I mean, finally, right? This is the binary trigger we’ve all been waiting for. If, like me, you worry that you aren’t shooting up your .22 LR ammo fast enough, the Franklin Armory BFSIII 22-C1 Binary Firing System will fix that right up for you.
Designed to work in any Ruger 10/22 compatible firearm, such as this Radical Firearms RF/22, the 22-C1 trigger provides three firing modes:
The lever on the ambidextrous safety selector points toward the depiction of the selected firing mode. Above, the 22-C1 is on “safe.”
And binary firing mode.
In the off chance that you aren’t familiar, a binary trigger fires on trigger pull and then again upon trigger release. Two shots for each full back-and-forth cycle of the trigger. Which means you can effectively double your rate of fire.
Federally, this does not meet the definition of a “machine gun” so a Binary Firing System-equipped semi-auto firearm remains just that, a semi-auto. Legal definitions vary state-by-state, though, and binary triggers (as of the publish date of this review) are not legal in CA, CT, DC, FL, HI, IA, MD, NJ, RI, or WA. And, in Delaware, they can only be used in pistol platforms (you know, like a 10/22 pistol).
In the off chance that you pull the trigger in binary mode and fire that shot, but do not want the second shot to fire upon trigger release, moving the safety lever off of the binary setting will disable the fire-on-release function.
That said, I’ll admit that I’ve been fairly “anti” on the whole binary trigger thing since Franklin Armory first invented it. Without a doubt it’s very smart. Without a doubt it’s lots of fun. But I have safety concerns after personally witnessing multiple people unexpectedly popping off a round on trigger release.
Oddly enough, this seems to be a bigger issue with highly experienced shooters. They’re just so very used to a standard trigger function and typically have deeply ingrained shooting fundamentals such as a clean trigger pull follow-through that keeps it pinned back for longer. Then they forget and, when they eventually release the trigger, POP.
Without a doubt this is a training issue. The trigger functions exactly as it’s supposed to. But it’s a big reason I’ve felt like the only home for binary triggers is being used purely for fun plinking in a controlled, shooting range style environment.
Which is why the BFSIII 22-C1 for the Ruger 10/22 makes so much sense! The 10/22 is the ultimate fun-day-on-the-range plinking gun. Controllable, fun, safe, and firing the oh-so-very affordable .22 LR round, the ability to empty mags at twice the normal speed is a guaranteed smile maker.
It works, too. I ripped through magazines at lightning speed and smiled and giggled the whole way through. With the .22 LR RF/22 it shoots so completely soft and flat that keeping it on target despite the absurdly high rate of fire was a total non-issue.
Furthermore, the trigger is quite good. Whether in semi-auto or binary mode, there is zero takeup and nearly no creep at all. The 22-C1 has a crisp break in the 4-lb range. In standard semi-auto mode it also has a pronounced reset without much overtravel or total travel.
I’d hesitate to call it a “match grade” trigger only because of the pull weight falling more in the typical range rather than the target-style lightweight range. The 22-C1 is a very good trigger any way you cut it, though, and it just happens to have an extremely fun little trick up its sleeve, too.
Thousands of happy customers are enjoying Franklin Armory Binary Firing Systems in their ARs, HKs, ACRs, AKs, and other firearms, it just hasn’t been my cup of tea. This one, though? Yeah, I can get behind the BSFIII 22-C1. I think, if there ever were one, the 10/22 is the perfect firearm for this setup. These triggers aren’t cheap, but on a 10/22 the smiles-per-dollar factor here is extremely strong. Just be safe with it.
Specifications: Franklin Armory BFSIII 22-C1 Binary Firing System
Fit: most 10/22-compatible firearms
Function: 3-position selector with safe, semi, and binary firing modes
MSRP: $299.99 ($269.99 at Brownells)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Fun Factor * * * * *
I mean, short of mortgaging your home to go the registered machine gun route, shooting the 22-C1 on binary mode is an absolute blast and just might be good for more fun than you’ve had on the range in years.
Reliability * * * *
It’s possible to outrun or short stroke the trigger trying to be extra super secret probation fast with it. More the shooter’s fault than the trigger’s, of course, but it isn’t foolproof and takes some practice to optimize speed without occasionally missing the fire-on-release round. Even if you do that, though, you won’t induce a stoppage. The hammer spring is plenty strong to reliably ignite any rimfire ammo and the build and finish quality is high.
Overall * * * *
Look, the Franklin Armory BFSIII 22-C1 ain’t cheap. Heck, it’s more than a lot of basic, complete 10/22 rifles. If this thing were similarly priced to other 10/22 triggers (to be clear, I’m not saying it should be) it’d be an easy five stars. A no-brainer. At the premium price I have a hard time going “full send” on a five-star rating, but Lord knows the 22-C1 is an absolute hoot to shoot and it’s reliable and well-made to boot. Lame old Safety Sally me is on board with a binary trigger in a 10/22. It’s okay, yes, I’ve come around. Just, you know, don’t forget what binary mode means and stay safe out there folks.