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United States Patent Application 20110061283
Kind Code A1
Cavallo; Santuccio ;   et al. March 17, 2011

ATTACHMENT SYSTEM USED TO MOUNT ACCESSORY DEVICES TO A FIREARM

Abstract

An attachment system for mounting an accessory device to a longitudinal rail along the frame and forwardly of a trigger guard; said rail configured with at least two longitudinal grooves, one along each side of the rail, and further configured with a transverse slot in the surface of the rail; an accessory including a pair of longitudinal tongues, said tongues complimenting the longitudinal grooves for retaining the accessory device on the rail; a compression spring in a recess area formed in said accessory upwardly biasing a latch, on the accessory device housing and pivoting on a pivot pin; said latch containing a transversely disposed elongated protuberance having a width slightly less than the transverse slot of said rail for being received therein that co-acts with the transverse slot in said rail to prevent further longitudinal movement of the accessory device along the rail.


Inventors: Cavallo; Santuccio; (Watertown, CT) ; Cavallo; Robert Frank; (Prospect, CT)
Assignee: NiteScout LLC
Watertown
CT

Serial No.: 780589
Series Code: 12
Filed: May 14, 2010

Current U.S. Class: 42/72; 42/111; 42/114; 42/124; 42/90; 42/94
Class at Publication: 42/72; 42/90; 42/114; 42/124; 42/111; 42/94
International Class: F41C 27/00 20060101 F41C027/00; F41G 1/00 20060101 F41G001/00; F41G 1/387 20060101 F41G001/387; F41C 23/12 20060101 F41C023/12; F41A 23/12 20060101 F41A023/12


Claims



1. A firearm accessory device installation method comprising the steps of:placing a rear end of the longitudinal tongues of a housing of an accessory device to a firearm;engaging the forward ends of at least two longitudinal grooves of a rail carried by the firearm;depressing a latch to overcome the biasing force of a compression spring causing the latch to enter a recess area formed in the accessory device such that a protuberance of the latch lies outside a plane of the firearm rail; urging the accessory device rearwardly, thereby sliding the accessory device housing along the rail while the accessory device housing is vertically retained by the rail; contacting the protuberance of the latch to the bottom surface of the rail with latch pivoting about a pivot pin against the bias of a compression spring, until the transverse protuberance of the latch enters a transverse slot as the compression spring urges the latch upward.

2. A firearm attachment system comprising:a longitudinal rail along the frame and forwardly of a trigger guard; said rail configured with at least two longitudinal grooves, one along each side of the rail, and further configured with a transverse slot in the surface of the rail; an accessory device including a pair of longitudinal tongues, said tongues complimenting the longitudinal grooves for retaining the accessory device on the rail; a compression spring in a recess area formed in said accessory upwardly biasing a latch, on the accessory device housing and pivoting on a pivot pin; said latch containing a transversely disposed elongated protuberance having a width slightly less than the transverse slot of said rail for being received therein that co-acts with the transverse slot in said rail to prevent further longitudinal movement of the accessory device along the rail when the accessory device is at a predetermined position along the rail.

3. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby there are 2 or more latches.

4. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the latch is outfitted with a series (i.e. two, three, four, etc.) of protuberances, such that the latch engages numerous transverse slots along the weapons rail.

5. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises a laser.

6. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises an illuminator.

7. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises a scope.

8. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises an aiming device.

9. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises a hand-grip.

10. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises a tri-pod.

11. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises a computer device.

12. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises a non-lethal projectile device.

13. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises a lethal projectile device.

14. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises a spraying device.

15. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises an electroshock device.

16. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises a directed-energy device.

17. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises an electro-magnetic device.

18. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises a foam projectile device.

19. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises a bladed device.

20. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises a receiving device.

21. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises a transmitting device.

22. The firearm attachment system of claim 2, whereby the accessory device comprises a camera.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001]This is application claims the priority benefit under 35 U.S.C. .sctn.119(e) of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/241,653, Apparatus For Securing Accessories to a Firearm, filed on Sep. 11, 2009, each of the entire disclosures of which are hereby incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002]This invention relates to an attachment system used to mount accessory devices to a firearm including a handgun.

[0003]Handgun manufacturers have introduced various handgun models having a longitudinal rail along the handgun's frame and forwardly of the trigger guard, such rail being configured with two longitudinal grooves, one along each side of the rail, and further configured with a transverse slot in the surface of the rail. Such rails are intended for accommodating accessories having a housing configured with a pair of longitudinal tongues complimenting the longitudinal grooves for retaining the accessory on the rail. The latch on the housing of the accessory acts with the transverse slot in the rail to prevent further longitudinal movement of the accessory along the rail when the accessory device is at a predetermined longitudinal position.

[0004]The longitudinal rails of handguns of some manufacturers may be of a different configuration than the longitudinal rails of handguns of other manufacturers. For example, some handguns include a longitudinal rail commonly known as a Universal rail, while other handguns include a rail commonly known as a Picatinny rail. The width of the Universal rail is substantially less than the slot width of the Picatinny rail. The present invention proposes an attachment system, used to secure accessory devices to longitudinal rails of different configurations, that facilitates the removal and addition of accessories to a firearm.

[0005]Attaching accessory devices to a weapon typically requires separate mechanical components or brackets, which may necessitate tools, e.g. screwdrivers, wrenches, etc., for attaching the accessory devices to a weapon or to the mechanical component. Alternatively, attaching and detaching accessory devices or mechanical components to the weapon may require partial disassembly or modification of the weapon. Those attachment systems that require neither partial disassembly nor modification of the weapon require that the operator grip the forward part of the weapon with one hand while using the other hand to attach or detach the accessory. These requirements present a major disadvantage, in that, they increase the difficulty and thus the amount of time needed to attach or detach accessories from the weapon for whatever reason the operator may have. For example, in the context of handweapons this could present a problem by increasing the amount of time it takes to put weapons back into their holsters or to attach accessory devices to firearms after removing it from the holster, since many holsters do not accommodate accessory devices. In law enforcement and military applications, where time is of the essence, time preservation may be crucial to the safety of the weapon's operator or other individuals, as well as, the success of a military or law enforcement operation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006]The present invention provides an attachment system used to mount accessory devices to handguns and other firearms comprising the steps of placing a rear end of the longitudinal tongues of a housing of an accessory device to a firearm; engaging the forward ends of at least two longitudinal grooves of a rail carried by the firearm; depressing a latch to overcome the biasing force of a compression spring causing the latch to enter a recess area formed in the accessory device such that a protuberance of the latch lies outside a plane of the firearm rail; urging the accessory device rearwardly, thereby sliding the accessory device housing along the rail while the accessory device housing is vertically retained by the rail; contacting the protuberance of the latch to the bottom surface of the rail with latch pivoting about a pivot pin against the bias of a compression spring, until the transverse protuberance of the latch enters a transverse slot as the compression spring urges the latch upward.

[0007]The present invention further includes an attachment system used to mount accessory devices to handguns and other firearms comprising: a longitudinal rail along the frame and forwardly of a trigger guard; said rail configured with at least two longitudinal grooves, one along each side of the rail, and further configured with a transverse slot in the surface of the rail; an accessory device including a pair of longitudinal tongues, said tongues complimenting the longitudinal grooves for retaining the accessory device on the rail; a compression spring in a recess area formed in said accessory upwardly biasing a latch, on the accessory device housing and pivoting on a pivot pin; said latch containing a transversely disposed elongated protuberance having a width slightly less than the transverse slot of said rail for being received therein that co-acts with the transverse slot in said rail to prevent further longitudinal movement of the accessory device along the rail when the accessory device is at a predetermined position along the rail.

[0008]One object of the invention is to overcome the aforementioned and other drawbacks of existing attachment systems. At the heart of the present invention is the inventors' discovery that existing attachment systems do not allow the operator to attach or detach accessory devices while keeping one hand on the weapon's grip (generally used by the hand that operates the trigger). In addition, the inventors' have discovered that current attachment systems require the operator to engage/disengage the latching mechanism using two fingers; none permit the operator to engage/disengage the latching mechanism using only one finger. As a result, current attachment systems make it difficult, not only for the operator to continue to hold the weapon via the weapon's grip (generally used by the hand that operates the trigger) while adding or removing an accessory device, but also to engage or disengage the latching mechanism, all while on the move in combat. On the contrary the present invention would allow operators to both, maintain one hand on the weapon's grip while attaching or detaching and accessory device and use only one finger to engage/disengage the latching mechanism, allowing the operator to both engage/disengage the latching mechanism and attach/detach the accessory device while on the move.

[0009]Another object of the invention is to provide a mechanism for attaching an auxiliary device to a weapon such that the accessory device will maintain or better maintain boresight alignment even after shocks of repeated weapon fire recoils.

[0010]Another object of the invention is to provide a mechanism for mounting an accessory device to a weapon without temporary or permanent disassembly or removal of any parts of the weapon to which the accessory device is attached.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0011]The novel features believed to be characteristic of the present invention, together with further advantages thereof, will be better understood from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying drawings in which preferred embodiments of the invention are illustrated by example. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration and description only and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention.

[0012]FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of a firearm having a longitudinal rail structure to which may be removably secured an accessory device according to the present invention;

[0013]FIG. 2 is a front elevation view of the firearm of FIG. 1 according to the present invention;

[0014]FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of an accessory device removably secured to the rail structure of the firearm of FIG. 1 according to the present invention;

[0015]FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the auxiliary device attached to the weapon frame and specifically depicting the latching mechanism, pivoting on a pin, and being upwardly biased by a compression spring according to the present invention;

[0016]FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the auxiliary device's transverse bar being upwardly biased by a compression spring and engaging the transverse slot of the weapon rail according to the present invention;

[0017]FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the latch bar according to the present invention;

[0018]FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an alternate configuration for the latch bar containing multiple engagement points according to the present invention;

[0019]FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a firearm to which is attached a conventional accessory rail mount structure to which is mounted an accessory according to the present invention;

[0020]FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the accessory rail mount exemplified in FIG. 8, detached from the weapon according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0021]Turning first to FIG. 1, there is illustrated an example of a firearm 1, specifically a handgun including a barrel 4 extending along a longitudinal axis 3 from the handgun's frame 5. The handgun 1 includes a trigger guard 2 in front of the handgun's trigger.

[0022]As used herein, "longitudinal" describes a direction along or parallel to the longitudinal axis 3 of the firearm's barrel 4; "transverse" describes a horizontal direction perpendicular to the axis 3 when the barrel 4 (or accessory device 9) is horizontally positioned; "above" means vertically above and "upward" means vertically upward when the firearm barrel 4 (or accessory device 9) is horizontally positioned; "below" or "beneath" means vertically below; "front" and "forward" describes the longitudinal direction toward the muzzle of the barrel 4 or the accessory device 9 (i.e., to the right as shown in FIGS. 1 & 3); "rear" or "rearward" describes the longitudinal direction opposite the front or forward direction (i.e. to the left as shown in FIGS. 1 & 3); "accessory device" includes any firearm accessory including, but not limited to, lasers, illuminators, scopes, aiming devices, hand-grips, tripods, computer devices, non-lethal projectile devices, lethal projectile devices, spraying device, electroshock weapons, directed-energy weapons, electro-magnetic weapons, foam-projectile devices, bladed weapons, storage units, receiving devices, transmitting devices, cameras, or any combination thereof; "protuberance" describes the part of the latch 10 which engages the transverse slot 7 of the rail; "outside" means not intersecting.

[0023]The handgun 1 includes a longitudinal rail 21 along the frame 5, below the barrel 4 and forwardly of the trigger guard 2. Such rails are well known in the handgun art, for mounting accessories thereto. The rail 21 is configured with two longitudinal grooves 6a & 6b, one along each side of the rail 21, and is further configured with a transverse slot 7 in the bottom surface of the rail 21. As is well known, such rails are intended for cooperating with accessory devices having a housing configured with a pair of longitudinal tongues (in this respect see tongues 8a & 8b of the accessory device as shown in FIGS. 2, 3 & 4), with such tongues 8a & 8b complimenting the longitudinal grooves 6a & 6b for securely retaining the accessory device 9 on the rail 21. A latch 10 on the accessory device housing co-acts with the transverse slot 7 in the rail 21 to prevent further longitudinal movement of the accessory device 9 along the rail 21 when the accessory device 9 is at a predetermined position along the rail 21.

[0024]Although the rail 21 is represented in FIG. 1 as being integral with the frame 5 of the handgun 1, the rail 21 may also be a separate structure that may be attached to the handgun beneath, upward, and on the side of the barrel and forwardly of the trigger guard. Such rails for handguns, both integral to the frame and removable attachable to the handgun, as well as accessory devices adapted for being removably attached to such rails as discussed above.

[0025]Handgun manufacturers have introduced various handgun models with integral rails having longitudinal grooves of the types shown in FIG. 9. Although such longitudinal grooves among manufacturers have been of substantially similar dimensions, the transverse slots in the rails of the handguns of some manufacturers are of a different width than the transverse slots in the rails of handguns of other manufacturers. Specifically, the rails of some handguns include a transverse slot of another predetermined width. For example, some handguns include a rail commonly known as a Universal rail, while other handguns include a rail commonly known as a Picatinny rail; the slot width of the Universal rail is substantially less than the slot width of the Picatinny rail. The attachment system of the present invention accommodates both types of rails, as well as other types of rails, known or unknown at this time.

[0026]The attachment system includes two longitudinal tongues 8a & 8b removably secured to the housing of the accessory device 9, for interfacing with the firearm rail 21 to enable the housing of the attachment device 9 to be slid along the rail 21 (see FIGS. 2, 3 & 4). The longitudinal tongues 8a & 8b complimenting the firearm's longitudinal grooves 6a & 6b for slidably cooperating with the firearm's longitudinal grooves 6a & 6b while being vertically retained by the rail 21 as shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 4 & 5.

[0027]An accessory device assembled with this attachment system may be removably installed to the firearm 1. The accessory device 9 is placed to the firearm 1 with the rear end of the longitudinal tongues 8a & 8b of the housing of the accessory device 9 engaging the forward ends of longitudinal grooves 6a & 6b of the rail 21 carried by the firearm (see FIG. 4). The operator depresses the latch 10 to overcome the biasing force of the compression spring 12 causing the latch 10 to enter a recess area 11 formed in the accessory device (see FIGS. 3 & 4) such that the protuberance of the latch 10 lies outside the plane of the weapon rail 21. The accessory is then rearwardly urged, thereby sliding the accessory device housing along the rail 21 while the accessory device housing is being vertically retained by the rail. The transverse protuberance of the latch 10 contacts the surface of the rail 21 with the latch pivots about the pivot pin 13 against the bias of the compression spring 12, until the transverse protuberance of the latch 10 enters the transverse slot 7 as the compression spring 12 urges the latch 10 upward (see FIG. 5).

[0028]It should be noted that the width of the protuberance of the latch 10 is slightly less than the width of the transverse slot 7 such that the protuberance of the latch 10 fits into the transverse slot 7. The engagement of the protuberance with the transverse slot 7 stops further longitudinal movement of the housing of the accessory device 9 along the rail 21, longitudinally latching the housing of the accessory device 9 in this position. The longitudinal positions of the transverse slot 7 and of the protuberance are preferably determined such that the rear end of the accessory device 9 is situated forwardly of the handgun's trigger guard 2 when the protuberance engages the transverse slot 7.

[0029]To remove the accessory device 9 from the firearm 1, the operator depresses the latch 10 to overcome the biasing force of the compression spring 12 causing the latch to enter a recess area 11 formed in the accessory device housing (see FIGS. 3 & 4) such that the protuberance of the latch 10 is disengaged from the transverse slot 7 and lies outside the plane of the weapon rail 21. The operator thereupon forwardly urges the accessory device 9 to slide along the rail until the accessory device 9 is removed from the rail structure 21.

[0030]The present invention provides for an attachment system where the operator may use one hand to remove or attach the accessory device while using the other to grip the weapon. The distinction between the present invention and other attachment systems is that the latching mechanism only requires the use of one, rather than two, of the operator's fingers to depress the latch 10 to either disengage the protuberance of the latch 10 from the transverse slot 7 or depress the protuberance of the latch outside the plane of the weapon rail for either removal or attachment. This facilitates the addition or removal of the accessory device 9.

[0031]It has been noted that the latch 10 (see FIGS. 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7) contains a transversely disposed elongated protuberance having a width w slightly less than the transverse slot 7 of the firearm's rail 21 for being received therein. Different firearm rails may have different slot widths, for example, two well known types of rails (the Universal rail and the Picatinny rail) have slots of respectively different standardized widths. In order to accommodate both types of rails, the latch 10 may be provided having a protuberance width w of approximately 0.125 inch for accommodating the transverse in a Universal rail, while another latch 10' (shown in FIG. 7) may be provided having a width of w' of its transversely disposed elongate protuberance of approximately 0.205 inch for accommodating the transverse slot of a Picatinny rail. Except for the differences in width of the transverse protuberance shown as examples of the latch 10 and the latch 10', the two latches 10 & 10' are substantially identical and one may be substituted for the other in the accessory device 9 according to the present invention.

[0032]Accessory devices containing the attachment system, presented for invention, may be removably secured to firearms other than handguns, as well as to other types of firearms that do not have integral rails but are adapted for having accessory rail mount system devices secured thereto. Such rail mount system devices are well known in the firearms art, and may be of the type 17 comprising a series of longitudinal spaced-apart ribs 19 separated by transverse slots 7, such as a Picatinny rail (see FIG. 9). According to one embodiment, the latch 10 may be outfitted with a series (i.e. two, three, four, etc.) of protuberances such that the latch engages numerous transverse slots along the weapons rail providing for a more secure attachment for accessory devices. This could be particularly useful when dealing with weapons where the greater recoil force may cause the accessory device to dislodge.

[0033]Such rail mount structures 17 may be secured to long arms, for example a rifle or shotgun 20 as illustrated in FIG. 8.

[0034]As shown in FIG. 8 the accessory device may be removable secured to such rail structures 17 secured to firearms other than hand weapons. Where such rail structure 17 is of a type having Picatinny rails, the latch 10' shown in FIG. 6 would be installed in the accessory device 9, with the transverse protuberance having a width w' for engaging any of the Picatinny rail slots 7. The accessory device 22 may be removable secured to the rail structure 17 in substantially the same way as the accessory device 22 may be removably secured to the rail 21 carried by the handgun 1. The operator may adjust the longitudinal position of the accessory device 22 on the rail by depressing the latch 10 until a selected transverse slot 7 has been encountered by the protuberance.

[0035]Thus, there has been described a preferred embodiment of a attachment system used to removably secure an accessory device, without tools, to a longitudinal rail carried by a firearm, and which accommodates the longitudinal rails of different configurations carried by firearms. The attachment system allows the operator to add or remove an accessory device, on the move, to the different longitudinal rails carried by a firearm, by maintaining one hand on the weapon's grip and holding the accessory device in the other hand using only one finger to depress the latching mechanism.

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