No Doubt About Dots: The New Burris FastFire C Micro Red Dot

Unlike many of the other semi-fossilized members of my generation, I have little reservation about using optics on my guns. I’ve always had a simple objective when shooting a gun: hitting my target. As my eyes have changed, my abilities changed with them. As that happened, I squintingly looked for solutions.

Like many of my contemporaries, I’m not an early adopter. If I were, I wouldn’t have been squinting over iron sights while other competitors were using devices that looked like flashlight tubes atop their handguns to shoot the centers out of x-rings in competition. They were big, ugly and — unfortunately for the rest of us — made the best shooters even more accurate.

It doesn’t take too many drubbings to overcome your prejudices. My education on red dot optics began when they were decidedly not cool for anything other than “race guns.”

Today it’s not unusual to see beat cops with optics on duty pistols. On the consumer side, we’re almost at the point that not seeing an optic on a carry gun brings questions from the folks who enjoy shooting.

Burris’ new FastFire C is visibly smaller than other FastFire models.

Burris recently announced the release of their new FastFire C (Compact) Red Dot Optic. It’s a flyweight (less than half an ounce) optic with the popular RMSc mount that’s specifically designed for micro-compact pistols. I’ve had one for a couple of weeks, and have tried it on a couple of pistols. 

I’m no stranger to FastFires. My first was mounted on a waterfowl shotgun. That one’s long gone, but other FastFires sit on a Stoeger STR-9S Combat pistol and a Ruger 10/22 I used in rimfire competition. They’re different generations (the red dot on the Stoeger is Gen 4, the one on the Ruger is considerably older), but both have been reliable, durable and not prone to consuming batteries when not in use.

This new Burris’s Always-On feature claims 25,000 hours of battery life on medium brightness. Thats almost three years and that’s reassuring. It’s also better than some of the optics in my safe. Some are so power-hoggish I don’t even keep batteries in them.

Battery life is always a concern with powered optics. Using a dead optic’s window as a ghost ring to search for a front sight builds neither confidence or accuracy.

It’s an even bigger challenge if the red dot won’t co-witness with standard height sights. That’s not a problem with the little “C” model. An exceptionally low profile allows for co-witnessing with standard irons on most micro-compact pistols. 

It easily co-witnesses on both of my Stoeger pistols. That’s not really surprising, considering both brands are owned by the same parent company (Beretta Holdings). I especially appreciated the co-witnessing on the optic-ready Stoeger STR-9MC.

The low-slung Burris FastFire C co-witnesses with lots of pistols, including my Stoeger STR-9MC.

It’s one of the few micro-compact pistols I have with adjustable rear sights. I have it adjusted correctly for my slightly canted hold. With the red dot solidly atop the front sight, both the iron sights and the optic are on target. The Stoeger 9C doesnt have an adjustable rear sight, but it co-witnesses, no problem.

Burris FastFire C
The Burris FastFire C mounted on my Stoeger STR-9MC micro-compact pistol

In case your chosen pistol’s rear sights is covered by the optic, there’s a white stripe on the back of the FastFire C that allows you to align it with the front sight. It also has the additional benefit (depending on how you present your pistol) of helping bring that red dot more quickly into your vision.

I’m not a particularly good shot with micro-compact pistols without an optic. And I’m not planning on using any micro-pistol in competition. It’s not that they’re not accurate. I haven’t shot any micro-compact that isn’t more capable than my abilities.

It’s just recognizing that for me they’re more difficult to manipulate and harder — again for me — to aim accurately. They also carry lower capacities than their larger kin. Those aren’t knocks, just facts. Micro-compacts aren’t designed for bullseye competitions. They’re purpose-built for deep concealment and personal defense. 

I’m not presenting a mico-compact pistol unless there’s an immediate and unavoidable threat. Something too close to either avoid or evade. 

If that’s the case,  they’re hard to beat. But, if you “handle your immediate problem” and discover there’s a secondary threat further away, a micro-compact’s small size tends to work against accuracy…along with your adrenaline dump, loss of small motor function, and narrowing of vision. 

At that point, a red dot optic comes very much into play. 

Being able to put the dot on the target at longer distances can mean you have a better chance to survive an attack by multiple threats. 

In today’s world, fewer attacks are carried out by a single person. That’s why I believe the red dot is helpful, if not downright essential on micro-compact carry pistols. 

Better sights mean better shots and in the real world, every shot matters. 

We’ll keep you posted.


Dot Size: 6 MOA
Dot Color: Red
Mount: RMSc
Length: 1.61 in.
Weight: .44 oz.
Battery: CR2032
Battery Life: 25,000 hrs.
MSRP: $276



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