Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Semi-Auto Pistol with Cross-Bolt Safety




Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol– The Mossberg® MC1SC Subcompact Semi-Auto Pistol with Cross-Bolt Safety features a slim, dehorned profile, specifically designed for concealed carry. Fed by a single-stack magazine, this pistol boasts a streamlined profile for deep concealment. The barrel and stainless steel slide feature a upgraded, diamond-like carbon coating lasting corrosion resistance, and the slide features multi-angle slide serrations for an improved grip and enhanced slide manipulation. 3-dot dovetail sights offer intuitive target acquisition, and their snag-free, low-profile design interferes minimally when drawing the weapon from a holster. The flat-profile trigger uses an integrated blade safety and breaks crisp and clean with a short, tactile reset. The magazine release is reversible for ambidextrous control, while the glass-reinforced polymer frame features aggressive signature Mossberg grip texturing for enhanced ergonomics and instinctive pointability. Mossberg’s Safe Takedown System™ allows you to disassemble the pistol without having to pull the trigger. Ships with 2 Clear-Count™ polymer magazines.

Slim, dehorned profile for concealed carry use
Diamond-like carbon slide coating
Multi-angle slide serrations
3-dot front and rear sights
Flat-profile trigger with blade safety
Glass-reinforced polymer frame
Safe Takedown System
Cross-bolt safety
2 Clear-Count magazines
Mossberg MC1sc Review


When you hear “Mossberg,” the image of a shotgun is likely the first thing that comes to mind. Or, in recent years, perhaps a rifle. For all of their gun designs, Mossberg has never built a reputation for handguns, but that’s about to change with the new MC1sc 9mm.

O.F. Mossberg & Sons is, and always has been, located in North Haven, Connecticut. However, prior to starting Mossberg, its founder, Oscar Frederick (O.F.) worked for several then-­familiar brands including Iver Johnson Arms, Shattuck Arms, J. Stevens Arms and Marlin-Rockwell. Working on a variety of firearm designs for others provided O.F. with knowledge and experience to create a company of his own name. Not long after starting his company, O.F. produced his first and only handgun — the Brownie. Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol

Mossberg’s Pistols

O.F. produced and sold the collectible pocket pistol between 1919 and 1932. Only 37,000 were made and they sold for $5. The Brownie was a pepperbox of sorts, having four fixed barrels and a rotating firing pin. Some regard it as a four-­shot Derringer-­like firearm due to its break-­open design. It was chambered in .22LR and marketed toward hunters who worked trap lines. These odd little pocket pistols can still be found for sale if you’re looking for one and are patient.

More than 100 patents and a century later, Mossberg has re-­entered the business of making handguns. They quietly announced this news during a private invite of gunwriters at Gunsite ( in Paulden, Arizona.

Not knowing what to expect from a company that hasn’t made a handgun since Woodrow Wilson was president, I was skeptical. Gunsite can be a taxing environment for any gun, but it’s also an excellent locale to evaluate functionality and practicality. Samples of Mossberg’s pistols were passed out and after opening the box I was delightfully surprised.

Its full name is the Mossberg Carry 1 subcompact (MC1sc). It is a pleasant looking single-­stack 9mm made of polymer and steel that was designed specifically with concealed carry in mind. Operationally, it is a recoil-­operated, striker-­fired pistol. Looking at the MC1sc, I thought, Could this be a market contender? We will see. Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol

The MC1sc isn’t placed in fancy packaging. Rather, the pistol ships in a heavy-­duty cardboard container with the gun secured under clear plastic. Mossberg chose to save money on packaging, which is something they assume most of us will likely never use anyways. Included in the box are the manual and necessary paperwork, two magazines and a cable lock. It’s interesting to note that the cable lock included is also one of Mossberg’s many patents.

Feeding It

The pistol is aesthetically pleasing, but I was not initially a fan of the magazines. Though I like getting two mags (one a flat-­based, flush-­fit six-­rounder and the other a seven-­rounder with a finger extension), disappointment swept through me while I inspected them. Coined as “Clear-Count” polymer, the magazines are translucent and appear fragile. Later, however, they would impress me.

Assuming the magazines would be the pistol’s weak link, I was unusually hard on the pair. I tossed them into the air while full and empty, and across the rough sand, gravel and stone landscape of the shooting range. I even stepped on the magazines. When I examined them for wear, I couldn’t find a scratch. There was no damage whatsoever.

Mossberg’s engineers educated me on their unique polymer and why the clear polymer formula is stronger than if it had been created opaque or in color. According to the engineers, polymer loses its integrity when color is added because impurities are introduced, which weakens the material.

These see-­through mags did afford me a quick reference as to how many rounds were loaded. During a tactical reload, as Gunsite teaches it, a shooter can either drop the mag to the ground or stow it in a pocket and retain any remaining rounds for use later. With the MC1sc magazines, condition checks and loading were simple because I could instantly see the bright orange follower providing me with a quick round count. Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol

The Grip

The gun felt good in my large hands, which is unusual for a subcompact. It was even better when I was using the extended magazine, which is true for most subcompact pistols.

The grip is lightly textured, but done so in strategic areas that enable good traction. There are no interchangeable backstraps, which means fewer parts and a more affordable pistol. However, many small striker-­fired, single-­stack 9mm pistols that the MC1sc competes with don’t feature optional backstraps either, including the Glock 43, Ruger LC9, SIG Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson Shield and Springfield Armory’s XD-­S. The only one that does is the Walther PPS.

There is an intentionally engineered hump on the back of the grip that does seem to fill most any sized palm swell. In the end, not having interchangeable backstraps wasn’t a detractor for me as the hump made Mossberg’s little gun feel right.

The Slide

The slide is machined from stainless steel and coated with diamond-­like carbon (DLC). It looks nice, but by the end of 500-­plus rounds fired and three days drawn repeatedly from a Kydex holster, evidence of wear near the muzzle appeared. Though I know DLC is popular with some brands, I prefer black nitride or Melonite for durability. Being first-run guns at this event, Mossberg representatives were able to observe the hard-­use results from our evaluation. I predict that some improvements to these details will occur. Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol

There are single-­direction serrations on the slide, both at the front and rear. They’re as functional as they are good looking. They provided a superb grip when pulling the slide back, but the directional machining made them feel smooth when you slide your fingers from rear to front.

Mossberg opted for a common three, white-­dot sight system that’s dovetail cut and drift adjustable. I find three-­dot sights busy to the eyes, but Mossberg’s engineers also entertained my recommendation of an all-­black rear sight. Many new guns are installing blacked-­out rear sights with a bright dot up front to draw the eye. In my opinion, a black rear sight is not a cost cut — it’s the future. No matter, the dovetail cuts are a SIG Sauer #8 profile. Finding preferred replacement sights shouldn’t be a problem.

The sights on the standard model are metal, but feature budget-minded white dots. Optional sights will follow soon. The rear of the slide sports a grooved push-button for easy disassembly.

Frame & Trigger

Generally found only on carry guns subjected to the aftermarket, Mossberg’s factory trigger stands apart from conventional offerings with its flat-­face trigger shoe and a blade safety lever built within. The pull was surprisingly good with my MC1sc sample and measured between 5 and 6 pounds. A very carryable trigger, it has some pretravel, a distinct pressure wall and a quick, tactile reset.

The MC1sc slide features a generous and low-cut ejection port with a long and powerful external extractor lever. Subtle contours guide a shooter’s fingers to where they need to be. Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol

Although the pistol featured a one-­direction, push-­button magazine release, it is user configurable for right- or left-­handed shooters. However, there isn’t an ambidextrous slide-lock lever. I would have thought that an ambi slide-­lock lever would be part of a ground-up design, but not here. Left handers may not dominate sales, but ambidextrous controls are becoming industry standard.

Internally, the Mossberg MC1sc looks like a combination of other striker-­fired guns including those from Glock and Smith & Wesson. There appears to be influence, but Mossberg didn’t commit design plagiarism. It’s a simple striker-­fired design with a captured recoil spring and guide rod, a one-­piece trigger bar and sear with a basic fire-­control system. The big difference is how the MC1sc disassembles for maintenance.

Small Parts

Missing is the common takedown lever. Thankfully, disassembly doesn’t require any special tools. Until now, many manufacturers have considered removal of the striker cover plate and striker assembly to be an armorer-­level skill. Not Mossberg. It’s Safe Takedown System (STS) provides a safer disassembly process by taking trigger press and flipping levers out of the procedure. Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol

You’ll see the striker cover has a button in its center. Lock the gun open, press the button in and slip the cover out of the slide to expose the striker. After removing the striker, simply let the slide forward to remove it from the frame. This disassembly provides us the ability to swab out the striker channel when cleaning. (Just don’t put oil in there.)

Let’s Shoot

Finding holsters for a new gun is usually difficult, but Mossberg thought ahead. At the Gunsite event, gunwriters were afforded two choices of holster and magazine pouches in leather or Kydex made by DeSantis and BlackPoint Tactical. DeSantis’ leather is nice for carry, but Kydex is my preference for training and carry.

On the range, the MC1sc was very pleasant to shoot. It’s easy to manipulate, has a very manageable recoil impulse that’s quick to recover from, but the sights held me back. It was nothing that a black marker couldn’t fix. By the end, the rear sights of several shooters’ guns were blacked out to help crisp up the sight picture under the sun.

Not accustomed to running a full training course with small guns, Gunsite instructors were also pleased with our ability to run the pistol, despite its shorter and smaller profile. The polymer magazines dropped freely to the ground during training for emergency reloads as long as we did our part. With short grips on small pistols, it’s important to know how to keep your palms from interfering with the free movement of an ejecting magazine.

The pistol is +P rated, but none of us wanted to shoot +P ammo through it for three days. Instead, two very different loads were on hand for testing: Federal’s 124-­grain FMJ and Hornady’s 135-­grain Critical Defense. I opted to fire one type of ammunition on each day while others mixed and matched. Both loads were more than combat accurate and performed flawlessly.

Some chose to clean and lubricate each day, but I never did (all in the name of science, of course). Fifteen different shooters firing 15 different MC1sc pistols all experienced success. Not one malfunction was experienced that wasn’t obviously shooter induced. As a group, we had less than a half dozen user-­induced malfunctions over three days.

Two of those user malfunctions were on me. One was caused by not seating the magazine after a tactical reload. The other was caused by accidentally hitting the magazine release due to a poor grip during a speedy draw. I even picked up dirty and mismatched live rounds off of the range floor and fired them through the gun. So long as they weren’t misshapen or pushed into the case, I used them. They all functioned without issue.

Plenty of dust, jungle runs, scenario-­based training and live-­fire shoot-­house drills proved to us that Mossberg’s engineers did their homework. Frangible, 100-­grain 9mm ammunition in the shoot house performed perfectly. At one point, I asked to take the 3.4-­inch-­barreled pistol to the 35-­ and 50-­yard line. Firing offhand at the 8-­inch Gunsite target’s vital area, all of us were able to put hits on target at 35 yards. At 50 yards, some struggled, but most of us got hits. I took another shooter’s gun and rang steel just to prove it wasn’t the gun. Offered a challenge, I hit five of six rounds with my pistol at 50 yards, only missing the sixth. Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol

Back home with my loaner in hand, I continued experimenting with gear. The MC1sc fits in a Glock 43 holster almost perfectly. Also, I found G43 magazines worked without a hitch in the MC1sc. (Awesome!) That’s a nice way to supplement training days and get extra magazines in our kit without having to buy more unique mags.

Mossberg indicated that they will accommodate a wide variety of tastes with the MC1sc. That means optional night sights, a purpose-­built Viridian laser and a manual cross-­bolt safety model. Additional mags will also be available for purchase, and I know that a few manufacturers are already developing holsters.

Not one of us appeared disappointed by the MC1sc at the Gunsite event. If they were, they didn’t voice it. At home, the pistol has been impressive. It’s a viable option to train with and carry. Well-­built, dependable and good ergonomics are encouraging reasons to give the Mossberg MC1sc an open-­minded consideration for your next purchase.

Mossberg MC1sc
Type: Striker fired, recoil operated, semiautomatic
Cartridge: 9mm
Barrel Length: 3.4 in., 1:16-in. twist
Overall Length: 6.45 in.
Height: 4.25 in.
Width: 1.06 in.
Weight: 1 lb., 3 oz.
Safety: Firing-pin block; trigger; cross bolt, manual (optional)
Sights: 3-Dot, white; drift adj. (front and rear)
Trigger: 5 lbs., 8 oz. (tested)
MSRP: $425
Manufacturer: O.F. Mossberg & Sons,

Mossberg MC1sc 9mm Pistol Review

Mossberg dives into the CCW market with the MC1sc 9mm pistol (#89001), their first striker-fired semiautomatic.


O.F. Mossberg and Sons celebrates 100 years in business in 2019, and to celebrate this achievement, America’s oldest family-owned gun company has launched its first-ever striker-fired semiauto pistol: the MC1sc 9mm pistol. This trim single-stack 9mm features a polymer frame that makes it easy to carry and conceal, and with suggested retail prices starting at $425, it’s affordably priced. And while the MC1sc may look like many of the competing subcompact carry guns in this crowded field, the Mossberg features design elements that set it apart from other single-stack semiauto 9mms on the market. Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol

Mossberg’s decision to release a semiauto pistol may seem like a departure from the company’s history as a long-gun manufacturer, but Oscar Frederick Mossberg’s first commercially successful firearm was actually a pocket pistol. After emigrating from Sweden to the United States in 1886, O.F. Mossberg began working as an engineer at Iver Johnson, Stevens and other firearm manufacturers.

When Mossberg launched his own company in 1919, the first firearm his brand offered for sale was the Brownie, a four-shot .22 pocket gun that employed a rotating firing pin. Intended as a backup pistol for outdoor enthusiasts, particularly trappers, the Brownie was a success because it was inexpensive and reliable.

The Brownie was Mossberg’s introduction to the shooting world. It provided the capital the company needed to expand its firearms catalog and cemented Mossberg’s reputation for offering functional, affordable firearms for American hunters and shooters. Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol

A century after the debut of the Brownie, Mossberg’s mission statement—offering high-quality guns at affordable prices—hasn’t changed. What has changed, however, is the handgun marketplace. Today more than 16 million Americans exercise their right to carry a concealed firearm, and with so many options available, one could think that Mossberg is late to the game. But there will always be room in the market for a durable and functional carry gun that doesn’t cost a lot of money, and that’s an apt description of the new MC1sc. Mossberg may be late, but it’s fashionably late.

In many regards, the MC1sc follows the current trends in carry guns. It’s a single- stack, locked-breech, recoil-operated, striker-fired pistol with a molded polymer frame and a steel slide. Base models come equipped with three-dot white sights that are dovetailed into the 416 stainless steel slide, and front and rear slide serrations simplify operation.

There are also optional upgraded models that offer Truglo tritium night sights or a Viridian laser mounted ahead of the trigger guard. (You can also buy an aftermarket Viridian laser and install it yourself if you decide later you want one. The E series laser sells for $132.) There’s a special Centennial version featuring 24-karat gold accents and titanium nitride and Cerakote finishes on the small parts.

All MC1sc pistols come with DLC (diamond-like carbon) slide and barrel coatings. DLC coatings reduce friction wear and are very hard, so the Mossberg should hold up well to the rigors of daily carry and extended periods of exposure to moisture and perspiration. Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol

The gun’s polymer frame has a slight palm swell and dual textured grip panels that provide a firm hold. The grip also features contoured finger grooves in the front and an angled rear that seats the hand high on the pistol for maximum control. A beavertail at the rear of the grip prevents the slide from accidentally pinching the hand during cycling.

The translucent polymer magazines of MC1sc 9mm pistol allow the shooter to quickly determine how many cartridges are in the mags, and the construction held up well throughout testing.

The pistol ships with a flush-fit six-round magazine and an extended seven-rounder. Both magazines are made of a translucent, smoke-gray polymer that allows you to clearly see the rounds within. The magazine spring is topped by a bright orange follower. Additionally, Glock 43 magazines will fit and function in the MC1sc.

Mossberg worked to find the dimensional sweet spot for the MC1sc to make a gun that wasn’t too large to carry yet wasn’t so small that it was unmanageable to shoot. With its 3.4-inch barrel, the Mossberg measures just 6.25 inches in overall length, 4.3 inches in height and right at one inch in width.

Loaded weight is just 22 ounces—22.8 ounces with the Viridian laser unit attached. Weighing 19 ounces unloaded, the Mossberg is slightly lighter than the Taurus G2s (20 ounces) and the Walther PPS M2 (21.2 ounces), but it weighs more than the Glock G43 (18 ounces). Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol

In terms of length, the Mossberg is close to the Walther (6.3 inches), the Glock (6.26 inches) and the Taurus (6.3 inches). With flush-fitting six-round magazines in place, the Mossberg falls just between the Glock (4.25 inches) and the Walther (4.4 inches) in terms of overall height. With the extended seven-round magazine the Mossberg measures 4.8 inches tall, which is within a tenth of an inch of both the Taurus and the Walther with their respective seven-round mags in place.

The MC1sc 9mm pistol’s controls consist of a slide stop and reversible magazine release, and the company also offers a model with a manual crossbolt safety.

The MC1sc’s controls include a serrated slide stop on the left side along with a relatively large, reversible magazine release button with a textured top surface. There’s an optional manual safety, but this is one of the features that separates the MC1sc from other polymer-frame single-stack 9mms. Unlike its competitors, the Mossberg’s manual safety is a crossbolt design instead of the more familiar thumb safety you’ll encounter on other gun.

Why a crossbolt safety?

“To be in compliance with some states’ requirements, a manual safety is required,” says Linda Powell, Mossberg’s director of media relations. “We found that a percentage of our customers want the addition of a manual safety. In particular, women seem to prefer the added security of a manual safety combined with the Safe Takedown System.” (More on that system in a second.)

Powell says the crossbolt safety also serves to keep the slide clear and that many shooters feel confident with a crossbolt safety because it’s a feature found on many long guns.

Mossberg equipped the MC1sc with a frame large enough to comfortably accommodate a thumbs-forward grip without interfering with slide operation. A shallow polymer lip surrounds the underside of the slide stop to reduce the odds of inadvertently locking the slide open when firing. Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol

The bladed trigger features a flat front, and my sample had a pull just under the advertised weight of six pounds. I classify Mossberg’s trigger as one of the better offerings in its class because it offers smooth and even take-up and has a relatively clean break.

Trigger reset is short, predictable and positive, allowing for fast and accurate follow-ups. Mossberg’s trigger doesn’t have the sloppy, spongy feel that plagues some other striker-fired guns. The trigger’s pull weight isn’t single-action light, though; it’s heavy enough that those who carry the gun concealed will feel secure.

The Safe Takedown System, or STS, doesn’t require pulling the trigger for disassembly, and it’s an ingenious, simple system that becomes intuitive rather quickly. To begin, remove the magazine, ensure the gun is unloaded, and lock back the slide.

Pressing an indentation at the rear of the slide allows a plate to slide down and permits removal of the striker assembly. With that removed, press the slide lock lever and control the slide as you pull it forward and off the rails, which gives you access to the barrel and recoil spring. The system also makes it quite simple to maintain or replace the firing pin or spring as needed.

Mossberg’s STS takedown design requires removing the striker assembly, which is accomplished by pressing the serrated button and sliding off the cover plate. Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol

The only trick, if you will, is to make sure you’re placing pressure only on the serrated center portion at the rear of the slide. If you’re pushing on the rear of the slide itself and not just the button, the plate will not release and there will be much cussing. But once you learn to press the rear release button—and only the button—disassembly is both safe and simple.

A handful of companies already offer holsters for MC1sc pistols. Mossberg offers Kydex inside-the-waistband/outside-the-waistband holsters that will accommodate the pistol with or without the Viridian laser mounted. DeSantis also has a line of holster products for the Mossberg pistol, including Mini Scabbard and Inside Heat belt holsters and the Nemesis pocket holster, all of which are available for purchase at Mossberg’s website.

The MC1sc is light enough and trim enough that it is easy to carry and conceal. Narrow dimensions and a dehorned profile allow the gun to sit close against the body without printing under light clothing. I didn’t have a MC1sc-specific holster, but the Mossberg fit my Versacarrys IWB Rapid Slide. It’s possible to conceal the MC1sc with the extended magazine under light casual clothing, and with the flush-fit magazine installed, I could conceal the gun under a loose-fitting T-shirt.

The MC1sc rides close to the body, so it isn’t prone to excessive jostling during activity. I carried the pistol daily for more than a week without any issues; I even carried it in the IWB holster while hiking without discomfort. What’s more, the DLC coating stood up well to perspiration and rough handling. And because it’s a low-friction coating, the gun is easy to draw from concealment, without being too slick. Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol

The Mossberg’s grip angle is similar to a 1911 and promotes a high and secure handhold, placing the hand closer to the bore axis to better absorb recoil. The pistol’s palm swell and molded detents are logically positioned, and there’s adequate length of pull, so the average shooter will have room to operate the trigger without having to awkwardly coil the finger into place.

The grip is also large enough that the magazine falls clear of the pistol when the release button is pressed. The MC1sc’s extended seven-round grip is large enough to accommodate the largest hands comfortably. The six-round, flush-fit magazine leaves the last finger floating for shooters with average-size mitts, but the grip design and high hand position make the Mossberg manageable to shoot even with one finger free.

The sights are contoured to prevent snagging and are windage adjustable. The model I tested came equipped with white three-dot sights that function well under most light conditions from full sun to near darkness. I also tested the MC1sc with the Viridian laser sight in place. Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol

The MC1sc is pleasant to shoot and is more manageable than the really ultra-compact single-stack 9mms that want to jump out of the hand with every shot. At 25 yards the pistol produced three-shot groups in the three-inch range, which is perfectly acceptable. With its favorite load, Winchester’s 147-grain Defender, the average group size shrunk below the three-inch mark.

From seven yards offhand I could reliably hit hostage targets when firing the pistol slowly and deliberately. When shooting faster while conducting Mozambique or movement drills, the Mossberg’s short trigger reset and grip design and geometry allowed me to get back on target quickly.

Reliability is a key factor for a carry gun, and no semiauto is a bargain if it doesn’t go bang every time. I suspect some readers will question the reliability of the polymer magazines, but I ran 500 rounds through the gun and its magazines and was impressed. The polymer magazines withstood the test, and also I began to appreciate the transparent design because it immediately allowed me to know how many rounds are on tap without having to peer through tiny port holes on the back side like you do with traditional mags.

The MC1sc is equipped with a beefy external extractor that reliably removes spent cases. There were no failures to extract during Fitzpatrick’s 500-round test.

There were no failures to eject—thanks in no small part to the gun’s beefy extractor—but in two instances the slide failed to lock back after the last round. Both occurred early during testing. Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact Pistol

With so much competition fighting for space in the carry gun market will the Mossberg stand out? I believe so. Over the course of the 500-round test, this gun proved to be reliable, and its dimensions make it an ideal carry gun. The takedown system is different but effective, and it remains to be seen what consumers will decide about the crossbolt safety.

What’s not in question, however, is the fact that this gun is reliable and affordably priced. Reliable and affordable. Those seem like good qualities around which to build a gun company.

Mossberg MC1sc 9mm Pistol Specs

Type: striker-fired semiauto

Caliber/Cartridge: 9mm Luger

Capacity: 6+1, 7+1

Barrel: 3.4 in.

OAL/Height/Width: 6.25/4.3/1.0 in. w/ flush-fit magazine

Weight: 19 oz.

Construction: polymer frame, DLC-coated 416 stainless slide

Sights: dovetail three-dot; windage-adjustable rear

Trigger: 5.9 lb. pull (measured)

Price: $425

Manufacturer: O.F. Mossberg & Sons,


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