Pros: Price, solid construction.
Cons: Problematic, battery life, lower quality than others
Burris Speed Dot
I am writing this review as a police officer from a mid-sized agency in Colorado. Recently our department issued us M4 rifles for patrol. With these rifles, they decided to equip them with the Burris Speed Dot sight. From what I am told this decision is based solely on the lowest bid.
These sights are well constructed of sturdy material, and do not feel cheap when handling. They attach to a weaver rail system, and are screwed down using a hex nut. You must make sure that these are on tight, if they are not, they will easily start to rattle and lose their zero.
The sight consists of a 35mm tube, and a 3MOA dot. This sight provides to magnification of the target. This also has 12 settings, 11 for its level of brightness, and an off position to save battery. It is plenty bright to see on a bright day around setting 9 (with it becoming increasingly brighter, the higher the number). This is easily visible on setting one on a pitch black night. Due to this, these systems should never be used with a night vision system as they will project too bright of a light into the system.
A 3MOA dot can seem rather large on a target at 100 yards. As compared to a 1MOA dot from an EOTech sight. The EOTech sight would allow you to have a much more precise shot at a distance, and most officers, including myself find them easier to use and actually prefer the EOTech. The EOTech model is also night vision compatible.
Zeroing in these sights can be a bit of a challenge as each sight seems to be unique with how much drift and adjustments need to be made. Most of these sights will reliably hold zero, although we have had a few bad ones which would drift substantially. One of the sights we had would be off by as much as 24 inches at 100 yards. This sight was replaced by the company at no cost.
Burris advertises that the batteries will last for 200 hours in one of their sights. In my experience you get approximately 50 hours of reliable run time. These sights use one CR2032 battery. The EOTech model gets a reliable 1,000 hours from AA batteries.
The satisfaction amongst officers is mixed. Some like them, simply because they have only ever shot using iron sights in the past. Others which have used other optics systems and have more firearms experience actually dislike them for a law enforcement platform.
Personally I dislike the system as it seems primitive, and too basic. My personally owned rifle has a EOTech 552 model, while I paid about twice what my department did for these, I feel the extra cost is more than worth it. The Burris does not seem as accurate at a distance, and you lose the confidence of a precise distance shot due to the 3MOA dot.
If you are looking for an economical sight for civilian use, this model is more than acceptable. From one officer to another, do not use this on a patrol rifle when your life and others are on the line.