Sights

Burris FastFire 3 vs Vortex Venom: Red Dot Comparison & FAQ

Both these two sights are incredible. Agility and pinpoint accuracy is something I always look at when I compare red dot sights – both these sights have those characteristics. I really enjoyed reviewing them, and to be quite honest, it was difficult at times to pick a winner. However, when I considered the buyer’s guide (mentioned at the bottom of the article), I could decide on a clear winner. Therefore, this article will compare the FastFire 3 vs. Vortex Venom and provide you with a detailed buyer’s guide on what to look for when you buy your next red dot sight.

HuntersHalt: #1 Pick
 
5.0
4.5
Pros:
  • Very durable optic
  • Auto brightness mode
  • Top-loaded battery compartment
  • Convenient universal mount
Pros:
  • Crystal clear optic clarity
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Automatic brightness sensor
  • Top mounted battery
HuntersHalt: #1 Pick
5.0
Pros:
  • Very durable optic
  • Auto brightness mode
  • Top-loaded battery compartment
  • Convenient universal mount
4.5
Pros:
  • Crystal clear optic clarity
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Automatic brightness sensor
  • Top mounted battery
Lasso Brag

Burris FastFire 3 Overview

Burris FastFire III Reflex Red Dot Sight
4.5
Pros:
  • Crystal clear optic clarity
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Automatic brightness sensor
  • Top mounted battery
Cons:
  • Other red dots are more durable
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Quality, precision, and attention to detail are what come to mind when I test the Burris. Regular readers know how much I enjoy Vortex, so it will be interesting to see how the FastFire 3 compares with the Venom.

Pros

  • Excellent optical clarity paired with an intensely bright red dot
  • Compact and lightweight – makes moving with the pistol when the sight is mounted a breeze!
  • Universal mount
  • Automatic brightness sensor
  • Battery compartment located on the top

Cons

  • It could be a bit more durable, but overall I struggle to find a con on this sight

 


Vortex Venom Overview

HuntersHalt: #1 Pick
Vortex Venom 1×26.5mm Red Dot Sight
5.0
Pros:
  • Very durable optic
  • Auto brightness mode
  • Top-loaded battery compartment
  • Convenient universal mount
Cons:
  • A bit more expensive than the FastFire 3
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The Venom red dot sight has been featured in many of my red dot comparisons and top 5s. I especially enjoyed comparing it with the likes of the Holosun 507c.

Pros

  • Tough as nails
  • Auto brightness mode (ambient light sensor) andten0 manual brightness settings
  • Top-loaded battery compartment
  • Universal mount

Cons

  • A bit more expensive than the FastFire 3

 


Main Differences: Burris FastFire 3 vs Vortex Venom

comparison of vortex venom vs burris fastfire 3

1) Reticle Comparison

Both these two red dot sights are available in two different reticle sizes. For the Venom, you can choose between the 3 MOA dot and 6 MOA. These are perfect sizes for a shotgun red dot sight! The FastFire 3 also has a 3 MOA dot option as well as an 8 MOA option – personally, I would choose the 3 MOA dot, as it allows fast target acquisition without compromising your sight on target.

If we consider the 6 MOA and 8 MOA options of the two red dot sights, I would still choose the smaller dot. Its better capabilities at longer ranges without compromising sight on target gives it the advantage.

Both these red dots have impressive dot intensity. However, the luxury of being able to choose your own preferred brightness with the dot intensity controls in addition to the auto mode makes the Venom the winner in reticle comparison.


2) Durability

We all know that red dot sights should be tough, durable, and able to withstand anything and everything nature can throw at it. I already mentioned that the FastFire 3 could be more durable. However, that doesn’t mean it can withstand a pounding.

 

Both these red dot sights have housing built from aircraft-grade aluminum. They are both shock and waterproof. However, when I compared the durability of the lenses, it was evident that the Venom has a slight advantage – thanks to its ArmorTek smart lens coating. This is one of the main reasons I rated the Venom as one of the Best Red Dots for Hellcat! The FastFire 3 also has a multi-coated lens for high-grade optical glass, but the Venom’s lens is just better.

Both are insanely durable, but I have to choose the Venom as the more durable red dot sight. As we saw in our vortex venom vs viper comparison, Vortex makes very durable optics!


3) Size

picture of fastfire 3 red dot sight

Compact, agile and lightweight are all characteristics we look for when we buy a red dot sight. Both red dots fulfill these criteria really well. However, the FastFire 3, which weighs 0.9 ounces and has a length of 1.8 inches, is slightly better when looking at size, as the Venom is larger and weighs more, with a length of 1.9 inches and a weight of 1.1 ounces. Size was a major consideration when I created my list of Red Dots that Fit Canik TP9SF!


4) Field Of View Comparison

One thing that has also stood out for me with the Venom is the excellent field of view it provides. The widefield lens, low profile, and excellent light transmission make it easy to locate the precise point you are aiming at and what you are aiming at.

The Burris Fastfire iii also has a wide field of view (190 ft at 100 yds). However, it does not have such a clear sight picture as what the Vortex Venom offers. This is why I rated it the Best Optic for Browning Buckmark that I’ve tested.

Both have unlimited eye relief and are parallax free. Whichever you choose will leave you happy in terms of field of view but the Venom is just better.


5) Price

picture of vortex venom red dot sight on AR

Price is always an important factor to look at. Not only does price limit your range of red dot sights you can consider when you want to buy a new sight. But it is also important to buy something that has value. I would rather spend $50 more on a sight if I knew that the particular red dot sight has more value than the cheaper one.

That said, the Burris FastFire 3 is $50 cheaper than the Venom. Price is one of the main reasons I rated the Fastfire as one of the Best Glock Sights that I’ve tested.


6) Battery Life Comparison

Both these two have excellent battery life. They also feature user-friendly battery features, like a battery compartment located on the top of the scope. Both red dot sights use a CR1632 battery. This is why they both made my list of the best budget pistol optics that I’ve used.

With the Venom, you can expect roughly 30,000 hours when you use it on the lowest setting and 150 hours on the brightest setting. In comparison, the Fastfire 3 will only last a maximum of 11,000 hours.


Who Is The Vortex Venom Best For?

The Venom is best for anyone who has a little more money to spend and wants those extra few features. The sight is ideal for rifle, shotgun, and pistol shooters.


Who Is The Burris FastFire 3 Best For?

If you are on a tight budget, then the Burris will be your better option. This is also a primary sight for pistol shooters. The recoil on other platforms might be too excessive in the long run for this red dot sight.


Burris FastFire 3 vs 4 – Main Differences

  • Price – The FastFire 4 is more expensive
  • Battery – The FastFire 4 uses a CR2032 battery as opposed to the CR1632 battery the FastFire 3 uses.
  • Field Of View – You can expect a larger field of view with the Burris Fastfire 4 and also a much better rate of target acquisition.

Buying Guide

It is important to construct a strict set of criteria for yourself before you buy a new red dot sight. By following these few tips as your buying guidelines will ensure you get the best optics for your money:

  • Value – It’s the first thing a person should look at when they buy a new red dot sight. What features does the scope have to justify its price? Does it have an extended warranty or have a lifetime lens coating warranty? Do additional items come included with the purchase? These are all questions you should ask yourself in terms of the value a red dot sight has.
  • Durability – Will the red dot sight be durable enough to accompany you on your rigorous adventures? What additional features does the red dot sight have to buff up its durability? The sight should at least be constructed from aluminum and be shock, water and fog proof.
  • Design – Do you like the design? Don’t buy a red dot sight that is ugly. Remember, you will look at and through this sight for hundreds of hours – the least you can do is treat yourself to something that is pleasant to look at.
  • Battery Life and Illumination settings – The red dot sight should have a battery life of at least 150 hours+ and come with additional features to extend battery life, like shake awake, an automatic time-out feature and automatic brightness sensors.

How We Rate Red Dot Sights

When we test red dot sights, we put them under extreme testing. All while keeping practicality in consideration. We are not rating and reviewing sights for special forces, instead, you, the reader, are just like us – ordinary people who just like shooting guns. Therefore we rate red dot sights very similarly to the above-mentioned buying guide:

Value – The scope should have features to enhance the shooter’s capabilities and justify the price the shooter will pay for the sight. Features include shake awake, an automatic brightness sensor, multiple reticles, etc. The scope should also have a warranty.

Durability – Will the red dot survive all types of different use cases and environments? Not every shooter’s environment and use case will be the same – the red dot should be able to be built well enough to adapt and withstand a diverse set of elements. The sight should at least be built from aluminum, have multi-coated lenses, and be water, shock and fog proof.

Design – Even if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the sight should at least be designed to be agile and easy to handle – enhancing your shooting capabilities, not compromising them. You want something that will provide you with rapid target acquisition yet still be pinpoint accurate.

Battery Life – Generally, when we rate red dot sights, we want them to have at least 150 hours+ of battery life. We love seeing a battery compartment located on the top of the housing, it makes replacing the battery just so much easier.

Illumination settings – The red dot should also have a wide selection of brightness settings to contribute to that adaptability argument – the sight must be able to perform in different ambient lighting conditions. Additionally, the sight should also have an automatic brightness mode as well as a manual mode with at least more than three manual brightness settings.

Finally, the windage and elevation adjustments should be easy to use, and zeroing won’t be easily lost from an accidental bump.


Frequently Asked Questions

Will vortex venom fit Burris FastFire mount?

Yes, both use a Picatinny mount making them completely compatible

Is the Burris FastFire 3 durable?

Yes, the FastFire 3 is extremely durable. However, I have found some issues with scratches on the lens coating.

Which is better the Vortex Viper or Venom?

Both are extremely good red dot sights. However, the Venom has a distinct advantage in terms of performance over the Viper.

Which Burris FastFire is best?

For long, the FastFire 3 has been the best Burris red dot sight. However, it has been recently dethroned by the FastFire 4.

Are vortex scopes better than Burris?

Both Vortex and Burris scopes have their own category they excel in. However, I have found that Vortex scopes are better when comparing them with each other.

The Bottom Line

There you have it! Both these red dot sights are insanely good and they both have features that are better than the other. However, if you look at the complete picture and every category, we have a clear winner – the Vortex Venom. Even though it is a bit more expensive, the features and combination of excellent craftsmanship make it the better scope. Therefore, I would wait a little bit longer just to afford the Venom.

HuntersHalt: #1 Pick
Vortex Venom 1×26.5mm Red Dot Sight
5.0
Pros:
  • Very durable optic
  • Auto brightness mode
  • Top-loaded battery compartment
  • Convenient universal mount
Cons:
  • A bit more expensive than the FastFire 3
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About the author

Patrick Howard

I have been working as a gunsmith for 20 years. Rain, fog, moisture, high temperature, or even snow are all the things a product must withstand in order to be recommended by me.

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