The Burris Fastfire Series of Red Dot sights have been very popular, but the new Fastfire 4 offers four reticles to choose from in a larger window with double the battery life. Plus the removable Weather Shield gives you a lot of protection. Thanks to Burris for their help. Big thanks to Fiocchi USA for Supplying our ammunition!
Burris has been making quality optics since 1971, so for over 50 years, Burris has been making different types of optics for rifles, pistols, etc. They were bought by Beretta in 2002 and since that time they have come up with a lot of really state-of-the-art designs.
This is the Fastfire 4. While the Fastfire has been around for a number of years, this is a huge upgrade. Now, when I first saw this red dot, I thought, ‘That’s huge, I wouldn’t want that on my pistol.’
FASTFIRE 4 FEATURES:
After I realized the features that it brings, I changed my mind. Now, this back part is removable – it’s a dust cover and there are some good uses for it but we’ll talk about that. But one of the big features of this red dot is that it has four separate reticles. So you go from a 3 MOA dot and then it moves to three different reticle styles – whatever fits you the best – and it’s really easy to pick up.
With the dust cover on the back, it just protects the back part of the red dot which can receive a lot of dirt and debris and things in some tough situations so while the dust cover has some good purposes, you can go without it so it looks just like a standard red dot.
We have the Fastfire 4 on the Beretta APX A-1 which Burris sent with the pistol when I did the first review but I wanted this to show the Fastfire 4 because it has a lot of really cool features.
There are a lot of red dot sights out on the market and I think that the Burris Fastfire 4 has quite a few features that I’ve not seen with any other red dot sight. First off, it has four separate reticles which offers a lot of different options and it’s really easy to switch reticles which is definitely not true of all red dots out there.
One thing a lot of people have identified with the Fastfire for is that it has this weather guard. It just fits right on the back of your red dot sight. To be honest, when I first saw it I thought it made this sight look huge but the weather guard serves some really great purposes. One of the things about red dots is that you can get debris and different things inside the glass and it will interrupt your sight. You may not even be able to see your sight at all.
The weather guard is made to protect the inside of your red dot so you can see through it – just wipe off the back lens or the front lens and you’re protecting the LED inside. There are two small screws that go here and it’s really easy to attach. It actually fits right under that hood which gives it a solid contact point here.
Another thing about this cover is that it is extremely lightweight. It’s a small piece of polymer and it really adds nothing to the weight of the sight which is 1.6 oz. Again, we have it attached to a Beretta APX which is their A-1 series. Beretta actually owns Burris and they’re a sister company to Steiner. Burris started out with the Fastfire 1 and has moved on to the 2 and the 3. There are a lot of good features with the Fastfire 4 that surpass those sights even though the 2 and 3 are still available on the Burris website.
Before we handle this firearm, we’re going to drop the magazine, check the chamber, and the gun is unloaded. Now once you hit the power button, the Fastfire 4 comes on right away. Of course, the camera is not going to focus on it right away but we’ll get some close-up shots for you in a minute.
Here on the right, you can press the button and it changes the reticle. The Fastfire 4 features four different reticle systems and it’s so easy to change them – you just press this button then you press your own button to get your adjustments for the brightness.
There’s also a line up the back that really aligns this dot to the site. We started out with a 3 MOA dot and I had it on the lowest setting so it doesn’t bloom for the camera, then we have an 11 MOA dot which is actually the same dot with a horseshoe that goes around it, then we go to the same 11 MOA dot in the middle with the outlying circles, then lastly we have the wings with the dot and the circle. So this sight gives you four different options that are seriously easy to switch.
This sight is all aluminum construction and Burris has increased the eye box on the Fastfire 4 quite a bit so you have a bigger area to look through than the Fastfire 3. With that older sight, it just had an 8 MOA reticle and a 3 MOA reticle.
They’ve also increased the battery life to an impressive 50,000-hour battery life using a CR-1632 battery which is lithium. Then you have your battery compartment which opens with a tool that is included for you to open it up very easily. You also have your elevation and windage adjustments which can also be changed using this tool as well.
It starts out with a 1 MOA adjustment and you have 90 MOA for both the elevation and the windage so you have a lot of variation to be able to set this where you need it to be.
The lens is multi-coated as well as the weather guard and again, the weather guard does not add any weight to this site whatsoever but it’s definitely very purposeful, especially for 3-gunners, police officers, or military. If you’re going to be on the ground or have a lot of movement where debris can get into your sight, this really helps protect it because once you have debris in your red dot, you’re not going to have a place to aim.
At the back, you have two small screws with little gaskets that fit that and then it just connects right under the sight, so it’s really secure. It comes with a Picatinny mount already installed which makes it seriously fast to drop in on a shotgun. You’d really want something that would elevate this sight up if you wanted it on like an AR-15 but Burris actually makes a designated AR-15 sight for the Burris Fastfire.
FASTFIRE 4 SPECS:
Instant dot-on-target accuracy for any firearm from handgun to shotgun
Easy to toggle between four different reticle options
Weighs just 1.6 ounces
An impressive 50,000 battery life
Compact 1.9″ length
Auto-shut off after 8 hours
Larger sight window for faster target acquisition
Optional screw-on weather shield for a completely enclosed sight
The auto-brightness is great if you go into really bright sunlight or if you go into really dim low light, it’s going to automatically set this reticle to the best brightness for those conditions.
I love the line right up the back of the Fastfire 4 because it really does allow you to get right on target. Folks, I highly recommend if you’re putting a red dot on your firearm, especially your concealed carry pistol, you want to really practice with it so you’ll be able to find that dot naturally.
When we went out to the range, we wanted to get started with the cover in place, I wanted to see how it would function and see if there was any difference between it on and having it off. To be honest, the glass, the lens is so clear, there was no real diminishing effect on the reticle whatsoever, you could pick up that reticle very easily.
I shot it a lot with just the standard red dot, as I prefer a simpler red dot at times but I shot it this way for a specific reason as it really works to bring that sight in. If you’re wanting to get on target really fast and you bring out that enlarged circle around the red dot, it definitely attracts your eye faster, you’re able to get on target faster, and so you’re going to be able to make your shot even more efficiently. Sometimes finding just that one dot is a little more difficult but with that circle, you have a target in place and you just line it up and it makes it really easy to just get on target.
There’s hardly any weight to the Fastfire 4 so it doesn’t affect the shoot-ability of the pistol it’s on and it’s great to have the four reticle options on this sight for different targets and conditions and again, changing them is a snap on this new sight from Burris.
Shooting the sight without the optional weather guard makes it look like a regular red dot but it’s a very full-featured sight either way and it’s really bright, even in full sunlight in the middle of the day, it was very easy to find – you just bring up your firearm and you could see the red dot immediately. I think that has a lot do to with this APX grip which features that little lip at the end which I’ve talked about before – it allows you to hone in on that sight and it’s one of the things Walther really did well with the PDP.
They’re designing pistols now not just with the red dot optic option but with the grip that enhances your ability to find that dot immediately. That’s one of the most important things about having a red dot – you’ve really got to practice with it until it becomes natural, it’s easy but until you get to that point, I highly recommend not going to that set up on your self-defense firearm until you’ve put enough round down range and you’re really trained with it.
One of the things about the plate the Fastfire 4 sits on is how secure it is. If you remove the metal cover plate, you’ll notice these round discs underneath and that’s going to help retain your mount, which I really like – it definitely gives you stability there. The screws are also already Loc-tighted so you don’t need to worry about that!
With this sight from Burris, again, you get your Picatinny mount, the weather shield, all the tools you need to install and calibrate it, an owner’s manual with a lot of good information, and mounting screws. You also get screws to attach the weather guard and a couple of little O-rings so be careful when unpackaging the Fastfire 4, these parts are small and it’s really easy to lose them.
One thing about the Beretta APX is that you have to order the mounting plate. Now the manufacturer’s suggested retail for the Fastfire 4 is $419 but I did see it market price on Optics Planet for $349 so check your online dealers to find the best price!
There are a lot of red dot choices out there, I mean countless different manufacturers, models, styles, and price points, but I really appreciate the four reticle setup on the Fastfire 4, it’s really easy to use, intuitive, incorporates the dust cover with the weather guard, it’s super lightweight and easy to install. It’s a really versatile sight that goes well on your handgun.
We really appreciate Burris again for sending the Fastfire 4 for this review and it goes excellent with this Beretta APX A-1 pistol.
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