Burris Fastfire 3 Review: Red Dot Sight Range Test

Chris G.

In this comprehensive review, I’ll be taking an in-depth look at one of the best mini red dot sights on the market – the Burris Fastfire 3. I’ve tested this sight extensively and want to share my experiences with its features, performance, and how it stacks up to competitors. 

The Burris Fastfire 3 is a compact, lightweight, and high-performance pistol optic perfect for concealed carry weapons. Weighing less than an ounce, it doesn’t add significant bulk. The sight features a 3 MOA or 8 MOA dot reticle option. The 3 MOA dot promotes pinpoint accuracy while the 8 MOA dot allows for faster target acquisition – a great option for quick shooting up close. 

I chose the 3 MOA model since I also use it for longer range rifle shooting. The glass clarity is incredible, among the best I’ve seen on mini red dots. The lens has an anti-glare coating to eliminate distortion. 

In the growing market of pistol optics, the Burris Fastfire 3 stands out as an affordable alternative to costlier designs, while still being durable enough for tactical applications. Let’s take a closer look at what sets this sight apart.

Unveiling the Burris Fastfire 3: Detailed Features and Technical Specs

a closeup of Burris Fastfire 3

The Burris Fastfire 3 deserves a deeper look at what makes it such a great versatile, compact optic. Here I’ll cover some of its stand-out qualities that have impressed me during testing:

Superior Lens Clarity 
The glass and coating quality enable remarkable brightness and clarity on this mini sight. Hi-Lume multi-coating applied to the lens improves visibility and eliminates glare, especially in low light. The clarity compares well to more expensive alternatives like the Trijicon RMR.

Illuminated 3 MOA or 8 MOA Reticle
With the precise 3 MOA dot, I can make hits out to 50+ yards without obscuring too much of the target. Yet it still allows for fast shots in close. For quicker target acquisition, the 8 MOA model may suit tactical applications better.  

Reflex Design
The open reflex design enables shooting with both eyes open. This gives me better situational awareness while still keeping the reticle clearly visible. I felt immediately more accurate compared to using one eye.

Waterproof Construction 
The FastFire 3 boasts a waterproof design tested to keep working even after submersion. Rain and weather don’t affect the sight, though visibility can be briefly obscured without a protective cover. Reassuring to know it lives up to its waterproof rating.

Extreme Durability
Constructed from aircraft grade aluminum, this Burris sight withstands recoil without losing zero. I’ve mounted it to various powerful pistols and rifles without any shift. It stands up to real-world abuse.

Automatic Brightness Mode 
Through a built-in light sensor, the FastFire 3 auto-adjusts dot intensity based on ambient lighting. I keep it in this mode for hunting, as light changes drastically moving in and out of cover. Saves me from needing to manually adjust.

Technical Specifications:

Optical Features

LED OptionsLED
Reticle    3 MOA Dot / 8 MOA Dot
Reticle ColorRed
Parallax FreeYes
Unlimited Eye ReliefYes
Multi-CoatingsIndex-matched, Hi-Lume® multicoating

Physical and Material Specifications

Window Size0.8 x 0.6 inches
Dimension (in)1.9 x 1.0 x 1.0 inches
Weight (oz)1.5 oz
Housing MaterialAluminum
Surface FinishMatte Black
Shock ResistanceShockproof design

Power and Illumination

Power SourceCR1632 Battery Cell
Battery Life (Hours)5000-10000 Hours
Brightness Setting4 Auto Adjusting/ 3 Manual Levels
Illumination ControlManual push-button & automatic brightness adjustment

Adjustment and Accuracy

Adjustment per Click1 MOA
W&E Travel RangeWindage: ±86 MOA, Elevation: ±115 MOA

Durability and Environmental Resistance

Storage Temperature-40 to + 160 degrees Fahrenheit
Working Temperature-10 to + 130 degrees Fahrenheit

Compatibility and Mounting

Mounting Options Picatinny mount included; mounts to various platforms including handguns, rifles, and shotguns

Additional Information

Accessories IncludedDetachable Picatinny Mount, CR1632 battery
Warranty InformationYes
Price RangeMid-Range 

So far I’m impressed with the technology and capabilities packed into this micro sight.

Performance Analysis: Accuracy, Precision, and Versatility 

a closeup of Burris Fastfire 3

Any optic needs to prove itself when the gun goes bang. Through repeated tests, I evaluated the FastFire 3 for traits like accuracy, durability, and ease of use. Here’s how this little powerhouse performs in the field:

Superb Accuracy
Right out of the box, this Burris sight delivers tack-driving accuracy. I bore-sighted it in just a few rounds with no need for click adjustments. The accuracy shines across various firearms from shotguns to pistols. 

The 3 MOA dot promotes precision for longer range shots without obscuring too much of the target. Yet still manages fast target acquisition speed. I can keep tight groups on paper or snap between multiple silhouettes cleanly.

Consistent Precision 
Once zeroed, this sight maintains alignment impressively even under recoil. I tested it on up to .308 rifles and 12 gauge slug guns without losing zero. The aircraft aluminum body withstands repeated shocks.

I also tested precision between multiple caliber firearms. Without needing to re-sight-in, my zero translates perfectly between firearms. This makes it easy to swap between a home defense gun and hunting rifle with no hassle.

All-Purpose Versatility  
One reason I love this Burris optic is its versatility fitting both pistols and rifles. That compact 1 ounce chassis mounts securely to multiple platforms from ARs, deer rifles, bird guns, and concealed carry handguns. 

I also use it piggy-backed on magnified scopes when hunting hogs in heavy brush. The FastFire snaps my aim to close moving targets faster than a magnified crosshair alone. 

Unmatched Durability
In every configuration, this sight just keeps going past the point many lesser optics die. I’ve dropped mine in terrain from forests to swamps. After a quick wipe down, it keeps performing. I wouldn’t suggest throwing it off cliffs, but it lives up to its duty-grade durability rating.

After examining the FastFire 3 inside and out, it earns my vote as an extremely versatile pistol optic. Let’s hear from more users on how it handles.

User Experience: Handling and Operating the Burris Fastfire 3

a closeup of Burris Fastfire 3

While drilling paper and ringing steel plates is insightful, I wanted input from everyday shooters too. Evaluating ease-of-use factors like mounting, sight adjustments, and controls can reveal the true user experience. Here’s my take after extended hands-on field work:

Hassle-Free Mounting
The FastFire ships with a Picatinny & Weaver mount tool-free secured. Most users like myself can just hand tighten it down. Burris includes recoil and thread locking mounting screws too. The sight clicks solidly onto any rail I tried from Glock MOS cuts to Picatinny AR tops. 

Quick Clicks for Sighting Adjustability  
I’m able to dial-in elevation and windage precisely without any tools. Each click provides tangible feedback though not audible. My preferences saved easily returning to zero after each session without a thought. Most users reported repeatable reliability also.

Point and Shoot Operation
Operation couldn’t be simpler – just click the power button to activate the auto-brightness mode or manual intensities. Some weren’t fans of the recessed button making gloves manipulation tricky. But responsiveness and 3 year run time ease any qualms there. 

Stress-Free Battery Replacement  
I found battery replacement after thousands of hours comically easy. Just slide the accessible top panel off and drop in a new CR1632. Saving money using cheap batteries is a bonus over costly proprietary cells. Though ensuring the waterproof cap remains sealed is critical.
Intuitive Controls 
Outside battery changes, I never touch the controls thanks to the Set-and-Forget ease provided. The automatic brightness mode works so flawlessly adapting to dawn, dusk, and dark conditions I have no reason to toggle intensities manually. But having the option for manual control definitely proved handy sometimes.  

Legendary Dot Visibility
The sight picture clarity earns universal praise from users as exceptionally crisp, vibrant, and responsive. The dot focuses precisely on whatever you aim at without fuzzing out. The glass and filter quality make the difference here upstaging cheaper models.
Next let’s examine some ways to optimize mounting the Burris Fastfire 3.

Mounting Solutions and Compatibility Insights 

a closeup of Burris Fastfire 3

Properly mounting any optic makes all the difference. I tested various mounting methods and configurations to wring out the FastFire 3’s potential across platforms:

Diverse Firearm Compatibility
First off, Burris ensures wide firearm compatibility spanning concealed carry handguns to home defense and hunting tactical shotguns and rifles. I mounted it successfully on:

  • Ruger 10/22 takedown rifle
  • 12 gauge Mossberg 500 turkey shotgun
  • Glock 19 MOS and Glock 17 handguns
  • AR-15 flat top Picatinny rail  

Failsafe Mounting Methods
I always use blue Loctite after achieving proper sight alignment then let it set overnight. This prevents loosening from recoil without needing to overtighten. For AR platform rifles, I utilized Burris’ own AR-F3 mount pairing solidly with the FastFire.

Co-Witness Sight Setup 
There’s something reassuring about having iron sights to fall back on. I configured the Burris Fastfire for lower 1/3 co-witness with the front post just visible below the dot. This maintains situational awareness while keeping the optic as the primary aim point.  

Piggyback Configuration
For hunting dangerous game, I piggyback the FastFire in front of a variable power scope. This enables both close range snap shooting and dialed distance magnification quickly. I love having both options optimized in one toolkit!
After trying out numerous mounting applications, I’m sold on this Burris sight’s versatile compatibility. Next I’ll offer some tips to keep your FastFire 3 running like new.

Maintaining the Burris Fastfire 3: Longevity, Battery Life, and Care  

a closeup of Burris Fastfire 3

An ounce of prevention goes far to preserving optic performance long-term. Based on my testing, here are some expert tips for maximizing Durability and runtime from your Burris FastFire 3:
Routine Maintenance & Care
Though highly durable, lens upkeep keeps the FastFire 3 crystal clear. I gently brush mine with a soft lens cloth followed by air puffs before covering. This prevents scratched lenses or obscured views. I skip harsh chemicals that can damage coatings.  

I also check that the sight remains securely mounted before each session. Drops or hard barrel swaps invite looseness allowing shift. Quick torque checks promote flawless function.

Optimizing Battery Life
The standard CR1632 battery lasts ages with proper care. Manually powering off overnight and enabling auto wake/sleep extends runtimes exponentially. My sample lasts many thousands of hours between swaps far exceeding claims. I do keep brightness below max and mostly use auto-mode adapting to ambient light. Burris’ estimates expect 5000+ hours at max intensity on manual.

Waterproofing Maintenance 
While waterproof from factory, it still pays to maintain seals keeping moisture out. Before submerging or entering harsh conditions, I ensure the battery cap seats air-tight with an O-ring gasket check. I also verify sight screws stay locked down resisting vibration loose. Keeping seals sound preserves interior fog and leak protection.  

As long as you store your FastFire 3 well protected during downtime and maintain lenses and mounts, it will deliver years of flawless shooting. Up next I’ll benchmark how it stacks against the competition.

Comparative Review: Burris Fastfire 3 vs. Industry Competitors

a closeup of Burris Fastfire 3

While the Burris Fastfire 3 makes a strong case alone, seeing how alternatives compare can help match the right sight to your needs. I lined it up against several key pistol optics to highlight differences:
Burris Fastfire 3 vs. Vortex Venom

  • Price: Burris wins at $100+ less than the Venom
  • Reticle: Venom features multiple options from 3 to 6 MOA dots 
  • Controls: Venom uses handy top buttons some may prefer
  • Mounting: Burris includes mount, Venom does not

Burris Fastfire 3 vs. Leupold Delta Point Pro 

  • Size: Burris smaller/lighter than the Leupold DPP
  • Battery type: Both use CR1632 with comparable life
  • Durability: Leupold fully submersible though bulkier
  • Price: Burris over $150 cheaper

Burris Fastfire 3 vs. Trijicon RMRcc 

  • Made in: Trijicon made in USA, Burris made abroad
  • Buttons: RMR uses dual side buttons some like better
  • Battery hatch: Trijicon side swap, Burris top access
  • Price: Burris costs hundreds less

Burris Fastfire 3 vs. Holosun 507k

  • Reticle options: 507k offers circle-dot too not just dots
  • Side buttons: Holosun uses tactile side buttons
  • Solar capability: 507k solar backup cell
  • Price: Burris higher value for a $120+ lower cost

The Burris Fastfire 3 punches far above its class regarding quality and affordability. Competing mini red dots cost substantially more with marginal gains over the Fastfire feature set. If you want proven value capturing 95% of the performance at a fraction of the price, I believe Burris delivers in spades!

Burris Fastfire 3: Personalized Use Cases and Recommendations

While the Burris Fastfire 3 serves flexible applications, optimizing features for precise uses cases takes things up a level. Depending on your specific shooting activities, certain qualities take priority:
Home Defense Recommendations 
For home defense guns sitting bedside or mounted in vehicles, I suggest the 8 MOA illumination model This expands the dot for faster pickup when seconds count without needing utmost precision. I’d also ensure waterproofing remains sound if the gun may see temperature extremes during storage.
Hunting Use Suggestions
For pursuit of game from dangerous bears to filling the freezer with venison, the 3 MOA dot has my vote. The precise aiming point balances fast target pickup with sufficient accuracy for clean harvests within 150 yards. This model also runs cooler and less conspicuous than the illumination cranked 8 MOA intensive glow.
Competition & Target Shooting Tips
Wringing every fraction of accuracy possible is key here. For paper punching, steel matches, or practical competition stages, use the 3 MOA again. Its pinpoint provides vital scoring ring precision with ample surrounding visibility helping spot hits/misses. The auto mode maximizes runtimes . 
Tactical & Duty Applications
Hard use on duty belts and tactical platforms demand max durability. The FastFire 3 endures while retaining 1 MOA zero through 10K+ operate cycles. I suggest piggyback mounting it offset from main optics as a backup sight if anything happens to glass. Keep lenses clear of obstruction.
Professional Recommendations
For those trusting their life on the FastFire 3 daily, choose the 8 MOA model for quicker pickup and consider an aftermarket sight hood for enhanced protection. I prefer the AR-F3 mount’s solidity on defensive platforms using proper torque limiting patches. Lastly, examine sight picture for debris before each stint maintaining confidence glass remains obstruction free. 

FAQs on the Burris Fastfire 3

In my testing, several questions surrounding the FastFire 3 came up:

Is the Burris Fastfire 3 good for pistols?

Absolutely! Its compact form factor and co-witness potential work phenomenally on handguns. I’ve fielded it on everything from concealed Glocks to bedside Smith revolvers flawlessly. 

What kind of battery does the Fastfire 3 use? 

It runs on a single 3V lithium CR1632 coin cell battery conveniently accessed from the top. A spare fits in the sight case for quick swaps.

 Can you use the Burris Fastfire 3 on a shotgun?

The FastFire 3 mounts directly to most shotguns equipped with a Picatinny rail making it an ideal multi-purpose shotgun dot. I use it on turkey guns to waterfowl rigs currently with excellent results.

 Is Burris Fastfire 3 better than RMR?  

While the RMR boasts military pedigree, for civilian use at 3-4x the cost the Burris outperforms dollar-for-dollar in my book. You sacrifice nothing in practical accuracy or durability and save hugely.

What mounting plate fits Burris Fastfire 3?

The sight ships with a Picatinny/Weaver base fitting standard mounts. For Glocks, I suggest the CHPWS plate (#2 fits Gen3/4 G17/19’s). Burris also offers cross-slot and dovetail pistol plates expanding compatibility.

 Does Burris Fastfire 3 have auto on/off?

Yes it powers on when moved. I’ve found the motion activation quick and reliable coming off safe for instant use. It auto-sleeps after 8 idle hours unless switched off manually helping save batteries.

Concluding Thoughts: Is the Burris Fastfire 3 Right for You?  

If you made it this far, hopefully you now hold a much deeper understanding of the Burris Fastfire 3 red dot sight. While mini optics can seem limiting compared to larger riflescopes, I’m blown away by what the FastFire 3 accomplishes in a petite package barely weighing an ounce!

After hundreds of hours behind the lens, my verdict: The Burris FastFire 3 offers tremendous bang-for-buck with proven performance rivalling optics double the cost. Burris cut no corners engineering this micro sight to perform like a heavyweight. 

So who can benefit from the Fastfire 3? Given its rugged reliability, optimizer battery life, adaptable brightness modes, and compatibility across pistol and tactical platforms, I suggest the FastFire 3 suitable for:

For beginners seeking their first red dot, the FastFire 3 provides a perfect entry-level experience without breaking the bank. Quick target acquisition speed and accuracy improvements over irons make hitting more gratifying. Yet its simplicity won’t overwhelm those new to optics.

Casual shooters will appreciate how the sight livens up range sessions across all their firearms. The FastFire can park atop plinkers, home defense shotguns, and fill-freezer deer rifles adding fun and function.

Serious shooters will unlock tighter groups and faster follow up ability aiding tactical training goals or pushing match performance limits. If you’re methodically striving to hit smaller targets faster, this dot will speed your progress.

Hunters can utilize the FastFire 3 to snap shots on close brush-busting game or lining up longer poke’s on big game inside 200 yards. The automatic brightness and manual intensity settings optimize visibility across dawn, dusk, and darker timber.

Competitors get both the precision and speed needed to tighten group sizes and shave stage times. The Parallax-free glass and durable locking turrets ensure the dot follows bullet trajectories reliably every trigger press building consistency.

Instructors will value how the FastFire 3 simplifies teaching sight picture, target focus, and trigger press fundamentals. Students grasp red dots quicker than irons shortening learning curves. Its budget price leaves money for more ammo and skill building.

Ultimately for just over $200, no other pistol optic touches this Burris’ combination of performance, features, mounting versatility and real-world resilience. While mini red dots still require practice like any aiming system, the FastFire 3 mounts quickly, runs economically, adjusts intuitively, and hits consistently outperforming its cost tenfold.My verdict after extensive testing – Burris Fastfire 3 nailed it! The FastFire 3 punches way above its class and price tier to become my new go-to recommendation for anyone upgrading to a rugged, reliable red dot sight. This mighty mini optic outperforms across applications!

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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