The Burris FastFire line of red dot sights is known for quality at a low price point. The same is true for the latest addition to the line—the FastFire III. It is practical and perfectly functional and comes in around $240. The 8 MOA dot version is ideal for a shotgun, and I we’ve beaten the hell out of this one, and I’m here to say that the FastFire can handle the abuse.
The FastFire III comes with either a 3 or 8 MOA dot. The review model is the 8 MOA variant which doesn’t lend itself to surgical rifle work, but is perfect for buckshot. It is powered by a CR 2302 battery. And it is small. The FastFire is about as wide as the receiver on this Mossberg 590, and not much longer. Even with its diminutive size and weight it feels sturdy. It is machined from aluminum. Burris makes a plethora of different mounts for their optics. I used the Picatinny mount to attach it to the top of a Mossberg 590, and it has held up fine. If you want more protection, there are mounts machined with tall wings to offer even more protection.
The optic turns on with a press of a flush-mounted button on the side. It is easy to press with your finger but it doesn’t set proud of the housing. This helps keep it on or off, depending on which you prefer. It also has three brightness settings. The brightest is easily visible in full sunlight, and can be a bit blinding in low light. But you have to press the button to cycle through the different power settings. If you are mounting this to your shotgun for home defense you aren’t going to fiddle with the brightness settings. You will need to pick a setting that is the best compromise for your environment.
And that is where the FastFire III excels. While it wouldn’t be a bad choice for a pistol or a rifle, that 8 MOA dot is really purpose driven. At 25 yards, it closely mirrors the pattern of most buckshot. With birdshot, it is even easier to use. The dot is going to show the center of the hit. And there will be some spill on all sides. As this is a gun meant for hard use in QCB, or fast home defense, the dot allows instant target acquisition. When you put the gun to your shoulder, and even an instant before, you know where the shot is going to hit. And the red dot makes rocking the pump much easier, as you won’t loose your sight picture because of recoil. If you can shoot without blinking, the FastFire will increase your speed and accuracy.
The FastFire III also has easy to use adjustments for windage and elevation. This is an improvement over the other FastFires. The adjustments are easy to get to. You can use a small screwdriver to turn them or the rim on a 12 gauge shell will also fit in the slot. It is simple and intuitive.
It can also take a punishment. Some of the lower priced red dots just cannot hold up to the recoil from a 12 gauge shotgun. We have seen multiple reports of some failing after the first couple of rounds. I’ve even had red dots that couldn’t hold their zeros after a magazine of .22 LR. That is not the case with the FastFire III. I hit it hard at the range with a number of different loads. It handled the recoil from birdshot all the way up to 00 buck and slugs without any movement of the dot or other problems. It holds its zero and can handle the abuse.
The glass is clear enough. I mean that in a good way. If you are willing to spend three times this much, you may get better glass, but I’ve held the FastFire side by side with much more expensive red dots and I can’t see the difference. More importantly, the FastFire III works. That puts it ahead of some of the other options in its price range. That is the lesson here: for its price, you can’t beat it.