October 30, 2020
Law enforcement (LE) is a challenging and sometimes dangerous profession, but the risks can be lowered with proper training and the right tools. Increasingly, LE agencies are turning to reflex sights for their issued firearms, and one of the most popular red-dot options for duty pistols is the Aimpoint Acro P-1.
Released by Aimpoint in 2018, the Acro P-1 earned Guns & Ammo’s prestigious Optic of the Year award and garnered major interest from both civilian shooters and LE professionals. But what is it that makes the Acro P-1 stand out when virtually every other optics manufacturer is offering a reflex sight? What is it that sets the Acro P-1 apart from its competition?
Built for Battle
There are many different red-dot sight options, but the primary reason why LE professionals (and anyone else who exposes their firearms to abuse on a daily basis) have so quickly adopted the Acro P-1 is this sight’s unmatched durability. Though it’s lightweight and compact (the Acro P-1 measures 1.9 inches long, 1.2 inches tall, and weighs just 2.1 ounces) it is fully enclosed and sealed, making it the only professional enclosed system of its size on the market.
The high-strength aluminum housing has a hard-anodized finish and can withstand shock and abuse day in and day out while maintaining zero. That means dust, debris, and moisture are sealed out of the system. In fact, the Acro P-1 is submersible to 82 feet and functions in temperatures ranging from -49o to 160o Fahrenheit. It’s also the only sight in its size class that has been evaluated for shock, temperature span, vibration, and other environmental stresses. As part of that test, the Acro P-1 has survived over 20,000 rounds mounted on a .40 S&W pistol slide. That’s far more abuse than the average duty gun will endure, but the Acro P-1 offers officers peace of mind knowing that in an unreliable world, you can always rely on your duty optic.
The weakest point of any weapons-optic system is the attachment point between the two, but the Acro P-1 has one of the most versatile and robust mounting systems of any reflex sight. It is available with quick-detach mounts for a Weaver or MIL-STD 1913 rail in heights of 22, 30, or 39mm, and there are adapter plates that allow you to quickly and securely mount the Acro P-1 to a wide range of optics-ready pistols from SIG, Smith & Wesson, Glock, H&K, Beretta, CZ, and more. Heavy-duty, precision-machined hardware ensures a tight, consistent fit between the firearm and the optic, and it won’t shake loose or lose zero even in the worst situations.
Battery life can be an issue with red dots but not with the Acro P-1. With up to 1½ years of continuous service (setting 6 of 10) from a single 3-volt CR1225 battery, the Acro P-1 has one of the best battery lives of any red dot on the market. That’s a nice feature for target guns, but when you rely on your service gun to protect your life every day, long battery life is essential. The Acro P-1’s stingy use of power means you’ll never have to wonder if your red dot will work when you draw your firearm. Additionally, the Acro P-1’s design allows you to swap batteries without having to remove the optic from your pistol.
Many Advantages of a Red-Dot Sight
There are plenty of reasons to transition to a red-dot optic like the Acro P-1 for your duty gun or backup firearm, but perhaps the most obvious advantage is day or night target acquisition. The Acro P-1 offers 4 NVD settings and 6 daylight settings (including an extra bright setting) and that allows you to get on target quickly regardless of the ambient light conditions. What’s more, the red-dot design allows the shooter to remain target-focused while still maintaining a clear sight picture. Nothing offers faster target acquisition and better situational awareness than a red-dot optic. And even officers who struggle with vision issues that make it difficult to use iron sights effectively will find that red dots offer a crisp, distortion-free alternative.
Each time an officer responds to a call the circumstances differ. You may find yourself transitioning from a dark landscape to an indoor setting with full light in a matter of seconds, and you don’t want to waste time or dedicate attention to adjusting the optic on your sidearm. That’s why the Acro P-1 is easy to operate without having to press a lot of buttons. The sight’s long battery life allows it to be left on continuously, but if you want to power the unit on, simply press either of the up and down arrows on the left side of the Acro P-1. The arrows allow you to quickly toggle through the brightness settings, and holding the down arrow turns off the unit. The battery compartment is located on the right side of the optic and is the windage adjustment screw, while the elevation adjustment screw is located on the top of the unit.
In addition to rugged design, LE agencies also need optics that are easy to operate—easy for officers to learn and easy for them to use when required. The Acro P-1 is just such a sight. Though it’s lightweight and compact, it’s also rugged and durable. The sight offers instant target acquisition in any light conditions without compromising visibility. It’s easy to manipulate and hard to break. No wonder each year more and more agencies are turning to the Acro P-1 as their universal duty pistol optic.
Performance on the Range
I mounted an Acro P-1 on a CZ P-10 full-size pistol using the appropriate adapter plate, and even with the optic in place, the pistol still fit into my holster without an issue. Left on a setting of 6, the sight was easy to see when the pistol was drawn, and the window on the Acro P-1 is small enough not to block peripheral vision when transitioning targets yet wide enough to provide a clear aiming point.
I fired about 200 rounds of Hornady Critical Duty ammo at multiple targets while testing the Acro P-1 and I never noticed any shift in impact. The sight holds up well in dust, and the anti-reflex, NVD-compatible coatings help protect the lenses.
Acro P-1 optics feature a 3.5-MOA dot that has become quite popular with LE officers. The dot is large enough to be easily seen yet not so course to be distracting or limit accuracy. With the all-purpose sight tool that Aimpoint provides with each Acro P-1, you can remove the battery cap, make windage and elevation adjustments, and tighten the unit without having to pack several different wrenches. Plus, the lightweight Aimpoint tool is large and has a bright-colored base that makes it easy to find in a glove box or gear bag.
The Acro P-1 is especially well-suited for engaging multiple targets quickly. The clear sight picture, 3.5-MOA dot, and rugged design has made the Acro P-1 popular with competition shooters in part because it allows for such rapid target acquisition and smooth transitions from target to target regardless of the ambient light conditions. That’s also why it’s so well-suited for LE professionals. What’s more, Aimpoint has recently opened a consumer direct webstore at aimpoint.us where you can purchase optics directly off the site. Aimpoint does offer a professional discount to active and retired police officers, government employees, first responders, military, and security personnel. It’s Aimpoint’s way of saying “thank you” to those who support and protect us and offers LE officers more access to durable, reliable optics and gear they need.
Aimpoint Acro P-1 Red-Dot Sight Specs
- Operation: Reflex collimator sight with LED
- Power Source: 1 3V CR1225 battery
- Battery Life: 1.5 years continuous use/level 6
- Power Settings: 10 (6 daylight, 4 NVD)
- Dot Size: 3.5 MOA
- Optical Magnification: 1X
- Housing: High-strength aluminum
- Length: 1.9 inches
- Height: 1.2 inches
- Width: 1.2 inches
- Weight: 2.1 ounces
- Operating Temperature: -49o to 160o Fahrenheit
- Submersible: Yes, to 25 meters/82 feet
- MSRP: $667
- Website: aimpoint.com