Mossberg MC1sc Review: A Pistol That Packs A Legacy

For over 100 years, O.F. Mossberg & Sons has been a trusted name for American gun owners. The Mossberg 500 pump action shotgun is a workhorse that hunters,  armed citizens, law enforcement, and the military all use. In addition to this, Mossberg makes excellent rimfire and centerfire rifles in a variety of calibers and for a wide range of applications. Mossberg made a small .22 caliber in the early part of last century. Since then, Mossberg has concentrated on perfecting their shotguns and rifle products. All of that changed in 2018 with the introduction of a new sub-compact pistol. Let’s dive in to that new handgun in this Mossberg MC1sc review. 

Mossberg made quite an impression with the rollout of this new gun. They worked with major holster manufacturers to build holsters for the MC1sc before it was introduced.  Additionally, the MC1sc can use Glock 43 magazines and is compatible with Sig Sauer sights. Finding a wide range of accessories for your new gun can be a big issue. With these steps, Mossberg eliminated a lot of those problems.

When you disassemble the MC1sc (more on that later), you’ll see a striker-fired action. This action bears a striking resemblance to other popular compact 9mm polymer single stack pistols. The magazine release is reversible, and the trigger has a flat, rather than curved, face.

First Impressions of the Mossberg MC1sc

Open the box from Mossberg, and you’ll see a pistol, a cable lock, and a set of instructions. You’ll get one 6 round magazine and one 7 round magazine with a pinky extension. The magazines are made from translucent polymer, which means you can see at a glance how many rounds are in each one. Those magazines, like other magazines in our tests, aren’t really “single stack” per se. The rounds are staggered slightly in the magazine, which leads to higher capacity magazines without adding to the size of the pistol.

The Mossberg MC1sc is a striker-fired gun, which means it uses a spring-loaded pin, not a hammer, to ignite the primer. The typical procedure for unloading other striker-fired pistols such as the Glock 48 goes like this: 

  1. Drop the magazine from the gun
  2. Cycle the action several times to make sure any rounds in the chamber are ejected
  3. Physically and visually inspect the magazine well and the chamber
  4. Pull the trigger to release the tension on the striker spring
  5. Activate the slide release mechanism
  6. Remove the slide from the frame and disassemble the gun

If any of these steps are skipped, or if they’re completed out of order, tragedy can happen. Most striker-fired pistols require pulling the trigger to take them apart. If there is a round in the chamber when that happens, it causes a negligent discharge, with potentially horrific results. 

mossberg mc1scYou can still use that method to disassemble a Mossberg MC1sc, but there is another, safer method available with this gun.

Process To Take Apart the Mossberg Mc1sc

  1. Drop the magazine from the gun
  2. Cycle the action several times to make sure any rounds in the chamber are ejected
  3. Physically and visually inspect the magazine well and the chamber
  4. Remove the rear plate from the slide and grab the end of the striker assembly
  5. Gently ease the slide forward and finish disassembling the gun

Adding a way to disassemble the gun without pulling the trigger is a good example of the thought and care put into the MC1sc. The gun felt great in my hand, although like other guns in our tests, you really want to shoot this pistol with the extended seven round magazine as much as you can. The short length of the six round magazine didn’t give me enough room to control the gun as much as I like. This problem showed up noticeably during rapid fire. Speaking of which…

Mossberg MC1sc Range Impressions

The Mossberg MC1sc was a very enjoyable gun to shoot. The version I tested had three dot sights (not my preferred sighting system). However, there is also a version available with TRUGLO’s excellent tritium night sights. The stippling on the frame is enough to control the gun during rapid fire, but won’t rip up your hands during an extended range session. 

Mossberg MC1sc on a tableOne little quirk that showed up on the range with the Mossberg MC1sc is that it required a little more effort inserting the magazine into the magazine well than the other guns we’re testing. This may just be something that popped up with how I ran the gun, but it did require me to give the bottom of the magazine a good shove from time to time to make sure it was seated. 

The trigger on the MC1sc was quite good, weighing in at just over four pounds of effort. The pistol’s smaller dimensions make it an excellent choice for day-in, day-out concealed carry. It would also be a viable gun for pocket carry with the smaller, six round magazine in place. 

Accuracy Testing the Mossberg MC1sc

Shooting off a bench rest 15 yards away from the target, the Mossberg MC1sc turned in groups that were in the top third of the guns in our tests. The gun’s good trigger helped keep the sights on target during the trigger press, and the gun turned in average group sizes of just under 3 inches. The best group we achieved in our tests was less than two inches, shooting 115 grain American Eagle FMJ rounds.

Ammo Test Results

American Eagle 115 Grain FMJ
Average Group Size: 2.7 Inches
Minimum Group Size: 1.8 Inches
Maximum Group Size: 3.3 Inches
Average Velocity: 1139 fps

Mossberg compactWolf 115 Grain FMJ

Average Group Size: 3.1 inches
Minimum Group Size: 2.8 inches
Maximum Group Size: 3.8 inches
Average Velocity: 1053 fps

Federal 147 Grain HST JHP 

Average Group Size: 3 Inches
Minimum Group Size: 2.3 inches
Maximum Group Size: 3.8 inches
Average Velocity: 943 fps

Average Group Size (All Rounds): 2.96 inches


The Mossberg MC1sc fired all 300 rounds in our test with no issues. Its comfortable shape and good trigger made it easy to shoot those 300 rounds over the course of a single afternoon. With that in mind, and with the wide variety of holsters available for the gun, I’d have no problems competing with this gun or taking it to a multi-day pistol training class. 

Wrapping up the Mossberg MC1sc Pistol Review

Comparison to other subcompact pistols

A few months ago, I asked two friends whom I trust to write about the three compact 9mm pistols that they considered to be the best value for your dollar. Tamara Keel, who knows more about handguns than pretty much anyone else, chose the Mossberg MC1sc as one of her picks for best compact 9mm for the money

After shooting it, I can understand why she did so. The MC1sc isn’t the smallest gun in our test, and it’s not the lightest. least expensive, or most accurate either. However, everything it does, it does very well. The Mossberg MC1sc is definitely one of those guns that is more than the sum of its parts. Based on our tests, it is definitely a gun you should consider if you’re in the market for a single stack 9mm compact pistol.