Mossberg MC2c Optics-Ready 9mm Striker-Fired CCW Pistol

The popular EDC/CCW Mossberg MC2c handgun is now red-dot ready and boasts a 16+1 round capacity for self-defense.

It’s always a pleasure to pick up a gun that fits my hand just right. Such is the case with Mossberg’s latest entry in today’s still-hot handgun market with its MC2c Optic-Ready 9mm pistol. I have average-size mitts, but even on guns with interchangeable backstraps, that doesn’t mean a given pistol will “feel” right to me. The MC2c does.

The well-sculpted curve of the grip shape is only 1.1 inches wide and fits my palm naturally. The short, slim-profile, 14+1, double-stack magazine adds just enough length that I can get all my fingers around the grip. The 16-round magazine has an extension on the bottom that adds an extra 5/8 inch in length for larger hands or where concealment isn’t a problem and higher capacity a plus.


Mossberg MC2c Optics Ready Pistol

The MC2c accepts the Shield footprint. The SIG Romeo Zero sits low enough that the front sight just peeks above the window. (Handguns photo)

The slide is made from 416 stainless steel and given a diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating. Fixed 3-dot sights are standard and adjustable for windage only. Elevation corrections are accomplished by exchanging the front sight. Optional TruGlo night sights are available, and these factory-installed sights add $106 to the base price. The slide has serrations fore and aft.

The glass-reinforced polymer frame has checkered gripping areas that are a shade higher than the smooth sections and give good purchase even with sweaty hands. The backstrap texturing doesn’t snag on most clothing when holstered. The front of the trigger guard is squared and textured, and there are two checkered pads on the frame just above the trigger guard bow to give a tactile spot for resting the pad of your trigger finger on presentation.

The MC2c is available with or without a manual crossbolt safety located just above the magazine release. My sample didn’t have the safety, and while I prefer one, I’ve been without safeties so long it’s more of a “belt and suspenders” thing. The safety and mag catch are reversible for left-handers. The trigger has the now-common safety lever in the center of the trigger. The pull is a little gritty and broke at six pounds—five pounds when run off the reset.

Mossberg MC2c Optics Ready Pistol

While John’s sample didn’t feature it, the MC2c is available with a manual safety—a crossbolt design that sits above the magazine release. (Handguns photo)

The slide of the optic-ready MC2c is machined with the footprint of the Shield RMS, although Mossberg recommends the smaller RMSc-size sight since it’s narrower and matches the gun’s width. Installation of the reflex sight requires removal of the top plate with the provided 2mm Allen wrench. However, not all sights that fit the footprint come with the correct M3x8 screws. My first choice of sights didn’t come with the proper screws, and none were readily available. Instead, I installed a SIG Sauer Romeo Zero, since it came with the correct M3 screws. This is why buying red dot-ready guns from gunshops with knowledgeable employees is a good idea because they can walk you through the options of a particular gun/sight combination.

The SIG sight has an ultralight polymer housing and comes with a metal cover to increase impact resistance. Mine featured a three-m.o.a. dot, and it has eight user-selectable brightness levels. The red dot sits low enough that the Mossberg front sight just peeks above the window. The red dot adds little to the height of the pistol, going from a stock 4.9 inches to 5.5 inches, but nothing extra to the width.

Concealed-Carry Capacity

Mossberg MC2c Optics Ready Pistol

Fixed 3-dot iron sights are fitted in dovetails and are windage adjustable only. Elevation corrections require changing the front sight. (Handguns photo)

The pistol comes with one 14-round magazine and one 16-round magazine with a finger extension. I was pleased to find them both easy to load by finger pressure alone. Empty magazines rocket out even when the slide is locked back, and reloads are sure and fast. There were several failures to go completely into battery early on, resulting in a misfire. Normally, I like to conduct these tests after a familiarity and break-in period of 200 rounds, usually with full metal jacket bullets. But ammo is still hard to come by, and the test was limited to a little more than 100 rounds of premium hollowpoint ammo.

One nice feature is the MC2c can be fieldstripped without pulling the trigger. To disassemble, unload the pistol and lock the slide open. Press in on the button on the center of the slide cover plate and slide it down. Withdraw the striker. Hold the slide while depressing the slide release and ease the slide off the frame. The recoil spring is captured. Pluck it off, lift out the barrel and give her a bath. The triangular shape of the cover plate aids in depressing the striker for reassembly by fingers alone. Nifty.

A pistol as easy to load and manipulate as the MC2c is great for those with limited strength, and its simplicity and ease of maintenance make it more novice-friendly than others. Sized as it is, veteran concealed carriers should check out the discreet profile for such a high round count. Priced in the mid-$500 range, it is well within most budgets, and the Mossberg MC2c Optic-Ready deserves serious consideration.

Mossberg MC2c Optics Ready Pistol

Mossberg MC2c Optic-Ready Specs

  • Type: Striker-fire, semiauto
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Capacity: 14+1 rds., 16+1 rds. (10+1 rds. available)
  • Barrel: 3.8 in.
  • OAL/Height/Width: 7.1/4.9/1.1 in.
  • Weight: 21 oz.
  • Construction: Matte black slide, black polymer frame
  • Sights: Fixed 3-dot; optics ready, Shield footprint
  • Trigger: 6 lbs. (tested)
  • Safety: Trigger lever, striker drop, optional crossbolt
  • MSRP: $556
  • Manufacturer: O.F. Mossberg & Sons

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