By Paolo Valpolini
Having developed the first fully enclosed electronic red dot sight, a solution that allows protecting the sight from mud, dust, sands, rain or snow, Aimpoint decided to further improve one of its latest products, the Acro red dot reflex sight developed for pistols unveiled in 2018, “looking for perfection” as the company presenters said. “We always want to improve, and this is the reason why we are here today,” Jonas Ardemalm, Director for professional sales, Rest of the World at Aimpoint AB says at the beginning of the presentation, “this is the time to take a further step in our development and we are very proud to announce the launch of the next generation of the Acro red dot sight series.”
Three years ago the Acro P-1 set the pace for pistol red dot sights, but the Swedish company decided to push the development further; dialogue with customers is a constant, and one of the requests was to fit the CR2032 battery in the Acro, in order to increase the system endurance, Erik Jeppson, the responsible for the Acro concept at Aimpoint, explains. “To be honest our first reaction was that introducing a larger battery in this small enclosure was impossible,” he said. Compared to the CR1225 used in the Acro P-1 featuring a rated capacity of 48 mAh, the CR2032 has a 235 mAh capacity, both batteries being Lithium/Manganese Dioxide. This comes however with a considerable increase in size, 20 versus 12.5 mm diameter, weight increasing from 0.9 to 3 grams. “Fitting a larger battery is one thing, but keeping the ruggedness of the sight is another, and we soon realised this changed everything,” Jeppson says.
The Aimpoint team had thus to redesign the sight, and immediately decided that the external size should remain the same of the previous generation Acro, the Acro P-2 dimensions being 47 x 33 x 31 mm, only the width being increased by a mere 3 mm, while weight remains identical, 60 grams without the mounting solution, price being also a parameter that should not vary. Most of the features are similar, the housing is still in high strength aluminium with semi-matt black finishing, the height of the optical axis remaining 14 mm, however a number of elements have been improved. The electric circuitry is entirely new, while the latest LED technology was introduced, all this, together with the adoption of the CR2032, leading to an increase in endurance from 15,000 to 50,000 hours of continuous use (at daylight setting 6), which means over five years without changing the battery. The new LED technology provides a brighter 3.5 MOA dot, the Acro P-2 maintaining six daylight and four NVG-compatible settings as its predecessor, Aimpoint stating that no optical signature is visible at 10 meter distance, front side, on appropriate settings with night vision devices.
As in its predecessor, the inner tube is designed to minimise both glare and reflection, while front lens quality and coating ensure no colour change and high definition view. The clear aperture is only slightly smaller, 15 x 15 mm versus 16 x 16 mm of the P-1, a minor sacrifice to gain some room for the bigger battery. The latter is located on the left side of the sight, which allows replacing it without even removing the Acro P-2 from the weapon. On that same side we find the on/off button and the two push buttons allowing the adjustment of the dot intensity in a total silent way; due to COVID issues the presentation was run in a virtual manner, so we could not actually touch the sight, Aimpoint stating that the new reinforced digital keypad offers a more distinct tactile feel which nullify the risk of unintentional change of settings. Zeroing is done using the Aimpoint tool (or a torx T10), adjusting windage and elevation screws which are located respectively on the right and on the top of the sight; these were redesigned to allow the shooter to feel and hear the distinctive clicks. While on the P-1 each click meant 17 mm at 100 meters distance, on the P-2 each click represents 20 mm at that same distance.
Rugged is another adjective often used during the presentation; the Acro P-2 was tested shooting 20,000 rounds mounted on a .40 S&W calibre pistol slide, definitely not the best treat for a sight, the same used three years ago on the P-1. Moreover, the P-2 is submersible to 35 meters, 10 meters more than the P-1.
The new Aimpoint Acro P-2 can be installed on any platform, the dovetail interface has an integrated recoil stop, and adapter plates are available for a wide range of platforms. When used on rifles flip-up lens covers can be added, the sight being designed for inception to accept them; covers can be transparent, black or ARD (Anti-Reflex Device).
The Acro P-2 already bagged some orders, customers remaining undisclosed; production started the day of the presentation, first deliveries being planned for late August 2021.
Beside the Acro P-2, which is dedicated to professional users, Aimpoint developed the Acro C-2, which represents the next generation commercial sight and succeeds the Acro C-1. It has slightly reduced performances compared to the P-2 in terms of operating temperature, it features eight daylight settings and two NVG settings, and is submersible only to 5 meters depth. The Acro C-2 international recommended price, excluding VAT is of 527 EUR per sight, the P-2 price being provided on request, the increased performances certainly adding to the production cost, quantity orders lowering the final price, so as usual prices in the military remain quite difficult to get, but that of the commercial version gives at least an idea of the order of magnitude. Looking forward to put our hand on the new product, at the first defence exhibition available.
Photos courtesy Aimpoint