Binary Triggers

When looking to upgrade your AR-15 rifle or AR-15 pistol, one of the most important components to the rifle is the one that involves the most use from the individual shooter, the trigger. When you are shooting your rifle, it is the trigger that initiates all the actions of the rifle and is the most responsive part of the process to the shooter. Standard AR-15 triggers generally come set at 5.5-6.5 lbs. of pull to release the hammer and initiate the firing sequence. You can upgrade that trigger to different build kits or go so far as to install a complete drop-in trigger. Drop-in triggers come fully contained within an outer case and are as simple as the name implies, just drop it into the lower receiver as one complete unit rather than manually assembling all of the individual trigger components. However, if you are looking to have a bit more fun, in a currently legal state, you also have the option of installing what is called a binary trigger.

What is a Binary Trigger?

Most people are under the assumption that fully automatic weapons are illegal in the United States. They are not entirely illegal. They are just so heavily regulated and so steeply priced as to render their common use out of reach for many Americans. There are ways to go about getting the required paperwork completed, but the real roadblock is both availability and price point. So, the average American will never get to own a fully automatic AR-15 or other types of NFA-regulated firearm. This leaves that same average American with one realistic choice, binary triggers. A binary trigger functions much in the same way as a standard semiautomatic trigger. The key difference is that two rounds can be fired with one trigger pull instead of one. In a semiautomatic weapon, the trigger is pulled and the weapon fires one singular round. The trigger will reset, and the process can be repeated, however fast the shooter wants it to. But the rule always remains the same, one trigger pull for one round fired. A binary trigger fires one round with one trigger pull, but on the reset of the trigger, another round can be fired. One round fired on the pull, and one round fired on the release.

Benefits of a Binary Trigger

With the addition of a binary trigger to your AR-15, you can effectively double your rate of fire. Shooting controlled pairs is faster and more manageable. Binary triggers offer AR-15 shooters with that third “fun switch” while still being a safe and (currently) legal AR-15 accessory. The main concern that some shooters, and many politicians, expressed is that what is a shooter supposed to do when they’ve pulled the trigger and need to cease firing that second round? The binary trigger will automatically disengage from firing that second round if the selector switch on the rifle is switched from binary to semiautomatic before the trigger is released. There are also several options available for binary triggers on the market today.

Downside of the Binary Trigger

If you are looking for a super crisp trigger for competition, a binary trigger may not be the best option. They tend to not be as smooth as the more higher-end single or two-stage triggers on the market that are designed for precision marksmanship. Also, as with anything firearms-related, there are already several states that have made owning a binary trigger illegal. These states are California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Washington State, and the District of Columbia. If you live in one of these states, you are not allowed to own a binary trigger. The other downside is that federal legislation or regulations could change their current rulings on binary triggers and make them illegal at any time, with or without the possibility of them being grandfathered in.

The bottom line is that binary triggers, while not the smoothest functioning triggers, do sit near the top of the “most fun trigger to shoot” list. If you never served in the military and have never had the chance to fire a fully automatic weapon, or never got the chance to try and use any NFA items, a binary trigger is a great substitute for the price. With an average price point of around $400, a binary trigger will ensure that you have a fun day at the range. If you decide the splurge on yourself and your AR15, Gunspot is a great place to find your next AR15 to install your new binary trigger on your rifle to double the firepower, and fun, for your next range outing.

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