Mossberg MC1sc Review

9mm subcompact pistol by Mossberg, released January 2019


Length: 6.25"
Height: 4.30"
Width: 1.03"
Weight: 19 oz unloaded
Barrel: 3.4"
Capacity: 6+1

89001: Regular
89002: Regular, crossbolt safety
89003: Regular, TruGlo Tritium Pro night sights
89004: Regular, Viridian laser
89005: Centennial, 24k gold inlays
89006: Stainless slide, black barrel
89008: Stainless slide, black barrel, crossbolt safety


unfold cardboard flaps on back to release tension and remove the gun. reuseable.


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beveled slide, melted muzzle, front serrations, loaded chamber indicator on the extractor, flat trigger.

I chose the crossbolt safety model so I could evaluate that feature.

rear sight on the 89002 is a Novak-style snag-free plain white dot.

front and rear sight dovetails are Sig Sauer #8 compatible.

they stand off from the slide. that prevents scraping during install/uninstall. on the other hand they may catch pocket yarn or unraveling holster thread. unlikely though.

ramped chamber hood assists cycling due to the low-recoiling 9mm and lightweight frame and slide. crossbolt safety and mag release are both reversible.

the diagonal cut on the rear serrations does in fact work to secure your grip when racking the slide. you can feel it engage your fingers and thumb. probably helps to shed excess water, sweat or mud too.

glass-reinforced nylon frame is tough. texture is fine-grained but grippable. wear characteristics are untested.

the discombobulated finger grooves look weird but feel right.

with a slight change of angle, the serrations cause glint. they are so bright they might as well be reflectors. in the world of military arms, some designers try to avoid creating a target indicator. for example the AK-47/74/etc. are known to have terrible glint (especially when the finish is worn off) while the French FAMAS purposefully has the least glint of all military assault rifles.

it must not have been a concern to the designers of this pistol, however, since it would be used by civilian consumers in an urban environment. in fact it's sort of "blingy" and the diagonal cut it renders it "swass", if such things catch your eye. either way you will notice. it does that a lot.

the Glock, a purely military pistol, does not do that.

palm swells on the grip fill your hand nicely and don't do anything to make it less concealable. you wouldn't appreciate them until you try another slim subcompact with flat grips. you will like these better.

I could not determine whether the molding on the backstrap actually improved grip or if it was merely a matter of style. it's not bad, but perhaps could use a more aggressive texture.

closeup of the grip texture


it comes with two magazines: a flush-6 and an extended-7. many have noticed the similarity to ETS (Elite Tactical Systems) transparent magazines, which had some reputation to crack, but Mossberg made it clear that these are made in-house using their own blend of polymer. curious online reviewers tested how tough they were by doing things such as loading them with ammo and throwing them as high in the air as possible, to see what happens when it hits gravel. amazingly none were damaged.

there have been reports of FTF/FTE with only the flush-6.

MC1sc and Glock G43 magazines are interchangeable.

spring pressure is noticeably low and cartridges load easily. this would reduce pressure on the feed lips (avoid cracking) but increase the likelihood of FTF when you have excessive slide speed, which is what you get when you use +P ammo that this gun is rated for.

the floorplates are very easy to work with. that is a welcome difference from Glock mags, which have those notches on the side that make removal next to impossible sometimes. the floorplate slides right off with a pointy object. the extended mag doesn't even need that. you can do it with a quarter, credit card, anything you can fit in the slot.

the long slot must be for lateral support of the finger rest. the flush mag wouldn't need it.

bodies and followers are the same. spring, shoe, and floorplate are different.

.40 S&W cartridges fit. I thought I would have to take off the floorplate to get them in. not so. the feed lips weren't made for it but I could load 6 cartridges in either one. obviously this won't make it shoot .40 S&W but with the similar feed path you can assume it wouldn't take much to redesign this gun as a .40 cal.


the MC1 is the same size and weight as a Glock G43, which, as it turns out, is almost the size of a Glock G27 except for width and weight. since I don't do 9mm I don't have a G43 and will have to use the G27 to compare. they are very close, as you will see.

length width slide height unloaded w/mag
MC1 6.25" 1.03" 0.9" 4.30" 19 oz
G43 6.26" 1.06" 0.87" 4.25" 18.0 oz
G27 6.50" 1.18" 1.00" 4.17" 21.9 oz

notice the gloss on the MC1

G27 has an XS Big Dot mounted on its schnozz. front sights aren't normally that big.

the MC1 trigger guard is enlarged near the grip. it must give added safety but seems primarily a platform for your knuckle to stabilize your aim. surprisingly it didn't result in the infamous "Glock Knuckle" and I think removal of this feature with a dremel would be a bad idea.

there is a major difference in firepower. 40SW in a 3.5" barrel still hits harder than 9mm in a 5" barrel. and the G27 gives you another half as many shots. but it's a little wider and heavier. I balanced them on both hands and really could not tell the difference. choices, choices.

the slide on the G27 is 1.00" wide, which is narrower than the frame (1.18") until it gets to the front of the trigger guard. this allows for the wide double stack magazine. the MC1, beginning with a slimmer slide, but having a single stack mag, allows the lines to flow straight back resulting in a slimmer profile.

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the MC1 does not have tabs in front of the trigger that you pull down to remove the slide. or a bar that you pull out. this is different from any other pistol that I know of. instead you press a button on the back of the slide. that's one of the features that make this gun so nifty and why I had to buy one.

to remove the slide, (as always) point it in a safe direction, remove the magazine and set it aside, then rack the slide to ensure there is no round in the chamber, and remove any magazines and ammo from the work area. then lock the slide back.

the user manual says to push the button and remove the slide cover plate. but there is a trick to it. you have to slide it out perpendicular to the slide. if you don't know that you will spend lots of time fumbling with it and it won't come out.

also, while the user manual doesn't say exactly how you are to accomplish this, lots of trial and error made it apparent that the correct method would be to orient the gun with the grip away from you and pinch the slide cover plate with your finger and thumb. then slide it out perpendicularly as described.

on the other hand, if the gun happens to hit the slide release, which is now underneath the very thing you are working on, the slide will slam shut on your finger and you will discover that you cannot rack the slide on an upside down pistol with one finger stuck in the damn slide.

therefore, before you proceed, call Mossberg tech support and ask them exactly how they want you to remove the slide cover plate.

after you take that off, remove the firing pin assembly. slowly release the slide and it comes off the front like any other striker-fired semiauto.

the slide cover plate has a button that is held in place with a roll pin. it is not spring-loaded.

the orange plastic peice went in the circular depression, which got pushed out. the spring on the firing pin assembly kept it that way. when you push the button, the circle is pushed flush, and the orange plastic peice can now slide off. that is, the slide cover plate can slide off.

when you put it back on, start it at angle it so you can push down the orange plastic peice. then straighten it out and push it in. you will hear a snap when the orange plastic peice snaps into the circular depression. wiggle it to make sure it is secure and won't come loose.

comparison to the G27 slide

the rake has the texture of a file. I have no idea why they didn't smooth this off. it can only cause friction when the slide goes back, contributing to any pre-exisitng FTF/FTE problems. (in other words it would help make that happen) also it undoubtedly creates little brass filings that would get all over the inside of the gun.

barrel is 1:16" RH twist, button rifled, muzzle has a slight crown.

it says "read manual before use". that's right because

it did have gunk in the barrel.

comparison of the frames. the locking block serves to function as the front slide lugs. it has to be cheaper that way, not embedding a seperate part into the frame, but it would put more stress on the locking block pin as the locking block works loose over time.

it has three rear lugs instead of two. if a lug breaks on a Glock it is usually the left rear.


the ejection port has a tremendous gap between the chamber and the slide. I know when this first came out many people were saying "take my money!" but the engineers didn't have to include a coin slot.


G27 has a small gap.

the ejection port sits much lower than the Glock. the extractor does too, positioned according to the bevel on top of the slide. the Glock extractor can sit higher since it angles down into the chamber.

the MC1 ejects brass exactly 90 degrees to the right, exactly 45 degrees up, and a consistent 6 feet away which indicates optimal extraction. so it's working quite well, probably thanks to the low ejection port, which results in that huge gap that you can stuff a dollar bill in.

the Glock ejects brass erratically, at various angles, it can dribble out or it can shoot 8 feet depending on the current extractor/ejector, or sometimes even hit you in the face, but it always does it and doesn't have a huge gap next to the chamber.


let us first examine the extraction system of the Glock.

not everybody is familiar with the manual of arms for a Glock, judging by the number of gouged slide plate covers I have seen. so here is how you take it apart.

nudge the striker backwards to ensure it is not in the forward position with the striker sticking out. this gives you room to insert a pointy object in front of the striker lug.

hold the slide in your right hand with the muzzle down and your thumb on the striker cover plate. with your left hand, push down on the chopstick to release spring pressure on the slide cover plate, while sliding it off with your right hand's thumb, which also covers any springy parts that might shoot out and get lost.

it comes apart very easily when you do it right.

take out the firing pin assembly and the extractor plunger. all that is left is the safety plunger and the extractor.

hold the slide so the extractor is underneath. push on the safety plunger and the extractor falls right out. turn the slide so it is right-side up, tap the slide on the table, and the plunger falls right out too.

so we see that the heart of the extraction system is the long spring-loaded plunger that pushes the extractor. it is in a hole drilled all the way through the back of the slide. the location of that hole was determined by where they wanted to put the extractor. it coincides roughly with where the slide cover plate can cover it. it's fudged a bit but it works.

if they tried that on the MC1, the slide cover plate would not cover it.

instead they use a roll pin and extractor spring. the safety plunger works the same to block the firing pin.

the problem with this arrangement is that when you shoot the gun, along with carbon fouling that we all know about, brass flecks are created that get all over and inside the working parts of the gun. all semiautos do this. many semiautos have the extractor held in with a roll pin and are therefore a pain in the ass to clean properly. the MC1, however, seems to make larger flakes of brass than the Glock, which has been observed to make much smaller flecks.

what you see here is the result of firing 100 rounds. this is typical of any semiauto.

this must be cleaned after every shooting session. notice the large chunk of brass.

another large chunk of brass inside the safety plunger well.

to remove the extractor, you have to punch out the roll pin. an SKS tool fits perfectly.

it was so difficult to punch out the roll pin, that alone is reason enough to choose a Glock. getting it back in was infinitely worse, because due to spring pressure, the hole in the extractor does not line up with the roll pin. I had to use a vise grip (with a cloth) to clamp down the extractor, plus a toothpick inserted on top, to get the hole to match up. and beat the punch with the hammer just as hard as I was taking it out.

I do NOT want to do that again. but I would have to do that after every trip to the range. solution? get a Glock. or something else that uses a plunger system instead of a roll pin because this is just unacceptable.

one trick is to punch out the roll pin just enough to remove the extractor, so you don't have to start it in the hole again.

let's take another look at that ejection port.



need a pic of roll pin

more to come... maybe 1/2 done