Firearms

Review: Burris FastFire 3 Red Dot Sight

FastFire 3 Adjustments

When choosing a red dot sight for critical use, the standard is higher than one that is for range use, target shooting or hunting. You cannot go too cheap when it comes to personal defense.

Just the same, we all have responsibilities and we look for the best balance of price and performance. You want a fast and accurate red dot. Burris enjoys an excellent reputation and has a lifetime warranty, so they are often at the top of my list.

The simple and reliable Burris FastFire 3 is a solid favorite. The Burris FastFire 3 is a relatively compact and lightweight red dot. The sight features a 3 MOA reticle. This means that the sight offers excellent potential for speed shooting, but also offers good accuracy potential.

The manufacture of the sight is good and the materials seem high-quality.

Burris FastFire 3
The FastFire 3 is a good fit with the IWI Masada 9mm.

Standout Features

The features are good and the price is fair but reflects quality manufacture. The Burris FastFire 3 does not require tools for windage and elevation adjustment, a nice feature. The Burris FastFire 3 reticle may be adjusted for a total of three brightness settings.

There is also a neat automatic brightness feature. The battery may be accessed from the top of the sight, an improvement over the earlier Burris FastFire versions.

Since the sight is supplied with a Picatinny mounting base, it may be attached to many different handguns and long guns as well. I have used the Burris FastFire 3 primarily on handguns, but I have also used it on several long guns.

Burris FastFire 3
Note the wide, highly-visible window.

Surprising Speed and Versatility

I was slower than some of my friends to come to the realization that a red dot mounted on a handgun allows for blinding speed. The red dot is more than a useful sight for target shooting and hunting. It is viable for personal defense use.

Speed isn’t everything, but when combined with accuracy, we have an effective combination. The FastFire 3 offers reliability speed and accuracy.

The rifle especially benefits from the red dot, as the red dot puts the aiming point and target on the same focal plane while the sight remains fast to use. Agility is good, and agility and speed are important for personal defense.

I have used shotgun-mounted red dots less, but the same criteria would be a big aid in using the Burris FastFire 3 on the shotgun. What we are stressing is a rapid acquisition of the sight. Real speed combined with high hit probability is part and parcel of the red dot.

FastFire Red Dot
The Burris FastFire 3 is a speedy red dot.

Don’t ignore the versatility of the red dot as a backup or ancillary sight for use on a rifle with sufficient rail space. Just dial in and you have a backup to the long-range scope for varmints that appear at a shorter range.

While some sights offer more complications and require some study to use properly, the FastFire 3 is relatively easy to use well (and to use quickly). The controls are easily reached and the sight isn’t difficult to adjust.

When used on a pistol, the sight is hovering in front of the eyes and offers real utility in speed shooting.

The FastFire 3 has given the author good results on firearms as diverse as the Springfield M1A SOCOM rifle, the CZ P-10 C pistol, the IWI Masada pistol and the Benelli Nova 12-gauge shotgun. I have enjoyed good results with each application.

FastFire 3 Back Up Sight
The FastFire 3 is light enough that it is useful as a backup sight!

Easy to Buy, Easy to Use

The FastFire is relatively inexpensive as well. As one of my friends remarked, it costs less than a Rolex, but it is more useful. I have tested the FastFire 3 more than most, and the results have been good.

The manual of arms is simple: mount the sight and use the elevation control on top and the windage control on the side to sight the rifle in. This isn’t difficult. I usually begin at a short range, no more than 25 yards.

As for the brightness setting, the automatic setting works well. Or you may press the power button to run dot brightness up and down rather quickly. It is that simple. And you will have a credible tool for serious use, competition or hunting.

FastFire 3 SOCOM
The Burris FastFire 3 is shown mounted on a Springfield SOCOM—a fast set up!

What’s your go-to red dot sight? Or do you prefer iron sights or a scope, perhaps? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (2)

  1. Good article. I just thought that I’d mention another great use of the FF 3, similar to the “ancillary or backup sight on a scoped rifle”. I have several FF 3’s mounted on handgun scopes – co-zeroed at 50 yards. Handgun scopes are sometime, in a hunting situation, difficult to acquire quickly. A co-zeroed FF 3 is very quick to get on close-to zero, at which time you can drop your eye to your magnified scope. If you need to take the shot quickly, you can use the FF 3 for the shot.

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