TFB Review: A Binary AK – The Franklin Armory Binary Firing System

    TFB REVIEW: Binary AK - The Franklin Armory Binary Firing System

    TFB REVIEW: Binary AK - The Franklin Armory Binary Firing System

    Franklin Armory’s Binary Firing System upgrades your rifle and may turn it into your favorite shooter. Skeptical at first, I have become a “true believer” (in the cult-like fashion of other Franklin acolytes). I fired every single 9mm round I had, then searched for more, like a junkie needing a fix. With this upgrade, merely picking up my Binary AK gets me giggly and warm inside. How many rounds did I fire? I have no frickin’ idea…

    For this review, Franklin Armory sent me the BFSIII AK-C1, a Binary Firing System for the AKM platform, and is a drop-in trigger replacement. They do offer binary triggers for other platforms if you prefer a different platform. The BFSIII is three position. As is standard in the AKM platform the up position is safe. The middle position is standard semi-automatic fire and all the way down is binary. In “binary” it fires when the trigger is pulled, and once again when the trigger is released.

    TFB REVIEW: Binary AK – The Franklin Armory Binary Firing System

    TFB REVIEW: Binary AK47 - The Franklin Armory Binary Firing System

    TFB Review: Binary AK – The Franklin Armory Binary Firing System




    TFB REVIEW: Binary AK47 - The Franklin Armory Binary Firing System

    TFB Review: Binary AK – The Franklin Armory Binary Firing System

    As many of you already know, and contrary to the belief of many, not all AK’s are the same. Franklin Armory makes this clear on the installation instructions but there is always the possibility that your installation will not go as smoothly as mine did. My experience was pretty simple:

    • Step one: remove the safety selector and hammer pin (and hammer)
    • Step two: remove old trigger
    • Step three: drop in the BFSIII
    • Step four: reattach safety selector, install hammer

    There a few other steps like inserting a pin with a retention clip and inserting some caps into remaining holes in the receiver (this upgrade leaves a few holes in the receiver open since the BFSIII does not require the pins that the standard AKM trigger requires).  If you have a problem with the hole caps slipping out, Franklin Armory recommends using a little super glue to assist in keeping them in. Following their advice, I used a “dab” (more on this in the conclusion).

    TFB Review: Binary AK47 – The Franklin Armory Binary Firing System

    TFB Review: Binary AK47 – The Franklin Armory Binary Firing System

    Semi-automatic Setting:

    When placed on semi-automatic the trigger breaks consistently at around 3.5lbs. It is a crisp break with a positive reset. I found it as good as any AK trigger I have manipulated. I did spend a significant time firing in semi-automatic mode, in hopes of finding anything substandard and I did not.

    Binary AK47 – Five trigger pulls, all at about 3.5 pounds. Notice the missing cap on the rear hole on the right.

    All in all, it was a twenty-minute installation. Because I’m just that good I got lucky.  The safety checks that Franklin Armory recommends took much longer.  Anytime you swap out a trigger, you really should perform safety checks–not joking.  Since this is not a “standard trigger”, the safety checks are a bit more involved. You may have to perform some minor fitment like adjusting the height of the trigger with an Allen bolt (at the rear of the housing). As it was, mine sat perfectly.

    Franklin Armory has a video on the entire process.

    Binary Setting:

    I literally did not want to stop firing my AKM with the BFSIII.  My first time on the range with it, I fired four thirty-round magazines, back to back.  It does take a little bit to get used to, and getting the rhythm down is pretty easy as long as you start slow and steadily increase your cadence. It continues to break at 3.5-lbs on the initial pull and the release fire is natural and simple. Once you have established your cadence, it does not take long to where it sounds full auto.

    A side note: If in binary mode and the trigger pulled to the rear (having just fired) you can switch back to the semi-automatic mode and release the trigger without discharging the weapon, a nice safety feature.

    TFB Review: Binary AK47 – The Franklin Armory Binary Firing System


    I would suggest picking up one of Franklin Armory’s Binary Firing Systems, even if it means selling that nasty 1911 in your safe that you never fire (that’s what I will be telling my wife I did so I can outfit my other rifles).

    Once you have taken the plunge and installed the trigger, you will find that you have become more attractive to others, your tax returns will automatically be larger, and you will be gifted a pet tiger, which you can saddle, and ride to the range. If it is raining, the clouds will part and the sun will shine down on you.

    Seriously, though, it is a great trigger. In semi-automatic mode, it fired consistently with a smooth crisp break and never hiccupped. Although the trigger unit is heavier in weight than a standard trigger, It was not noticeable.

    Regarding the caps that cover the open holes following installation, one of mine fell off. I would recommend some epoxy as opposed to superglue–keeping in mind that it will be challenging to go back to a regular trigger after you do that.  It is possible I did not use enough superglue. But maybe a stronger adhesive is needed, I dunno–has anyone that has one experienced this?

    At the time of this writing, Franklin Armory is quoting a 16+ week lead time on shipping this trigger.  They are apparently pretty popular, and I totally understand why.

    As many of you probably already guessed it is illegal in the usual States where fun things are prohibited.  If you are not constrained by this, I would recommend giving one a try (4 months from now, apparently); I predict it will transform even your least favorite safe queen to a fun range animal.

    Any of you shoot with Franklin’s Binary Firing System?  Did you have as much fun as I did?  Let us know your thoughts below!

    Mike R

    Mike spent his entire adult life riding an ambulance throughout the Southwest US. He found humor in long in-depth philosophical conversations with crack heads and other urban street survivalists.

    His highest point was being invited to instruct for some “special” medics in the military. He spent almost 10 years there. A 30 year gun enthusiast, he started down the path of reloading to keep up with his desperate need of more ammo. Reloading is like medicine, you never stop learning.

    He can generally be found at the local range picking the brains of the old timer, looking for brass, and banging away at gongs. He reloads everything from .32 to .45, .223 to 7 rem mag.