PSA Video From Franklin Armory–How NOT To Make A Pull And Release Trigger

This past Friday I received an email from my friend, Jay Jacobson, president of Franklin Armory. As you may know, Franklin Armory makes a very well thought out binary trigger that was accepted and approved by the BATF without reservation.

I’ll let Jay explain why they decided to make this video for all the shooters out there. Here is what Jay says about taking short cuts to increase the rate of fire for the civilian AR15:

illegal disconnector AR15

We thought it was necessary to make this video since there are a lot of individuals and even companies on youtube that are making videos of triggers that utilize out of spec disconnectors.  As explained in the video, ATF calls a trigger group that features an automatic function a machine gun.  We thought it was important to make this PSA so gunnies didn’t mistakenly get wrapped up in a crime with 10 years and 10,000 per occurrence.

The video Jay did isn’t very long and it is very well worth watching.

Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


  • Vhyrus

    Makes me wonder if you can make or modify a disconnector to be binary and legally compliant. Cause if so…. Monay!

    • roguetechie

      I’m sure you probably can, however it’s always advisable to know exactly what you’re doing when the end results could by accident net you a very illegal unregistered machine gun LOL

      • Drew Coleman

        Or create a dangerous gun – somehow cause runaway fire or an out of battery detonation.

        • That can sure happen as well.

        • roguetechie

          Hence the exhortation to actually KNOW WTF you’re doing, have complete sets of M16 and AR 15 blueprints and a BFA plus plenty of blanks to do testing of escalating levels of harder and harder testing

        • John

          I don’t get how an out of battery detonation can occur in an AR. The firing pin can’t protrude far enough until the bolt is locked and the bolt can’t lock until it finishes it’s traveling as it is blocked by the cam pin channel

    • As Jay mentioned the 3rd model of the Franklin Armory model uses a secondary part to insure you don’t find and use that sweat spot that lets the rifle go full auto. Just modifying the disconnector really isn’t very safe.

  • Ranger Rick

    What benefit does a “binary” trigger provide? I can’t see the need that it fills.

    • Jeff

      Gives you 2 chances to shoot your foot.

      • Saint Stephen the Obvious

        I see this being a problem too – a guy pulls the trigger then turns around and lets the trigger go and BANG!


        • SP mclaughlin

          You deserve that if you don’t take your finger out of the triggerguard after pointing the gun off the range.

          • Bierstadt54

            There is a part of me that wants to say no, that is very harsh, but… yeah, that level of stupidity, lethal habit stupidity… it seems a fair self-inflicted punishment.

        • noob

          The binary trigger is designed to not fire if you put it on safe while holding the he trigger and release

          • Yep very true—-

          • valorius

            Put a glock on safe?

          • noob

            good point – for no-external safety trigger systems a binary trigger would still need some way for the shooter to cancel a shot.

            It would be also interesting if the shooter could avoid discharging the weapon on the pull and have it fire on the release – like a release firing skeet gun. they say it helps people who have developed a flinch to overcome the habit because everything is backwards.

        • iksnilol

          What stupid people do you shoot with?

      • valorius


    • Flounder

      Full auto fun without the full auto price. Currently it is the best simulated full auto, or rather most controllable simulated full auto. I’ve considered getting one just for the kicks and giggles. They always come with a semi auto only function as well so it’s not like you are loosing anything.

      Although Franklin armory wants 400ish for theirs and so does the fostech echo. Which is crack pipe money for a trigger. And probably the entire reason people are modifying their milspec triggers to something similar.

      • noob

        I always wondered what a glock binary trigger would be like combined with the happy stick…

      • valorius

        If it was half the price i’d buy one.

    • Just an increased rate of fire.

      • Ranger Rick


  • roguetechie

    Thanks Phil,

    I personally went the DIY bump fire stock route specifically because I have no desire to accidentally “manufacture” a machine gun and face the loss of any chance to legally participate in the firearms world which has been my life long passion, sanity in hard times, and even once or twice a brake on behavior that would jeopardize my firearms rights if I didn’t “get away with it”

    The only thing on earth I love more than the firearms world is my wife, and our families which I freely admit.

    We are bombarded so often with messages that participation in the firearms world can only make your life worse when I have seen quite the opposite time and again!

    People who could have wound up in front of a judge pleading depraved on account of I was deprived instead becoming productive members of society and genuinely good people. People committed to a lifetime of learning and education whether formal or self directed who started down the path solely to be better people of the gun. Or so that they can build what their finances do not allow them to buy!

    Is this the only path that can lead to these benefits? Of course not, but something about boom sticks just seems to make it a hell of a great choice.

    Articles like this help to protect those with more enthusiasm than knowledge from themselves for long enough to allow their knowledge to catch up to their enthusiasm.

    Good show Franklin Armory, and thank you Phil!

    • Very welcome sir. I was sure glad that Jay reached out with this information. It isn’t the first time I’ve seen something that crossed the line and I’m sure it won’t be the last. take care——

  • So the sweet spot lets the hammer follow the bolt to battery? Does it actually fire a round? I’ve never seen this type of failure actually fire a round. No bang bang no machine gun.

    • Rick O’Shay

      The sweet spot catches the hammer after firing on the pull, and rereleases it when you release the trigger, thus firing twice on two movements (pull and release) rather than just firing on the pull and nothing on the release.

      • I understand the binary trigger operation. The sweet spot thing just doesn’t sound legit. I have never seen a following hammer actually fire a round. So the entire article sounds more like a marketing promo for the Franklin Armory product.

        • I actually have seen it happen from my own personal experience. I had a well used Colt carbine in the mid 80’s and one day I dumped most of a magazine. After some quick checking I had a well worn disconnector and yes you can ride that sweat spot. I cut my range session short went home and installed a new disconnector.

          • ExMachina1

            Are you saying that the doubling (or full auto) that people report from a worn disconnector is a result of hammer follow? I cannot understand how true hammer follow could ever fire a round.

        • I’ve had quite a few hammer follow failures to fire. I’ve never had a double or runaway.

    • ExMachina1

      I don’t think that true hammer follow ever (or if so, rarely) can result in multiple rounds being fired. This is because the hammer is not impacting the firing pin when it follows. However, what I got from the FA video was that even allowing a single pull to “drop” the hammer more than once is interpreted by the ATF as being an NFA violation.

      • I think the definition of machine gun is more than one round is fired for a single trigger pull. If the gun doesn’t go bang then all you have a club, not a machine gun. So the video seems like a sales pitch.

        • b0x3r0ck

          I’m not a gunsmith but from what I got from the video is that the sweat spot creates a runaway gun.

        • Holdfast_II

          Should probably use the word “manipulation” rather than “pull”.

        • ExMachina1

          Total agreement on the “sales pitch” aspect. Buy ours or go to jail 4evr.

    • franklinarmory

      There are two types of hammer follow. Type 1 is when the hammer is not caught by a sear and the hammer may fall forward uncontrolled. With light enough primers, it can go bang. ATF calls that a machinegun. Type 2 hammer follow is when you are able to activate the trigger faster than a carrier can get into action. Since a function was articulated, but the gun didn’t keep up, it is consistent with the definition of semiautomatic. A stock AR can encounter this scenario when bumpfiring off a thigh.

  • MrBrassporkchop

    I WAS going to get a binary trigger until I noticed my state was one of the handful of states these companies don’t sell to.

    Looked into it, my state is a wet blanket and considers them machine guns due to wording in how they define them.

    Entire west coast, not even once kids 🙁

    • The left coast seems to take away all your fun—geez!

    • int19h

      You prompted me to look up my state (WA) law banning machine guns, and the way it is worded is interesting:

      “Machine gun” means any firearm known as a machine gun, mechanical rifle, submachine gun, or any other mechanism or instrument not requiring that the trigger be pressed for each shot and having a reservoir clip, disc, drum, belt, or other separable mechanical device for storing, carrying, or supplying ammunition which can be loaded into the firearm, mechanism, or instrument, and fired therefrom at the rate of five or more shots per second.”

      If I read this correctly, then 1) full auto with fixed mags is okay, and 2) anything with a rate of fire slower than 300 rpm is okay. Interesting.

      • iksnilol

        So fixed mag on a grease gun and GTG?

        • int19h

          Well, NFA would still apply. So, after finding one for sale, and paying the transfer fee…

      • cons2p8ted

        So technically a 3 round burst trigger group would be legal according to these wordings (I am from WA also)

  • RSG

    I know exactly who and what this video is referring to. WOW.

    • ORCON

      Who? I want one.

      • Stan Darsh


  • abdou

    i still believe that Fostech Echo trigger is a better system

  • billyoblivion

    “The ATF doesn’t like that”

    Yes, yes they do.

    They like it VERY much.

  • 22winmag

    This is proof positive the amount of effort spent complying with tyrannical gun laws has exceeded the amount of effort spent to tear them down.