A few years ago when Mossberg introduced its first handgun in 100 years, some shooters were skeptical. Known first for its tough-as-nails shotguns and then, later, for accurate and affordable rifles, Mossberg seemed to have established a great niche, and shooters weren’t sure how handguns would fit into that.
I tested that first Mossberg handgun, the MC1sc, which stands for Mossberg Carry 1 (as in, first edition), Sub-Compact, and I carried it as my daily concealed carry pistol for a couple of years. I find it easy to shoot, comfortable and safe to handle, and reliable—with a remarkably good trigger given the gun’s price point. It holds a six- or seven-round magazine and is easily concealable for me.
For 2022, Mossberg introduced the second edition of this gun, called the MC2sc. It’s still a sub-compact 9 mm (Mossberg calls it a micro-compact, actually), based on the MC1sc design with a few changes. Mossberg built this striker-fired gun on a glass-filled polymer frame, using a stainless steel slide and a 3.4" stainless barrel. Models are available with a push-button crossbolt safety, but I don’t care for a safety on a striker-fired gun, so I chose a model without one.
The size of the MC1sc, top, is remarkably similar to that of the MC2sc, shown here with optic.
This gun is replacing the MC1sc, and there are two big differences between the original MC1sc and this new MC2sc. The first is the capacity—this one ships with an 11- and a 14-round magazine, which are double-stacked using a staggered capacity that allows the grip of the gun to remain remarkably svelte. In fact, this gun is just ever so slightly larger than my MC1sc, almost imperceptively so, at 6.25 inches long, 4.3 inches high and 1.1" wide, and it weighs 25 ounces with a loaded 11-round magazine. In comparison, my MC1sc weighs 22.5 ounces with the seven-round magazine—a difference that goes unnoticed when I’m carrying. I’m impressed with how they’ve managed to double the capacity while barely changing the size of the gun.
The other big difference is that the MC2sc comes optics-ready, accepting any micro reflex sight that fits the JPoint or Shield RMSc footprint (no mounting plate needed). The first time I tested this gun, I mounted a Holosun micro red-dot optic, and for my personal carry gun I’ve chosen to top it with a SIG Romeo Zero, which I’ve been quite happy with. I’ve written before about how a red-dot optic was a game-changer for me when it comes to handgun accuracy, and the optics-readiness alone makes the MC2sc worth a serious look for any concealed carrier. If you’re old-school and want to stick with iron sights, the gun does come with white three-dot sights (that can be cowitnessed with an optic), or you can upgrade to Tritium night sights if you prefer.
Aesthetically, the MC2sc isn’t fancy or eye-catching. It’s a utilitarian pistol built to do its job well, which it does. One of its best characteristics, in my opinion, is the flat trigger. Mossberg has it factory-set at about 5.5 lbs., which isn’t exactly light, and it has a bit of firmness at the break, but it’s just about right for a striker-fired gun. Overall, I find the trigger smooth and crisp, with a very obvious, tactile reset.
In the hand, the MC2sc is comfortable to shoot—not too snappy considering its size, although like any other pistol in this category, a firm, proper grip is required to keep the gun functioning properly. I’ve slacked on my grip a couple of times toward the end of a long day of shooting and have experienced a malfunction or two—my fault, not the gun’s. The grip is covered in texturing, but not the cheese-grater type that chews my hands up, so I can get a firm grip even when I’m sweaty without scraping my palms.
When it comes to concealment, this gun is lightweight enough and small enough that it’s easy to carry in my standard 4 o’clock position, especially when using a good gun belt that holds everything in place. The extended magazine makes it just a little bit trickier to conceal under a clingy t-shirt, so I typically use the flush-fit mag in the summer and the extended magazine in the winter when I’m wearing heavier clothing. I suspect that if you carry appendix or in a different carry position, the extended magazine will be no problem to hide, and it definitely makes the gun a little easier to shoot because it offers a bit of extra real estate for your pinkie finger to rest on.
There’s one other aspect of the MC2sc of note, which Mossberg has incorporated on all of its modern handguns: the Safe Takedown System (STS). This system makes it easy to disassemble the gun without having to pull the trigger, as you’re required to do on many other striker-fired handguns. For extra super-careful safety reasons, avoiding the trigger pull for cleaning is always a good thing in my book. Just drop the mag, lock the slide, confirm the action is clear, and press a little button on the back of the slide and slip off the slide plate. Then you can safely pull the slide forward and remove the striker assembly and the slide. The whole thing makes cleaning the gun easier and safer, and I’m all about easy cleaning.
Obviously, the MC2sc is not built specifically for women, but in my experience, it’s an excellent option for ladies who want to carry a 9 mm but are concerned about capacity and concealability. I’ve found it comfortable to shoot and carry, and reliable—reliable enough that I’ve made it my everyday carry gun of choice. Pairing it with a red-dot optic just takes the gun to the next level. With an MSRP of $556, you’ll probably find it on dealer shelves for less than $500, and that combination of affordability and reliability makes it a great value for your dollar, for entry-level and experienced shooters alike.