I’ve been using Burris optics for a long time and they never fail me. Founded in 1971, Burris introduced many firsts, or so the website claims. First, they introduced the first American-made scopes with multi-colored lenses in 1980, then the Zee Rings which go perfectly with weaver mounts in 1981, then the first LaserScope in 2006. Any way you look at it, Burris has a long history in the optics industry and is at the forefront at every turn of the decade. This has earned them my respect and that of so many others.
Recently, I was asked which was better between the Fastfire 2 and 3. I wanted to be objective as I possibly can, so I set aside my own biases and wrote this review. As I have nothing but praises for this product, I will be looking at any negative aspects I might have missed otherwise. There is no denying though, that Burris Fastfire 2 and 3 are one of the top optics in the market today.
First, it is battery operated and can last up to 5,000 hours. The battery can be accessed and replaced at the top of the sight. The automatic shut down feature activates after 8 hours of non-use. The website claims that this extends the battery life to 5 years.
The lens diameter is 21x51mm. The elevation adjustment has a total capability of 115 MOA, while wind adjustment is at 86 MOA, with 1 MOA click value. Both optics weigh 0.9 ounces without the mount. With the mount, they weigh 1.5 ounces. Each purchase of either Burris Fastfire 2 or 3 comes with the option of either buying only the optic or having a Picatinny mount bundled with your purchase.
The optics are parallax-free and have unlimited eye-relief. It has 3 manual brightness levels. It also has an automatic setting reactive to your surroundings via a light sensor at the front of the sight.
They are waterproof and can withstand the recoil of a .50BMG and higher. The high-grade optical glass is coated with Hi-Lume multi-coating. The entire optic is matte finished.
Most importantly, both optics are covered by the Burris Forever Warranty. The company will replace or repair any unit with damages or defects. It, however, does not cover theft, loss, and deliberate or cosmetic damage that does not render the sight useless. The best part? The warranty is transferable to future users. Talk about value for money.
Burris Fastfire 2
The Burris Fastfire 2 has a 4 MOA red dot reticle. It works with the CR2032 battery. It is 1.8 inches long. This optic costs $209 straight from the source. The suggested retail price ranges from $239 to $251.
I could not find a proper review for the Fastfire 2 save for a Top 5 Burris Red Dot Sights written by Sana Jiaz for Dean Optics. The only disadvantage listed was that it wasn’t built for long-range shooting. The author further said that the dot gets fuzzy beyond 190 feet at 100 yards.
Aside from this review, all the other reviews are a decade old. I then searched for Youtube reviews and found one from a channel called jhawk1977. In his video, he tells his viewers that to replace the battery you have to remove the sight. He also referenced another review wherein the person placed the sight under a light that was constantly on. The sight was still going strong after 66 days or 1,583 hours. Going forward, the Youtube uploader is expecting up to four years of battery life for this sight.
The uploader also mentioned the presence of a 1.7 magnification difference that will not affect shooting. The purchase came with a polymer protective material and is a snug fit over the sight. He said that it might be a little hard to slide off once the sight is mounted. Finally, he talked about how inexpensive the sight is compared to other brands that have similar features.
Burris Fastfire 3
According to the official website, the Burris Fastfire 3 is the best selling red dot sight from Burris. Purchasers may choose between a 3 MOA or 8 MOA reticle. It is compatible with the CR1632 battery. It is 1.9 inches long. It costs $230 on the website and the suggested retail price for dealers is $287 to $299.
Ronald Henderson wrote a review about the Burris Fastfire 3 posted on Armed Forces International. The review is all praises for the optic, as am I, with a few disadvantages. There were some issues regarding quality control but were quickly resolved, unlike the other reviews I’ve read for other brands. Another con is that a riser may be needed for shooters who are buying the Fastfire 3 for rifles or shotguns. It is certainly not made for long-range shooting and his purchase did not include any protective cover.
Norman Turner of The Gun Zone echoes Henderson’s sentiment with the need for a riser for rifle or shotgun users and the design not made for long-range shooting. Jay Grazio of Shooting Illustrated recommends buyers to take note of the fact that they’d have to turn the Burris Fastfire 3 on when starting, owing to the automatic off feature. He went on to say that it isn’t a deal-breaker, but just something to keep in mind.
Based on this review alone, I am more inclined towards Fastfire 2 for the reason that I do not like to be presented with too many choices. I will always look at models and regret not buying the other. It is also cheaper than the Fastfire 3, though that can be attributed to the extra work to remove the sight to replace the battery. However, if you have the means, I say go for Fastfire 3. Although it is pricier as compared to Fastfire 2, the price is still lower compared to other brands.