Full Review: Aimpoint ACRO P-2 Handgun Optic

— Jason MosherCADRE Dispatch

Aimpoint is one of the elite makers in the optics world. What makes their optics stand apart from other companies is their durability to withstand just about anything. I spent some time with the new ACRO P-2 3.5MOA, and it looks like they have made yet another great option.

Fully enclosed handgun optics are the newest trend in firearms. With an enclosed housing, electric components are protected from the elements. The new ACRO P-2 is one of these, and at first sight, I thought it was way too big.

It stands atop the handgun like a small brick and makes you wonder if optics are getting too large for practicality. But now I’ve been able to use it and I’ll admit, I’ve become a believer.

Aimpoint ACRO P-2 red dot
Glock 49 with the Aimpoint ACRO P-2 enclosed emitter optic. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Like other Aimpoint optics, you can feel the quality as soon as you take it out of the box. It’s like a rifle optic that’s been shrunk down for your handgun. I decided to mount it on the new Glock 49 for a test drive.   

About the ACRO P-2

This is a somewhat new style for handgun optics and my guess is that it will eventually replace open-emitter optics.

Made specifically for pistols, the P-2 was the first fully enclosed optic for handguns. Aimpoint tested the P-2 by firing more than 20,000 rounds of .40 Smith & Wesson ammunition. Their goal was to make an optic that could withstand extreme shock, vibration, temperature, and material stress.

As I mentioned above, it’s a 3.5 MOA red dot that runs on a CR2032 battery and has a run time of more than five years. This is based on an estimated 50,000-hour lifespan of one battery. It has a surprising temperature rating of -49° to +160° F.

When Aimpoint sent this optic out for review, I didn’t tell them I like to bake my optics in the oven to test their limits. I’ll be going over that shortly.

Aimpoint ACRO P-2 red dot
The Aimpoint ACRO P-2 red dot for handguns uses a clamp-style mount with a proprietary adaptor plate. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

The P-2 has a waterproof rating of 115 feet which is another impressive feature of the optic. I don’t plan to ever go diving with my sidearm, but it’s nice to know water won’t damage it.

The total size of the optic measures 1.9 X 1.3 X 1.2 inches and it weighs in at 2.1 ounces. It’s a 1X magnification and is parallax-free, meaning the dot stays over the center of your bore. You can look through the optic from any angle and the dot will remain over your barrel.

Battery compartment  

One good thing about a larger optic like this is that you can change the battery without removing the optic from the handgun. This has long been something I dislike with most handgun optics. Even with a good battery life, I don’t like removing the optic to change a battery underneath.

The P-2 has a side loading compartment allowing the battery to be changed in a matter of seconds. With a five year run time on a $3 battery, it’s just hard to find anything to complain about with this feature.

Mounting the ACRO P-2 optic

Aimpoint took a different approach to when it comes to mounting the P-2 on your handgun. Instead of formatting the bottom of the optic to a standard footprint, they used a different method completely.

While Glock has their MOS system of adaptor plates, Aimpoint opted to use a clamp system used for rifle optics. They still use adaptor plates for the desired footprint, but the P-2 clamps on instead using screws from the top.

Aimpoint ACRO P-2 red dot
Aimpoint uses a special adaptor plate for the ACRO P-2. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

This, in my opinion, is stronger, faster, and negates the need to keep track of screws when moving the optic.

While I like the mounting system they chose, I’m not a fan of the need to purchase mounting plates separately from optics. When you purchase a Glock MOS handgun, you receive multiple adaptor plates with it. I think it would be great if Aimpoint would provide multiple plates with the P-2, or at least let you choose one with the optic. Mounting plates and attachments retail for $50-$130 and must be purchased separately.

Operating the Aimpoint ACRO

Aimpoint designed the ACRO P-2 for the “two eyes open” method which is best for self-defense purposes. There are four night-vision settings and six daylight settings on the P-2 red dot. As you would expect, you press the plus or minus button to turn the optic on. You hold the minus button to turn it off and press the plus/minus buttons while on to adjust brightness.

Aimpoint ACRO P-2 red dot
The ACRO P-2 has a side loading compartment for the CR2032 battery. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

When zeroing the optic, there are windage and elevation adjustment screws. Aimpoint includes a T10 Torx driver with the optic, which is handy. Each turn of the adjustment screw equals 0.7 inches at 100 yards making it a 0.7 MOA.

Zeroing the optic is straightforward and about the same as most other optics. I zeroed the P-2 at 15 yards as I do most defensive handguns. For competition shooting, you could easily zero it at further distances.

Aimpoint P-2 Durability Tests

Okay, so I may not be testing the ACRO to its limits, but I like to test all my optics to what I call a normal standard — any abuse an optic would endure from my regular and routine use. Getting rained on, being left in a hot/cold car, being dropped on concrete or in the water are all possible.

I want to make sure any optic I carry can withstand these tests.

Aimpoint ACRO P-2 red dot
Even when frozen, the ACRO P-2 red dot functioned as it should. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

The Freeze Test

To test the P-2, I started with the freezer and left it in the bottom drawer overnight. My freezer doesn’t get down to the -49° F that Aimpoint has listed on the red dot, but it gets below 0° F.

After freezing it, I reattached it to the rifle to check it for zero. When the warmer air hit it, the optic immediately frosted over, but I could still see the red dot inside of it. I wiped the glass off and was able to hit my targets.

The Bake Test

Next, I baked the ACRO P-2. Most optics with a heat rating list 150°F or less under their warranty. Since Aimpoint states it will function in temperatures more than 160° F, I went up to 165° F.

Using an oven mitt, I remounted the optic and found the heat didn’t affect its accuracy at all.

The Waterproof Test

With the water test, I decided to just drop it in a glass of water and leave it for a day. I headed out to work and let it soak until I got home that evening. Just as expected, there was no damage from the water.

On the range for some drills  

For the most part, all quality micro dots are similar when it comes to target shooting. Place the red dot on the target and pull the trigger, just like a rifle optic. This is why even inexperienced shooters can become great shots on the range.

To really test the optic out, I like to do what I call target acquisition drills. In this drill, you start with the gun in a low-ready position with the target in front of you. Quickly raise the gun to eye level, place the dot on the target, and fire.

Aimpoint ACRO P-2 red dot
Shooting the Glock 49 with the ACRO P-2 red dot. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Some optics take longer than others to acquire the dot because of the reticle or window size of the optic. It’s not surprising that the Aimpoint has a clear dot that is easy to see and quick to find. Like any optic, it takes some practice using it compared to iron sights.

I zeroed the optic and fired about 100 rounds through my Glock 49 with the ACRO P-2. I didn’t go too far out with the P-2, but instead focused most of my efforts on self-defense-related drills.

What about holsters?

If you are wondering if anyone makes a holster for such a strangely shaped red dot, the answer is yes.

Safariland has plenty of holsters to choose from that fit the P-2 red dot. A quick on the Holster Finder shows they offer 20 tactical/duty style holsters for the Glock 17/49 with P-2.

I have been using the 6354 tactical/military holster with my Glock 49 MOS and ACRO P-2.   

Aimpoint ACRO P-2 red dot
Safariland 6354 military/tactical holster with the ACRO P-2 red dot. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

I use the QLS (Quick Locking System) on all my Safariland holsters, so I chose the one that comes with the holster fork. It has an automatic locking system for retention and an STX Tactical finish.

When the gun is holstered, the ACRO is completely enclosed in the holster. A soft lining on the inside of the holster helps protect the gun and optic while in the holster.   

the future of Red Dots: square and enclosed

After spending some time with the ACRO P-2, I have made an about-face and am starting to like this new generation of optics.

It’s easy to put on and remove from the gun and the 3.5 MOA dot is easy to see. I like the side-loading battery compartment, and of course the biggest difference: the fully enclosed emitter. And unlike traditional handgun optics, you can shoot with the P-2 rain or shine because water can’t interfere with the dot.

At a retail price of $599, the ACRO P-2 is one of the more expensive dots on the market. In this case, you get what you pay for — superior quality and reliability.

If you’re planning to try out a new optic for your handgun, I suggest checking out the ACRO P-2 before making a decision.

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