One reviewer’s experience with the Acro P-2 red dot sight
Clarity, long battery life, brightness adjustments and platform-specific mount elevate accuracy and make the transition easier
Sponsored by Aimpoint
By Pete Goode for Police1 BrandFocus
Whether it’s boots, kit bags, weapons, or accessories, shooters expect more from their kit today than they ever have before.
Competitive shooters have been running red dots on pistols for years, and for good reason – they increase speed and accuracy. Law enforcement is now playing catch up. Countless agencies across the country have seen firsthand, both on the range and on the street, the benefits of mounting red dot optics to their officer’s primary firearm. Hopefully, this trend will continue spreading and reach every agency out there.
Technology is ever-changing and products change with it, usually based on the job requirements. For over 40 years Aimpoint has been a name people rely on to get quality, rugged and reliable optics. Aimpoint started with a focus on hunting and sports shooters in the 1970s, moving into the law enforcement and military communities in the 1990s. In the 2020s they continue to raise the bar with the launch of their ACRO Series.
My first impression upon opening the box was how large the ACRO P-2 appeared to be; however, comparing it to my other red dots showed me that it was pretty much the same size. The Acro P-2’s fully enclosed optical channel gives it the illusion of being larger.
A feature that I really like is having the battery compartment on the side of the Acro P-2. This means that once the unit is mounted, there’s no need to remove it to change out the battery and no need to re-zero. The Acro P-2 takes the more common CR2032 and is said to have a 50,000-hour battery life of constant on when on brightness level 6 of 10.
The unit powers on at brightness level 7 of 10 and does not rely on ambient light to adjust; instead, it must be adjusted manually. One of the biggest issues with an auto-adjusting red dot is that it adjusts based on the light where the unit is. This could be an issue if you are in a dark area shooting into a well-lit area. The dot will be dim and hard to pick up. Due to its extensive battery life, the Acro P-2 does not need to automatically shut off when stationary to extend usability. It’s always on and ready.
I found that the Acro P-2 offers a large field of view and a crisp dot with more than enough brightness adjustment to keep me in the fight, whether it’s the dead of night or the glaring brightness of mid-summer days. I tested both and was satisfied that the range of brightness adjustment covers them all.
The lenses are not colored or magnified in any way. This ensures that the image was not distorted and I could see the targets clearly. The Acro P-2 is relatively parallax-free. This allows the shot to land wherever the dot is placed on the target (with correct application of the marksmanship principles, of course). I did not need to center the dot or co-witness with irons to make the shot.
A drill I like to run with red dots is to shoot at 50 yards, preferably on an 8-inch steel plate, placing the dot on the far edge of the window and moving it from one extreme sight picture to another. I’ll move the dot around the edge of the window and shoot. When I ran this with the Acro P-2, the shot went right where the dot was showing.
Mounting the Acro P-2
Unlike some other red dots, the Acro P-2 mounts to your pistol with a platform-specific dovetail adaptor plate. It is secured with a side-mounted screw that sits in the dovetail on the adaptor plate. This offers a larger surface area that holds the optic steady and limits the possibility of it moving when knocked. Not having to worry about a shift in zero when clearing a malfunction by racking the slide off a shield, holster, or door frame is the confidence you need to have in a red dot. Adaptor plates are available for all Glock, Beretta, Sig Sauer, Smith and Wesson, Heckler & Koch, FNH, CZ optics-ready pistols, and more.
I ran drills that included racking the slide off of my holster, boot, belt, shield and barricades. At no point did I question the reliability of the unit holding up to the drill or my zero shifting. I shot an accuracy test before and after this drill and my zero remained the same.
Zeroing the Acro P-2
Zeroing the Acro P-2 was easy. Having a wide range of brightness adjustments meant I had a clear 3.5 minute of angle (MOA) dot without the bleed-out seen on some other red dots. The 3.5 MOA dot offers a practical size dot; it’s small enough to have a fine aiming point and big enough that you don’t have to work hard to find it. After taking the first shot on paper, I was able to make my initial correction and within five shots it was zeroed.
Running the Acro P-2
The Acro P-2 fit in the Safariland Sig Sauer P320 RDS holster I was using, and I was able to close the hood without any issues. The pistol locked in securely and cleared the holster on the draw perfectly without snagging or catching.
Having the fully enclosed optical channel makes it impossible for water, mud, snow or other debris to interfere with the LED emitter and the front lens where the dot is projected. If the LED emitter is blocked, the dot cannot project on the front lens. This means the user’s focus has to shift from the target back to the pistol to pick up irons, or use the body of the red dot to frame the target. This takes time that we as officers don’t always have.
The housing of the Acro P-2 gives the user three-dimensional orientation on presentation. This allows the user to pick up the dot more quickly, delivering accurate rounds on target faster with less cognitive effort as compared to conventional red dots or irons. Having the straight edges on the Acro P-2 makes framing the target easy. I was able to power down the Acro P-2 to simulate catastrophic failure and by only using the body of the red dot I was able to frame the target and repeatably deliver accurate rounds to the desired target area.
The transition from irons to a pistol-mounted optic takes reps. Lots and lots of reps. The recommendations I have seen and have personally implemented is a minimum of 10-20 hours training before officers can even carry a pistol-mounted optic on duty. The Acro P-2’s design makes the transition and learning process much faster.
The Acro P-2 is the perfect size to mount on a duty pistol, or even have as an offset backup for Low Powered Variable Optics (LPVO). It’s rugged, well made, lightweight, and clear.
Running transition drills and multiple target drills was easy, whether the distance was three yards, 50 yards, or anything between. The clear glass and 3.5 MOA dot made it easy to see and accurately engage steel targets out to 100 yards.
Aimpoint puts in the time to guarantee the products they deliver do what they claim and perform up to and beyond the end users’ expectations. The Acro P-2 is definitely an optic I would run as a patrol officer, detective, or SWAT operator.
About the Author
Pete Goode is a former Royal Marines Commando sniper and helicopter sniper team leader. After becoming an American citizen, he entered into law enforcement and became a firearms instructor, CQB instructor, Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) instructor, SWAT sniper and SWAT Sniper Team Leader. His law enforcement experience includes working patrol, Crimes Against Persons and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC). With over 15 years of instructor experience, Pete is passionate about continuing to learn and develop skills and tactics and passing them on to his fellow operators and officers.