We’ve done a solid video introducing and installing the Franklin Armory binary trigger on the Bushmaster ACR. As I was getting ready to upload it to our YouTube they announced such things are actually being banned! But you’ve still found the right place, and if you like what you’ve found, consider buying a shirt to help support our team’s work. Anyway, on to the incredibly fun ACR binary trigger installation and review…!
So what is a “binary” trigger? It’s a trigger for a semiautomatic gun that can fire a round when you pull the trigger and another when you release the trigger. The selector on the binary trigger has three positions, the first two you’re probably quite familiar with: Safe, Fire, and Binary. It’s that third position that makes it special. You’re not making a machine gun, however (unless we get some insane law that redefines machine guns after I write this). Hypothetically, you can shoot twice as fast with a Franklin binary trigger in the “binary” mode, but not necessarily. More on that in a moment.
Countless people have questioned why on earth anyone needs a binary trigger. It’s the same misguided logic that questions the need for a 30 round magazine and therefore imposes an arbitrary limit of 10 or 15 or whatever. So “they” determine you have a legitimate need for 10 or 15 rounds in a mag, but somehow you’re up to no good if you have 16, 20, 30 or…? Having installed and run the binary trigger in the ACR, I’ll state it plainly: It’s fun! It’s a challenge to find the perfect rhythm to really rock it, to try to shoot tight groups. It might come in handy hog hunting if you could very quickly put two 5.56 rounds in a treacherous wild boar. I’m game! Might as well limit horsepower on cars using the “why do you need it” logic.
And when it comes “needs,” I need some fun in my life and while this isn’t the cheapest fun I can have I will say it’s a blast! Let’s start with the Bushmaster ACR. This isn’t your grandfather’s generation gun (aka, AR-15). The ACR is a ten year old gun first brought to light as the Magpul Masada. While I like AR-15s as much as the next hybrid hunter/shooter, I love the way the ACR works. As some would say, it’s just a better mousetrap. But I’m not reviewing the ACR here, that will wait. Suffice it to say I smile when I run that gun. I’d hoped the Franklin binary trigger would make me smile more. It did, but my wallet hurts a bit more as well – I need a bigger ammo budget!
As you’ll see in the video, the binary trigger installation in the ACR is a piece of cake. The Franklin trigger has metal where the factory trigger has plastic, a HUGE improvement in design. At some point Bushmaster may update their trigger accordingly, hopefully soon. The ACR binary trigger breaks around 6.25 pounds where the factory is about 7.5. Both have longish pulls, different from precision drop in triggers like Timney makes.
Shooting with the binary trigger is pretty straight forward. Rotate the ambidextrous selector ninety degrees down to fire, and then for full-binary-semi-auto (to coin a phrase and mock some folks) keep rotating to 180 degrees so that the selector points forward. Pull trigger, fire. Release trigger, fire. Cool, now do it faster. Fun! Faster still! Oops.
There’s an optimal rhythm to shooting in binary mode, part of which is method. I shot a string of three rounds that should have been four. I wondered how that was possible and reached out to Franklin Armory. Their answer was that I was “getting greedy,” not fully releasing the trigger. So it’s either that or that if you release the trigger too quickly, full release and all, it seems you can miss the fire on release moment. I can reproduce that messing with just the lower receiver. Pull trigger, catch falling hammer with other hand. Release trigger then re-cock with other hand. That seems to match up with my results, but I’m nowhere near the fastest trigger puller around.
So what do we conclude? I only had this happen once, and in either explanation it seems that error was in my operation, not in the trigger. And “error” is really the wrong word as the gun just kept running anyway. I got three shots instead of four and then it just kept going. So it seems I need to work on the rhythm a bit. Great, as soon as I buy more ammo!
Let’s talk about how fast it feels, a somewhat subjective concept since I’m not really a competitive shooter and don’t have a timer. When I was shooting I didn’t feel super fast. I mean, yeah I ran out of ammo in a hurry but it didn’t seem super fast. Maybe I was too focused on getting good video or thinking about how I needed to wrap up as it was getting cold. But watching the video while editing, the brass sure is flying at a higher volume than anything else of mine that I’ve edited. And THAT made me smile, too! So the fun keeps going with this ACR binary trigger! Franklin Armory has priced the trigger $500 at the time of this writing, and if you have an ACR the BFSIII is a trigger upgrade period. It’s a lighter pull, and does something few – if any – others can do. Watch the video and you’ll really get the idea. Just don’t look for it on YouTube, or in CA, DC, IA, NJ, NY, or WA.
Sadly the video quality from Facebook where we’ve embedded this for now is lousy. Perhaps we’ll have a better solution in time. Please share this far and wide!