Review: Mossberg MC2C — A Compact High-Capacity Powerhouse!

Mossberg M2C2 handgun atop a yellow Birchwood Casey Dirty Bird target with a box of Speer Gold Dot Carry Gun ammunition

The Mossberg MC2C, sent to me for test and evaluation, arrived at my FFL along with several other guns sent for the same purpose. They were all nice guns, but for some reason, the Mossberg MC2C is the one I kept gravitating to. And I wasn’t the only one. We’re a family of shooters, and other family members who came by to see what I was working on were drawn to the Mossberg, too. That’s a somewhat remarkable endorsement because it was in a sea of similar-sized black guns.

Let me jump ahead for a minute, because you’ll discover I liked the gun so much that I bought it, and it became my primary carry gun. I still carry the MC2C today. What’s surprising, is the fact that I occasionally talk to other gun writers and their editors, and the “What are you carrying?” question often comes up. Some of these guys who are as awash in guns as I am, even more so, have also chosen the MC2C as their EDC gun.

Mossberg MC2C handgun resting on a yellow bill of sale with a handheld radio
Mossberg’s expertise for over 100 years resulted in this excellent 16-round carry gun.

Mossberg MC2C Features

The Mossberg MC2C was just under 7 inches long, 5 inches high, and 1.04 inches at its widest point. The width was .95 inches — everywhere forward of the slide lock. It weighed 20.2 ounces empty, and 29 ounces loaded. For comparison, that puts it at the same size and weight as the S&W Shield EZ or the Springfield XD-S.

I physically compared them and determined the Mossberg would fit comfortably in any holster I have for the Shield or XD-S. Those guns are good for nine rounds on board. The Mossberg carries 14 rounds with the standard magazine and 16 rounds with the extended mag. To me, it’s a big deal to be able to carry 14 rounds in a gun the size of any number of single-stack nines.

When it comes to choices in sights and slide finish options, there are five configurations available. The slides are all stainless steel with the option of matte black or diamond-like carbon (DLC) finish. They feature angled serrations front and rear for positive slide manipulation. Although the slide lock is quite small, I found the slide easy to lock back.

I don’t use the slide lock as a release, but for those of you who do, I found it easy to use for that function as well. The sights were dovetail mounted and came standard in a low-profile, snag-free white 3-Dot configuration or with TruGlo Tritium Pro Night Sights as an option. My test gun had night sights, which I appreciate, generally being a fan of night sights.

The optional external safety, which Mossberg calls a Cross-bolt Safety, is unusual for a semi-automatic handgun. It’s like a shotgun safety, located on the frame behind the trigger. To set the manual safety on, push it from the left side so that it moves fully to the right. When it’s on, the frame covers the red line that is visible when the safety is pushed to the left into the off position. If you choose not to have the external manual safety, the trigger blade safety and an internal striker-block safety are both there for your protection.

Mossberg M2C2 semi automatic 9mm handgun with Trijicon night sights
Optional Trijicon night sights were the author’s choice. The rounded slide made for easy holstering, and the unique grip pattern made for a secure grip.

The frame is made of high-tensile strength glass-reinforced polymer. The texturing on the sides as well as front and back strap are just aggressive enough to be effective without hurting your hand. It’s a unique pattern, unlike anything I’ve seen on other handguns. The accompanying photos do a better job of describing it than I can with words.

There’s a textured pad on both sides of the frame where your trigger finger should index and a Picatinny rail forward of the trigger guard. The trigger guard was large enough for gloves and curved up slightly at the rear to facilitate a high grip. The beavertail at the back of the frame facilitated a high, tight grip and helped mitigate recoil. There was a rounded treatment at the front and top of the slide for easy holstering.

The trigger had a wide, flat profile with an integrated blade safety. My Lyman consistently measured the pull on my test gun at 6 pounds. There was .25-inch take-up, a clean break, and a tactile short reset. The trigger was a bit gritty during the initial take-up but smoothed right out after shooting and dry firing a bit. The magazine release behind the trigger was reversible.

Mossberg M2C2 semi automatic 9mm pistol, field stripped
Forget what you know about pistol takedown. This one is different, though not difficult. Consult the manual or watch a YouTube video or else you’ll still be scratching your head.

The grip was narrow for its capacity — the result of slim-profile double-stack steel magazines. The MC2C shipped with a 13-round flush magazine and a 15-round extended magazine, both made from a coated steel that offered low friction and long-term wear resistance.

Mossberg’s unusual STS (Safe Takedown System) does not require the user to pull the trigger to disassemble the gun for cleaning and maintenance. To remove the slide, lock the slide back, push in the slide cover plate button, and slide the cover plate out of the slide. From underneath, grasp the tab on the striker and pull the striker assembly out the rear of the slide. With the striker removed, push the slide fully forward toward the muzzle end and it will slide off the frame. It’s easy, but you may need to refer to the manual the first time you do it.

It’s an attractive gun, even in all black. The lettering on the slide was outlined in gold, which was a nice touch. Instead of an overwhelming logo, it was subdued and well-designed. The rear cocking serrations were broken up with a crosshatch that added a decorative touch.

Mossberg M2C2 pistol between a Smith and Wesson Shield EZ and Springfield XDS
The MC2C shown here between two popular single-stack nines — an EZ-Rack Shield and Springfield XD-S. It’s just as thin, practically the same height and length, yet carries 13+1 rounds with a flush magazine and 15+1 with an extended mag.

I think the design engineers went down to the graphics people who work in marketing and asked them to look at the gun and see if they had any suggestions to make it stand out. Whether they did or not, in my opinion, the gun has a bit of a subtle artistic touch to it. But does it shoot?

Accuracy and Reliability

It shoots. It was fun to shoot, and it was a confidence builder. Four regular shooters and two guest shooters put it through its paces, and everybody enjoyed shooting the gun. We had practice rounds and three different brands of defensive rounds. When it was my turn, I tried the new Speer Gold Dot Carry Gun 135-grain 9mm rounds. Shooting from 12 yards, I had no problem putting a full 13-round magazine worth of ammunition into a 4-inch circle. That was carry gun accuracy for me.

DeSantis sent me an Inside Heat holster that was designed specifically for the Mossberg MC2C. I found it comfortable when I need an IWB holster. When OWB worked, the MC2C fit easily in my Bianchi 101 Foldaway belt slide holster. I carry it with the 13-round magazine in the gun and 15-round magazine on my support side in a Concealed Carrier magazine holder.

The MC2C is just one of many models Mossberg is offering. This one is an excellent personal defense handgun that is easy to shoot, easy to carry, and has enough unique features that it was not “just another black gun.”  Word is, all of Mossberg’s pistol offerings are of the same quality.

Mossberg’s shotguns have a well earned reputation for quality and reliability at an affordable price. However, its handguns are not as well known. Have you fired a Mossberg M2C2? Were you as impressed with it as the author? Share your M2C2 review in the comment section.

  • Mossberg M2C2 handgun atop a yellow Birchwood Casey Dirty Bird target with a box of Speer Gold Dot Carry Gun ammunition
  • Mossberg MC2C handgun resting on a yellow bill of sale with a handheld radio
  • DeSantis Gunhide Inside Heat holster with Mossberg pistol inserted
  • Mossberg M2C2 pistol between a Smith and Wesson Shield EZ and Springfield XDS
  • melded front slide on the Mossberg M2C2 9mm handgun
  • Mossberg M2C2 pistol with gold outline
  • Mossberg M2C2 semi automatic 9mm pistol, field stripped
  • Mossberg M2C2 semi automatic 9mm handgun with Trijicon night sights
  • Mossberg M2C2 semi automatic 9mm pistol, left, profile
  • Mossberg M2C2 semi automatic 9mm pistol, right, profile

About the Author:

David Freeman

David is an NRA Instructor in pistol, rifle and shotgun, a Chief Range Safety Officer and is certified by the State of Texas to teach the Texas License to Carry Course and the Hunter Education Course. He has also owned and operated a gun store. David's passion is to pass along knowledge and information to help shooters of all ages and experience levels enjoy shooting sports and have the confidence to protect their homes and persons. He flew medevac helicopters in Vietnam and worked for many years as a corporate pilot before becoming actively involved in the firearm industry.
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 (5)

  1. Bob & Randall… “The Mossberg carries 14 rounds with the standard magazine and 16 rounds with the extended mag”. The article didn’t say it had a 16 round mag. The gun carries 16 rounds with the extended mag, one in the chamber and 15 in the mag equals 16 rounds.

  2. When Mossberg came out with their MC1sc I checked it out and was impressed enough to buy it on the spot. It is a tight, extremely well made pistol and has been my EDC for a couple of years now.
    Just recently I had an hour to burn between appointments and stopped in at my local sporting goods store to browse. They just happened to have the Mossberg MC2C on sale and once I handled it I was hooked! This pistol is slim, a natural pointer and fits me perfectly. Just a bit larger than my MC1sc with double the capacity it’s a no brainer. The only one they had was with the bright slide and I didn’t hesitate, it’s a handsome pistol and shoots true with the factory three dot sights. I prefer to buy American made and Mossberg has impressed me for years with their shotguns and rifles and their pistols are top of the line!

  3. mossberg’s site has 13 round mags available but 15 round mags are out of stock. i am unaware of a 16 round mag for this gun

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