Today, most prominent manufacturers are offering pistols that are red dot compatible. Ranging from full-sized combat handguns like the Glock 17 to miniaturized pocket pistols like the Hellcat OSP, firearms manufacturers know that little dots are a big trend!
Lucky to get my hands on the Acro P-1 recently, I excitedly mounted it on my Glock 17 MOS with a supplied adapter plate and headed out to the range. After running it through the wringer, I think it might be one of the best combat-oriented red dot optics on the market.
It’s From AIMPOINT
Aimpoint didn’t just invent the modern red dot, they mastered the art of the red dot – with many of their sights adopted by military and police forces around the world.
Developed for use on pistols and other weapon platforms requiring a small enclosed red dot system, the Acro P-1 is robust and professional-grade. The Acro P-1 is Aimpoint’s first foray into pistol red dots for personal defense weapons; used as a backup sight for magnifying scopes or any area where a small red dot system is applicable.
Here’s a look at the specs:
Height: 1.2 inches
Length: 1.9 inches
Width: 1.2 inches
Weight: 2.1 ounces
Brightness Settings: 10 settings 4 Night vision compatible
Battery Life: 1.5 years at setting 6
Aiming dot size: 3.5 MOA
Dot color: Peak Wavelength: 655 ± 15 nm
Dot intensity: Visible against a background luminance of 0.1 to 55 000 lx
Optical coating: Anti-reflex, all surfaces, and high transmission. NVD-Compatible
Optical magnification: 1x
Yep, even on optics, the ergonomics matter, and the Acro P-1 is ergonomic to a fault. The adjustment buttons are massive and allow you to change the dot’s intensity on the fly. The thumb of your offhand can easily find the controls without the shooter having broken their ready position to make adjustments.
The battery gate is a side loading affair. For pistol red dots sideloading is a much better option. Bottom loading requires you to remove the optic to swap batteries, and then you have to re Loc Tite and re-zero the optic.
Speaking of, installation is straightforward, and once the optic is locked on, it’s going nowhere. The optic is a on the larger side but on a full-sized or compact pistol, the Acro is far from bulky. This wouldn’t be your pocket gun optic, but for most handguns, it’s perfectly sized.
Performance By the Numbers
Zeroing was quick and is no much different than zeroing a rifle red dot. I got on paper at 15 yards and completed my zero at 25 yards. Once I confirmed my zero and seated my Glock 17 in a Light Defender holster, I started running some basic drills.
The first shots forced me to break the habit of looking for iron sights. It takes some repetitions to retrain thousands of rounds of muscle memory. Finding the dot isn’t hard as long as your presentation is clean. I started dry and went slow, reminding myself to clear up my presentation and see the dot.
Once I got used to shooting with it, I saw the immediate advantages of the Acro. Instead of having to focus on the sights, I could easily focus on the target and put the dot wherever I wanted my bullet to hit. Target focus increases your situational awareness. Transitioning from target to target with a dot was much faster and more intuitive.
Also, when we talk speed, the Acro gives you an immediate advantage. No sights to line up; you just put the dot on the target, pull the trigger, and hit your mark. It’s much faster and even more precise.
That Sweet Little Dot
The Acro P-1 is equipped with a 3.5 MOA dot that’s perfect for a handgun. Big enough to quickly see, small enough to avoid obscuring your target.
At close range, the dot catches the eye and allows you to put lead on target. At longer ranges, the dot is small enough to more easily see the target. When I backed out to 50 yards, I could make out my 10-inch rifle going quickly with the Acro. With iron sights, the whole target would be obscured by my front sight. It’s also addicting to hear the ringing of a steel target at 50 yards with a pistol.
I live in glorious, sun-filled Florida, and in the brightest part of the day, the dot is visible at setting 6. 6 is a little dim, but seven is perfect for bright daylight shooting. When put against a 1,000-lumen Streamlight TLR-1 in a dark room, I could see the dot at setting five and up.
The Acro IRL
The Aimpoint Acro is a professional grade red dot sight that’s perfect for concealed carry. It’s powerful, robust, and the dot is crisp and clear. The Aimpoint Acro P-1 is a perfect attachment to any combat handgun.
BONUS: CrossBreed Holsters are fully compatible with the P-1 and other popular pistol red dots, too!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.
He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms based hobbies.
©MTC Holsters, LLC and CrossBreed Holsters Blog, 2020.
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