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Burris Fastfire 3 vs Vortex Venom [Full Comparison Review]

Burris Fastfire 3 vs Vortex Venom

Burris and Vortex Optics are two of the leaders in the firearms optics market, known for making some of the best optics available.

They also create two of the best red dot sights out there: the Vortex Venom and the Burris Fastfire 3.

With these two sights competing neck to neck, which is better?

Let’s find out.

Overview of the Burris Fastfire 3 Red Dot Sight

Burris Fastfire 3 Red Dot Sight

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Founded in 1971, Burris Optics is a well-established, highly trusted brand for quality firearms sights and attachments. 

One of their bestsellers is the Burris Fastfire 3, a small red dot sight for pistols, rifles, and shotguns. 

With its lightweight design and low profile, the Fastfire 3 red dot model gives you the sighting assistance you need without weighing down your firearm.

While this works with a Weaver or Picatinny mount, it is also compatible with other custom mounts, such as the Glock MOS system.

Specifications:

  • Objective Lens Size :21 x 15 mm
  • Length: 1.9 inches
  • Weight: 0.9 oz
  • Reticle: 3 MOA dot or 8 MOA dot

Special Features:

  • Automatic brightness sensor: The intensity of the red dot automatically adjusts with the lighting conditions you’re shooting in.
  • Automatic time out feature: Automatically shuts down the sight after 8 hours of idle time
  • Choice of 2 dot sizes: You can choose between a 3 MOA dot for precise shots at longer ranges or an 8 MOA dot for rapid target acquisition at close range. 
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Easy battery replacement
  • Fast target acquisition
  • Clear glass
  • Parallax free
  • Auto-brightness control
Cons
  • Small viewing window
  • Limited manual intensity settings

Overview of the Vortex Venom Red Dot Sight

Vortex Venom Red Dot Sight

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Vortex Optics is one of the leading producers of firearms optics.

One of their most popular products is the Venom red dot sight.

This lightweight single-piece chassis can be used with a Weaver or Picatinny mount.

With clear glass and a multi-coated lens that will enable you with quick target acquisition, this is a quality sight for your money.

Specifications:

  • Objective Lens Size: 26.5 mm
  • Length: 1.9 inches
  • Weight: 1.1 oz
  • Reticle: 3 MOA dot or 6 MOA dot

Special Features:

  • Widefield lens: One of the widest lenses available for a clear picture
  • Automatic brightness sensor: Automatically adjusts the intensity of the red dot depending on your shooting conditions
  • Auto shut down: The sight automatically shuts down after 14 hours of idle time
  • Choice of 2 reticles: You can choose between a 3 MOA dot for precise shots at longer ranges or a 6 MOA dot for rapid target acquisition at close range. 
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Low profile housing
  • Great glass
  • Broader field of view
  • Exceptional battery life
  • Variety of dot intensity settings
Cons
  • It may be too low to co-witness with some sights
  • Larger body

Burris Fastfire 3 vs Vortex Venom: The Similarities

The Burris Fastfire III and the Vortex Venom are two of the best red dots.

Despite being two very distinct products from two amazing optics manufacturers, they are surprisingly similar in many aspects.

For one, they are both red dots that are great for rifle and even pistol shooters.

They can serve as either a primary sight or work with an existing sight.

They also come with a choice of 2 sizes of a bright red dot for more versatility, one of those being a 3 MOA dot.

Here are some of their similarities at a glance:

  • Dot color: Red
  • Magnification: 1x
  • Length: 1.9 inches
  • Battery: CR1632
  • Mounting: Picatinny/Weaver
  • Adjustment per click: 1 MOA
  • Parallax-free
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Fogproof
  • Waterproof
  • Shockproof

One impressive thing that both red dot sights have are automatic brightness sensors or an auto-brightness mode that can change the brightness setting depending on lighting conditions without any manual adjustments.

Both sights are incredibly lightweight and won’t burden you on long hunting trips.

Additionally, both can be mounted on most firearms with Picatinny or Weaver mounts to help you lock in on your target fast.

Burris Fastfire 3 vs Vortex Venom: The Differences

 

Model Weight (oz) Dot size (MOA) Maximum Windage Adjustment (MOA) Maximum Elevation Adjustment (MOA) Battery Life (hours)
Vortex Venom 1.1 3 or 6 100 130 30,000
Burris Fastfire 3 1.5 3 or 8 86 115 11,000

#1 Durability

They are constructed with anodized aluminum alloys made to withstand all weather conditions. 

Both models are rugged, waterproof, and fogproof. They can handle recoil and general bumps and bangs, too.

The main difference between the two sights regarding durability is the lens coating. 

While the Burris has coated optics, the ArmorTek coating of the Venom allows for ultra-hard, scratch-resistant lenses.

WINNER: Vortex 

#2 Illumination Settings

Both red dot sights come with an ambient light sensor that allows dot intensity to adapt to its surroundings.

If you would prefer a manual mode over automatic mode, however, both of them come with the choice of various manual brightness settings.

Dot intensity controls can be accessed through quick side buttons for both models.

The Fastfire 3 has three manual brightness settings, while the Venom has 10.

WINNER: Vortex 

#3 Weight

Both of these great sights are lightweight and suitable for long hunting trips.

However, the Venom weighs just 1.1 oz, while the slightly heavier Burris comes in at 1.5 oz.

This difference in weight may not seem like such a big deal.

However, more advanced shooters will feel the slight advantage offered by Venom in terms of weight.

WINNER: Vortex 

#4 Reticle Size

The two red dot sights come with a bright red dot in two reticle sizes.

The Fastfire 3 comes with either a 3 MOA dot or 8 MOA dot, while the Venom comes with either 3 MOA red dot or 6 MOA red dot. (We have an in-depth guide about 3 and 6 MOA dots if you’re interested to learn more.)

There is barely any difference between the 3 MOA dot of both models, which is perfect for pinpoint accuracy with handguns and rifles.

Let’s look at the other reticle sizes, starting with the Burris Fastfire III:

  • The Burris Fastfire III comes with an 8 MOA dot, perfect for speedy target acquisition at short range. If you plan to shoot in close quarters or at short range, we recommend the 8 MOA dot for a distinct advantage over the 3 MOA dot.

This 8 MOA dot is great on its own, but let’s compare it to the 6 MOA dot of the Venom:

  • The Venom’s 6 MOA dot offers a more precise point than the 8 MOA dot. While it is better at short range, just like the 8 MOA dot, it is crisper and easier to use. The smaller dot on the Vortex Venom offers a slight advantage over the slightly larger dot on the Burris Fastfire III.

WINNER: Vortex

#5 Windage and Elevation Adjustments

The Fastfire III has a maximum elevation adjustment of 115 MOA and a maximum windage adjustment of 86 MOA. 

Compared to this, the Venom has a total elevation range of 130 MOA and a total windage range of 100 MOA.

We can see that the Venom has a greater range for both windage and elevation than the Burris Fastfire III.

WINNER: Vortex

#6 Battery

Both the Vortex Venom and Burris Fastfire use a CR 1632 battery.

However, the Vortex Venom has a battery life of up to 30,000 hours if consistently used on the lowest setting.

If used on the highest setting, it can last for up to 150 hours.

While the Burris Fastfire advertises a battery life of 5 years, it can only last a maximum of 11,000 hours if kept consistently on lower settings.

Thus, the Venom has a longer battery life than the Fastfire III. 

WINNER: Vortex

#7 Battery Change

A great thing about both sights is that they eliminate the need to remove the sight to change the battery.

However, you can access the battery of the Vortex Venom through the top of the sight.

On the other hand, the Burris Fastfire 3 has a side tray on its left side for the battery compartment. 

WINNER: Tie

#8 Optics

Both optics have a high-grade optical glass with a fully multi-coated lens for the highest light transmission and reflective protection level.

Let’s look at the glass of each sight, starting with the Vortex Venom:

  • What makes the optics of the Vortex Venom stand out is its wide lens that allows for amazing edge-to-edge resolution with no blurring or fading of the sight picture. 
  • On top of this, the lenses are coated with a special Amortek coating to protect them from damage. 

Now, let’s look at the glass on the Burris Fastfire 3:

  • The lens on this sight is index-matched optical glass for optimal clarity and brightness. 
  • It boasts Hi-Lume multi-coating to eliminate glare and improve low-light performance.

While the Burris lenses are of high quality and protected with special coatings, they still fall behind the Vortex lenses, which offer a wider field of view.

The Vortex even comes with a lifetime lens coating warranty to sweeten the deal.

WINNER: Vortex

#9 Warranty

Bothe Burris and Vortex offer a lifetime warranty on their sights.

However, the VIP warranty of Vortex covers ANY damage or problem that you have with your sight.

On the other hand, the Burris warranty does not cover deliberate or cosmetic damage.

WINNER: Vortex

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a Vortex Venom Fit a Burris Speed Bead Mount?

Yes.

The Burris Fastfire 3 has the same hole pattern as the Vortex Venom.

Thus, the Burris Speed Mount, which was designed to work with the Burris Fastfire 3, will also work for the Vortex Venom.

How Long Does the Battery Last on a Burris Fastfire 3?

While the Burris Fastfire 3 is advertised to have a battery life of 5 years, it lasts 5,000 hours if left consistently on at maximum settings.

Is the Burris Fastfire 3 Waterproof?

Yes.

It is rugged and waterproof, even without any additional attachments.

If you prefer more protection, it comes with an optional weatherproof roof.

Does the Vortex Venom Have Shake Awake?

Unfortunately not.

The Vortex Venom offers no “shake awake.”

The only way to turn it on is by pressing the little button on its side.

Does Vortex Venom Have a Mount?

The Vortex Venom does not come with a mount upon purchase.

However, the Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight Quick-Release Mount Riser, sold separately, is made to work with it.

Final Verdict: Which Is Better — Burris Fastfire 3 vs Vortex Venom

The Vortex Venom Red Dot and Burris Fastfire III are similar, high-quality red dot sights for pistols, rifles, and shotguns.

Both are lightweight, durable, and amazing for fast target acquisition to help you track and shoot a moving target.

They are both parallax-free and have unlimited eye relief.

They also have the same magnification, auto mode, and multiple brightness settings in various environments. 

It could be very difficult to spot the difference between these two, but in the end, we’d have to say that the Vortex Venom is better.

In summary, these Vortex Venom features are why it’s our winner:

  • More lightweight
  • Easier to adjust
  • Longer battery life
  • More illumination settings
  • Wider field of view
  • Higher total windage range
  • Higher total elevation range

We by no means discredit the Burris Fastfire 3, but if we had to choose, we’d pick the Vortex Venom Red Dot, no questions asked.

FINAL TIP: If you’re looking for more good budget options for red dots, you can take a look at our buying guide on red dot sights around $100.

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