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Gear Review: Aimpoint ACRO P-2 Red Dot Sight

Aimpoint ACRO P-2 enclosed red dot review
Travis Pike for SNW

Thanks to Safariland, War Hogg Tactical, and the blessing of living on the Florida Gulf Coast, I attended a free pistol red dot course given by Rick Hogg of War Hogg Tactical. I’m always down when the words ‘free class’ and ‘driving distance’ pop up. I took some last-minute vacation time and cruised over to Destin to shoot my heart out under the watchful eye of a 29-year Special Operations veteran.

The gun that occupied my 6354 RDSO holster was a Walther PDP Compact, and the optic that rode the slide was the Aimpoint ACRO P-2.

The ACRO P-2 A New Generation

Aimpoint may have dragged its feet when it came to entering the handgun optic market, but they’ve changed their game. They produced the first enclosed emitter the red dot optic calling it the Advanced Combat Reflex optic, or ACRO. An enclosed emitter design increases reliability by preventing dirt, junk and water from getting between the emitter and the glass.

Aimpoint ACRO P-2 enclosed red dot review
The ACRO P-2 isn’t small, but it’s fairly light. (Travis Pike for SNW)

The original ACRO was a solid optic. It delivered on most of the expectations we’ve come to have for Aimpoint gear. The clarity was top-tier, the dot was a beautiful, crisp circle, and the design was incredibly robust and designed to take a beating. The downside was a low battery life.

Aimpoint fans were shocked. They’re known for making optics that last five years during continuous use, but the original ACRO only delivered 20,000 hours.That 20,000 number was optimistic. Sometimes, it delivered a lot less. In fact, if you used a cheaper battery or kept the brightness dialed up, you might be looking at less than 10,000 hours of life.

Aimpoint went back to work and introduced the P-2 model. Like the P-1, it’s an enclosed emitter design, durable, easy to use, and has a crisp red dot with excellent clarity.

Aimpoint ACRO P-2 enclosed red dot review
The battery life has been more than doubled. (Travis Pike for SNW)

The big change Aimpoint made was a move to the bigger 2032 battery, which produces five years of rated battery life. The ACRO P-2 has since become the flag bearer of handgun red dots and the standard for others to live up to. I heard that and wanted to see if it really is the best pistol red dot on the market.

The ACRO P-2 In Living Color

Let’s get the most important factor out of the way for many. How much does the P-2 cost? That fine Swedish labor certainly doesn’t make things cheap. At $600, it’s one of the more costly red dots on the market. You can occasionally find it on sale for around $550-ish.

The price is relatively high, but the performance doesn’t lag. It’s a waterproof optic that’s submersible to 115 feet and is, of course, designed to withstand the Gs from a reciprocating pistol slide. Aimpoint uses 7075-T6 aluminum for the housing and has a hard anodized finish.

Aimpoint ACRO P-2 enclosed red dot review
ACROs everywhere (image @ashley_stone1911)

The ACRO P-2 has ten brightness settings, four dedicated to night vision and six for daylight. A pair of buttons control the optic, allow for brightness adjustments, and powers the optic on and off. The battery is side-mounted and barely protrudes from the optic.

The dot is 3.5 MOA in size and comes in any color you like as long as it’s red. The dot sits between two 15x15mm windows. It may resemble a mailbox, but it only weighs 2.1 ounces.

The ACRO P-2 On the PDP

According to Walther, the PDP is the first handgun designed to have a red dot as its primary aiming system. If the PDP features enhanced ergonomics for red dot use, why wouldn’t I combine it with what’s clearly one of the best pistol red dots? Plus mounting it to something like a Glock 17 slide requires a special plate and I don’t have it.

First things first…zeroing the optic. It’s not tough to do. The optics come with a handy little tool that makes it easy to adjust the turrets. The adjustments for my MOA-programmed brain are a bit out of whack. Each click is a 2cm movement at 100 meters on the Swedish ACRO P-2.

Aimpoint ACRO P-2 enclosed red dot review
The ACRO P-2 has ten brightness settings. (Travis Pike for SNW)

Luckily, the ACRO P-2 manual converts it into freedom units and tells us it’s .7 of an inch at 100 yards. It was a little tricky at first due to that MOA brain, but I got the dot zeroed pretty easily. The ACRO P-2 delivers audible and tactile clicks, which provide good feedback for adjustments.

Blasting Away

Our red dot class was intense. We ran various drills designed to improve our skills with the red dot. It was a long, intense day in the Florida heat with 400 rounds of 9mm expended. We practiced a ton of different skills, with a huge focus on properly presenting the gun so we could get on the dot and start punching targets as quickly as possible.

Throughout the day, we practiced dedicated presentations, controlled pairs, reloads, draws, and drills that forced us to track the dot and keep it on target throughout shot strings. We focused a ton on using the red dot, and I honestly think the ACRO P-2 gave us an advantage.

Aimpoint ACRO P-2 enclosed red dot review
The dot is always crisp and clear. (Image: @ashley_stone1911)

First, the dot is very crisp and clear. It’s easy to see without being obstructive. When you use a target focus and start sending lead downrange, your goal is to track the dot, and the refresh rate of the P-2 makes it easy to keep that red streak moving smoothly. There’s no flicker or blinking.

During one five-round drill, I was able to really get into a groove, and all I saw was a red streak. As soon as it settled and the slide stopped moving, I was sending the next shot downrange. That high refresh rate prevents flicker which is distracting. That helps you shoot faster and improves accuracy.

Seeing Red

The ACRO P-2 is also capable of working in the June Florida sunshine without a problem. Even at a mid range setting, I could see the dot very easily in full sunlight. With the settings hiked up, the dot avoids starbursting and remains quite clear and easy to see. We even put the red dot against red targets, and the brightness of the red dot still stood out and was easy to see.

Shooting quickly and accurately is always easier for me with a red dot, and with an ACRO P-2, it’s even easier. I sent lots of rounds into tight little groups, and throughout the course, I only dropped ten or so rounds on some of the smaller 3-inch dots we used as targets. Ten sounds like a lot, but it’s not that bad in the context of 400 rounds fired.

Aimpoint ACRO P-2 enclosed red dot review
During long strings of fire, the ACRO P-2 never flickered or failed. (Travis Pike for SNW)

The adjustment buttons aren’t exactly recessed, but they require a dedicated push to operate. You aren’t likely to hit one by accident. When pressed, they respond, but you have to want to push one. That’s a good thing, believe it or not. It means they won’t be accidentally pressed while inside a holster. The last thing you want is a dot dimmed because it was pressed against your body.

There was zero shift in point of aim. Rounds went where I put them. The gun wasn’t treated nicely, either, but the optic performed admirably between draws, banging around a shoot house, and out in the heat. Every time I worked the slide, I grabbed the optic — as most people do — and used it as a charging handle. It didn’t seem to mind one bit.

I’m a believer. I see the benefits of the ACRO P-2 and understand why it’s been so lauded. It’s most certainly an expensive dot, but your money is well spent.

Specifications

Length: 1.9 inches
Width: 1.3 inches
Height: 1.2 inches
Weight: 2.1 ounces
Battery: 2032
Battery Life: 50K Hours
Brightness Settings: 10
Reticle: 3.5 MOA
Price: $599

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