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A Complete Guide to Binary Triggers

Michael Crites

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Disclosure: Products are selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases from a link. How we select gear.

What is a binary trigger? An aftermarket trigger for semi-automatic guns that allows one round to be fired upon the trigger pull and a single round to be fired as the trigger springs back AKA binary shooting or double tap. The binary trigger will enable you to shoot twice as fast with the same amount of work, making for a fun but short day at the range or shooting practice.

Many people are concerned that a binary trigger transforms their gun into a fully-automatic firearm. However, by the ATF’s definition of machine guns, this is not the case, and binary triggers are legal in most states (more on that later).

You will learn who manufactures the best binary triggers and which one is best for you as we continue.

In This Article:

Binary Trigger Comparison

Below is my list of the best binary triggers for 2022. I list the best choices in terms of value, performance, design, and cost.

Click on the name to head to the product page, read reviews and check prices or skip ahead to the list of triggers.

Why You Should Listen To Us

BFSIII Installed
A 3 position safety selector that's common with most binary triggers.

Firearms have always been a part of my family tradition. I loved breaking down and cleaning my father’s and grandfather’s guns as a kid. After shining up all the weapons I could get my hands on, I began to teach myself how to fix a couple of firearms that needed minor repairs. From that moment on, I’ve been addicted to firearms and continuing to improve my shooting ability.

I love to shoot the AR-15 I built several years ago, and I’m always looking for ways to improve it, including trigger upgrades like a binary trigger.

Binary Trigger Reviews

1. Franklin Armory BFSIII AR-C1 Binary Trigger

Considered by many to be the leading binary trigger manufacturer, Franklin Armory also produces firearms that feature their triggers.

The BFSIII Franklin Armory Binary Trigger is an actual binary trigger, so it will fire a shot when you pull the trigger and when you release the trigger. As long as it’s legal in your state, you won’t need additional paperwork from the ATF as of this writing.

The BFSIII AR-C1 works in most AR platforms without the need for a gunsmith. This trigger will fit an AR-10, AR-15, F17, .22LR upper, and 9mm upper without the need for modification.

This is great for every AR owner looking to upgrade their trigger because you can install this trigger at home with a few basic tools.

This trigger is designed for owners of the AR platforms and AR competitive shooters. It fits most AR platform firearms, but you should ensure it works with yours before you purchase because a couple of people complained about it not fitting their gun.

2. FosTech Echo AR-II Binary Trigger

FosTech Outdoors manufactures rifles, pistols, shotguns, and binary triggers. Their firearms have the binary triggers installed, so you won’t have to purchase them separately if you wish to go that route.

The Echo AR-II is a drop-in trigger for AR-15’s. It’s doesn’t require visiting a gunsmith because it’s straightforward to install.

I don’t like that you need to purchase a full-auto bolt carrier group to function properly. Sadly, the full-auto bolt carrier does not come with the Echo AR-II.

The Echo AR-II is an excellent choice for firearms enthusiasts building their dream AR-15. If you own another style of AR, this is not the trigger for you.

3. Franklin Armory BFSIII AK-C1 Binary Trigger

Franklin Armory produces a wide array of binary triggers, including for the popular AK platforms. They also manufacture several firearms parts and guns.

There are two seperate models of the BFSIII AK-C1, one is for AK firearms calibered in 7.62x39mm, and the other is for 9mm AKs.

It’s a three-position trigger, which means it has a safety, semi-auto position, and binary fire position. So you can choose to shoot binary or semi-auto whenever you choose.

The BFSIII AK-C1 trigger is explicitly designed for the AK platform. That’s why I only recommend it for AK owners.

4. Franklin Armory BFSIII PC-C1 Binary Trigger

Franklin Armory designs binary triggers for rifles, pistols, and carbines, covering the spectrum of firearms enthusiasts.

The BFSIII PC-C1 is specifically designed for the Ruger PC carbine. The trigger works in most 9mm and .40 cal Ruger PC trigger housings so your carbine can have a binary mode after installing this trigger.

I recommend having a gunsmith install this trigger as the installation is not as easy as other Franklin Armory triggers. Still, I’m sure a handy individual could adequately install it.

The BFSIII PC-C1 is best for competition shooters who shoot a .40 or 9mm, but recreational shooters have a lot of fun at the range with this trigger.

BFSIII Installed on Ruger PC Carbine 2
BFSIII Installed on Ruger PC Carbine

5. Franklin Armory BFSIII B&T-C1 Binary Trigger

Franklin Armory delivered another outstanding three-position trigger to add to their firearms and gun parts lineup.

The BFSIII B&T-C1 is explicitly designed for the B&T APC9 and helps the shooter place multiple rounds in a tighter group in less time.

Installing the trigger may require slight modifications, so I recommend hiring a gunsmith for professional installation of the BFSIII B&T-C1. The stock trigger will still work despite the alterations if you desire to reinstall it after making changes for your new binary trigger.

This trigger is only for B&T APC9 gun enthusiasts and competition shooters. If you enjoy sending a lot of lead downrange, then the BFSIII B&T-C1 is for you.

6. Franklin Armory BFSIII 22-C1 Binary Trigger

Franklin Armory developed a binary firing system for one of America’s favorite rifles, the Ruger 10/22, and knocked it out of the park.

Since the Ruger 10/22 is so popular, it only makes sense that Franklin Armory would develop a drop-in trigger. If you’re reasonably handy with tools, you shouldn’t need a gunsmith to install the BFSIII 22-C1.

It only fits Ruger 10/22, so if you own another .22 caliber rifle, this trigger will not work.

The BFSIII 22-C1 is excellent for recreational shooters who love a good mag dump but don’t want to spend a fortune every time they visit the shooting range.

Franklin Armory BFSIII 22-C1 installed
BSFIII 22-C1 installed on a 10/22

7. Franklin Armory BFSIII CZ-C1 Binary Trigger

To go along with Franklin Armory’s firearms and other binary triggers, they manufacture a binary trigger system for the CZ Scorpion EVO 3.

The BFSIII CZ-C1 delivers significantly reduced split times between shots compared with the stock trigger assembly. The selector lever allows you to choose between the gun on safety, semi-automatic mode, or binary fire mode.

The BFSIII CZ-C1 is designed only to fit the CZ Scorpion to significantly improve the weapon’s performance. The C1 model has a curved trigger that most people use.

Tactical shooters who own the CZ Scoprion are the only individuals who should consider this trigger. If you own another firearm, this trigger will not work.

8. Franklin Armory BFSIII HK-C1

As with most other Franklin Armory three-position triggers, the BFSII HK-C1 has a smooth trigger pull of around 4.5 pounds and is the fastest semi-automatic trigger on the market.

The BFSIII HK-C1 is designed to fit the HK 91, HK 93, and MP5. However, some models may require slight modifications that a gunsmith best performs to ensure the trigger safely functions.

This model has an ambidextrous safety selector, but the trigger housing, ejector, ejector pin, and ejector spring are not included. The unit comes with a standard curved trigger that is similar to a traditional trigger you might find on AR platform firearms, so you won’t have to get used to a new feel.

The BFSIII HK-C1 is an excellent choice for all HK rifle owners looking to increase their fire rate at the range.

9. Franklin Armory BFSIII CZ-S1

Franklin Armory added an option for the CZ Scorpion owners with the BFSIII CZ-S1. So if you were unsure about Franklin Armory before, just know they’re always coming out with new products.

The BFSII line-up of products claims to be the fastest semi-auto trigger on the market. Like the CZ-C1, the CZ-S1 was explicitly designed for the CZ Scorpion.

However, it has a couple of features that set it apart from the CZ-C1. The first is the most obvious; the trigger is straight and not curved. The other component is an ambidextrous safety selector, which makes all the left-handed shooters much happier.

The BFSII CZ-S1 is for the CZ scorpion owner who’s left-handed or prefers a straight trigger.

Why Buy a Binary Trigger?

Some people argue binary triggers should be banned.

I disagree.

Clearly, they have never experienced the thrill of a mag dump at the range. Now imagine doing it twice as fast as normal! I admit a binary firing system requires the user to pay a little more attention to what their firearm is doing, but as responsible gun owners, we should be doing this anyway.

In theory, having the option to send more lead down range gives you the advantage over someone trying to cause you or your family harm. However, the quicker you shoot, the less accurate you tend to be, remember there are pros and cons to every situation.

With most binary triggers, you have the option to switch between semi-auto and binary modes. So you’re not always stuck with binary/echo mode, and you can avoid the unintentional discharge by flipping the safety switch to your preferred firing method.

Binary Triggers Vs…

Franklin Armory Binary Glock Slide Switch
Binary triggers can change the operation of a firearm, as with this Glock selector on the slide.

Binary triggers have some key differences from other fire-rate enhancements. They won’t turn your firearm into a machine gun or fully automatic firearm because they require the shooter to manipulate the trigger to fire each round. Binary triggers work by firing one round with both the pull and release of the trigger, that pull then release trigger is considered two separate actions — which makes binary firing systems legal in most states that don’t have regulations around accessories that impact “theoretical fire rate”.

In Deleware, binary triggers can only be used in pistol platforms. The states that have banned binary triggers at the time of writing are:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington

This list is subject to change, so you should check your state’s firearm laws to ensure you’re not breaking any laws that have been passed since the writing of this article.

You can “outshoot” your firearm with a binary trigger sometimes, this can be overcome with a stronger buffer spring that often comes with the trigger.

Bump Stocks

Bump fire stocks are very different than binary triggers, even though they both accomplish the task of rapid-fire and have a relatively easy installation process.

A bump stock uses the gun’s recoil to push the upper and lower receiver backward towards the stock, which causes the weapon to cycle and keeps firing while your finger stays in place on a “cover” near the trigger guard. The movement of the firearm causes the trigger to quickly hit your finger and allows a semi-automatic weapon to sound as though it’s a fully automatic weapon.

Bump stocks are now illegal. The ATF considers them machine guns because the shooter doesn’t manipulate the trigger to fire each round; the gun works for you.

Fully Automatic Firearms

Unlike binary triggers, the shooter holds the trigger when shooting a fully automatic gun, and rounds begin to fire and won’t stop until the shooter releases the trigger. The shooter doesn’t continuously manipulate the trigger. The gun does all the work, similar to a bump stock but technically not the same even though bump stocks are considered machine guns.

Fully automatic weapons shoot faster than binary triggers because binary triggers still depend on the reflexes of a human to initiate the trigger release. Whereas the only limitations on full auto firearms are jams and overheating.

The ATF heavily regulates fully automatic firearms, however, fully automatic weapons are technically legal if made before 1986, when Congress passed the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act. This means technically, they are not illegal, but they require a lot of paperwork and money to obtain.  It’s is now illegal to manufacture new automatic weapons for civilian use, so you’ll be dealing in antiques that cost a lot more than your average semi-auto varmint rifle.

Important Binary Trigger Considerations

Binary Trigger 3 Position Safety

You won’t always want to be in binary mode, so purchasing a binary trigger that has a semi-auto selector is the best option. If the trigger you plan to buy doesn’t have this feature, then I recommend you keep shopping until you find a separate model that does.

Complete Trigger Functionality

Some products require you to purchase extra parts for the trigger to perform correctly. If you want to achieve maximum functionality, buy the proper fitting trigger and all the necessary parts.

I prefer not to buy extra parts, so I stick with triggers that come with everything needed to enable binary mode.

Trigger Pull/Feel

The metal trigger pull weight is another critical factor to consider. You don’t want a trigger that’s tough to pull or lacks a positive reset but you also don’t want a trigger that’s so light a gentle breeze sets it off. Every shooter has their preference as to how many pounds pull a trigger should be, so experiment and determine which best suits you.

The feel of the trigger is another vital consideration. Many people still prefer standard curved triggers. However, straight triggers are gaining popularity. Once again, this comes down to what you’re most comfortable with, so if you usually shoot straight triggers, go with a straight trigger or vice versa.

Drop-in vs. Professional Installation

I enjoy tinkering with my firearms, but I know that’s not for everyone. If I need to, I won’t hesitate to take my gun to a professional gunsmith and have them fix or install the part. A trigger is a reasonably simple mechanism to install most of the time, especially when you have clear directions.

Know your experience level and limits with firearms when choosing between installing a trigger yourself or having it professionally installed. Some binary triggers won’t play nice with polymer lowers, for example. These are good things to know before you drop a couple hundo on a would-be paperweight.

Price Ranges vs. Features

The price doesn’t vary too much from one binary trigger to another. They all cost at least a few hundred dollars.

The price primarily depends on the caliber and gun in which it was designed to be used. A quality .22 caliber binary trigger will cost at least $250, and a high-quality AR platform binary trigger will cost around $400. You can expect to pay over $650 for the binary firing system for some specialty firearms.

How We Selected Our Recommendations

I would love the opportunity to test out every binary firing system on the market. However, that’s not financially feasible, so I lean on my experience shooting firearms, online reviews, and discussion with experts to recommend the best products to you.

I don’t enjoy wasting my money on products, so I wouldn’t recommend a product I wouldn’t buy.

Yes, there’s a LOT of Franklin Armory on this list, but that’s because the binary trigger space is still pretty new, and I’ll be sure the update and revise this list as new players enter the market and offer competitive options. 

FAQs

They are an aftermarket trigger. Binary triggers enable a semi-auto firearm to shoot twice as fast. They fire on the trigger pull and the trigger release.

Federally, binary triggers are legal. However, in some states, they are illegal. Carefully read your state’s firearm laws to keep your gun legal.

A binary trigger for an AR will cost $300 to $650.

If you enjoy a mag dump, yes, a binary trigger is worth it. If, however, you think it will make you a better shooter, it is not worth it.

Check your local hunting regulations, but I don’t see a reason to hunt with a binary trigger unless you switched it to the semi-auto mode instead of binary mode.

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