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May 23, 2019

Sighting in the Burris Fast Fire 3 Red Dot and using it in the Turkey Woods – Part 2

Joe has been hunting the woods of the Eastern US for many years and in spring you can bet he is off chasing gobbles!
By Joe Fichter

Sighting in the FF3

So simple. With the FastFire 3 red dot mounted on my shotgun sighting it in was fast and painless. Very similar to sighting in a standard rifle scope you adjust the red dot so that your point of impact(POI), in this case, the center of the shotgun’s pattern hits where the red dot is on your target, point of aim(POA). The red dot is very precise and the varying levels of intensity make it nice to really lock it in on your target in different light levels. The dot is clearly visible at high noon as it is at lowlight situations like dawn and dusk.

Even with minimal experience sighting in an optic you will be able to do this very easy and one thing I do to simplify this process is I shot one shot at a “bullseye” target. I then find the center of my shotgun pattern and mark it to which I  then with the gun firmly in a gun vise or on sand bags put the red dot back on the original bullseye and then using the red dots adjustments move the red dot to the mark in the center of my pattern. This moves your red dot so that your point of aim and point of impact are the same. I did this and was darn near perfect. I made one more small adjustment and voila I was ready to hunt as the red dot was sighted in.


Heading to West Virginia in the beginning of their turkey season the classic roost hunt played out.  I had set my red dot to the automatic adjusting setting as I knew I would be dealing with rapidly changing light as the morning progressed from pitch black to legal shooting hours and on into the morning. The gobblers were hot and a few sleepy tree yelps got their attention. Once I was pretty sure from the sounds of their gobbles they had flew down I cranked up the intensity and they immediately started my way. At 15 yards I was satisfied with the show and was able to quickly acquire the boss tom’s head in the red dot aperture. I was very confident knowing my gun and the pattern it shoots to kill the Tom only being a few yards from the other gobbler.

The red dot gave me a precise aiming point with my scattergun as I held it on his red, white and blue head. The red dot was auto adjusting to the increasing light and gave me a crystal clear highly visible aiming point as I pressed off my shot. The old tom dropped right in his tracks another victim to a shotgun wedding.

His buddy stood there for a minute not sure what to do before taking flight into the valley. The hunt developed rapidly and it was nice to not have to worry about adjusting the brightness of the red dot to accommodate the rapidly increasing light. The old tom had long and sharp spurs to match his paintbrush beard and I sat in marvel of the magic of spring gobbler hunting. 

I’ve been chasing them around for over 25 years and hope to continue for over 25 more. One thing is for sure as my turkey calls will always be with me there will always be a FastFire on my shotgun.

In addition to my hunting this year I was blessed to have my son, Logan, go on his first hunt. Logan is 6 and I debated long and hard about when he would be ready.

He has shot BB guns, his 22 rascal and recently learned how to shoot my AR-15. He took to shooting naturally and quickly became proficient at putting bullets in the bullseye. He also showed a tremendous amount of responsibility towards safety and respecting what he was doing. This year his desire to go hunting and be the hunter grew astronomically to the point that was all he talked about. Doing a little research I located a single shot 410 from Stevens in a compact model. I immediately got to work with my local gunsmith Fred Carper from Carper’s custom gunsmithing and he came up with a mount to put the FastFire 3 red dot on top of the 410.

Logan had become very proficient with a red dot on my AR and I felt this would be a natural transition for him to the scattergun. It would also help fix one of the most common reasons I see hunter’s miss turkeys, which especially true of single bead shotguns like this 410 is that they don’t establish a solid cheek weld and sight down the barrel and end up shooting high and over the head of a gobbler when they get excited and “look” over the sights at the gobbler they want to kill so badly and not miss.

With the red dot mounted we headed to the range and like a seasoned marksmen Logan started knocking down turkey targets like it was his job. Logan proved deadly with the red dot and was able to accurately shoot 7 out of 7 targets and did it quickly and without any problems getting a sight picture or putting the red dot on target. The lack of parallax tremendously helps in this aspect. I was completely satisfied he was up for the task of flopping a gobbler and the youth opener couldn’t come quick enough.

The youth opener arrived and found Logan and I tucked in a blind with gobblers going bonkers all around us. It didn’t take long to coax a longbeard to come strutting into the decoys. Logan was on the gun and tracking the gobbler as he made his way into range, he was focused and locked on to the task at hand. When I told logan to take his time and put it (red dot) right on the gobbler’s head to shoot him he slid off the safety and without hesitation made a perfect head shot, the gobblers head snapped back and there’s no doubt you can’t stop the flop! From this moment forward the feelings are indescribable and it seem time stopped. Truly words won’t express how proud and happy I was and to watch my boy strut around his first gobbler truly touched my soul.

Logan talks about the red dot on the video and for those of you with young hunters just starting the FastFire is a great tool to help the hunt end in a clean quick kill and make the memory that much sweeter. Any time afield with loved ones is precious but I feel having a successful hunt vs a miss or worse a wounded animal just strengthens the luster for hunting.

I did capture the entire hunt on film and strongly urge you can check it out; it won’t disappoint. It was such an incredible hunt and there is no doubt that the FastFire 3 played a major role in Logan’s success.