I had the good fortune to attend the launch event Mossberg hosted at Gunsite Academy for the new MC2c pistol (it was the same event as the 940 JM Pro I related earlier). Most of the other writers and editors who had attended the MC1sc launch were also in attendance, and it makes sense--the MC2 and the MC1sc are kinda pretty closely related. Think of the MC2c as the MC1sc’s bigger brother. Where the MC1sc is a single-stack, the MC2c is a double; the MC2c is currently designated as a “c” for compact (as opposed to “sc” for subcompact). Yes, this opens the door to an MC2[blank] for a full-size pistol, and possibly an MC2sc as well.
Everything we liked about the MC1sc has been carried over into the slightly larger MC2c. It’s the same easy takedown without tools or needing to pull the trigger, it uses the same flat-face trigger with excellent takeup and reset and the overall feel is that of a slightly bigger MC1. What’s different? The grip is slightly more textured for better control, the gun is slightly larger overall and capacity has been increased to 13 rounds. It’s a double-stack as opposed to the single stack of the MC1, yet overall width is pretty close. The MC2 ships with two magazines: one flush-fit 13-round and one extended 15-round variant. Also, in stark contrast to the MC1’s clear-polymer magazines, the MC2 comes with steel variants, each marked with “Made in Italy,” a clue as to the nature of origin…
What could use a little improvement? Several people at the event had trouble with the magazine release, specifically that it was just a tad too light. With a strong support hand grip, the magazine release could be activated, resulting in, well, the magazine being released. Mossberg, to its credit, really does these events right: the Mossberg contingent included several engineers who worked on the MC2c. These engineers not only examined the pistols, they observed the shooters who were experiencing problems with the magazine release—and were already working to fix the issue before we even left the shooting range. Production MC2cs should not have this problem, and we expect the pistol we receive for testing will be fine.
Mossberg's new MC2c in its native habit: on the range
Another item that some felt could be improved upon, and this is carried over from the MC1, is the sights. The MC1, and now it’s larger sibling MC2, has a standard three-white-dot sighting arrangement in standard issue. A model with night sights will be available, but currently only the one setup is offered. The more serious shooters took to blacking out the rear dots, leaving a flat-black rear sight and a single white dot up front, something that had been done at the MC1 launch last year. Like the MC1, though, the MC2 uses standard SIG Sauer-based sights in a dovetail (#8), so replacing sights should be pretty simple as well.
At the event, we started off with basic Gunsite drills to familiarize ourselves with the MC2c. We started on the 3-yard line, worked on a single shot from the holster to center mass. Moved back to 5 yards, then 7. Progressed at the same distance to shoot pairs, first controlled then what Gunsite calls “hammers”—two shots with one sight picture (two including reacquiring sights for follow-through). A single shot to the upper portion of the target (requiring greater precision than the center-mass shots) was added in, and we finished with various iterations of the failure drill (two shots center mass, one to the head).
Much like I wrote about the MC1sc, the MC2c really needs to be shot to truly be appreciated. It’s “punching above its weight class” or “outkicking its coverage” to mix up my metaphors—you don’t expect a gun of this size and class to shoot as well as it does. Getting out on the range, running the MC2c through a variety of drills, really gives an appreciation for the many hours of engineering, design and ergonomics that went into Mossberg’s entire line. Sure, the MC series looks like, well, a polymer-frame, striker-fired 9 mm like so many others on the market. But, it doesn’t feel that way when in use.
Numerous editors and writers tested the MC2 under the watchful eyes of Gunsite Academy instructors.
With the size of the MC2c, though, it brought something else immediately to my mind with regards to sighting: red dots. The MC1 launched before the really small red-dot sights had hit the market—and it was also Mossberg’s first new pistol design in a century, so the company had other things on its plate—but the MC2c is certainly sized right for an optics-cut slide and/or mounting plates. Discussing this with Mossberg, it’s something under consideration, but not currently available. I’d wager that as the line of quality handguns offered by Mossberg grows and matures, this is almost certainly in the works.
What else can we add about the MC2c? It’s slightly smaller than other compact-size pistols, while maintaining similar capacity. It offers a trigger right out of the box that’s comparable to most aftermarket upgrades and comes with slightly more-aggressive texturing to anchor in the hand. Sights are acceptable, in addition to being replaceable, and all but the largest hands should find full purchase on the grip. What’s not to like? If there’s anything at all, I’d have to say the accessory market. Since it’s not a SIG/Glock/Smith & Wesson, finding a holster fit is going to be more challenging. Mossberg is working with numerous companies to make this less of an issue, but as of press time there are precious few holsters for the MC2c in the wild.
This, of course, hampers testing on one thing the MC2c excels at, which is concealed carry. Smaller than the G19 and slimmer than the M&P subcompact, the MC2c would be an ideal choice for an EDC pistol. Positioned between the micro-9s like the P365 or Hellcat and the compact 9s like the G19 or M&P Compact, the MC2c is large enough to shoot well, but small enough to conceal easily. It’s larger than the P365 or Hellcat, but only in the technical sense—you won’t notice the difference when carrying it. The MC2c is about as close to a “do-it-all gun” as you’re going to find, and that’s a great thing.
13-round capacity is appreciated when running a shoothouse, while the excellent handling made fast shots simpler.