Burris Fastfire 3 Review – Best Affordable Compact Sight In 2024

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Burris FastFire 3

Overall Score 6.9

Tested With Scoring System 2.0

Optical Quality
Durability and Build Quality
Weight and Size
Battery Life
Ease of Use

Learn How I Test & Score Here

⭐️ Verdict: Affordable Compact Sight (6.9)

During my testing, the FastFire 3 impressed me with its versatility across different firearms. It was a smooth fit on my handgun and shotgun, enhancing accuracy significantly. 

The red dot’s clarity in various lighting conditions was remarkable. Although it’s light and compact, it doesn’t compromise on durability and balance, which is vital for any marksman.


Easy to mount with the included Picatinny rail

Three brightness levels

Tool-less adjustments for windage and elevation

Durable metal construction

Waterproof design

Clear, crisp sight picture


Battery placement could be better; access is challenging

The battery cap design is prone to Problems, affecting waterproofing

Limited manual brightness settings compared to other models

Potential need for additional mounting hardware for some handguns

Price Comparison

Available at 2 shops 
Optics Planet

Ever since I got my hands on the Burris Optics FastFire 3, it’s been an eye-opener in terms of optical performance. 

It’s positioned to compete with some of the top players in the red dot sight market, like the Vortex Venom and the Trijicon RMR.

Despite these drawbacks, the FastFire 3, in my hands-on experience, proved to be a solid performer, especially for those looking for a balance of functionality and affordability in a red dot sight. 

Performance Evaluation of Burris Fastfire 3

1. Optical Quality

When it comes to optical quality, the Burris Optics FastFire 3 is a mixed bag.

Promising a clear, crisp sight picture with its precision-ground and polished lenses, it does deliver on this aspect. 

The sight’s parallax-free 1x magnification and both-eyes-open shooting ability enhances awareness, a critical factor in fast-paced scenarios.

However, the limited manual brightness settings are a drawback. With only three levels, it lacks the versatility found in other sights, like those from Vortex or Trijicon. 

This limitation can be felt in varying light conditions, where more nuanced adjustments would be beneficial.

Personally, while the automatic brightness adjustment is responsive and efficient, I found myself wishing for more control in manual settings. 

The 3 MOA dot is precise for long-range accuracy, but the absence of more refined brightness adjustments can hinder its effectiveness in diverse environments. 

This shortfall doesn’t entirely overshadow its optical strengths, but it’s a notable consideration for any serious shooter.

Score: 6/10

2. Durability and Build Quality

Durability and build quality are where the FastFire 3 really shines. 

Constructed of robust metal, the sight feels sturdy and reliable in han; a crucial factor for any firearm accessory. 

Its waterproof design adds to this durability, instilling confidence in various weather conditions. 

In my hands-on experience, the sight has withstood the rigors of regular use without any signs of wear or damage. 

However, the design of the battery compartment is a significant downside. 

The difficulty in accessing the battery and the fragility of the cap raises concerns about long-term reliability, especially for those who frequently expose their gear to harsh conditions. 

This aspect of the design undermines the otherwise excellent build quality. 

Score: 8/10

3. Weight and Size

The Burris Optics FastFire 3 hits a sweet spot in terms of weight and size. 

With dimensions of 6 x 5 x 2 inches and weighing in at a mere 4 ounces, it’s impressively compact and light. 

This design aspect is particularly beneficial for shooters who prioritize a balanced firearm. In the field, the sight’s lightweight nature ensures that it doesn’t add any noticeable heft to the firearm, maintaining the weapon’s original handling characteristics. 

Compared to other sights in the market, the FastFire 3 stands out for its minimalistic footprint, which is a significant advantage, especially for handguns and tactical rifles where size and weight are critical considerations.

However, its compact size doesn’t compromise the sight’s functionality or visibility. 

The 3 MOA Dot Reticle remains clear and distinct, even with the sight’s small dimensions. 

This balance of size and effectiveness is a testament to Burris’s engineering. 

My personal experience echoes this; the FastFire 3 enhanced my shooting without altering the feel of my firearms. It’s a refreshing change from bulkier models that can disrupt a weapon’s balance. 

The FastFire 3, therefore, excels in providing a high-quality sighting solution without the extra bulk.

Weight4 ounces
Length6 inches
Width5 inches
Height2 inches

Score: 8/10

4. Battery Life

On the topic of battery life, the FastFire 3 delivers a decent performance, but it’s not without its issues. 

The sight is designed to be energy-efficient, and in most scenarios, it lives up to this promise. 

The automatic brightness setting helps conserve battery life by adjusting to the ambient light, which is a smart feature that extends usage time. 

However, the actual battery life can vary based on usage patterns, especially if you frequently use the higher brightness settings.

The main concern, as I’ve observed, is the design of the battery compartment. Its location and accessibility make battery replacements more cumbersome than they need to be.

Additionally, the thin battery cap, which I found prone to damage, can affect the overall integrity of the compartment. 

This design flaw can potentially impact the waterproofing and, by extension, the longevity of the battery in adverse weather conditions.

Comparatively, the battery life of the FastFire 3 is on par with other sights in its class, but the issues with the battery compartment design might be a setback for some users. 

In my usage, while the battery life was satisfactory, the apprehension about potential waterproofing issues due to the cap design was a constant concern.

Score: 5/10

5. Reticle

The reticle of the Burris Optics FastFire 3 caters well to a variety of shooting needs. 

From my perspective as a shooter, the 3 MOA dot is a standout for its precision.

It allows for accurate, pinpoint targeting without obscuring the target, a feature that’s essential for long-range shooting.

The bright red dot is easily visible in various lighting conditions, thanks to the sight’s manual and automatic brightness settings. 

However, the limitation to only three brightness levels can sometimes hinder optimal visibility, especially in transitional lighting conditions.

From my use in the field, I found the reticle to be reliable and robust. Its performance is generally in line with what Burris promises in its sales materials. 

The only shortcoming is in the brightness adjustability, which, while sufficient, doesn’t quite match the more nuanced controls offered by some competitors.

Score: 8/10

6. Ease of Use

The FastFire 3 is okay in user-friendliness. 

Its tool-less windage and elevation adjustments are a significant advantage, making fine-tuning straightforward and hassle-free. 

This feature, in particular, is a godsend in the field, where tools can be cumbersome. 

Furthermore, the inclusion of a Picatinny mount simplifies the installation process, making it easy to attach the sight to a variety of firearms. 

The sight’s design ensures that it does not disrupt the balance or handling of the firearm, a crucial aspect for maintaining shooting accuracy and comfort.

In comparison to other red dot sights in the market, the FastFire 3 stands out for its ease of use. 

The top of sight battery access is convenient, though the design of the battery compartment, as previously mentioned, does present some challenges. 

The power button’s design, offering three levels of brightness and an automatic brightness setting, is intuitive and easy to manipulate, even under stress.

In my personal experience, the FastFire 3 was easy to use. Adjustments could be made quickly and without the need for additional tools, allowing me to focus more on the shooting experience. 

The simplicity and intuitiveness of its design made it a pleasure to use, despite the minor hiccup with the battery compartment.

Score: 6/10

7. Price 

The Burris Optics FastFire 3 positions itself in a competitive spot in the market regarding its price.. 

This pricing strategy makes it an attractive option for shooters who want a quality red dot sight without breaking the bank.

It’s not the cheapest option available, but it balances cost with features in a way that many of its higher-priced competitors struggle to match. 

In my experience, the sight performs solidly for its price range. 

The optical clarity, ease of use, and durability are impressive. 

However, the issues with the battery cap and the lack of more nuanced brightness settings slightly dampen the overall value proposition.

For a shooter looking for a reliable, no-frills red dot sight, the FastFire 3 is a worthy consideration, but for those who need more advanced features, the price might seem less justified.

Score: 7.5/10

Final Verdict

After thorough testing and consideration, the Burris Optics FastFire 3 emerges as a solid choice in the red dot sight market. 

It balances quality and affordability, making it an appealing option for a wide range of shooters. 

The sight excels in optical clarity, durability, and ease of use, thanks to its tool-less adjustments and versatile mounting options. 

However, the limited brightness settings and the suboptimal battery compartment design are notable drawbacks that might give some users pause. 

Overall, for those seeking a reliable red dot sight at a reasonable price, the FastFire 3 is a commendable choice, though it might not meet the needs of those seeking more advanced features.


How good is the Burris FastFire 3?

The Burris FastFire 3 is a top-selling red dot sight known for its lightness, toughness, and the option of a 3 MOA or 8 MOA dot, offering a clear advantage in speed and accuracy.

How long does the Burris FastFire 3 stay on?

The Burris FastFire 3 has a battery life of about 5,000 hours, with an auto-shutoff feature after 8 hours, offering great performance for its price.

Is the Burris FastFire 3 waterproof?

Yes, the FastFire 3 is waterproof even without its weatherproof hood, which is optional but helps keep water and dirt off the glass.

What is the difference between Burris FastFire 3 and 4?

The FastFire 3 is popular for its precision, especially with rifles, while the FastFire 4 builds upon this with a larger sight window, faster target acquisition, and longer battery life.

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