There is no dearth of great red dot sights, especially for pistols. But since there are so many great red dot sights in the market, we are constantly looking for red dot sights that are better than the best. If you ask any enthusiast or professional shooter about red dot sights, the name “Burris” would be mentioned for sure. Burris, when it started, was a mediocre company. But after a few years, they have come up with some of the best red dot sights, with the FastFire series being the most popular. Even though the FastFire 4 is in the market, FastFire 3 sells like hotcakes, and we needed to find out why. What makes the Burris FastFire 3 so popular, and should you get it? Here’s the review and buyers’ guide for the FastFire 3, along with all the pros and cons.
Initial Impressions and Quality of Burris FastFire 3
The package came in a small and slim box with nothing too special. The unboxing experience was decent, not too great. Inside the box, you get the scope, and other accessories are well placed inside foam padding. There’s a rain protection cover included which is very considerate. Other than that you get screws, screwdriver, lens cloth, manual, and a low Picatinny mount. The best thing is the battery comes included! Now let’s talk about the quality.
We are not very impressed with the build quality. The red dot sight is made of aluminum with a matte finish in black color. Very generic but very subtle that goes with most of the pistols and rifles. The FastFire 3 is small and light, which is a good thing if you consider its use, but for some reason, the build quality does not feel that premium. Vortex’s red dot sight feels more premium, but it also costs a lot more than the budget-friendly FastFire. So I cannot complain about it. Most people will find the quality to be decent enough.
Features of Burris FastFire 3
The FastFire 3 is a crowd favorite for a reason. There are many things that this red dot sight offers at a very low price. We used it for over two weeks and fired many rounds with our favorite pistols (and a rifle as well). It enabled us to see how great the features of the Burris FastFire 3 are and how applicable they are in normal usage.
One of the best features of the FastFire 3 is the auto-brightness option for the red dot. The sight comes with an option to manually increase or decrease the brightness of the red dot. There are three settings to choose from, low for dawn, mid for normal usage, and high when the sun is unforgiving. We had no issues using this red dot during peak noon. But that’s not what’s impressive.
It comes with an auto-brightness feature that detects the sunlight and adjusts the brightness. It is so accurate that we never felt the need to manually adjust the brightness. All you have to do is get it out in the open and the red dot’s brightness is adjusted perfectly.
2. Options of Mounts
We love options, and FastFire 3 comes with a lot. You can choose to get it with the Weaver mount and the Picatinny mount so that you can use it with some rifles as well. The highlight here is that you have the option to go with no mounts as well if you plan to use your mount. It saves cost and makes more sense.
3. Great Compatibility
We tried the FastFire 3 with 7 different handguns, and it had no issues with compatibility. It is because it comes with a Doctor/Noblex footprint that makes it compatible with so many different mounts. So the great compatibility is one of the best convenient features.
4. Usage and Viewfinder
The red dot sight is one of the smallest red dots we’ve ever used. You need to hold it in person to realize how small it is. But with it comes the concern of problems with lenses. Fortunately, due to its light build, the frame around the lens is thin, which makes the lens large enough for a comfortable aiming and viewing experience.
There’s a very slight magnification, but it is noticeable. We saw no signs of parallax, the lens was very clear, and the red dot looks very sharp for short-range shooting. It is also very easy to aim with both eyes open.
5. Reticle, Windage, and Elevation
You can get the Burris FastFire 3 with two MOA options; 3 MOA and 8 MOA. Usually, it comes down to the user’s preference, but 8 MOA is suitable for handgun usage while 3 MOA would be best for rifle usage and long-range shooting. We got the 3 MOA version, and it works just fine. No complaints at all. One click equals one MOA, which is about one and a half centimeters on fifty meters.
There are two screw options to adjust the elevation and windage. There are +/-86 Windage adjustments while +/-115 Elevation adjustments. We found it to be enough for our usage. There was no issue with zeroing this scope as well.
6. Battery Life
The Burris FastFire 3 comes with a CR1632, which is not the most common choice. There is a reason why the company chose to go with this battery. The battery is now top-mounted instead of bottom-mounted as was the case in FastFire 2. It allows you to change the battery without unmounting the red dot sight, which is a great feature for convenience. But the trade-off is using a different battery.
The company claims that the FastFire 3 would last you around 5 years, which we think is not accurate. Considering the heat, different brightness settings, and the lack of shake to wake feature would bring down the battery life. But still, the battery life would be decent even if it lasted for 3-4 years.
One smart feature about the battery life is that when the battery is about to run out when only a few hours are left, the red dot will start blinking every 5 seconds. It should get you enough time to get a replacement battery.
7. Rain Protection Cover
The red dot sight lacks any drain hose to remove water in case it is raining while you fire some rounds. To make up for that, the FastFire comes with a rain cover unit that mounts on top of the sight and it gives great protection. No matter how strong the rain is, the cover protects the lens very well, so that your shot is always on the spot.
|Brightness||Auto/ 3 Levels Manual Adjust|
|Windage||+- 86 MOA|
|Elevation||+- 115 MOA|
|Dimensions||1.9” x 1.0” x 1.0” (LxWxH)|
|Unlimited Eye Relief||Yes|
- Great price
- Small and Light
- Great Visibility
- Great Compatibility
- Rain Protection Cover
- Options for Mounts
- Battery incompatibility could be an issue
- Problem with fitting in some holsters
- Takes almost 8 hours for the red dot to go to sleep mode
For a price of just $299, It is an excellent red dot sight that comes with so many features. We have not seen many red dot sights with so many features at such a low price. So if you are looking to get a low-priced but a value for money red dot sight, then don’t think any further. Order it now.