LONG GUN STOCK WITH SLIDING TRIGGER ENCLOSURE
A sliding trigger enclosure system for a long gun includes a frame that is removably secured to the receiver of a firearm by factory-supplied hardware, and a hollow shoulder stock having a pair of side surfaces that extend outward from the front end. The shoulder stock is slidingly engaged over the frame and transitions between a FIRE position where the trigger assembly of the long gun is accessible, and a SAFE position where the pair of side surfaces are locked in a parallel orientation to the trigger assembly to prevent access to the same. A locking mechanism is disposed along the frame and secures the shoulder stock in the SAFE position. The locking mechanism including a pair of spring-loaded locking pins that are engaged by an actuator, and a user authentication device.
The present invention relates generally to firearms, and more particularly to a firearm stock with a sliding trigger enclosure.
The statements in this section merely provide background information related to the present disclosure and may not constitute prior art.
As any responsible firearm owner will attest, firearms should always remain locked when they are not in use, so as to prevent an accidental discharge of the same and/or to prevent access by an unauthorized individual. As such, there are many known types of commercially available firearm locking mechanisms such as trigger guards and/or trigger locks, for example which can be secured along or about the firearm trigger to prevent access to the same.
Although useful in their inception, these devices suffer from several drawbacks. For example, because these locking mechanisms are externally mounted, it is not uncommon for one or more pieces of the lock to become lost when the same is not secured onto the weapon. Additionally, it is not uncommon for users to secure the lock onto the weapon incorrectly, thereby causing a situation where unauthorized access can occur. Finally, the time required to correctly secure and/or physically remove the external lock may be unacceptable in emergency situations where the user needs immediate access to the weapon.
For these reasons, many individuals rely solely on the integrated safety mechanism of the firearm to act as the only means for securing the weapon in an inoperable state. Although these systems work well to prevent accidental discharge of the firearm, they do nothing to prevent unauthorized users from operating the firearm.
Accordingly, it would be beneficial to provide a long gun stock with a sliding trigger enclosure that can replace the factory stock of the firearm and can function to secure the firearm in a locked state, so as to overcome the drawbacks described above.
The present invention is directed to a sliding trigger enclosure system for a long gun. One embodiment of the present invention can include a frame that is secured to the receiver of a firearm by factory-supplied hardware, and a hollow shoulder stock having a pair of side surfaces that extend outward from the front end. The shoulder stock is slidingly engaged over the frame and is capable of transitioning between a FIRE position where the trigger assembly of the long gun is accessible, and a SAFE position where the pair of side surfaces are locked in a parallel orientation to the trigger assembly to prevent access to the same.
Another embodiment of the present invention can include a locking mechanism that is disposed along the frame and can function to secure the shoulder stock in the SAFE position. The locking mechanism can include a pair of spring-loaded locking pins that are engaged by an actuator.
Yet another embodiment of the present invention can include a user authentication device such as a combination lock or a biometric sensor for authenticating a user'"'"'s identity before allowing the stock to be transitioned from the SAFE position to the FIRE position.
This summary is provided merely to introduce certain concepts and not to identify key or essential features of the claimed subject matter.
Presently preferred embodiments are shown in the drawings. It should be appreciated, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.
While the specification concludes with claims defining the features of the invention that are regarded as novel, it is believed that the invention will be better understood from a consideration of the description in conjunction with the drawings. As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention which can be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the inventive arrangements in virtually any appropriately detailed structure. Further, the terms and phrases used herein are not intended to be limiting but rather to provide an understandable description of the invention.
A firearm, for the purposes of this description, relates to a mechanical device capable of discharging a bullet or other projectile in a given direction. A long gun is defined as a firearm having an extended barrel length and a butt stock that is typically designed to be rested against a user'"'"'s shoulder while being aimed and fired. Several examples of a long gun include shotguns and rifles, for example. A firearm has a longitudinal axis extending from the butt stock to the tip of the weapon'"'"'s barrel, and the firearm is defined as being upright when held in a position such that a trigger area is beneath the barrel of the firearm.
As described herein, the term “removably secured” and derivatives thereof shall be used to describe a situation wherein two or more objects are joined together in a non-permanent manner so as to allow the same objects to be repeatedly joined and separated. This can be accomplished through the use of any number of commercially available connectors such as opposing strips of hook and loop material (i.e. Velcro®), magnets, and/or compression fittings such as locking pins, clamps, nut/bolts, tethers (e.g., zip ties), snaps and buttons, for example.
Moreover, the term “permanently secured” shall be used to describe a situation wherein two or more objects are joined together in a manner so as to prevent the same objects from being separated. Several nonlimiting examples include various adhesives such as glue or resin, hardware such as nuts and bolts, and welds, for example.
As described throughout this document, the term “complementary shape,” and “complementary dimension,” shall be used to describe a shape and size of a component that is identical to, or substantially identical to the shape and size of another identified component.
Although illustrated throughout this document with reference to a shotgun, this is but one possible implementation of the inventive concepts, which can be equally utilized with any other type of long gun, regardless of make, model or manufacturer.
As shown in
As will be described below, the frame member 20 is designed to be positioned within the sliding shoulder stock 40, and therefore will include a shape and size that is suitable for this purpose. In various embodiments, the entirety or a portion of the outside facing surface of the frame member 20 can include a shape and size that is complementary to the entirety or a portion of the inside facing surface of the shoulder stock 40.
In either instance, a mounting aperture 22 is disposed along the front end 21c for receiving the factory bolt that secures the system to a firearm receiver. In this regard, the aperture 22 can include a shape, size, location and orientation that is complementary to the shape, size, location and/or orientation of the mounting aperture on the factory supplied butt stock of the weapon to which the system 10 is designed to replace, so as to allow the device 10 to be installed onto the firearm using the factory supplied hardware.
In the illustrated embodiment, the frame member 20 can include a forward handle section that is defined by a pair of curved side surfaces 23a and 23b, an upper surface 23c, and a bottom surface 23d. As will be described below the upper and bottom handle surfaces can be exposed when the system is in the unlocked orientation, as such these sections may include additional features such as texturing, for example, to facilitate better grip by a device user.
As shown, a pair of elongated protruding channels 24 can extend along the side surfaces 21e and 21f. The channels can be arranged along the longitudinal axis of the firearm, or can be offset from the longitudinal axis so as to allow the sliding stock to move in a different axis (e.g., slightly upward or downward), so as to ensure the side portions of the sliding shoulder stock completely cover the firearm trigger assembly.
In one embodiment, a removable recoil pad 25 can be secured within the open back end 21d of the frame body via connectors 11. In the preferred embodiment, the connectors can comprise security bolts having heads that can be engaged only by a specialty tool or wrench that can be provided with the system. Of course, any number of other devices capable of securing the recoil pad onto the frame in a removable manner while preventing access to the interior space of the frame body are also contemplated. Such features being designed to prevent or reduce the likelihood of an unauthorized person removing the system 10 from the firearm in order to fire the weapon.
In one embodiment, a pair of retaining tabs 26 can extend outward from the top and bottom surfaces of the main body 21a and 21b, respectively. The retaining tabs including a height (e.g., distance from the main body) that is greater than, or complementary to the thickness of the sliding shoulder stock 40 described below, so as to prevent the back end of the stock from traveling beyond the back end of the frame 20, and for securing the stock in the firing position. To this end, one or more push clips 26a or other type of connector/retention elements can also be disposed along one or both of the tabs. The retention element(s) functioning to selectively engage the distal end of the shoulder stock to temporarily secure the stock in the open/FIRE position until the retention element is engaged by the user, whereby the stock will slide to the naturally closed/SAFE position.
A system locking mechanism can be disposed within the interior space of the main body 20 and can function to selectively allow and prevent movement of the below described sliding stock 40. In one embodiment the locking mechanism can include a pair of locking pins 31 that are connected to an actuator 32 and/or an authentication device 33.
In the preferred embodiment, the locking pins 31 can include, comprise or consist of spring-loaded metallic pins that are connected to the actuator so as to transition between an extended and retracted position. When in the extended position, the pins can extend through openings 27 along the sides of the main body 21e and 21f, thereby blocking the passage of the back end of the shoulder stock and preventing the stock from sliding from the SAFE position to the FIRE position. Conversely, when the pins are in the retracted position, the pins will not interfere with the operation of the sliding stock. The pins can be constructed so as to automatically deploy/transition to the extended position when the actuator is not engaged, thus ensuring the device defaults to the SAFE position at all times.
Although described as including two metal pins located along the sides of the frame member, this is for illustrative purposes only. To this end, any number of other devices capable of being selectively activated to alternately block and allow movement of the sliding stock are also contemplated, regardless of shape, size or materials.
In the preferred embodiment, the actuator 32 can include a push button that is disposed along the top end of the main body 21f. The button being connected to the locking pins via an internal rod whereby receipt of a pressing force on the button results in commensurate movement of the rod, thus overcoming the tension of the springs on the pins and causing the pins retract. Conversely, when no force is applied onto the actuator the springs of the pins automatically transitions/maintains the pins to the extended state.
Although described with regard to a button and rod arrangement, this is for illustrative purposes only. As such, any number of other devices and components capable of extending and retracting the pins are also contemplated.
The authentication device 33 can include any number of devices capable of accepting a user input so as to allow operation of the actuator. In one embodiment, the device can include a mechanical combination lock having a series of numbers or letters which must be entered in a proper sequence to allow the actuator to move. In this regard, the authentication device can be physically coupled to the actuator, the actuator rod and/or the locking pins directly, and can function to disable movement of the actuator unless the proper sequence has been entered. Combination locking systems and associated components are extremely well known in the art, and any number of such commercially available systems can be utilized herein.
Although described above as including purely mechanical locking, actuation and authentication components, various embodiments of the system 10 also contemplate use of electromechanical components, wherein the locking pins 31 are controlled by, or comprise one or more linear actuators that are in communication with an electronic authentication unit 34 and an internal control assembly 35.
Although illustrated as separate elements, those of skill in the art will recognize that one or more assembly components may comprise or include one or more printed circuit boards (PCB) containing any number of integrated circuit or circuits for completing the activities described herein. The CPU may be one or more integrated circuits having firmware for causing the circuitry to complete the activities described herein. Of course, any number of other analog and/or digital components capable of performing the below described functionality can be provided in place of, or in conjunction with the below described controller elements.
The processor/CPU 35a can act to execute program code stored in the memory 35b in order to allow the device to perform the functionality described herein. Memory 35b can act to store operating instructions in the form of program code for the processor 35a to execute.
The component interface unit 35c can function to provide a communicative link between the processor 35a and various other device components such as the linear actuator(s), the authentication unit and/or the actuator. In this regard, the component interface unit can include any number of different components such as one or more PIC microcontrollers, internal bus, USB connections and other such hardware capable of providing a direct link between the various components. Of course, any other means for providing the two way communication between the device components can also be utilized herein.
As described herein, the electronic authentication unit 34 can include any number of different components that are capable of accepting a user input so as to transition the locking pins 31 into the retracted position, in order to allow a user access to the firearm trigger assembly. In the preferred embodiment, the electronic authentication unit can include or control a biometric authentication unit such as the illustrated fingerprint sensor 34, for example that can be located anywhere along the frame 20.
As will be known to those of skill in the art, a biometric authentication unit may record the fingerprint of the user and store the image of the fingerprint in the memory 35b. As such, upon recognition of the user'"'"'s fingerprint applied to the sensor, the processor can instruct the locking pins to retract, thereby allowing the sliding shoulder stock to transition from the SAFE position to the FIRE position. Of course, the authentication unit is not limited to the use of a biometric sensor, as any number of other known systems for receiving and/or verifying a user input are also contemplated. Several nonlimiting examples include the use of an electromechanical combination lock system and/or a wireless authentication system such as an RFID interrogator that can be used with an externally located RFID sensor, for example.
In the preferred embodiment, the power source 35c can include one or more DC batteries capable of providing the necessary power requirements to each element of the device 10. In one embodiment, the batteries can be permanently located within the main body 20 and can be rechargeable in nature via a charging port such as a mini or micro USB port, for example. Of course, traditional batteries can also be utilized, and the main body can further include a battery compartment having a removable cover (not illustrated) for allowing a user to access the same.
The shoulder stock can also include a forward handle section that is defined by a pair of curved side surfaces 43a and 43b that extend outward from the front end 41c. The side surfaces defining openings 43c and 43d along the top and bottom ends of the forward handle section that have complementary shapes to the frame handle sections 23c and 23d, respectively.
As shown, a pair of elongated grooves 44 can be positioned along the inside facing portions of the side walls 41e and 41f. The grooves can function to receive the above described channels 24 so as to allow the shoulder stock 40 to slide along the frame member 20 (e.g., slidingly engage).
As shown in
When so positioned, the back end 41d of the stock will be located forward of the locking pins 31, which will preferably automatically extend thus preventing the stock from sliding backward (arrow b) toward the tabs 26. At this time, the sliding stock will remain immobile in the locked/SAFE position until the pins 31 are retracted through operation of the actuator 32 and/or locking mechanism(s) 33 and/or 33a.
When so positioned, the frame and stock function together to result in the visual appearance of an ordinary shoulder stock wherein the trigger assembly 5 of the firearm is accessible.
As described herein, one or more elements of the long gun stock with a sliding trigger enclosure system 10 can be secured together utilizing any number of known attachment means such as, for example, screws, glue, compression fittings and welds, among others. Moreover, although the above embodiments have been described as including separate individual elements, the inventive concepts disclosed herein are not so limiting. To this end, one of skill in the art will recognize that one or more individually identified elements may be formed together as one or more continuous elements, either through manufacturing processes, such as welding, casting, or molding, or through the use of a singular piece of material milled or machined with the aforementioned components forming identifiable sections thereof.
As to a further description of the manner and use of the present invention, the same should be apparent from the above description. Accordingly, no further discussion relating to the manner of usage and operation will be provided.
The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting of the invention. As used herein, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms “comprises” and/or “comprising,” when used in this specification, specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof. Likewise, the terms “consisting” shall be used to describe only those components identified. In each instance where a device comprises certain elements, it will inherently consist of each of those identified elements as well.
The corresponding structures, materials, acts, and equivalents of all means or step plus function elements in the claims below are intended to include any structure, material, or act for performing the function in combination with other claimed elements as specifically claimed. The description of the present invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description but is not intended to be exhaustive or limited to the invention in the form disclosed. Many modifications and variations will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. The embodiment was chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and the practical application, and to enable others of ordinary skill in the art to understand the invention for various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated.