The AR-15 is America’s firearm and there are plenty of them on the market. Everywhere you turn these days another company is making its own version of the AR platform. However, most of these guns are just “another AR” — a few fancy improvements here and there, but nothing really to write home about; that’s not the case with 3rd Gen Tactical and its new UCP (Ultralight Combat Pistol). I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of the first pistols to come out of its shop. Zero disappointment on my end.
Who Is 3rd Gen Tactical?
As the name suggests, 3rd Gen Tactical is a third-generation machine shop. There’s more than 100 years of machining and engineering experience within the shop. The owner, Evan, worked in his grandfather’s and father’s shops before opening his own shop in 2007. For the past decade, Evan and his team have been machining parts and receivers for some of the biggest names in the shooting sports industry. In fact, they have built more than 200,000 receivers since opening. Early in 2020, the team at 3rd Gen decided to use those years of experience and come out with its own line of products. At that point, 3rd Gen Tactical was born.
What separates 3rd Gen apart from the competition is that the shop is AS-9100 and ISO 9001 aerospace certified; this means, by law, 3rd Gen is required to have tighter tolerances and better quality than most shops. These tighter tolerances make for one hell of a nice shooting AR pistol that has literally no slop.
3rd Gen Tactical UCP Details
Once the pistol arrived, I immediately headed to the range. I threw a set of Magpul MBUS Flip up sights on top so I could aim. However, the unique curved rail design almost gives you a natural sight picture when looking down the gun anyway, making so you almost don’t need sights.
Firstly, I opened up the AR by popping the take down pin out. Because of the crazy tight tolerances, this actually turned into a bit of a struggle. I ended up having to get it started by using the Glass breaker on my pocket knife. Inside I found a beautifully machined bolt carrier group, as well as an awesome ambi charging handle.
The SB Tactical SBA3 pistol brace is pretty much an industry standard at this point. So it was no surprise when I found one hanging off the back end of this pistol. The upper and Humboldt lower are machined together out of Aircraft grade aluminum; this creates extremely tight tolerances where they meet. The quality also means this firearm will last.
The 10.5-inch pencil barrel keeps the weight down and provides incredible accuracy. The entire package only weighs 5.6 pounds. 3rd Gen Tactical’s handguard and muzzle device complete the look of this beautiful AR pistol. One thing I noticed immediately was the design of the upper prevents the use of a dust cover. But let’s be real here, how many of us really need a dust cover anyway?
3rd Gen Tactical really put a lot of time and effort into making this AR stand out in the crowded market and it succeeds in that regard. With an MSRP around $1,800, I would say this gun is definitely a great option for anyone looking for a new AR Pistol. Watch my range test in the video above.
3rd Gen Tactical UCP Specs
- Weight: 5.6 pounds
- Caliber: .223 Wylde
- Barrel Length: 10.5 inches
- Barrel Type: Cold Forged Steel
- Handrail: 6061 Billet Aluminum
- Rifling Twist: 1:8
- Lower/Upper Receiver Set: Machined 7075 T6 Billet
- Ergo Pistol Grip
- MSRP: $1,800