Burris Fastfire 2 Vs Burris Fastfire 3 Optics: A Detailed Comparison

Chris G.

Within the broad spectrum of red dot sights, the Burris Fastfire 2 and Fastfire 3 stand out as two notable options. As an avid shooter and a firearms collector, I have both.

The right optics can significantly improve one’s shooting performance. Thus, I’ll assess each of these models’ performance and analyze their pros and cons so I can give you a thorough contrast of the Burris Fastfire 2 and Fastfire 3.

Regardless if you’re an experienced shooter or a beginner, this comprehensive review should assist you in determining which one of these sights aligns best with your shooting requirements.

About Burris Fast Fire Sights

The Burris Fastfire series embodies a blend of innovation and reliability that has set a high benchmark in the realm of optics based on my personal experiences. Burris FastFire optics are a series of red dot sights produced by Burris Optics, a reputable US-based manufacturer of sporting optics. 

The Burris FastFire series of red dot optics is known for its compact size, lightweight design, and ease of use. These optics are commonly used on firearms such as pistols and shotguns, as well as on rifles for fast target acquisition. The red dot allows shooters to quickly and accurately aim at their target without the need for aligning traditional iron sights.

There were two main models in the Burris FastFire series: the Burris FastFire 2 and the Burris FastFire 3. Each model had its own set of features, specifications, and advantages. 

A Thorough Comparison of Burris Fastfire 2 vs Fastfire 3 Reflex Sights

a closeup of Burris Fastfire 2 and Burris Fastfire 3

For this analysis, I used two pistols—a snub-nosed Smith & Wesson CS45 pistol, chambered in .45 ACP; and a larger third-generation Smith & Wesson Model 4506 chambered with the same cartridge size and type. Let’s start with the technical specifications of each red dot sight.

Burris Fastfire 2: Technical Specifications

Magnification: 1.07X
Sight Window: 21mm x 15mm
Elevation adjustment range: 115 MOA
Windage adjustment range: 86 MOA
Set value for one scale division: 1 MOA with 60 scale revolutions/turn
Subtension of the aiming dot: 4 MOA
Recoil resistance: At least 1000 G’s
Operating Temperature Range: -10°F to +130°F (-25°C to +55°C)
Storage Temperature Range: -40°F to +160°F (-40°C to +70°C)
Power Supply: 3V with one CR 2032 Lithium battery
Dimensions (LxWxH): 1.8 x 1.0 x0.9 inches
Weight: 0.9 oz.

Package Contents

2 #6×48 Screws with Torx® socket head for installing the sight onto the mounting plate
1 Torx® Wrench
1 Screwdriver
1 Adjusting Scale Disc
1 Protective Cap
1 Lithium Battery 3V (CR2032)
1 Gasket Plate
User Guide
Weaver/Picatinny-Style Mount

Burris Fastfire 3: Technical Specifications

Magnification: 1.07x
Sight Window: 21mm x 15mm
Elevation adjustment range: 115 MOA
Windage adjustment range: 86 MOA
Set value for one scale division: 1 MOA
Subtension of the aiming dot: 3 MOA or 8 MOA, depending on the model
Recoil resistance: At least 1000 G’s
Operating Temperature Range: -10°F to +130°F (-25°C to +55°C)
Storage Temperature Range: -40°F to +160°F (-40°C to +70°C)
Power Supply: 3V with one CR1632 Lithium battery
Dimensions (LxWxH): 1.9 x 1.0 x 1.0 inches 
Weight: 0.9 oz.

Package Contents

2 #6×48 Screws with Torx® socket head for installing the sight on the
mounting plate
1 Torx® Wrench
1 Protective Cover
1 Lithium Battery 3V (CR1632)
User Guide
Weaver/Picatinny-style Mount (on select models)

Optical Performance

Both Burris Fastfire 2 and the Burris Fastfire 3 have excellent glass clarity. However, I noticed that the glass clarity of the Fastfire 2 is clearer than that of the Fastfire 3. Even if the lens is not an ED glass, the clarity in low light is quite stunning. 

In addition, the lens glass of the Burris Fastfire2 is color-coded with brown, green, purple, and red for better visibility in poor lighting conditions. The colors help me see corrections faster than I would with a blacked-out reticle on the Burris Fastfire 3.

Designers of the Burris Fastfire 3 incorporated innovations to make the optical clarity even better. For example, its high-grade optical glass offers excellent brightness and clarity. The index-matched, Hi-Lume® multicoating eliminates glare and improves low-light performance. Yet, even with these improvements, it still seems that the Burris Fastfire 2 provides a better sight picture.

Both models are parallax-free and offer unlimited eye relief. The large windows are designed for enhanced awareness and faster target acquisition. 

Eye Relief

Eye relief refers to the distance from your eye to the objects that you will be viewing. If you’re wearing glasses or if you’re shooting out farther than 100 yards, your eye will have more room to track and acquire the target. If you are shooting closer targets at the range, you will have more room to see your target without having a long-sight picture.

The Burris Fastfire 2 has a longer eye relief than the Fastfire 3, making it ideal for shooters who wear glasses or use the optic on longer ranges. The Burris Fastfire 3 also has great eye relief as well, so it can still be used at longer ranges. 

Reticle

The FastFire 2 comes with a 4-MOA red dot, striking a balance between ease of spotting and accuracy. It also has an automatic brightness sensor that adapts to the ambient lighting, ensuring the dot stays visible no matter the lighting conditions. For some reason, it does not have manual brightness controls.

The FastFire 3 offers a choice between a 3-MOA and an 8-MOA red dot model. It also comes with both automatic and manual brightness settings for a more tailored user experience.

Some users have found the FastFire 2’s dot to be somewhat dim in indoor settings. I didn’t have a problem with this, but there was indeed a noticeable difference in brightness when I tried both in an indoor lens. The FastFire 3 addresses this issue with adjustable brightness settings.

The reticles on both models provide 16 different settings including 1 graticule for 100 yards. I noticed that the reticle on the Fastfire 2 is slightly wider than that of the Fastfire 3 since there is a crosshair section. While some buddies of mine find the crosshair unnecessary, I think it fine-tunes my accuracy. Well, to each his own, I guess.

Brightness Settings

The Fastfire 2 is equipped with an automatic brightness sensor that adapts to your surroundings. While this adaptability is handy, it can provide fewer options, especially if the lighting conditions are far too bright or too dim for the system to compensate. It has 6 brightness settings preset at the factory.

The Fastfire 3 steps up the game through a simple addition—manual adjustment buttons. This additional feature bolsters its versatility, granting users the power to manually adjust the brightness based on their needs. It has 10 pre-set brightness settings, but you can adjust them manually to your needs.

So, if you’re looking for more control over how bright your sight is, the Fastfire 3 is the way to go. It hands you the reins, ensuring that your sight’s brightness is just the way you like it. This makes it a more favorable option regarding brightness control.

Durability

Made of anodized 6061 aluminum, these sights are lightweight and robust. Both are waterproof and shockproof, designed to stand up to years of punishing recoil and abuse. The package includes protective caps to protect the glass lens from getting damaged. 

I checked for any constructional or anodization flaws present in these sights; there are none. In fact, when I held each in my hand for the first time, I can feel how “premium” each is. In terms of durability, both are winners. 

Size and Weight

There are some subtle distinctions between the Burris Fastfire 2 and Fastfire 3 in terms of dimensions and weight. Both models are designed to be compact and light, making them compatible with a variety of firearms. Their height and depth are approximately 1 inch, making them unobtrusive when mounted. Both can be used co-witness with traditional iron sights or with other optics.

The Fastfire 3, however, is marginally wider at 1.9 inches, slightly more than the Fastfire 2’s width of 1.8 inches.

Despite their compact sizes, both models weigh a mere 0.9 ounces, ensuring they don’t weigh your firearm down unnecessarily. Both are right at home with any pistol.

Battery Life

The Fastfire 2 boasts an impressive battery life of 20,000 hours on a single commercially sold 2032 Lithium battery. However, the Fastfire 3 takes the lead, offering a whopping 50,000 hours, outperforming the Fastfire 2 by more than twice the duration. The Fastfire 3 is powered by a 3V CR1632 battery.

Over time, the extended battery life of Fastfire 3 could potentially save more money, giving it an edge in this area.

Being a top loader, the Fastfire 3 allows for easier battery access, providing a more maintenance-friendly experience. Conversely, you need to unmount the Fastfire 2 to change the battery.

Windage and Elevation Adjustments

The Fastfire 2 is a dependable option, though its lack of click value can occasionally make precision adjustments challenging. It also has larger knobs than the Fastfire 3.

The Fastfire 3, equipped with a distinct click value, facilitates a more measured and accurate adjustment process, making it more precise in targeting.

These variations position the Fastfire 3 as a superior choice for those who value precision and control in their shooting experience.

The only caveat is that you need to use the included Torx® Wrench to adjust the windage and elevation controls.

Mounting Options

The Fastfire 2 has a quick detach mount and a standard Picatinny rail. Unfortunately, the Fastfire 3 does not come with either a mount or base. You’d have to purchase those separately. 

Nevertheless, they can be attached to a wide variety of firearms. Their low profile means that they can cowitness with traditional iron sights and can be used with other optics. 

Price

Typically, you’ll find the Fastfire 3 to be more expensive, which most likely is attributed to its enhanced features like brightness adjustment, click value, and superior construction materials.

The Fastfire 2 is less costly although it doesn’t skimp on quality. 

In essence, the choice between these two models is a matter of personal preference and specific shooting needs. Both sights offer excellent value for their respective prices, as their distinctive features substantiate their cost.

Firearms Compatibility

a closeup of Burris Fastfire 2

Let’s chat about how the Burris Fastfire 2 and Fastfire 3 function with various firearms. These sights show a broad range of versatility, fitting effortlessly on a variety of handguns, rifles, and shotguns.

  1. Handguns
    • Example: Glock 19
      • Many shooters choose to mount the Burris FastFire series on popular handguns like the Glock 19. The sight can be attached directly to the slide or by using a compatible mounting plate.
  2. Shotguns
    • Example: Remington 870
      • Shotguns like the Remington 870 are commonly used for various applications, including hunting and home defense. The Burris FastFire series can be mounted on the shotgun’s receiver or on a rail system.
  3. Rifles
    • Example: AR-15
      • The AR-15 platform is widely used for rifles, and shooters often mount red dot sights like the Burris FastFire on the Picatinny or Weaver rail. This configuration is popular for quick target acquisition in tactical or sporting applications.

The FastFire 3 is readily compatible with the Glock MOS system. It is accepted by many “optics ready” handgun, but the Burris supplied mounting screws may not be the correct length for each single handgun. 

User Experience: External Opinions

a closeup of Burris Fastfire 3

For a comprehensive analysis, we need to factor in the experiences of individuals who’ve tested these products in everyday conditions. We’ll examine the feedback from users of the Burris Fastfire 2 and 3.

What Customers Say About the Burris Fastfire 2

Most customers are happy with how it works and holds up over time. People often speak highly of the 4-MOA red dot because it’s easy to see in a variety of lighting situations. The automatic brightness sensor also gets a thumbs-up for its flexibility.

This sight can be mounted on a variety of guns, from a S&W 357 mag to an AR, and it seems to work equally well on all of them.

A few customers have mentioned that the dot can be a bit dim for using at an indoor range and can be hard to spot. Without a manual adjustment, the range of brightness levels could be limiting. 

Despite this minor setback, the Fastfire 2 gets a lot of praise for its long lifespan – the battery life, especially, has won over many users. Based on these reviews, it seems like a sturdy and dependable sight that’s worth a second look.

What Customers Say About the Burris Fastfire 3

The Burris Fastfire 3 has gathered positive reviews from a host of satisfied customers. The highlights of the product include its robust build, sizable viewing window, and manual brightness control.

The installation process is straightforward and aligning it’s a breeze as one satisfied customer noted its excellent performance on their Gen 4 Glock 34. The adjustable brightness options come in handy, providing clear visibility in varying light settings.

Even with the recoil, the red dot holds its position. All in all, the Fastfire 3 receives rave reviews from its users.

Competitors of the Burris Fastfire Product Line of Red Dots

The Burris FastFire series of red dot sights has several competitors in the market as various manufacturers are offering similar products. Competing red dot sights often have comparable features and are designed for use on a range of firearms. Here are some competitors to the Burris FastFire product line:

  1. Vortex Optics Venom: Vortex Optics produces the Venom, a compact and rugged red dot sight that is popular for handguns, shotguns, and rifles. It features a similar design to the Burris FastFire and is known for its durability.
  2. Trijicon RMR (Ruggedized Miniature Reflex): The Trijicon RMR is a widely used red dot sight known for its durability and reliability. It’s commonly found on handguns and rifles and is designed to withstand harsh conditions.
  3. Leupold DeltaPoint Pro: Leupold’s DeltaPoint Pro is another popular red dot sight with a wide field of view. It is designed for fast target acquisition and is often used on handguns, shotguns, and rifles.
  4. Holosun HS507C: Holosun produces a variety of red dot sights, and the HS507C is a notable competitor. It offers multiple reticle options, solar power, and is designed for use on handguns and other firearms.
  5. Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic): Aimpoint is known for its rugged and reliable optics. While the PRO is more of a full-sized red dot sight designed for rifles, it competes with the Burris FastFire in terms of durability and performance.
  6. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25: The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is a budget-friendly red dot sight that competes with the Burris FastFire in the entry-level market. It’s suitable for various firearms and applications.

Conclusion

The Burris Fastfire 2 and Fastfire 3 are both superior-quality optics that provide exceptional accuracy and long-lasting durability. Personally, I’m for the Burris Fastfire 3 due to its features that surpass the Burris Fastfire 2. But for all intents and purposes, both red dot sights are excellent.

The choice between the two will largely depend on your unique shooting requirements and personal preferences. Consider factors such as compatibility with your firearm, feedback from other users, and the existing market competition.

As a shooter, it’s worth noting that a good sight can improve your shooting experience, but your level of skill is the ultimate determinant of your shooting success.

About the author

The name's Chris. Just a regular dude who loves firearms. I've been shooting since I was a kid. My old man taught me the ropes.

I'll never forget the first time I missed an easy shot on a buck, thanks to a bum scope. The image was fuzzier than my dog's butt. After that, I got obsessed with understanding scopes. What makes the good ones tick and the bad ones trash. After a few years and a few thousand bucks, I learned what separates the winners from the losers. Once I had a good stockpile of knowledge, I launched this site.

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