MAY 14, 2019

Practical Handling: The Micro Mossberg MC1SC

From our coverage of the new Mossberg centerfire pistol in Shooting Wire, let’s turn to practical handling drills meant to determine if the micro-pistol can cut it for personal defense. In terms of size, consider the following: the gun fits holsters meant for the tiny GLOCK 43 9mm – and magazines for the G43 fit, feed, and lock open with this sample of the MC1SC.

The accuracy from the bench was fine for such a small gun. There was one issue, failure to carry-up a round to the chamber. This was when using the flat-based factory magazine and it’s possible that it was a user-induced stoppage.

Shortly after that range outing, the tiny Mossberg made it out to a law enforcement range being conducted to ensure that agency retirees would be covered under LEOSA – the Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act requires annual qualification to be covered for concealed carry under that act.

I shot the Mossberg MC1SC using 147 grain FMJ ammo, the Mossberg-supplied pair of magazines, and a pair of factory GLOCK 43 mags. The Mossberg MC1Sc fit inside a BlackPoint Tactical OWB, a rig I’d gotten to use with the GLOCK 48. It’s a high quality holster and ideal for casual concealment.

The 'geezer qualification' saw the new Mossberg pistol rounding out a firing line, above. Below, the new gun was shot two-handed, one-handed, right- and wrong handed.

As I’d noted on the bullseye range, the gun has great sights – these are the TRUGLO sights -- very visible, quick and precise enough for 25 yards +. During the qual, I had one failure to carry up, like the first time I shot it, both times with the “short” factory magazine (flat floorplate). It’s apparently causing a problem for me in the way I handle the gun as the finger-rest Mossberg magazine and the pair of G43 mags operated without issues. I ‘cleaned’ the C-POST (an easy course) with a tight cluster of hits considering the micro-size of the gun.

Fellow retired instructor/deputy Myron Stucky had one failure to lock open on an empty magazine – he concluded that he’d interfered with the slide stop and corrected the problem as he went on. He shot it well and was effusive about the sights and the trigger. The range officer wasn’t a huge fan of the trigger but praised the night sights on the little gun.

My last trip with the little gun was spent on a quantitative comparison course meant for snub revolvers -- it works well for truly small autos too, and the source can be found here. These are “four well known tests that provide certain data about shooting,” amounting to the following:

Test 1: Slow Fire Accuracy Test – 10 shots at 15 yards on the NRA B-8 bullseye with no time limit.

Test 2: “5 yard Roundup” 5 yards, also on the B-8 repair center.

The first slow fire group printed low. Bringing the sights up - and changing ammo -- gave the group across the 10-ring at fifteen yards. Below, the Mossberg pistol is quite personable on the range unlike some small, powerful pistols.

Test 3: “HiTS SUPER SNUB TEST” – Also the B-8 repair center, all strings shot from low ready, at ten yards, five yards and three yards.

Test 4: “Snubbie Bill Drill”: 5 shots, 5 yards, on full piece of paper.

I shot the last test on the B-8 repair center and collected time and score. I ran three guns on the first go-around, with the MC1SC bringing up the rear. I collected some interesting data.

First, I found that the Mossberg sample did not like Winchester “USA Forged” steel case range ammo. I’ve fired lots of this ammo from other 9mm pistols and this is the first time I’ve seen chronic failures to extract – a good reason to do the slow-fire distance drill first, to ensure everything’s working. I changed to some Hornady Critical Defense I happened to have handy and the MC1SC returned to its previous trouble-free function.

Next, I found that I hit low on the first shot at fifteen yards, tracked up and went a little high. While shooting on the coarse accuracy standard afforded by the old FBI “Q” target, you may not notice, but on the 5 ¼” bull of the B-8 repair center the variation becomes apparent quickly. I finished with a score of 93/100, not my finest outing but fired with a subcompact 9mm pistol – using the short magazine which had given me fits before.

I then shot the Five-yard Round-up (the par for each string being 2.5 seconds) and ended with 96/100. The course was fired in time and there were no malfunctions of shooter nor iron.

The HiTS Super Snub Test is an enhancement of The Test popularized by Ken Hackathorn and Larry Vickers. The ten yard stage was fired just in time with only a fraction of a second to spare. I finished the course with 147/150, doubtless aided by the short-action trigger and the excellent sights. Finally, the “Snubbie Bill Drill” – five rounds, full-tilt, from low ready, yielded 2.09 seconds fired on a B-8 with a score of 49/50 – I’m taking that.

While the course was devised around DA revolvers with short barrels, it wasn’t quite a walk in the park with truly small autos. I actually fired the Mossberg better in some tests than more expensive guns and that says something for the human engineering of the piece.

When you get yours, check out the function with both magazines – as you should anyway. For service, carry premium ammo. Likewise, high quality practice ammo pays dividends too. The gun scores high in handling (for size), accuracy – due in part to trigger and sights, and overall build quality. Simply stated, it’s a nice heater.

Those elements and the fact that there’s cross-compatibility with holsters and magazines for the products of other makers, give the Mossberg MC1SC a great deal of weight in the subcompact defense pistol market.

- Rich Grassi