Rifleman Q & A: The Mossberg That Never Was

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posted on May 22, 2019
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Q: I have to dispute your article “Reliability Refined: Mossberg’s MC1sc,” which stated that the MC1sc was the first new pistol from Mossberg since 1919. I remember an ad about 40 years ago for a Mossberg-branded .45 ACP in stainless. So, what’s the real story?

A: It’s important to remember that, when it comes to new guns, there’s a difference between “introduced” and “produced.” We received several letters from astute Rifleman readers who recalled a stainless Mossberg pistol featured on the cover of the 1979 Guns & Ammo Annual. There was even an ad on that edition’s back cover for the gun, Mossberg’s Military .45 ACP Combat Model. The problem is that the gun appears in none of our indexes, and there’s nothing on it in our trade files except a few pieces of correspondence and a page in the 1980 Mossberg catalog.

The G&A Annual contained an article, “Mighty New .45,” by Dr. Ralph C. Glaze. In it, he wrote: “The latest addition to the stainless steel lineup is the Military Combat .45 semi-automatic pistol from Mossberg and the A.I.G. Corporation of North Haven, Connecticut. The short-barrel pistol is not truly a new design. It is an improved version of a gun made a few years ago by C.A.C. Corp. Originally designed by Bo Clerke, this pistol features a ramp, or slotted cam to actuate the locking system ... . Mossberg distributes the gun; A.I.G. is the manufacturer.” Glaze’s review is based on an A.I.G. prototype, Serial Number 1, not a Mossberg production pistol.

According to Mossberg: More Gun For The Money: The History Of O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. by Victor and Sheryl Havlin of the Mossberg Collectors Ass’n, the Military .45 ACP Combat Model was promoted by Mossberg subsidiary A.I.G., along with the Pro-38, a snubnose revolver in .38 Spl. They confirm that the .45 was sent to the offices of Guns & Ammo for review, but “the decision to focus on shotgun production kept the new handguns out of the line.” Longtime Mossberg employee Georgia Nicholls recalled “only one or two prototypes of each model were developed.” Thus, the Military .45 ACP Combat Model was advertised, introduced even, but never manufactured by Mossberg.

Mossberg has made all sorts of things, including bicycles, canoes, sailboats and even travel trailers. But when it comes to production pistols, so far there are still only two—the Brownie and the MC1sc.

--Mark Keefe

Additional Reading:
Tested: Mossberg's MC1sc Pistol
Exploded View: Mossberg Brownie
First Look: Mossberg MC1sc

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