Exclusive First Look: Aimpoint ACRO P-1
A new, closed-emitter mini red dot sight for pistols.
Aimpoint announced its new Advanced Compact Reflex Optic (ACRO) in June 2018 at Malmö, Sweden. The ACRO P-1 is a small, non-magnifying sight design developed for use on pistols as well as other small arms. It is the promise of a new era for mini red dot sights.
Interest in the use of mini red dots on pistols remains on the rise as they improve a shooter’s precision and speed of engagement, to include those of us with aging eyes.
Early adopters have had to contend with mounting mini red dot sights, which usually require the skills of a machine shop to mill out the rear of a pistol’s slide to properly position the sight. As backup, a set of suppressor height sights had to then be sourced and installed.
Acceptance of the red dot sight on a pistol has led to the introduction of pistols specifically designed for mounting mini red dots including the FN 509 Tactical, Glock MOS series, SIG Sauer P320 family, and several others.
Closed Emitter vs. Open Emitter
The next debate among those who already live by the use of red dot sights will be about open-emitter red dots versus closed-emitter red dot sights. Open emitters utilize a laser that’s projected against a glass or plastic window in an exposed environment. This allows the sight’s overall weight to be reduced, but it leaves the lens unprotected against weather or collecting debris. With little maintenance, an unprotected lens can reduce the visual quality and compromise sight picture when needed. Additionally, there’s always a chance for an object to interrupt the path of the laser with an open-emitter-type red dot sight.
Closed-emitter red dot sights such as the Aimpoint Micro H-1 and T-1 have been an alternative that many have turned to. It’s no surprise as competition shooters have been attaching Aimpoint sights on pistols and revolvers to win matches for more than 30 years. Technology continued to scale down the closed-emitter sight, and now we have the ACRO P-1.
The ACRO addresses the consumer’s need for a small, enclosed red dot sight that mounts on handguns. With a smaller footprint than the Aimpoint Micros, the ACRO P-1 protects the emitter meaning that it should prove to be more durable than open-emitter sights. It has also been tested for the unusual shock and vibration that a pistol uniquely subjects an electronic sight to. A pistol’s short-duration energy transfer is brutal torture on red dot sights and mounts. The ACRO P-1 was tested beyond 20,000 rounds on a .40-caliber pistol slide without failure to include temperature (-49 F to 160 F) and environmental stress conditions. Aimpoint has determined that the ACRO P-1 is submersible to 25 meters and offers continuous operation on position six for more than 1 year on a single, 3-volt, lithium CR1225 battery.
The battery is accessed on the right side of the ACRO P-1 housing. Aimpoint provides a combination tool, but many straight or cross-edged objects could be used to unscrew the battery cover that’s sealed by a protective silicone O-ring.
The red dot can be adjusted for one of 10 intensity settings by pressing the up/plus or down/minus arrows on the left side of the ACRO P-1 housing. For those equipped with night-vision devices (NVD), the ACRO P-1 is compatible. Dot intensity settings number one through four are for use with NVDs and settings five to 10 are for use in daylight.
It’s not only quick and intuitive to use, but it’s arguably the best integration of an adjustment pad that we’ve seen on any mini red dot sight. The dot can be quickly tuned to zero by using a torx wrench (also provided as part of the included combination tool).
Aimpoint red dot sights are designed to support two-eyes-open aiming method, which affords us improved situational awareness. The optical design means that the red dot follows the movement of the shooter’s eye while remaining fixed on target, eliminating any need for centering.
The Aimpoint ACRO P-1 features a 3½ minute of angle (MOA)-size dot, low-mount position for direct integration on pistol slides. It’s worth noting that the ACRO P-1 can also be used as a back-up sight for variable-power scopes where close-range sighting capability is required. Though developed for rugged use on a pistol, the ACRO P-1 would also serve personal defense weapons (PDW), rifle and shotgun platforms equally well. The compact design ensures that excessive weight and profile is not a negative factor when configuring a firearm for use in tight environments.
G&A received one of the first two ACRO P-1 sights in country, as well as an adapter plate for mounting on a Glock MOS pistol. Attaching the ACRO P-1 to a G17 MOS Gen4 took only a few minutes and was extremely easy. However, we recommend changing the factory-installed sights for taller, suppressor-height sights so that the dot cowitnesses with the pistol’s backup irons. With standard sights, the alignment is out of view and below the red dot’s visibility.
Two screws are used to mount the adapter plate to the pistol, and a single crossbolt torx-head screw attaches the adapted ACRO P-1 to the slide plate. Aimpoint provides the necessary tool with torx T20 bit. (Zeroing requires a torx T10 bit.)
Perhaps the most underrated feature of the ACRO P-1 is the profile fits squarely with the profile of the G17 slide. It’s worth noting that the intensity adjustments are flush and won’t get unintentionally pushed as with other make’s and model’s buttons that are raised above the surface profile.
The ACRO offers a great sense of confidence as a rugged sight that features a window at the front and back of the sight in addition to the angled lens that reflects the projected red dot on the inside. The electronics are very insulated against hard use giving us peace of mind about its ruggedness.
Lastly, the overall length of the slide is compact at 1.9 inches, and we suspect that a pistol mounted with an ACRO P-1 will still insert in most holsters designed to accommodate the same pistol mounted with an open-emitter red dot.
We are really excited about the introduction of the Aimpoint ACRO P-1. Currently, it stands alone as the smallest, fully enclosed red dot sight and offers a lot of possibilities. Learn more by reading Guns & Ammo’s complete evaluation of the ACRO P-1 in Guns & Ammo magazine.
Specifications Aimpoint ACRO P-1:
- Magnification: 1X
- Parallax: Zero
- Length: 1.9 in. (sight only)
- Width: 1.2 in.
- Height: 1.2 in. (sight only)
- Weight: 2.1 oz. (sight only, incl. battery)
- Material: Aluminum
- Finish: Anodized, matte black
- Adj. Range: .6 in at 100 yds. (1 click)
- MSRP: $660
Contact Info: Aimpoint * 703-263-9795 * www.aimpoint.com
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