August 24, 2021
By Brad Fitzpatrick
The reflex sight market is red hot right now, and virtually every handgun manufacturer offers at least one optics-ready firearm in their lineup. Many top shooters choose Burris FastFire red-dot sights for their firearms because FastFire optics have earned a solid reputation for reliable, consistent performance. The latest addition to the Burris FastFire family, the FastFire 4, offers everything you love about previous models with some significant performance and feature upgrades, and that makes these optics not only an excellent choice for serious handgunners.
Producing optics that are easily concealed yet capable of taking the abuse of hard-hitting handguns like .45 ACP and 10mm Auto is challenging, but Burris manages to accomplish this with the FastFire 4 by securing all the internal parts within a durable machined-aluminum housing. As with previous FastFire models, the FastFire 4’s housing features hardcoat anodizing and a non-glare finish, but the housing incorporates all new geometry.
There’s an extension overtop of the lens to prevent damage and the top of the sight window housing is flatter than the FastFire 3. This new design helps disperse impact, so even if you strike the optic there’s no chance you’ll damage the optic. The new aluminum housing also incorporates a larger viewing window. The viewing window measures 1.1 inches by 0.75 inches, considerably bigger than the FastFire 3 at 0.8 inch x 0.6 inch window. The FastFire 4 also comes with a screw-on weather shield that, when mounted, fully encloses the sight and protects it against the elements.
Traditionally, red-dot optics offer a fixed reticle, but the FastFire 4 allows shooters to toggle between four separate reticles to choose the one that best fits their needs. Reticle options include 3 MOA dot, 11 MOA dot, 11 MOA dot and circle, and a 3 MOA dot and circle. There are two buttons on either side of the housing: pressing the left-side button allows you to control brightness settings while the right-side button scrolls through the four different reticles. Each reticle offers three different brightness settings.
Various reticle options allow you to fine-tune the optic for any platform and any application. On defensive handguns I prefer large dots, and the 11 MOA reticle is perfect for obtaining a fast sight picture. Handgun hunters and target shooters will appreciate the 3 MOA dot since it offers a very precise point-of-aim for taking shots at extended ranges. Since the FastFire 4 optic comes with a Picatinny rail mount, it also can be attached to your favorite shotgun or rifle as well, and with so many reticle options, it’s suitable for just about any shooting discipline.
The FastFire 4 red-dot sight runs on a single CR1632 battery and boast an impressive battery life of up to 50,000 hours on medium brightness. To help preserve battery life, the optic automatically powers down when no movement is detected in eight hours. And since the battery compartment is located on the top of the sight, there’s no need to remove the optic to swap out batteries.
Weighing in at just 1.6 ounces, the lightweight FastFire 4 doesn’t add a lot of bulk to your carry gun. MSRP is $455, which is a good price point considering this optic’s long list of standard features.
At the Range Performance
I initially mounted a FastFire 4 on a Stoeger STR-9 OR 9mm semiauto pistol; the gun and optic fit into the Stoeger’s open-top Kydex holster without modification. The red-dot’s wide viewing window allowed me to run drills as quickly as I could using the pistol’s iron sights, and the housing surrounding the viewing window is narrow enough so that it doesn’t block the shooter’s view of the target. For close range tactical applications, I found the 11 MOA worked very well, but if you prefer the 3 MOA dot or either of the dot/ring reticles, you can select them with the touch of a button. Some other red-dot optics offer a dozen or more brightness settings, but I never felt handicapped by the three settings on the Burris. The brightest setting is designed for use under bright, sunny conditions, the dimmest setting works well in low light, and the middle setting works well for everything in between.
Point-of-impact adjustments with the FastFire 4 are simple. The windage screw is located on the right rear side of the optic base and the elevation screw is positioned on the top rear section of the optic base directly behind the battery compartment, and each click adjusts 1 MOA. Adjustment direction indicators (an “R” on the windage and “UP” for elevation) prevent adjusting point-of-impact the wrong direction, and there’s a total of 90 MOA of adjustment both vertically and horizontally.
Because the FastFire 4 ships with a Picatinny rail mount, I was also able to mount the sight on the top rail of a Taurus Raging Hunter. With the optic in place, I fired five groups of 300-grain bonded-core flat-point .45 Colt hunting loads and the FastFire 4 stood up to the heavy recoil. Hunting with a revolver requires precision shooting at ranges that exceeds most handgun applications, so I switched to the 3 MOA and found that the FastFire 4 held zero even with heavy hunting loads.
The FastFire 4 is a rugged optic, but I appreciate having the option to mount the weather shield and enclose the sight. Precipitation and debris won’t hurt the FastFire 4, which is waterproof and submersible, but the weather shield protects the lenses and offers extra peace of mind when you’re shooting in wet conditions or on a dusty day. The weather shield’s polycarbonate rear lens doesn’t distort the image, either.
FastFire reflex sights have been front runners in the red-dot sight market for years. The fourth generation of these optics offers everything you love about Burris’s flagship red-dot sight with added features that make it even more appealing.
Burris FastFire 4 Red-Dot Sight Specs:
Power Source: CR1632 Battery
Battery Life: 50,000 Hours
Reticle: FastFire 4 Multi-Reticle
Reticle Color: Red
Housing: Hard-coat anodized aluminum
Adjustment Click Value: 1 MOA
Windage Adjustment: 90 MOA
Elevation Adjustment: 90 MOA
Length: 1.9 Inches
Weight: 1.6 Ounces
For more information, visit: burrisoptics.com
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