Welcome back to The Rimfire Report! In this ongoing series, we review, discuss, and explore the various aspects, firearms, and practices of the rimfire world. This week we have a special rimfire upgrade review for the Rimfire Report – the Franklin Armory BFSIII 22-C1 Binary Trigger. This is a binary trigger upgrade for the stock semi-auto Ruger 10/22 trigger pack.
The Rimfire Report: Franklin Armory BFSIII 22-C1 Binary Trigger Review
The Franklin Armory BFSIII 22-C1 was announced and showcased earlier this year at SHOT Show 2020. At Industry Day at the Range, I had an opportunity to test out the trigger with about two BX-25 magazines. Franklin Armory has now sent me a copy of the retail release of the trigger pack and I’ve had a chance to more thoroughly test and evaluate the system from installation to the fun part (shooting with it).
The 22-C1 trigger pack requires a vacant Ruger 10/22 trigger housing to install. If you don’t feel up to the task or don’t feel like installing the trigger yourself, Franklin Armory offers a service where you can send in your trigger pack and they’ll install the binary trigger for you. One awesome thing I like about the trigger pack kit is how it comes shipped with the parts neatly organized in individually sealed cells.
The installation process is quite easy and requires only a few tools. The included instructions provide you with a list of the tools you’ll need. In addition to the tools listed, I’d also personally recommend a few other tools if you have them to make the process simpler.
Luke’s Recommended Tools:
- Pair of Tweezers
- Magnetic Parts Tray
- Vice with Soft Jaws
- Cold Beer
- Plastic bag for unused OEM 10/22 trigger pack parts
The binary trigger assembles very similarly to the stock Ruger 10/22 trigger so those who have taken apart and reassembled their 10/22 trigger packs should feel right at home. The only major differences between the stock trigger and the binary trigger are the bolt catch plate, and the sear and hammer combo. The trigger also comes preassembled with a slave pin to keep it together and I’d recommend saving this pin if you ever want to switch out the trigger at a later time.
I am currently in the process of providing a full assembly video which you can expect to come out sometime soon. Check back on TFB for a short post/video about that.
- 3 Position Firing System
- Alloy flat-faced trigger
- Enhanced trigger buffer springs
- patent-pending 3 position firing selector
- Semi-Auto Trigger Pull: 5 lbs (5 pull average)
- Binary Mode Trigger Pull: 5.5 lbs (5 pull average)
The trigger assembles very easily and Franklin Armory is very thorough with their function checklist to make sure safe, semi, and binary modes work safely and correctly. A few problems I have with the trigger may not even be avoidable and may just be inherent to the nature of the way the trigger functions. Feel free to let me know in the comments below if I’m crazy.
My first complaint is about the selector label. It’s a nice feature, however, it does not seem like it would hold up to extended use. With only two weeks of wear, the plastic outer film that protects the label has already started to peel off and my feeling is that it’ll likely be completely gone within a month or so more of use.
In addition to the peeling problem, the label itself doesn’t seem to be quite the right fit for the trigger pack. To me, the dimensions seem a little bit off to where the sticker won’t look right or fit right no matter where you put it.
Secondly, the trigger itself has a minor hangup that can cause some users to become frustrated with the trigger. When the trigger is fully pulled to the rear, it is possible for the bolt to get hung up in the rearward position not allowing the gun to cycle. This is easily mitigated by not pulling so hard on the trigger, which is what you want to do anyway when shooting in binary mode, but on semi-auto, this can make for a frustrating cadence as the bolt may not come forward normally when you’re holding the trigger back. This may be an unavoidable result of the way the binary trigger works but I felt it was worth mentioning here.
Is it Fun?
Dumb question, of course, it’s fun! The next best thing to having a cheap binary action gun would have to be an American 180. The binary trigger turns the humble 10/22 into a party gun, everyone will want a chance to shoot it, and the larger the magazine is the larger the fun is. I would have really liked to get my hands on some Black Dog Machine 50 Round Drum Magazines.
There is a slight learning curve to figure out how to get the trigger to make a stream of uninterrupted fire but at most I feel it would take shooters only 3 or 4 magazines to get this right – so make sure you load up a couple BX-25’s and commit that trigger pull rhythm to memory. With the inexpensive and mild 22LR ammo the gun is easy enough to keep on target even when putting the gun up to its fastest cyclic rate.
There is only a half-pound difference in trigger pull weight between the semi and binary modes and both modes have a very tactile and audible reset. I would say that even the semi-auto mode is a good improvement over the already decent stock 10/22 trigger pull.
My Tips for Operating the 22-C1 Trigger
Operating the 22-C1 trigger from a stock 10/22 works just fine, in fact, this is basically how it was presented to me at SHOT Show 2020 and it worked well enough then. However, one major upgrade I’d recommend is getting a pistol grip installed on your 10/22. Personally, I had my BFSIII 22-C1 installed on my 8″ Ruger 10/22 Charger which I equipped with an SB Tactical FS1913 folding brace. The Charger comes preinstalled with a Ruger pistol grip and adapter to fill the gap between the grip and the trigger guard.
If you’re having trouble getting the gun to fire rapidly in Binary mode, I’d recommend starting off very slowly. It may feel very awkward at first but start with a slow rate of binary fire and work your way up to faster fire rates. It is completely possible that by attempting to run the trigger as fast as possible you’re actually outrunning the bolt and prematurely releasing the trigger before it has had a chance to reset for the “release” portion of the binary firing cycle.
Finally, as a last comment and tip, I’d recommend using higher velocity ammunition if possible. I ran the system with bulk ammo and it worked well enough but I did notice a considerable performance increase with CCI Mini Mags. If you’re having trouble even with hotter ammo, I’d try cleaning out the action of the gun. After about 600 rounds, I did notice that the action became gummed up, which was probably due to some of the cheaper bulk ammo I ran through it. After a quick cleaning, it was back to normal.
The Franklin Armory BFSIII 22-C1 is an insanely fun upgrade for any firearms enthusiast. While it’s not full auto, it’s the next best thing to it and a great way to relieve stress without destroying your wallet. As always your comments and thoughts are welcome down below. Thanks for stopping by to read The Rimfire Report, we’ll see you again next time!
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