Cart 0

Burris SpeedBead

Product Tests

Burris Company
920 54th Avenue
Greeley, CO 80634
Telephone: 970-356-1670
Fax: 970-356-8702

“Access the power of optics with no increase in height, weight or loss of balance!
The radical new SpeedBead System handles many of the factors that make wingshooters miss, and turns poor shooters into good shooters and good shooters into great ones.
Shooting instructors emphasize the importance of proper stock-to-shoulder fit and mounting the shotgun into exactly the same position every shot. Maintaining proper form on the trap range is one thing. Maintaining it in the real world of flushing pheasants, quail, grouse, and fast-flying waterfowl is another.
With the SpeedBead System, both the target and the red dot remain in focus. The optics and their position on the sight plane eliminate the need for perfect left/right, up/down head position for an accurate shot.
The innovative mount puts the center of the optic directly in line with the ventilated rib, so altering your shooting style is not necessary. And with 3-1/2 inches to 4-1/2 inches of eye relief, there is absolutely no worry about your eyebrow running into the sight nor any interference with your hand gripping the shotgun.
Should the common CR-2032 five year battery ever fail, you can revert to your front bead without visual obstruction.
For a better view on rising targets, there are 1/8” and 1/4” risers available.”

A couple of years ago at the SHOT Show in Orlando I was able to try the Burris SpeedBead sight for the first time. I’d been reading about for several months and really liked the way it looked but there’s just no substitute actually shouldering a gun and trying a sight like you’d really use it.

Most of the promotional material I’d been furnished promoted the SpeedBead as a “wing-shooters” sight. My first impression was that it would make a great sight for the turkey hunter and slug-gun deer hunter. When I was able to try it, my first impression was reinforced. I could mount the gun in a normal fashion, use my normal cheek weld to the comb of the stock and see right into (through) the SpeedBead to my target.

With many, probably most, add-on sights, other than some clamp on open sights, even when they are mounted as low as possible to the bore, you still need to add something to the stock comb so that you can properly place you cheek on it and see through the add on sight.

One other feature that I immediately noted was that it added no discernable weight to the gun, did not make it top heavy, effect the balance and had a very sturdy mount. I just don’t like hunting shotguns with scopes because, for me, they put the gun out of balance. By the time you add a base, the scope and some rings to hold it, you’ve added a good bit of weight.

There are of course other “dot” type sights that are light but some are pretty large and all of them require that you drill and tap your receiver, or it’s already drilled and tapped, you must still add a base and it can really stick up there quite a bit.

One last feature that convinced me that I should look into the SpeedBead some more was the reliability factor. First of all, Burris has a very good name in the industry. However, I know that any product no matter how well manufactured can fail. Any product that has batteries can also fail. I’ve had that very thing happen with other electronic sights and it’s a very bad feeling to be in the turkey woods, have a gobbler out in front of you and discover that the sight that you’re depending on has a dead battery.

The SpeedBead solves that problem. First of all, battery life is quite long and if you change it at the beginning of the season, you could probably leave it on and just not worry about it. If however something goes wrong, you can see right through the sight and align your beads (or open sights) and never miss a beat. That gobbler is still in trouble.

Somehow time just went by and while I shot a couple of guns with the SpeedBead installed, I’d never put one on any of my guns and given it a “Product Test” evaluation. I needed to do that so that I could make readers of of just what it took to install it and how it held up under fire.

So, several months ago I ordered a SpeedBead to fit one of my old reliable SBE shotguns. I’ve shot literally thousands of rounds through this particular gun and am very comfortable just shouldering it and shooting as well as aiming it and using it as turkey gun. I even shot it last year as my “Hunter Class” and “Open Class” gun in the still target shooting world championship.

When the SpeedBead, Model #300255, arrived I looked it over pretty thoroughly and read the directions through front to back. They were pretty simple and straight forward but I always like to follow them to the letter, just as anyone might, to see if they are accurate and helpful. They were.

I put my SBE in the vice and removed the recoil pad and then the stock. So far, so good. I removed the “B” spacer between the receiver and stock, per the instructions and then I followed the directions and slid the base on the spring tube and up to the receiver. I then reinstalled the stock and butt pad.

Next, I tightened the wedge screw with the supplied hex wrench to stabilize the mount. Now I was ready to install the sight itself. At this point I should add that all the tools necessary for installation and adjustment of the sight are included, as is the battery. There also include risers and an additional base if you should choose to mount the FastFire II to a Weaver or Picatinny rail.

I installed the battery and then the FastFire II on the SpeedBead base with the supplied torx screws. Now I was ready to sight it in.

A few months before, I’d installed a set of Truglo Pro Series fiber optic open sights on one of my barrels for this gun to use in the turkey season. With the SpeedBead sight installed, all I needed to do was align the open sights and adjust the “dot” to align with that sight picture. I made minor adjustments to both windage and elevation and then locked those adjustment in place. That took no more than 2-3 minutes. Now I have a redundant sighting system with the Pro Series open sights and the SpeedBead as my primary sighting system.

Now a visit to the range was in order to see if both sighting systems were on target. To try things out, I decided to use the open sights first. I loaded one 3” Hevi-13 “Bronze shell with 2 oz. of #6 shot into the chamber and fired at a 2” target dot 40 yards distant. It was right on target.

Next, I turned on the FastFire II, loaded another Hevi-13 shotshell, centered the dot on the target and fired. Another direct hit, so my redundant system worked.

All in all, from reading the directions to test firing the SBE, I expect that I spent 45 minutes to an hour. It’s as easy an installation of a sight as I’ve experienced. Now I’ll admit that having the gun previously sighted in with open sights really helped but even without that advantage, it would not have taken much longer to install and pattern.

Over the last several months I’ve taken that gun with turkey loads to my range many times to give it a workout and make sure that the sight picture holds. In the last few months we’ve had some real temperature changes and the humidity level has also varied greatly. I’ve experienced no change in point of impact in what might amount to several turkey seasons worth of shooting for the average turkey hunter.

This is a good sight, easy to install and adjust and it holds up well under full power turkey loads. If you’re in the market for a “dot” type sight, I’d recommend that you give the SpeedBead a try.

To learn more about the SpeedBead and FastFire II sights and other Burris products, please visit the site above and to read more “Product Test” articles, please visit

Older Post Newer Post