The Burris FastFire 3 is one of the most popular turkey optics on the market today. And for good reason! This little sight is light, durable, and quick to get on target.
I have had one mounted on my custom 20 gauge Remington 870 Express Magnum for over three years now. I have put this thing through all the normal rigors of turkey hunting. I’ve hunted with it in the rain and fog. I’ve bumped it more times than I’d care to admit. Most importantly, I’ve shot turkeys with it.
The following review highlights my favorite and least favorite things about the Burris FastFire 3 sight.
Burris FastFire 3 Overview
The Burris FastFire 3 weighs in at a bantamweight of 0.9 oz. Even our most noodle-armed readers will have no problem handling the extra weight of this optic. This design is much less clunky than some of the more budget-friendly red dot options out there.
It is available in a 3 MOA or 8 MOA option. I have the 3 MOA model and have never had any problems picking up the dot. I think it is better for being able to see the dot For those of you with vision impairments, consider the 8 MOA option for its easier to see dot.
The magnification is 1.07x which is more than enough to pick up a turkey’s head at 40 yards.
This sight comes with a user guide, a protective cover (that you can actually see through), a battery, and a Picatinny-style mount. More importantly, it comes with Burris’ Forever Warranty. Burris will repair or replace your FastFire 3 if you have any issues with it. According to the box, no receipt is needed and no questions are asked.
Fortunately, I have never had to take advantage of this warranty. After perusing multiple online forums, it seems that Burris generally honors this policy. As long as you have reasonable expectations, you shouldn’t be disappointed with Burris’ customer service.
Yes, the Burris FastFire 3 runs on a 3V Lithium battery (CR1632). I’m sure many traditionalists will be tempted to stop reading here, but give me a chance here.
Initial battery installation is a breeze. I could train my two-year-old daughter to do it (and even most of our readers). You simply unscrew the cover with a screwdriver, place the battery in with positive side up, and put the cap back on.
In all honesty, I have only had to put the battery in one time. One of my greatest fears with this sight was that I would call in a gobbler, shoulder my shotgun, and my sight would be dead. Three years later, my battery is still running strong. According to the user guide, the dot will blink twice every five seconds if battery life drops below four hours. That should give you plenty of time to finish your hunt or just pop in a spare battery from your vest.
In my experience, mounting the FastFire 3 on my shotgun was the only complication I had with the sight. Depending on your shotgun you have several options to accomplish this task.
- Picatinny Rail– The FastFire 3 comes with a Picatinny rail mount. Most turkey shotguns are not going to have Picatinny rails, so you will have to have one installed. Once you have it installed, your sight is going to sit high on your gun. This may or may not bother you depending on the stock and your natural cheek weld.
- Burris Speed Bead– If you don’t want to drill and tap your shotgun, this will likely be your best option. The Speed Bead fits in between the stock and receiver of your shotgun. Burris actually makes a version of the 8 MOA option with the Speed Bead attached. Be sure to do your research before buying to determine if this will install on your model shotgun. I had some concerns that this method of mounting would not hold a true aim over time (possibly and unjustified concern), which is why I went with the next option.
- Burris Marlin 336 Mounting Plate/ SumToy Mounting Plate– You can buy a mounting plate from Burris designed for a Marlin 336. You can drill and tap your shotgun for this plate and mount your sight to it. SumToy Customs will also make a plate to fit your specific shotgun and sight. This is the route I chose. In my opinion, you get the lowest profile and most solid mount with this setup. In theory, this should allow you to be more comfortable shooting and for the sight to hold true better over time (and bumps).
To turn on the Burris FastFire 3, you simply press the small button on the left side of the sight. I leave mine on the entire time I am hunting.
The Fastfire 3 has four different settings. If you press the button once, the brightness of the dot will adjust to the ambient conditions automatically. Pressing it a second time will set the dot at its’ brightest setting. A third and fourth push of the button will continue to dim the dot. The fifth push will shut the sight off.
I have found it difficult in some lighting to verify that the sight is indeed off. The lowest brightness setting can be tough to discern and it is easy to think that the sight is turned off. Thankfully, Burris designed the sight to turn off automatically after eight hours.
A red dot sight is very quick and easy to get on target. No matter how the dot is aligned in the frame of view, shots will always impact at the point of aim. This is great for turkey hunting when you may not be able to move without detection and you have to take a shot from a strange body position.
I would not consider myself easy on equipment. I hunt in the rain, the wind, the fog, the cold, and the heat. I traverse pretty rough terrain where my shotgun gets bumped as I trip and fall my way across it.
Not only have I never had to test the Burris Forever Warranty, but I have never even had to re-sight my shotgun. I always test my point of impact after big drops and before the season starts. So far, so good. Knock on wood.
The sight is water-resistant, and I have hunted with it in the rain on multiple occasions. I will usually leave the cover on it when it is raining. Burris smartly designed the cover so that you can still see the dot and even shoot while it is on the sight. I haven’t had any issues with fogging or target acquisition in the rain, though I try to keep my optics as dry as possible.
The user guide states that this sight will operate between -10 degrees Fahrenheit and +130 degrees Fahrenheit. I hope I never have to test the extremes of those ranges.
Concluding Thoughts on the Burris FastFire 3
The FastFire 3 can usually be found for 200-300 dollars plus the cost of mounting. Though this is more expensive than many of the other options on the market, I still feel that this is a good value.
Most of the cheaper options out there are not backed by the warranty of the FastFire 3. Most will be bulkier, heavier, and less feature-rich.
Three years after purchasing mine, I have no major complaints and would happily purchase another for my next turkey-hunting shotgun.