HIViz FastDots Shine New Light on Handgun Sighting Systems

By Allen Forkner, Editor

Review of HiViz FastDot H3 HiViz Shooting Systems
Review of HiViz FastDot H3 HiViz Shooting Systems

The Innovative design of the HiViz FastDot sits somewhere between three-dot iron sights and illuminated red dots.

There are certain things that just are. They defy refinement because they are simple, basic and fundamental.

The wheel. The hammer. The knife. All are examples of designs that can only be tweaked with materials and manufacturing technique, but at the core remain unchanged.

Until recently, I would have included the three-dot pistol sight in that same category.

Sure, we have three dots, and they can simply be painted on, or filled with tritium vials, or even made of light-transmitting fiber optics. Some are U-shaped, others square, some are even trapezoid.

But, at the core they remain fundamental. Align the front dot between the rear dots and press the trigger. There simply is no more room for development.

Or so I thought.

A New Approach to Sights

I will be the first to admit when I’m wrong, and boy howdy was I wrong when it came to sights.

When HiViz began to tease a new handgun sight, I was skeptical. After all, I’ve seen and tried almost every variation on the handgun sight and they’re all pretty much the same. The last innovation for handgun shooting was the growing dominance of the red dot sight.

But once you get a set on a gun and put them to use… That’s when I saw the light (literally and figuratively).

The HiViz FastDot H3 is a pair of contrasting sights, one red and one green. The red is a pretty standard fiber optic front sight, with the light-transmitting fiber exposed at the top. The green dot rear sight, while also powered by a fiber optic tube, is where the magic and genius off HiViz comes into play.

Red Light/Green Light

The red fiber front is illuminated from just about any angle, making it fast to find and orient. The green rear, on the other hand, is designed so that the illumination is only visible when the front and rear are perfectly aligned.

If there is any offset at all, the green rear is a blank space. If you are almost perfectly aligned, a dark moon appears, not unlike that of a magnified riflescope when you’re too far back. But when the front and rear are aligned perfectly, you get a solid, bright green dot.

The immediate instinct is that “green means go” but it goes beyond just the speed.

With a traditional 3-dot sight, you’re always trying to manage the side-to-side and height variations to keep the sights aligned. The end result is a “close enough” consistency between shots. With the FastDot H3, there’s no almost. When the green dot is fully bright, you’re in alignment. It’s fat, yes, but it’s also highly consistent and repeatable.

When the HiViz FastDot H3 is misaligned, all you see illuminated is the red front sight. When the sights are perfectly aligned, the rear fiber optic sight glows green.
When the HiViz FastDot H3 is misaligned, all you see illuminated is the red front sight. When the sights are perfectly aligned, the rear fiber optic sight glows green.

Get a HiViz FastDot H3 for your Handgun Today at

Goldilocks Sight

For many, the three-dot iron sight is a challenge due to aging eyes. They are also a challenge because they require the mind to shift from a threat, which the brain is super-opposed to doing, and focus instead on the front sight.

Red dots are best when the shooter keeps a target focus and allows the dot to simply appear.

That said, there are still significant drawbacks to the RDS. While we’ve made massive advances in durability and survivability, these are still electronic devices, with glass lenses, attached to the reciprocating slide of a handgun. Add to that the abuse they take simply riding in a holster all day and failures are simply a matter of fact. Let’s not forget they add $250-$600 to the cost of the carry package, too.

The FastDot H3 is the perfect in-between option when iron sights are becoming a challenge, but the red dot isn’t the right answer. Iron sight durability, the holster- and carry-friendly low-profile nature, and the much lower cost makes the FastDot H3 superior to the red dot.

What you still retain, however, is the bright dot aiming point of the RDS, the ability to maintain a target/threat focus and an intuitive sighting system that tells you when you are properly aligned.

On the Range

Changing out the sights on one of my extra GLOCK 19s was a 10-minute project. So, it was off to the range to see how accurate the FastDot H3 sights were. I was as they are a large sight, even by fiber optic standards, so I was concerned about making precise shots.

It took one magazine to quash that worry. Shooting from 25 yards at a good clip I ended up with a fist-sized group using random rounds from my range ammo overflow (a coffee can I use to collect leftover, extra or loose rounds from range trips).

Confident that the sight was zeroed, I switched to a magazine of Hornady Critical Duty and the group immediately halved in size at the same pace.

They’re accurate.

What immediately struck me was how fast the green dot reappeared every shot. Sure, as a competitive shooter I trained hard on sight acquisition and letting the gun come back from recoil, but I’ve never experienced it quite like I did with the FastDot H3 sights.

The result was an immediate reduction my split times without the usual impact on accuracy. I was chasing the front sight AND the rear sight AND the target. I stayed focused on the target and when the green dot appeared over my target zone, I broke the shot.

Wrapping up

I’m a true believer now. There was most definitely room for improvement in the world of handgun sights, and the FastDot H3 is it.

I love the speed with which I can find and align the sights. The fibers collect enough light to work in super bright sun, but they still function in an almost pitch-black room. How dark? Let’s put it this way, the ability to safely acquire and identify a target will be gone long before your sights will be.

They are a perfect blend of the best of iron sights and the best of red dots. It’s an instinctive system, that would be a very useful tool for teaching new shooters about sight alignment and pressing the trigger without disturbing the sight picture. There is immediate feedback to a trigger jerk or flinch.

There are still a few unknowns that will only bear out from further carry and shooting.

As I mentioned, they are a large sight. So far, this hasn’t been an issue on accuracy, but I’m not trying to split a playing card. I need more range time to see how fine a target I can handle.

They seem very durable and my experience with HiViz products in the past lead me to believe they will hold up well, but there’s a lot of surface area to catch on things, bang against hard surfaces and generally are open to abuse.

Keep an eye on this space as we’ll continue to put the new HiViz FastDot H3 to the test and we’ll report back how they hold up in the long term.

Related Articles: New Handguns Introduced for 2024

Related Articles: Gun Review: Celebrating 40 years of the SIG Sauer P226

Tags: , , , , ,