Burris Fast Fire III

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FastFire III

The FastFire III is easy to mount, and takes no time to zero.

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.

FastFire III

The controls are easy to use, and hard to misuse, an important details often overlooked in budget-minded optics.

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.

FastFire III

This is from 25 yards. It is easy to see why this is an excellent choice for home defense.

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.

FastFire III

Adjustments are easy to make, and the increments are labeled clearly.

FastFire III

The fat white line at the back end is your first visual indicator, and points to the dot.

FastFire III

There is a plastic hood that provides more shade for those ridiculously bright daylight shoots.

FastFire III

The FastFire III is fast. With only two points to align (the dot and the target), you take the last bit of guess work out of point shooting.

FastFire III

The 8 MOA dot sounds a lot wider than it is. It is hard to photograph, but easy to see.

FastFire III

Though the FastFire is rugged enough for regular use, I’d want to protect it more if I were using it for regular duty uses.

FastFire III

This center hole, from 25 yards, is a bit larger than the area covered by the dot. And we were aiming low on this target (the numbers in the ring are more useful for consistency than the big red center).

FastFire III

The mount cranks down with a finger tension, then can be finished off with a large flat-head.

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  • Richard June 15, 2017, 7:50 pm

    On May 25th 20-7, I purchased a Burris AR332 with a FastFire3. I was unable to sights the FastFire3 in as the elevation knob did not work. I notified Burris with my problem and they requested that I return the sight, which I did . They immediately replaced the FastFire3 which surprised me. Upon receiving the new sight, it was immediately apparent that it too was damaged as I had great difficulty in turning it on and/or selecting dot intensity. Once I was able to turn it it on, I couldn’t turn it off or select dot intensity. The only way I could turn the sight off was to remove the battery. I’m in the process of returning this sight back to Burris. While Burris has a good customer service relations I am extremely disappointed with their product and would not recommend their products.

  • Terry August 18, 2014, 12:00 pm

    I had a local tool and die shop modify a Freedom Arms mount and installed a FF III on a FA .454 Casull. It is holding up very well. The only problem is slow red dot acquisition due to not having a cheek weld as on a rifle or shotgun. I agree with the author that it can’t be beat for the price. Burris lists, “Recoil resistance: At least 1000 G’s.”

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