Range Report: Mossberg MC1sc 9mm

Mossberg MC1 pistol right profile black

Some may say the market is crowded; others applaud the wide choice in handguns. I am among the latter. The more abundant the choices, the more likely we are to find the handgun that suits us well. Perhaps the most popular carry gun in America is the compact single stack 9mm Luger pistol.

Mossberg MC1 pistol right profile black
The MC1 is compact, powerful and reliable, all we may ask.

They are reliable if manufactured by a reputable maker, and have enough power to do the business with good load selection. They are not terribly expensive. Some are quite affordable. The single stack 9mm market consists of the Glock 43 9mm, Springfield XD, and Smith and Wesson Shield, and similar pistols. A new player has introduced a pistol based on sound engineering that just might be the best pistol for your use. Mossberg isn’t a new maker, but it is a new maker in the compact 9mm market. This is Mossberg’s first handgun in nearly 100 years.

Lets look at the pistol’s specifications first:

  • Length: 6.25 inches
  • Height: 4.30 inches
  • Width: 1.03 inches
  • Weight: 19 ounces
  • Capacity: 6+1/7+1
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel: 3.40 inches
  • Sights: Three dot white insert

At first glance, I thought the handgun had a lot in common with the Bersa BP9—an overlooked but credible combination. It has much more in common with the Glock as far as operation. The pistol features a double-action-only trigger, with a trigger lever insert that prevents lateral discharge. The fit and finish are nice and the grips offer both abrasion and adhesion.

Mossberg MC1sc pistol with 6- and 7-round magazine
The pistol is supplied with one 6-round and one 7-round magazine.

The takedown is different. There is no need to press the trigger. You remove the back plate and firing pin with the new Safe Takedown System. Pull the firing pin out and the slide may then be ran off the frame from slide lock by releasing the slide lock lever. That’s about as safe (quickly) at it gets. It also goes back together easily.

I had only a compressed time frame to test the pistol. It was among the few loaner guns I ever use. About 99% of the firearms I write about are firearms I own or have purchased for the report. A good friend loaned me the first Mossberg MC1 in town, and I put nearly 200 cartridges through the piece in a single range session. I was not tired or sore from the ordeal.

The pistol is easy to fire and control. The recoil spring controls recoil well and overall the piece is a joy to use and fire. I found myself firing more accurately as the range work went on. The pistol is plenty accurate for personal defense.

Bob Campbell shooting the Mossberg MC1 pistol
Grooving into the sights and trigger action, this piece proved to be a capable defense gun.

Initial work was accomplished with the Federal Syntech load in both 115- and 124-grain weight. The Syntech burns clean and offers excellent utility for practice. The pistol never failed to feed, chamber, fire, or eject. The trigger is useful, comparable to the Glock or S&W, perhaps a bit tighter in some regards. If you can shoot the Glock well, you should fire the Mossberg more accurately.

I engaged in personal defense drills including drawing from the Blackhawk! belt slide at 5, 7, and 10 yards, retention drills, and addressing the steel plates. It wasn’t difficult to make a clean run on five steel plates at 15 yards in good order. This dog will run and it runs well and shoots straight!

I fired a number of personal defense loads from the Mossberg. When using a 3.4 inch barrel you do not get the highest velocity. Here are the readings from the loads I used.

Ammunition Speed
Fiocchi 92-grain MonoBlock 1,268 fps
Remington 124-grain Black Belt 999 fps
Speer 147-grain Gold Dot 934 fps

These loads performed well. I fired a full box of each load in the Mossberg. Recoil was more noticeable with the 147-grain load but never uncomfortable. The MonoBlock is a lead-free brass design; the Black Belt an improved development on the Golden Saber, and the Gold Dot the latest generation of a proven combination. All worked well.

Mossberg MC1sc in Action

The pistol seemed to fire to the point of aim with 124-grain loads at 10 yards, with the 147-grain slightly high and the 92-grain load slightly low. I settled into a braced barricade firing position at 15 yards and carefully fired five cartridges of each load, aiming for the X ring on the Uncle Mike’s target. The results follow.

Ammunition Group Size
Fiocchi 92-grain MonoBlock 3-inches
Remington 124-grain Black Belt 2 inches
Speer 147-grain Gold Dot 2.4 inches

The Mossberg MC1 is clearly accurate enough for personal defense and reliable with a wide range of bullet weights. Mossberg has given us a viable personal defense handgun with this piece.

What’s your impression of Mossberg’s first pistol? How does the MC1 compare to your CCW or home defense pistol? Share your answers in the comment section.

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (12)

  1. I thought the goal of personal defense was to eliminate the threat as quickly as possible. Maybe those concerned with only having seven rounds to do so should be more concerned with their training goal of being first on target in real life situations. Most real encounters require 4 shots to eliminate an up close and personal altercation. If your mindset and training invoke (needing) more ammo then you definitely will need more ammo. The MC1 SC is a fine tool used correctly with proper training, shot placement and understanding what real personal defense in an armed situation may require. Please feel free to provide links to real life situations where it took 17 rounds to eliminate a threat. I’m curious. Please

  2. I purchased a Mossberg MC1 sc. I have a question about trigger reset. When I pulled the trigger the first time the trigger did not reset. Does one need to rack the slide (pertially) to have the trigger reset?

    I carry a number of pistols and currently alternate between a SIG 290RS and an M&P9 Shield (as well as the usual 38 spec revolvers.

  3. Why didn’t the learn from Sig 365 and Glock 43X and make it a 10 round. It is handicapped already plus the fact 10 round magazines and holsters might not be available. New pistols need to be aware of the current market and this time they fell behind. I wouldn’t buy it for those reasons besides I already have a 6 shot Glock 43, I don’t need another one. I need the Sig P365 if they have worked the bugs out of it.

    1. Bugs are definitely out of the 365. It is smaller, shoots very well, has no issues in 600+ rounds. Great question why Mossberg didn’t see the seismic shift in the market. I consider the 365 a twelve rounder, since that magazine makes the gun fit my hand as well as my G 17, and is still very concealable. Check out the current market and try again, Mossberg!

  4. Well

    I should have said that it takes a lot to control a light slide in 9mm. Recoil energy can jolt the slide pretty hard. But than a light slide doesn’t jolt as much if recoil is controlled. But slide velocity is increased. A lot going on there. The Mossberg engineers got it all down pat and the pistol handles well with less recoil than you would expect. Neat trick.
    Thanks for reading.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.