Late 2019 found me and about a dozen other gunwriters at the legendary Gunsite School in Paulden, Arizona, assessing the newest soon-to-be-released pistol from one of America’s most popular firearm manufacturers: Mossberg’s 9mm MC2c.

Its release would come close on the heels of their MC1sc, the Glock-43-sized single-stack 9mm that was their triumphant return to the handgunning market. (Believe it or not, Mossberg’s first firearm – all the way back in 1920 – was a handgun. The Brownie was a little 4-barreled .22.) The assembled evaluators and I found the single-stack nine to be an outstanding shooter and an excellent value, especially since it ran on both factory and after-market G43 mags. Unfortunately, this pistol is now out of production, but I will defend it before any court in the land. If what you’re after is a reliable, comfortable-to-shoot, safe-and-easy-to-use small sidearm to meet the needs often met by a J-frame-sized revolver, I would heartily encourage you to look into a MC1sc and a proper holster system.

Mossberg MC2c Specifications

Caliber: 9x19mm
Capacity: 10+1, 14+1, 16+1
Barrel length: 3.9 inches
Overall length: 7.1 inches
Overall height: 4.9 inches
Overall width: 1 inch
Frame: matte Black polymer
Slide finish: Black DLC
Slide cut: Shield RMS
Safety: Trigger blade or trigger blade and manual
Approximate weight unloaded: 21 ounces
Approximate weight loaded: 29 ounces

But back to the double-stacks.

The MC2c as assessed was a superbly reliable 9mm that ran from 13- or 15-round steel magazines (instead of the polymer single-stacks for the MC1) and came in at a very attractive price point. By my estimate, it also shot and carried more comfortably than another certain popular 15-round double-stack 9 manufactured by a company whose name rhymes with “rock.”

A Sight to See

One of the many benefits of the Mossberg line of polymer-framed pistols is that their slides are dovetailed to accept aftermarket SIG No. 8 sights, and the original MC2c shipped with either 3-dot white polymers or a set of steel TruGlo high-visibility units. But times have changed even in just the few years since that trip out to Arizona, and Mossberg is never one to lag behind.

They’re now releasing an updated MC2c that not only holds a few more rounds but sports a slide that is cut for Shield RMS-footprint electronic sight systems. And as you can see from the images here, the resultant package combines the reliability and Safe-Takedown System of the original MC2c with the convenience and performance of cutting-edge sights, without sacrificing anything the original brought to the table. What’s better — as with the original — there are versions of the optics-ready MC2c available both with and without a manual crossbolt safety to augment the trigger blade safety. As with everything new in the gun world, stay tuned for holster options. Some of what is available now will work with an optic-topped MC2c, and some of what is available now won’t.

No Optical Illusion

Many longtime handgunners — myself included — really didn’t see this one coming. Iron sights aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, but will also almost certainly no longer remain the standard. Like those who lived through the change-over period from cap-and-ball revolvers to metallic-cased ammunition and from the era in which the revolver was king into the era in which semi-auto pistols proved their worth, everything’s in flux right now as far as pistol sights go. Mossberg gives you an excellent pistol with which to acclimate yourself to handgun optics at a price that is competitive with even some of the bargain-line Turkish units. And now that guns-and-ammunition availability is no longer quite the disaster that it’s been for the past two years, you might even be able to get your hands on one.

I know I certainly hope to.