Gonna go shoot my Burris FastFire III mounted on a Glock 17...

Gonna go shoot my Burris FastFire III mounted on a Glock 17...

This is a discussion on Gonna go shoot my Burris FastFire III mounted on a Glock 17... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I like the FastFire. The FFII has had really good reviews and the FFIII is improved. As a place to start, I just mounted it ...

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Thread: Gonna go shoot my Burris FastFire III mounted on a Glock 17...

  1. #1
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    Gonna go shoot my Burris FastFire III mounted on a Glock 17...

    I like the FastFire. The FFII has had really good reviews and the FFIII is improved.

    As a place to start, I just mounted it in the dovetail with a Burris adapter plate - seems very secure, but I haven't shot it yet. I'll just do some slow fire stuff to start with; I'm really eager to see if it makes a difference at 15 yds - thank goodness I've done a bunch of what I call standard eval drills so I have lots to compare to.

    I'm not going to be doing many draw and fires with the sight mounted so high, but I will try some rapid fire to see how that works.

    The Burris FFIII has a front looking light sensor, so it looks at the light coming from the threat - I think that's the way it should be. The light adjusting auto mode is pretty impressive. I moved from some fluorescent lights and could see the bright mode and swept around to a darkened room at a target in very subdued lighting and I could see the dot dim in small steps as I swept from the light to the target.

    I don't see anyway 'top lookers' could do that - they'd still be seeing the brighter area overhead.

    IF I REALLY like the RDS, I'll likely buy a Lone Wolf slide and machine it for the FastFire and put the suppressor sights in as well. The mounting posts, that insures the correct mounting position of the sight, is the only thing that makes the machining a bit more challenging on a manual milling machine, but I can do it and have done such things before, it just takes a bit more human intervention than a CNC machine would.

    I'll keep you posted. Gonna be a fun and interesting project.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array WC145's Avatar
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    How'd it shoot for you?
    “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

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    I'll post this in response to your inquiry as a preliminary finding; I plan a full report, etc. after I have more rounds through it.

    First the rationale behind choosing the FF III.
    1- I'm looking for a more economical solution, dare I say, for those of us that have more sense than money, or just simply refuse to put $400 - $500 into a sight and then another $295 into a machined slide mount to evaluation try a RDS. The FF III goes for $239 and a mounting base costs about $50. That comes to $289. So for less than the price of a machined mount, $295, one can have a RDS and mount for less than the cost of machining a slide.

    2- Second, I want to evaluate, baseline, and document the performance of the dovetail mount before/if I do any slide machining.

    The eval:
    1- My standard eval drill - 4 shots each at 3, 5, 7, 10, and 15 yards. I have done so many of these with various guns with various iron sights that I have a data base to compare to.

    2- Rapid fire at 5 yds using a 3" dot.

    Overall impression after 100 rounds: quite impressed with the FF III, performance, and dovetail mount.

    Here's the slow fire eval drill - this was actually the second drill; I'll get to the first after this:



    Let me explain about the three misses. They occurred at 15 yds, so we would expect a larger group. But, the two shots to the right are too much. As I continued shooting, I realized I wasn't doing so well. I then noticed the sight had worked loose. I think the two shots to the right were the beginning of the sight loosening.

    The sight coming loose was my fault entirely. I did not use thread lock as recommended because I wanted to get 100 rounds through it before I locked it down. I thought it would take more than 100 rounds to loosen. So that concluded the testing.

    However, the first eval drill was rapid fire at a 3" dot at 5 yds. Since this was a first effort, I didn't time the splits, but I was rolling.



    At this point, I believe the sight was still mounted securely. This is 30 rounds fired in 5 shot strings. The first 4 shots were inside the 1" ring. Then of course, as usual, I got over confident and lost my head for a shot or two.

    Even so, you can see the main group is quite tight with only two misses and maybe two shots slightly apart from the main group. Remember, this is rapid fire - I wasn't maxed out, but I was going fast.

    I had no trouble losing or re-acquiring the sight in recoil, although I have to attribute a bunch of that to technique - the gun just didn't jump enough to cause a problem. Although I did lose the dot a couple of times.

    All and all I'm impressed. I want to be careful this wasn't 'beginner's luck' though before I come to any hard conclusions.

    At this point I will say, the dovetail mount isn't all that bad. You won't have co-witnessing sights, but you won't have spent $700 - $800 to try a RDS either. And your slide won't have a big block machined out of it if you decide to go back to iron sights or a different RDS.

    The FastFire is small - another reason I chose it. I like the auto dimming, front looking sensor and it works pretty well. My next step will probably be to surface mount the FF III onto the slide by drilling and tapping two holes in the slide. That will drop the sight down about 3/16" and may give a 1/3 co-witness with suppressor sights. That's what I'm looking for - a 1/3 co-witness.

    The 1/3 co-witness means that the dot coincides with the sights 1/3 of the way up the window rather than at the half way level. I think that will give a better overall view down range and still allow the sights to be used. That's pretty common on carbine RDS setups, even 1/5 co-witnessing.

    If the flush mount works better than the dovetail mount, one could take his slide to just about any machine shop and have them drill and tap the slide. That shouldn't cost very much. Probably less than the $50 dovetail adaptor. In fact, you could get the machine shop to drill the holes and you could tap the holes and save a little money.

    Just a matter of time and shooting now to see how it works out.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Array WC145's Avatar
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    Sounds like it's working out well so far. That dovetail mount fits really well, I expected to see something that sat up higher. If you can get away with just drilling and tapping the slide and still getting a decent cowitness that sounds like a reasonable way to go. Of course, the flat top slide of the Glock lends itself to a modification like that, you couldn't do it with the majority of pistols out there due to the slide profile.

    Does this fastfire have an on/off switch or is it on all the time? What kind of battery life is it supposed to have?
    “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by WC145 View Post
    ...That dovetail mount fits really well, I expected to see something that sat up higher...
    Yep and it's sitting 3/16" higher just because of the adaptor. I think that low profile is unique to the FF RDS.

    Quote Originally Posted by WC145 View Post
    ...If you can get away with just drilling and tapping the slide and still getting a decent cowitness that sounds like a reasonable way to go.
    I hope so! And we'd be talking about the sight and installation for about $300 - less than half of the cost of higher priced RDSs and slide machining.

    I now have some suppressor sights on hand. The front suppressor sight is 0.315" high which is 0.147" taller than the stock sight. That means if the FF III is flush mounted with two screws, by my measurements, the rear top surface of the FF III will be 0.375" above the slide. The front suppressor sight will be 0.311" above the slide. The difference is 0.064". And here's what's interesting: the stock rear sight is 0.1775" above the slide, the front stock sight is 0.160" above the slide, the difference is 0.0175". That means with the FF III surface mounted and aligning the white line at the rear of the FF III, with the front suppressor sight, the gun should shoot just a bit high, but it wouldn't be off a lot and no rear sight would be needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by WC145 View Post
    ...Of course, the flat top slide of the Glock lends itself to a modification like that, you couldn't do it with the majority of pistols out there due to the slide profile.
    Yep. Although, it might be feasible to drill and tap the holes and then machine a simple, minimal countersink and use a spacer to fill the countersink so that the bottom of the FF III just 'kisses' the top of the slide. Been thinking about that for an M&P. It's still simple machining and cheap if one had to pay to have it done.

    Quote Originally Posted by WC145 View Post
    ...Does this fastfire have an on/off switch or is it on all the time? What kind of battery life is it supposed to have?
    Yes, the FF III (and FF II for that matter) has an off-on switch. It is a push on-push off; the FF II had a slide switch and some had problems with it getting switched inadvertently. The likelihood of the FF III switch getting operated inadvertently would be near impossible.

    Actually the off-on switch is more than an off-on switch - it is a sequential switch. From the off condition, pressing it once puts the unit in the auto adjusting mode. In this mode the front looking sensor i.e. looking at the light coming from the threat area, adjusts the brightness of the dot based on what it sees. It works pretty well too!

    If you press the switch again, the dot goes to maximum brightness, another press dims the dot to medium brightness, another press dims it to the low brightness and another press turns the unit back off.

    The FF III uses the same battery (2023) that most RDSs use. There are reported 4 year life to these batteries with some RDSs. However, I'm an electronics engineer; I deal with LEDs year in and year out. I know about brightening and dimming LEDs using PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). My microcontroller class has to brighten and dim and flash, etc. just like certain tactical flashlights. I don't say that in brag, but to establish credentials and then to say this. LEDs are not some mystical, magical device that doesn't consume power.

    Where this 4 year life comes from is the LED being in the lowest brightness setting or in the case of I believe it's the DeltaPoint, it automatically turns itself off and back on when certain motions are detected. That's a lot of trouble to go to, why would they do that? Because it conserves battery power and hence life.

    I'm hearing two years from a number of sources, but again remember there's no magic, an LED is an LED - it requires power. So if the LED is set for the low power level and it could get 2 years of life, if one sets it to twice as bright, it will only last half the time. In fact, maybe less because battery life vs current drain is not always linear.

    If the FF III is set to the auto mode, when the gun and hence sight is concealed, it will essentially sense darkness and set the brightness to the lowest level. However, I don't know but suspect, that most are getting two years at a medium brightness. And it can vary from unit to unit.

    Manufacturers of RDSs go to a lot of trouble to coat the optics with materials that provide maximum reflection of the red wavelength of light produced by the LED. The LED projects a light beam onto the back side of the lens and if the lens did not reflect the light at all, we couldn't see it. So, low reflection requires a brighter LED and hence shorter battery life. A highly reflective material, especially at the wavelength of the red LED, approximately 635 nM (635 billionths of meter), means the LED power can be reduced because more light from the LED is reflected to the eye.

    Hmmm, I guess you really didn't want to know all that. What I'm hearing is about 2 years for the battery life.

    I now have the front suppressor sight mounted, but I still have the adaptor mount so the gun would shoot pretty high with this arrangement. But with the adaptor gone....
    I'm too young to be this old!
    Getting old isn't good for you!

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