, or a moderately reduced profile; easily addressed by the diligent engineers at Mossberg.

The forward part of the frame has an accessory rail for attaching lights or lasers, though I would limit it to small accessories so as to not bulk up the slim pistol.

The slide is made of one of my favorite barrel materials: 416 Stainless Steel. It features a tri-top finish on the slide along with front and rear cocking serrations. Considerable time was spent softening the corners and edges to make the MC2c more comfortable to carry. 

The front and rear cocking serrations were easy to grasp and made cycling the slide relatively easy. The rear of the slide contains the heart of the Mossberg Safe Takedown System (STS).

Mossberg’s Safe Takedown System (STS) allows easy removal of pistol striker

Pressing the button on the rear of the slide allows removing the rear plate and the striker for dis-assembly of the MC2c. This system eliminates the need to pull the trigger before disassembly thus reducing the chances of an accidental discharge during cleaning.

Trigger pull under 5 lbs. made shooting the MC2c a pleasure

The flat trigger features a blade safety and breaks at a safe, controllable pull weight. The trigger travel is about ½” inch with a very positive reset making follow-up shots quick and smooth after reset.

I’ve decided I really like flat, straight triggers. Gone are the days of long double-action revolvers where there was a need for your finger to roll through the trigger cycle, just give me a straight flat from now on.


Weight21 oz
Barrel Length4”
Sight radius6.4”
Capacity13+1 flush/ 15+1 extended
Small touches like Mossberg signature grip texture where support thumb rests add extra value

Range Time

Under the watchful eye of Gunsite instructors, I ran hundreds of rounds through the MC2c. With the same grip angle as a 1911, the Mossberg was instinctive to draw and get on target. On the flat range the MC2c was able to easily meet the accuracy standards of all the Gunsite drills it was put through.

During several man-on-man contests, the pistol really shined and demonstrated how fast a compact pistol could be shot. So long as the shooter did their part by keeping consistent trigger control there were no problems hitting reduced steel silhouettes out to 40-50 yards.

Combat accuracy was no problem for the compact 9mm

I ran one of the Scrambler courses that required engaging multiple targets, at varying distances, around a host of obstacles. The final shot once you were well winded was at a 6” head plate about 25 yards downrange. Even with the compact 4” barrel, the steel was easy to hit.

During two house clearing scenarios at room-sized distances, the MC2c was easy to handle and fast to get controlled pairs and threes on the threat targets. Through all the Gunsite events my MC2c fed, cycled and ejected the variety of ammunition it was offered without issue. 

I think Mossberg did a great job of balancing the size, thickness and capacity challenges of today’s market. The MC2c is small and thin enough to conceal, big enough to grip and shoot well and has enough capacity to meet almost any shooter’s needs.

The MC2c is a solid feeling, smooth shooting, slim, well-designed compact 9mm with a wide variety of practical features. So, 100 years later Mossberg has another affordable pistol aimed at satisfying the public’s desires, and they even included the 15 round extended mag — nice touch! MSRP runs between $490- $595 depending on the model.

For more details on the MC2c visit Mossberg.

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About the author: Jeff Cramblit is a world-class competitive shooter having won medals at both the 2012 IPSC World Shotgun Championship in Hungary and more recently the 2017 IPSC World Rifle Championship in Russia. He is passionate about shooting sports and the outdoors. He has followed that passion for over 30 years, hunting and competing in practical pistol, 3gun, precision rifle and sporting clays matches. Jeff is intimately familiar with the shooting industry – competitor, instructor, RO, range master, match director. Among his training credits include NRA Instructor, AR-15 armorer, FBI Rifle Instructor, and Officer Low Light Survival Instructor. As a sponsored shooter, Jeff has represented notable industry names such as: Benelli, 5.11 Tactical, Bushnell, Blackhawk, DoubleStar, and Hornady. He has been featured on several of Outdoor Channel’s Shooting Gallery episodes and on a Downrange TV series. Jeff’s current endeavors cover a broad spectrum and he can be found anywhere from local matches helping and encouraging new shooters as they develop their own love of the sport, to the dove field with his friends, a charity sporting clays shoot, backpack hunting public land in Montana, or the winners podium of a major championship.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Wendell Jacobs September 2, 2020, 10:20 pm

    I have the Mc1 and I love it but I want the mc2 only because it holds more rounds if I could get a 20 to 32 round Mag for my Mc1 I would never buy another gun so please Mossberg make bigger mags for both I’m looking to buy the mc2 now

  • Rogelio Solis January 21, 2020, 9:47 am

    I read your review of the Mossberg MC2c with great interest. I am in the market for a small 9mm handgun to use a concealed carry firearm. As an older adult, I find it more difficult to carry either of my .357s’ with me. If I use my shoulder holster, I look like a short Dirty Harry wanna-be, and I stand out. In addition, since my hands are just under average, not quite small, but getting there and I am developing arthritis, I need an option that will allow me to fire my gun without much struggle.

    I would like to know your opinion of the Springfield Armory Hellcat vs. the Mossberg MC2c. Both cost about the same. I know of two area firearm stores in the Jackson, MS area (where I live) that stock both weapons. But obviously I cannot “rent” to own either gun.

    Which ever firearm I purchase, I will be attending a firearm class at a area gun range with NRA certified instructors. An NRA senior instructor taught me how to properly use my old Smith and Wessons some 30+ years ago. I intend to again take lessons so I can efficiently use the weapon for both personal and home protection. And so will my wife, who truth be told, is a better shot than I.

    Break-ins are on a rise in my subdivision as are late night shooting incidents. My work frequently forces me to be on the road 1-2-3 am in some tough neighborhoods. I want to feel save and both the Mossberg and the Springfield Armory guns seem to be part of an answer for my protection.

    Thanks for your consideration to my answering my question.

    R. Solis

    • Gil January 21, 2020, 3:06 pm

      Hi R Solis

      The Hellcat and MC2C are not exactly comparable guns….Hellcat is similar in size to the Mossberg MC1sc (the subcompact sibling to the MC2c). From what I’ve read, looks like the MC2c is more comparable to the Glock 19, but a bit smaller in all the right areas.

      I own the Mossberg MC1sc and LOVE it. To echo the article, Mossberg gets a lot right and given your parameters above, I think it fits a lot of your needs. Slide serrations are fantastic, which is a plus for anyone with arthritic or occasionally weaker hand strength. Flat faced trigger is usually an after-market change for most and this comes with it from the factory. The smooth edges make it simple to draw, never having issues with snags..

      I have not shot the MC2c yet…but I’m intrigued. The size (and capacity) make it a truly versatile option…small enough for most to conceal, decent length barrel for accuracy and 13-15 round capacity makes it a home defense option as well.

      If you do go Mossberg, couple quick comments – currently, Desantis & Vedder are primary holster options (not a ton out there). Also, it takes SIG #8 sights…I replaced the rear white dots with an all black rear sight and LOVE it.

      Best of luck finding your next gun!

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