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Aimpoint ACRO P-2 Comparison vs. P-1 and Steiner MPS

Like many people who have dived headfirst into the red dot sight mounted on pistol world, I preordered the Aimpoint ACRO P-2 when I heard it was coming out.  I did this because I had an early version of the Aimpoint P-1, that I posted a not-so-kind article about due to all of its problems.  The P-1 had a lot wrong with it, but at the time, the industry offered very few viable options.  The Trijicon SRO was decent as well, but it fell short in a lot of aspects.  While I know people opted for holosun / Chinese optics, they are not even a consideration for me, so they aren't covered in any of my posts as viable.  Shortly after the P1 came out, Steiner decided that they were going to throw their hat in the ring and really make a decent optic in the MPS.  After seeing the MPS in person at Warrior Expo and then Steiner being nice enough to send me one for use and review, the MPS in my opinion became the standard for RDS in the industry for pistol-mounted optics.  The ACRO P-2 seemed as though it was unobtainium for a while, mostly because of various supply chain issues Aimpoint incurred.  I know a ton of people who preordered the P-2 through various companies and the wait became a joke.  I placed an order for the P-2 from Strohnman Industries in April of 2021, I was one of the first people to place an order, paid in full, and I would email them every two to three months to see what the next delivery window was supposed to be, at some point I stopped asking because it was clear the P-2 was not coming any time soon.  It did arrive, however, almost a year after the original order, and after I have ran the MPS for several months.  This post will cover my initial impression comparison between the P-1, P-2, and the MPS.

In the box, you get the P-2, a bunch of paperwork, and their Aimpoint T10 tool.

The P-2 takes the industry-standard CR2032 battery, which Aimpoint finally decided to use thanks to the overwhelming request for it.  The cap is not very hefty but it does have a rubber gasket, so it has that going for it.  Aimpoint says in their product literature that with this battery the P-2 can get 50k hours of on-time at setting-6.  Which has always been one of the appeals of any Aimpoint product.  That particular appeal was shattered in the P-1 so having them say this is expected in the P-2 is a good thing.

The P1 has the smallest battery out of the bunch, the CR1225, and the MPS uses CR1632 battery, which seems to work fairly well for it.  

The P-2 battery cover is easily opened by the Aimpoint T10 tool, it also fits the MPS.

The T10 tool barely fits the P-1, better use a flathead or a quarter.

The T10 tools fit the MPS and P-2 mounting plate, and the zero adjustments of the P-2.  The issue I found is that when I went to zero the P-2 at the range, I actually forgot the T10 tool at home, I did have a multi-T hex tool with me, so I was able to zero the optic, but if I did not I would have been messing around with it trying to get it to zero.  I do not understand some companies' fascination with proprietary setups.  I get that Aimpoint includes their tool with nearly every optic, but a more streamlined option would definitely be better.  9mm rim turnable, or small flat head equivalent, probably would be the best industry standard across the board.  Guess we can dream that it may happen one day, unlikely though.  The P-1 takes a completely different sized hex tool, so the T10 tool does not work for it, other than zeroing.

The P-2 mounting plate comes apart, it has its grip side part that comes out of the P-2 body and its held in by a single screw.  You can see the T10 tool in this photo that I broke trying to take the battery cover off to see if it would work.  Clearly not.

Both the P-1 and the MPS use a single screw plus mounting attachment to connect to the ACRO-foot print of the pistol.  This is the industry standard, and I see no reason, as of this post, to change it.  I would personally rather have two T10 screws on the ends, each in a standalone mounting attachment, but that is because I value zero retention and overkill of engineering.  I doubt it will happen in the industry.

Visual comparison of each of the RDS, side by side.  The MPS is the smallest profile with the biggest window, the P-2 is in the middle for size and window size, the P-1 is the biggest sized and smallest window size.

Button setup of each unit.  The P-1 had an "update" of better tactile feeling buttons that Aimpoint transferred to the P-2.  All three have + and - buttons, the P-2 has a center-looking button but I cannot find documentation anywhere on what it does, so if I do I will update this post with it. I much prefer the MPS buttons for this purpose, they are stylish and purposeful, in that they are longer shaped and have a click press feeling, unlike the P-1 and the P-2 has a middle of the way click feeling.  

The window size gets a little interesting.  The P-1 has a window size of .63x.63 inches per documentation and the P-2 has the same window size per documentation.  The issue is that looking at it with the naked eye, it does not look the same, the P2 seems slightly larger, maybe it's because of the recessed placement, but to my eyes, the P-2 looks just slightly bigger than its older brother.  The MPS comes in at .83x.63 inches, wider than both the ACROs and the rectangle window looks better in my opinion.  

Mounting on the three RDS optics are pretty straightforward, I think in the photo above I flipped the P-2 around by accident, so all the long bars across the optic run in the same area of each optic.  I like Aimpoint's use of a single straight bar all the way across and the P-2 doesn't have any screws on the bottom at all, unlike the MPS and P-1.  I am sure there's a reason Steiner and Aimpoint added various screws to the bottom, I just do not like to see exposed screws on an optic, but then again on the MPS, at least, they are snuggled up against the pistol.  

Install is pretty easy.  I throw the P-@ on the optic and dab a single drop of blue Loctite onto the screw and then use the T10 tool to tighten it until it's hand tight, plus a 1/4 turn.  There is only so much force you can exert onto a screw of this size with the T10 and while you can easily strip one of these out, I think the T10 tool makes it easy to install properly.  

Once mounted you can see that the P-2 is not exactly flush, but it is not expected to be.

Max brightness P-2.

Max Brightness MPS.

Max Brightness P-1.

Max Brightness SRO.

Conclusions and Considerations:

Each of the optics says they are "true 1x" but the P-1 is not true 1x.  The MPS and P-2 are very close but have a little bit of distortion at the edges, this is expected.  The MPS has a top mount emitter.  The MPS has a 3.3MOA dot, and the ACROs have 3.5MOA dots.  I prefer a smaller dot and would like to see one of these have a 1MOA or smaller dot available.  Both the P-2 and MPS have aftermarket potential customization, still waiting to see what people design for these optics, specifically the MPS has side plates that can be user removed and probably 3D printed newer plates, the P-2 has these two ridges that something can be made to snap into place.  Do not know how applicable it is to pistol optics, but rifles may work.  The MPS is the only optic that has auto-shutoff, though many people seem to dislike this option on the MPS, I personally like it, especially since the MPS has a smaller battery.  As I write this I am going to be EDC'ing the P-2.