U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- I wanted to get the right trigger for the AR I have been building. I based the build on the Sharps Bros “Hellbreaker” lower receiver and used a Wolfpack Armory side charging upper receiver. I also installed a Wolfpack Armory carbon fiber barrel.
Getting a standard trigger just didn’t seem right. I had to get something that would stand out. I started thinking, and then it hit me. A while ago, I tested the DigiTrigger. It was a battery-powered binary that let the user accelerate their rate of fire on their AR-15
It was an incredibly fun piece of hardware. The only problem was that it ate up nine-volt batteries. Every time I went to the range, I had to have a new Duracell battery. For some reason, it seemed only to like Duracell batteries. Whenever I tried any other brand of batteries, it would die before the range day was over. It was incredibly fun, though.
How a binary trigger works are that the firearm fires one round when the shooter pulls the trigger and second round when the operator releases the trigger. This mechanism allows the user to fire shots at a breakneck pace.
I didn’t want to go with another DigiTrigger this time around since they are expensive and hard to install. I narrowed my search down to either a Fostech Echo AR-II trigger or a Franklin Armory BFS-III AR-C1 binary trigger. I decided to let price be the deciding factor.
Franklin Armory BFS-III AR-C1 Trigger
The Echo AR-II sells for $479. The BFS-III AR-C1 goes for $386.99. Thanks to a friend, I also used the code “liberty” on the Franklin Armory website, which saved me an additional 10% bringing the total down to $348.29. You can also find it at Brownells.com. So, I had my choice set.
The BFS-III AR-C1 comes with the fire control group with various springs, selector switch, roll pins, and most interestingly two enhanced buffer springs. It also comes with a red label that marks the selector position as safe, semi, and binary. Since the sharps lower receiver has all three positions marked, I didn’t use the label.
The Franklin Armory BFS-III AR-C1 is a three-position trigger. Position one is safe. Position two is semi-automatic. In this position, the firearm will function like any standard AR-15. The magic happens in the third position.
By selecting the third position, the user puts the BFS-III AR-C1 into binary mode. This setting is the reason why I bought the trigger. It is impossible to buy a fully automatic rifle without selling a kidney due to the unconstitutional National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934 and the misnamed Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986. Couple those laws with the Trump bump-stock ban, and this is the closest most people can get to an actual automatic firearm.
Franklin Armory offers an install service for $124.99, but the installation of the trigger was very straight forward. If you have installed a standard AR-15 trigger, then this should be a breeze. The instructions were clear and concise.
Franklin Armory equipped the AR-C1 with a curved trigger. They also offer a binary trigger with a flat trigger, but that will cost you more. The BFS-III AR-S1 sells for $429.99 before any discounts and $386.99 after using a 10% off discount code (code subject to unknown expiration).
I took my Hellbreaker build to the range to get some trigger time with the Franklin Armory BFS-III AR-C1 binary trigger. I decided to run the first 120 rounds through my rifle in semi-automatic mode. The trigger worked well.
The pull of the AR-C1 weight on my AR was 4.5lbs exactly. There wasn’t a lot of trigger creep. The break on the AR-C1 trigger was crisp. There was a slight bit of over-travel, but I was expecting that. Overall, I was happy with the performance of the Franklin Armory trigger.
No one buys the Franklin Armory BFS-III AR-C1 binary trigger for its semi-automatic mode. I flipped the trigger to the third position (or fun mode as I call it) and pulled the trigger. Man, was that fun!
It was not too hard to get the feel of the trigger. The key to firing fast is steady pulls. If the shooter tries to pull the trigger as fast as they can, their rhythm will be thrown off. Smooth, consistent pulls are the key to success with binary triggers.
By working with the DigiTrigger before, I had an advantage over someone who never used a binary trigger. With that said, someone who never used one will still be able to pick up the rhythm pretty quickly. It will only take a couple of mags.
I was concerned that I would outrun the bolt. The DigiTrigger electronically limited the speed someone could pull the trigger, but also had zero break and a much lighter pull over the AR-C1. Fortunately, even though the Franklin Armory trigger didn’t have this protection, I wasn’t able to outrun the bolt. I even tried to outrun it intentionally, but I was not able to jam up the rifle.
That fact is a testament to the Franklin Armory BFS-III AR-C1 binary trigger, and the Wolfpack Armory side charging upper receiver. Even with a greater pull weight and a break, my rate of fire was higher with the Franklin Armory over the DigiTrigger.
That surprised me. I think that the reset on the Franklin Armory trigger is more noticeable than the DigiTrigger, so it enabled me to get the timing better down. I lent both rifles to a friend to see what he would think of the two triggers. He came to the same conclusion that I did. He had a higher rate of fire with the Franklin Armory trigger.
The one area where the DigiTrigger does beat the Franklin Armory BFS-III AR-C1 is how to cancel the binary function once the user pulls the trigger while the selector is in the third position. With the DigiTrigger the shooter waits six seconds then releases the trigger.
The BFS-III AR-C1 does have a way of canceling the binary mode, but it isn’t as easy as the DigiTrigger. Instead of waiting six seconds, the shooter is required to move the selector switch with their thumb to the second position. This change cancels the shot on the release of the trigger.
One question I got a lot at the range was if the binary trigger felt the same as an authentic automatic rifle. Because I have shot full autos before including several M4s, I can say that it didn’t feel like an automatic. It isn’t a real substitute for the real deal, but then again, there really isn’t a legal substitute.
With that being said, I can say that the Franklin Armory BFS-III AR-C1 is a ton of fun. It is a little more money than most triggers, but you will be able to shoot faster with it than any standard trigger on the market.
Readers can find out more about the Franklin Armory BFS-III AR-C1 at www.Franklinarmory.com
About John Crump
John is an NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot-News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement, including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.