Burris Fast Fire III Red Dot Sight
These are really quite nice and very tough. I tested this on top of a glock 21, a Ruger MK III a Ruger 10/22 and an AR-15 in M4 configuration and was happy with every use of it. The dot is a little on the big side when you’re used to looking through high magnification scopes with fine crosshairs in them but it’s not too big to use. I was able to keep all shots in the black from standing with the AR-15 at 100m. That’s a 6″ group but it’s as good as my busted eyes can do anymore without magnification when we go beyond 50m. It’s definitely a contender.
On the Glock I figured that the recoil would make a consistent zero an unattainable dream and it did not. The thing kept the dot where I put it. On the Ruger MK III it was exceptional and I was smacking coke cans at 100m with it 3 out of 5 times. On the 10-22 I actually found it to be counter productive as a target sight but when things turned to bunny smokin’z it was perfect. When the bunnies would flush you could keep both eyes open, adopt a lead over and in front and deliver the lead on target fast and easy. I think I really want to put one on my shotgun for trap shooting. It’d be a helluva upgrade over the little brass post and bead at the end of a 30 inch barrel.
Optically there were a few issues. With the sun behind me I got dot wash-out. With it in front the lens actually dulls the discomfort a bit. At least no magnification means no solar powered laser beam into your retinas if you happen to scan across the day star while swinging through. That was mostly it for the optical issues. On top of the Ruger pistol I found that I had a natural down point and had to elevate the muzzle quite a bit from how I normally hold it to bring the dot into view. This is partially because I normally don’t spend a lot of time indexing the rear sight on the Ruger .22. Things I shoot at with it are close enough that I index the rear sight below the front sight and aim basically with just the front sight and a notion of the angle of the top of the pistol. Think point shooting but using the front sight more than you might expect for point shooting.
The way that the whole thing has to come off the gun to replace the battery didn’t make me happy. That’s how you mess up a zero. As well, the adjustment locks are friggin’ tiny as are the adjustment screws. Better have a jewelers screwdriver set handy or you’re boned trying to adjust them. Once locked down the adjustments do not move so at least there’s that. The way it attaches is however pretty smart and surprisingly robust. Nicely engineered and well executed.
When you have just the sight on a pistol you don’t trip much about the possibility of damaging the optic by banging it on something. When you stick it on an AR-15 and start playing mall ninja in a rock pit there is a worry and then there’s the problem of co-witness height to the front sight. Used by itself you’re using a lower 1/3rd cowitness at best if you have a fixed front sight post. If you’re using folding sights you’ll probably see the dot on the folded sight. It does mount quite low after all. They make a perfect solution to this problem, ears on a riser. It makes for a perfect absolute co-witness to the front sight and protects the RDS from damage from the sides and provides a little shading which helps.
The dot is self brightening which I found annoying in the beginning and learned to enjoy near the end. Yes the end. You see it lived on my M4 carbine but I’m sick of AR-15’s and sold this one to a buddy with the RDS. I would have kept the sight but I had nothing I really wanted it on. As handy as it is on a pistol, that’s not how I shoot them. As handy as it is on a rifle, I’m a belly crawling scope user so a red dot doesn’t fit how I’d use the rifle anyway. I never thought about putting it on a shotgun until recently and that would require modifying my 100 year old shotgun so that won’t happen.
I’ve had a lot of red dot sights from a lot of makers. Some were cheapo and some were not. This was not and of those that I did pay a lot for, this is the only one that was worth more than two squirts of cold piss. I would happily stab this on the top of a combat oriented platform or a competition oriented platform. Even a home defense platform would do well with it. If I could find a gun that I just had to have one on I’d still own one.
Kudos to Burris for getting it right, keeping it light and not forgetting who their customers are and what their customers need from a RDS.