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Aimpoint’s Acro P-1 Pistol Optic

Rather than follow the MRDS flock, Aimpoint adapted, miniaturized, and improved upon its Micro line of red dot sights, birthing the first purpose-built, fully enclosed MRDS for pistols — the ACRO P-1, short for Aimpoint Compact Reflex Optic.

DESIGN: The ACRO’s emitter enclosure is about half the height of competing open-topped RDS sights, so the ACRO P-1’s dot is already closer to the bore than competing sights. Combine this lowered emitter platform with Aimpoint’s new, integrated mounting system and a slide melt installation, and the tops of regular height pistol sights are visible through the P-1 window. That’s low. And that translates into speed when standard sights can be used to find the dot and line up a sight picture.

A few things work together to give the P-1 its pole position status in our book. As mentioned, the optic’s base is shorter than an RMR or Deltapoint. Aimpoint spread the electronic guts out to the base and sides of the housing, reducing the thickness of the optic’s base.

Second, the ACRO slide cuts require less depth than the screws needed to secure a screw-mounted MRDS. An enterprising machinist can cut into the slide, stopping just short of the striker channel for the deepest MRDS slide melt installation possible. ATEi does just that on Victory First’s Glock slides, getting the optic about 1/8-inch lower than a screwed-down optic.

Third, using technology inherited from Aimpoint’s Micro T-2, the projection lens shape is the special sauce that makes a crisp, circular 3.5 MOA dot with minimal bloom, even when viewed through a magnifier.

PERFORMANCE: We have five ACRO range sessions split between a Victory First Glock 19 slide, an optic-ready Beretta APX, and a SIG SAUER MPX (using a Reptilia carbine mount). It’s accurate and fast. And that dot. Mmmm. Even viewed through a 3x magnifier, it’s as perfectly round and as buttery smooth as a freshly installed silicone implant.

It’s too early to comment on the sight’s reliability and durability, but Aimpoint’s Technical Support Manager, John Enloe, tells us the company has one ACRO in an ongoing test that’s surpassed 20,000 rounds split between several platforms, most of it using an Austrian pistol firing a particularly nasty round from Springfield, Massachusetts. Aimpoint used 40 S&W figuring if it could handle its notorious snappiness and the high g-forces it imparts on the slide-mounted optic, it’d run forever on a 9mm or .45.

LIKE: Everyone looking at the P-1 says the same thing, “It’s so big!” But, based on aggregate dimensions, the P-1 is the same size as other MRDS alternatives, and it’s still lighter. Looking into the optic, there’s definitely a tunnel effect that conventional wisdom says is bad. But on a pistol, we find that tunnel makes it easier to align the tube on target, providing faster dot acquisition.

DON’T LIKE: The P-1’s CR1225 isn’t a supermarket staple like the 2032’s become. And there’s no auto off. We get it though. Electronic complications reduce reliability, so turn it on, leave it on, and swap the battery whenever you clean your pistol, or once a year if you clean your pistols as often as we do. We were also unimpressed with the mushy detents of the zeroing screws.

VALUE: It costs 30-percent more than a Trijicon RMR, and there are plenty of cheaper options for pistol optics. But anyone who says they aren’t worth it is really saying they can’t afford one. There’s no other enclosed MRDS with the ACRO P-1’s weatherproof chops, so it’s worth it.

Aimpoint Acro P-1
Reticle: 3.5 MOA dot
Battery: 1x CR1225
Runtime: 1.5 years on level 6 of 10

More on Red Dot Sights:

  • The Holosun 507c made the cut for our Red Dot Sighs buyers guide, check it out.
  • The Past, Present, and Future of the Reflex Sight, read more.

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