Franklin Armory is a relative newcomer to the U.S. market and the firearms industry in general. Established in 2010, in California, it is a company which specializes in triggers, assemblies, and a variety of complete firearms. In 2013, Franklin moved its headquarters to Nevada, in the wake of the seemingly-unending and ever-limiting gun laws being passed in the Golden State.

While Franklin may be considered by some to be the green and inexperienced “new kid on the block” – and hence not worthy of too much interest just yet – the armory has earned respect and garnered plenty of attention in the firearms industry, by releasing a few truly unique and innovative devices or products. At this year’s SHOT show (2018), they wowed the crowd with the unveiling of their newest project, the “Reformation”. But more on that later. Right now, let’s take at some of the other innovations which have made this company a real asset to the industry and its followers and advocates.

Franklin Armory Binary Trigger

Franklin’s binary trigger is nothing short of a revolution. The idea is simple enough to understand: a normal trigger pull causes a chain reaction resulting in a shot being fired. With the binary firing system (BFS) trigger, however, two shots are fired almost consecutively – one when you pull the trigger, the other when you release it.

The company’s binary trigger has been around since 2015 and has gone through several evolutions. A new one (the BFSIII, designed for AK-47 platform) will be coming in 2019, and there will undoubtedly be more to follow. Meanwhile, pre-orders for the new AK BFSIII have begun, with the presale going online in October 2018. I am actually very interested to see how it will measure up against the previous models. This will make civilian AK platforms even more attractive, and I think it is safe to say we will see a surge in videos and photos of binary AKs, once the system gets to consumers’ hands.

Franklin has been able to avoid legal issues with the Feds, which is commendable. As long as one projectile is fired with each trigger function, there is nothing out of the ordinary with the BFS, and it is not a firearm in and of itself. It behaves just as an ordinary fast-pulled trigger would, which is within the confines of the law. Still, it takes a certain kind of mind to engineer such technology, and a crew of dedicated workers to follow through with it. The BFS was scrutinized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) for a while before it got the green light, but eventually, it did.

Franklin Armory Complete Firearms

Franklin is a manufacturer which produces assemblies and systems primarily for the AR platform. The AK BFSIII which is about to be released may be a sign of the times ahead. Could it be that Franklin are heading in other directions, and will they manufacture more AK-friendly items? Time will tell on that one.

The firearms which Franklin Armory produces are split into groups. Some of them are forged, some are machined, but they are all of high-quality materials, and are all developed and hand-built in the United States. This accounts for their relatively higher price. But I honestly feel that in this case, the words “you get what you pay for” are doubly true.

One thing that makes Franklin and its firearms stand out, is the way that the armory is able to build weapons which are in compliance with certain government restrictions. After all, they started in California! But this is what makes them so unique: they are innovative, and their engineers find ways and means of working around limiting regulations in certain states and still manage to deliver a proper weapon. Franklin set itself apart by appealing first and foremost to states with more constricting gun laws, making it easier for those who live in those states to exercise their Second Amendment right to the fullest extent of the law.

Franklin Armory F17

The series which Franklin Armory titled ‘F17’ has been around since 2014. When it came out, the first gun in the series (F17-L) was celebrated as being the only piston-driven semi-auto AR-platform firearm chambered for the .17 Winchester Super Magnum (WSM) cartridge. That cartridge was released by Winchester two years beforehand, and since then there have been several other models of F17 that joined it.

The F17 series is also unique due to its custom-built bolt-carrier, as well as a proprietary magazine. It is built like an AR and has the overall look of an AR, but it functions a little differently because of Franklin’s alterations to the original idea.

Nowadays, the F17 series includes the following models:

F17-L: 20” barrel, 38.25” length, 9 LBS weight, 10/20 round capacity.
LIBERTAS lower assembly, Magpul MOE stock, Ergo grip
MSRP $2069

F17-M4: 16” barrel, 38.25” length, 9 LBS weight, 10/20 round capacity
FAI lower assembly, M4-style stock, A2-style grip
MSRP $1549

F17-SPR: 18” barrel, 38.25” length, 6.6 LBS weight, 10/20 round capacity
FAI lower assembly, MFT Battlelink Minimalist stock, MFT EPG16 grip
MSRP $1679

F17-VS4: 20” barrel, 38.25” length, 9 LBS weight, 10/20 round capacity
The VS4 has a FAI lower assembly, and also has an A2-style grip and stock
MSRP $1704

F17-X: 16” barrel, 38.25” length, 9 LBS weight, 10/20 round capacity
FAI lower assembly, Magpul SL stock, Magpul K2 grip
MSRP $1834

With battle-proven stocks, sights, and grips made by respectable companies, and proprietary additions such as the assemblies and custom-tuned triggers, it is easy to see why the F17 series is such a breath of fresh air.

Franklin Armory F17x
Franklin Armory F17x

There are those who have said that the AR platform is dying, that it has been played out, reached its limit, and has basically been subjected to everything by now. Franklin proved them wrong, in my opinion. There is still a lot of merit to this reliable platform, and the fact that new-wave weapons manufacturers are still using it as a base for their new and improved technologies and systems is indicative of its timelessness and efficiency in the field or at home.

Now look… I want to see those Star Wars-style blasters make an appearance (not to mention lightsabers!) as much as the next guy, but right now we have to use the tools that are available when they are available. And this means these companies are getting to work, and rather than reinvent the wheel, they put a positive and innovative spin on an older wheel. The F17 is not a brand new idea, but it is certainly a new take on an older idea. And it works.

Franklin Armory SBR

There are currently two models of rifles which qualify as an SBR in the Franklin Armory catalog, and as such they are controlled by the National Firearms Act and are restricted or otherwise prohibited in certain states. These firearms are the 11.5” LIBERTAS, and the 7.5” PDW.

LIBERTAS

Chambered in 5.56 NATO
11.5” barrel
LIBERTAS upper and lower receiver
BFSIII trigger
Magpul MOE SL-K stock
Ergo Ambi Sure Grip
Magpul front and rear sights
Full Picatinny railing
Comes with Magpul Pmag 30-round magazine
MSRP $2094

PDW

Chambered in 5.56 NATO
7.5” barrel
A4 7075-T6 Aluminum forged upper and lower receiver
BFSIII trigger
Maxim Defense CQB stock
Magpul MOE SL Grip
Magpul front and rear sights
Full Picatinny railing
Comes with Magpul Pmag 30-round magazine
MSRP $2284

Reformation

Not quite a rifle nor a shotgun, the Franklin Reformation line of firearms made its initial debut in 2018’s SHOT show and caught the attention of many visitors and enthusiasts. There is no rifling in the barrel, and because of that, no spin is put on the projectile when it exits the bore.

Several months before SHOT, in August 2017, the ATF released a statement confirming what Franklin was going for: an NSR (not a shotgun or rifle) firearm, which cannot be categorized as a rifle or a shotgun, and hence falls under no relevant NFA-related regulations, requires no tax stamp, and no special authorization for traveling out of state.

According to Franklin, this revolutionary firearm – and its corresponding projectile – will debut in 300 Blackout, followed by 5.56 NATO.

MSRP $1034-2094, depending on the Reformation model in question.

Conclusion

Franklin Armory is making a name for itself, and fast. They have been working hard, and this is evident from their innovations. They pride themselves in designing, engineering, and manufacturing their firearms in the United States, and that is certainly something to take into consideration.

I am not saying that other countries haven’t the tools or know-how – far from it – but there is something unique about an all-American firearm. This country was fought over, its citizens were at war with each other, and there are those who are trying to take the U.S. down in this day and age as well. Buying a weapon from an American company is not something which we should take for granted. Does it cost more? Yes. Is it worth the price? That question can only be answered by the consumer. Do your research, get your hands on some of their weapons, and see for yourself.

The Franklin lineup is impressive and solid, and I sincerely hope that this Nevada-based company will keep on wowing on for years to come.

Franklin Armory® Binary Firing System™ BFSIII™

We hope you enjoyed this Gunivore Company Overview

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Sam M

Sam is an avid firearms enthusiast who loves sharing his knowledge and experience with fellow gunivores.

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