After first announcing it around SHOT Show 2016, Magpul finally started shipping the second generation UBR stock. I’ve wanted one since they were first announced, and followed the delays and development with interest. I won’t go into all the snags and changes that led to the delay, but at least Magpul was able to have a sense of humor about it.
Once I found out they were shipping, I placed my order with Brownells and waited patiently. It arrived about two weeks later, and I hastily installed it on the musket.
I’ve installed and used the fist generation UBR on a few rifles for other folks, but never owned it myself. The primary benefit of the design is that the cheek piece fixes in place while the underside slides back and forth to adjust length of pull. That made for a consistent and comfortable cheek weld no matter the length of pull setting. The lockup design also meant that the UBR was also the strongest adjustable stock on the market.
For a long time, the first generation UBR was considered the best all-round stock for a precision AR-15 rifle in the field.
Despite its benefits, there are two reasons I never used the first generation UBR. The first was weight. At 1.63 lbs (26.08 oz), it was one of the heaviest stocks on the market. In contrast, the Vltor EMOD and A5 buffer tube I’ve been using weigh 18.3 oz together. While weight is factor, we can also argue that the stock would be good for counterbalancing a nose-heavy rifle. That brings me to the second, and more important, reason.
The first generation of UBR included an “entry length” buffer tube. That meant it was exclusive to carbine buffers and buffer springs. I was, and continue to be, fully committed to the A5 buffer system, which uses a rifle length spring and intermediate sized buffer. The benefits of the A5 system were important to me than the benefits of the UBR.
Enter Generation 2
Magpul stated three goals when the announced the UBR 2.0 project:
- Reduce the weight of the stock
- Reduce the cost
- A5 compatibility
In my opinion, the first two are honestly marginal improvements. The stock now weighs 21.2 oz (1.3 lbs), which is about 5 ounces. I know, I know…ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain. As far as cost, the original was around $250 and I bought mine for $179. That is a pretty good savings, but the price still puts the UBR on the upper end of the spectrum.
The real benefit is the A5 compatibility.
The install process on the stock is pretty straight forward. There is a cylindrical buffer tube that installs like any other receiver extension. An end plate mounts in the normal spot. After that, a sleeve fits tightly over the tube and locks into the end plate. A nut is then torqued on the back to secure the whole mechanism together. The cheek piece slides over that, and then the bottom half is attached.
It sounds more complicated than it is.
The UBR 2.0 includes five sling mounting options. The first is at the front of the stock on the end plate. There is a QD socket in the plate for ambidextrous sling use. Keep in mind, if a sling is mounted in this spot, the stock will not close all the way.
There are also QD sockets on the left and right sides of the stock.
On the toe of the stock is a more traditional molded sling loop.
The last sling spot is actually inside the storage compartment, and is revealed if you remove the doors from the compartment.
Overall, the UBR 2.0 feels well constructed and sturdy. I definitely see its benefits to precision shooting styles, as the consistent cheek weld and solid lockup are huge bonuses over traditional collapsing AR15 stocks. I look forward to putting it through its paces.