- FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE
This patent is a continuation of International Patent Application Ser. No. PCT/EP2004/011493, filed Oct. 13, 2004, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
This disclosure relates generally to firearms and more particularly to firearm receivers with hollow body profiles for supporting and reinforcing other components of the firearm.
Typically firearms include a component such as a frame, housing, casing or receiver to which other components of the weapon are attached. The housing, along with some or all of the other components of the weapon may be enclosed in a case. One known weapons case, which is made of plastic via injection molding technology, is described in EP 1 357 348 A1. This weapon includes a two-part weapons case and offers considerable weight and costs advantages. The weapon disclosed in EP 1 357 347 A1 has a hollow body with reinforcement bridges in the area at the attachment of the barrel. The hollow body reinforcement bridges are formed when the two parts of the weapons case are assembled. This assembly also maintains a uniform construction with respect to the wall.
The method of manufacturing the known two-part weapon case in EP 1 357 348 A1 has limited advantages. For example, this method of manufacture is advantageous in the manufacturing of components that already have all the important functional surfaces and elements externally and internally for the addition of further weapons components. However, this requires close manufacturing tolerances so that the aforementioned weapon components can be added on to the weapon case as simply as possible without expensive refinishing operations.
Furthermore, when the weapon is fired, the case tends to experience high mechanical loads. Conventionally, for the absorption of these loads, metallic elements are included in the injection mold during the formation of the case for the purpose of reinforcing the weapon and all of its components while striving to make the walls of the structures as thin as possible.
However, there are areas at which the wall should be of a greater thickness. For example, when guide bushes for holding a scope are enclosed in a receiver, the guide bushes need to be sufficiently anchored in the receiver material, i.e., in the plastic. To adequately ensure that the scope is anchored, certain areas of the plastic material must have an increased thickness, i.e., the load transfer regions need to be sufficiently dimensioned so as to provide reinforcement. This is typically done by introducing metallic inserts at these regions.
- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
However, metallic inserts increase the tooling and manufacturing costs associated with the production of the weapon. Furthermore, the addition of metallic inserts increases the weight of the weapon, and metallic inserts are difficult, in terms of structural geometries, to design.
FIG. 1 shows a lateral view of an example receiver of an example weapon.
FIG. 2 shows a partial cross-sectional view through the shaft and scope region of the example receiver component of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 shows a perspective view from the rear of the example receiver component of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 shows a cross-sectional view along the line A—A of FIG. 1.
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION
FIG. 5 shows a detailed view of a partially open hollow body profile sections at the transition between the shaft region and the scope mounting region of the example receiver component of FIG. 1.
The present disclosure details an example weapons component, i.e., a receiver, a housing, or a casing of a weapon, that may include for example, a grip, a pistol stock, a shaft part, and/or a shoulder support. Such receiver may be made of plastic and able to hold additional components of the firearm such as, for example, a weapon scope, breech mechanism, trigger device, ammunition supply device, sighting/aiming device, etc. Furthermore, in the case of automatic pistols, the example receiver may form both the barrel shaft and the grip portion of the weapon, i.e., operating components and components that interface with and are handled by the marksmen.
FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of a receiver 1 for a weapon in so-called “bull pup” design, which is a design in which the trigger mechanism is located in front of a cartridge magazine viewed in the direction of fire. In this example, the receiver 1 is integral with a housing 1, and the two terms will be used interchangeably throughout this description.
Throughout this description, positional terms such as “front”, “up”, “rear,” etc. refer to a properly positioned weapon when firing horizontally, with the direction of fire running to the front. Also all terms, such as “left” and “right” are specified from the point of view of the marksman.
The receiver 1 has a shaft region 4 and a scope mount region 6, which may be configured as one integral piece. The receiver 1 also has a first opening 8 toward the bottom at the rear section of the scope mount region 6 that extends toward the rear into the shaft region 4. A trigger unit (not shown) as well as a cartridge magazine (not shown) may be inserted or introduced through the first opening 8. The receiver 1 also has a second opening 10 located at the rear end of the shaft region 4, into which, for example, a shoulder support element (not shown) may be inserted, which would, thus, close the second opening 10.
In the shaft region 4 of the receiver 1, a cartridge case ejector window 12 is constructed both on the left side and on the right side of the receiver 1. The left cartridge case ejector window 12 is shown in FIG. 1, and the right cartridge case ejector window 12 is shown in FIG. 2. The cartridge case ejector windows 12 may be closed by a flap or cover (not shown). To support the cover, the receiver 1 includes hinged elements 14 that are formed on the bottom edge of the ejector window 12 and closing elements 16 that are formed on the top edge of the ejector window 12. In this example, the closing elements 16 may be formed by magnets that hold the cover in a closed position via magnetic attraction with corresponding magnetic counterparts located on the cover. However, the magnetic attraction, while great enough to hold the cover in the closed position, is weak enough to permit the ejection of a cartridge case.
Additionally, the scope mounting region 6 has a recess 18 accessible from above toward the rear of the scope mounting region 6. The recess 18 exposes a portion of an outer surface 20 of a bush 22 to which a weapons scope may be enclosed or coupled.
As mentioned above, housing 1 and receiver 1 are used interchangeably because they are integrally formed, i.e., are manufactured in one piece. However, the example receiver 1 can just as well be assembled from several housings or case components that can be detachably or rigidly connected to each other in any suitable fashion. For example, the case component parts can be glued, welded, screwed, riveted or joined by any mechanical or chemical fasteners.
In the example bull pup style firearm, not only is the cartridge magazine located behind the trigger, as described above, but the cartridge case ejector windows 12 are located behind the trigger device as well. As a result the cartridge ejection takes place quite close to the head of the marksman. Two cartridge ejection windows 12 (see FIGS. 1 and 2) are included in the example receiver 1 so that cartridge ejection can occur optionally on the left or the right side of the weapon, depending on which side points away from the head of the marksman. In alternative examples, the receiver 1 may also be constructed for a weapon in which the ammunition supply device is located in front of the trigger device and/or in which only one single cartridge case ejector window 12 is provided, which may or may not include a cover flap.
FIGS. 2 and 3 show the contour of a hollow body profile 24 constructed in the receiver 1. The hollow body profile 24 proceeds from the rear end of the shaft region 4 parallel to the scope axis 26 to the front to the scope mounting region 6. The hollow body profile 24 has a first section 28 and a second section 30. The first section 28 runs generally in the direction of the scope axis 26 and simultaneously forms the upper edge of the cartridge case ejection window 12. At the front end of the shaft region 4 the contour of the hollow body profile 24, 28 bends down and runs along a rear face 29 of the bush 22 essentially following the outline of the face 29 down into the opening 8, forming the second section 30 of the hollow body profile 24. Thus, the second section 30 runs in a curved route corresponding to a peripheral section, i.e., the rear face 29, of the bush 22 and essentially vertically to the scope axis 26. The hollow body profile 24 includes a hollow space 32 that generally runs from the opening 10 at the end of the shaft region 4 via the first section 28 to the second section 30 into the opening 8, i.e., throughout the entire hollow body profile 24. The transition, i.e., the change of direction, of the hollow body profile 24 is shown in more detail in FIG. 5.
The cross-section profile of the first section 28 protrudes completely into the interior of the receiver 1. The outer surfaces 34 (FIG. 4) of the profile 24 form a prismatic or sliding rail that reinforces the shaft region 4 of the receiver 1 and stabilizes the upper edge of the cartridge case ejector window 12. Further, the outer surfaces 34 hold the closing elements 16 in the cartridge case ejector window region 12, which engage a corresponding closing element (e.g., a groove, magnets, etc.) on the cover flap and fix the path of motion of the cover flap. In the illustrated example, the outer surfaces 34 are level; however, in alternative examples, the outer surfaces 34 may also be bent, convex, concave, or constructed with additional guide grooves or profiles. Furthermore, though the outer surfaces 34 are shown in the illustrated example as sliding rails, in alternative examples, the outer surfaces 34 may be roller rails or roller/sliding rail combinations.
The second section 30 of the hollow body profile 24 proceeds from the shaft side 4 at the rear face 29 of the bush 22 and follows the outline of the bush 22 and forms the transition reinforcement 38 (FIG. 3). The transition reinforcement 38 is constructed at the exterior of the receiver 1 between the scope mounting region 6 and the shaft region 4, which has a width smaller than the diameter of the of the scope mounting region 4.
The bush 22 is positively and non-positively embedded in the rear scope mounting region 6 in the receiver 1, i.e., the bush 22 may be embedded in or supported by the scope mounting region 6. The rear face 29 of the bush 22 supports itself partially on the second section 30 of the hollow body profile 24, while the front face (not shown) of the bushing 22 is enclosed in the scope mounting region 6. The outer surface 20 of the bush 22 is provided with indentations or perforations 40 for additional anchoring in the receiver material, the indentations or perforations 40 are penetrated by the receiver material. To ensure anchoring in axial direction, perforations 40 on the bush 22 run axially and over the entire out surface 20 of the bush 22, as shown in the illustrated example (FIG. 2). The interior of the bush 22 has two annular recesses or rings 42 arranged at an axial distance to one another. The faces of the annular rings 42 engage a braking system (not shown) of a scope locking mechanism (not shown) or the breech or locking mechanism itself. Radial inner surfaces 44 of the rings 42 serve as linear gliding bearings of a weapons scope (not shown) that can be moved in axial direction. The bush 22 may also be constructed in such that the bush 22 itself axially secures the weapons scope.
Furthermore, for the purposes of heat dissipation, an alternative example may be constructed wherein the scope is embedded into the receiver 1 without the inclusion of a bush 22. Also, in other alternative examples, the indentations or perforations 40 in the bush 22 may be replaced or supplemented with nub-like elevations, annular grooves, longitudinal profiles, milled edges or other suitable topographies.
The mounting of the bush 22 toward the front of the second section 30 ensures a particularly favorable flux of force along the scope axis 26 over the outer and inner radial walls 46 and 48 to the shaft region 4 and back to the first section 28.
In the illustrated example, there are two extensively symmetrical hollow body profiles 24 constructed in the receiver 1, one of each of the left and the right sides. The first sections 28 of each profile 24 proceeds on the upper edge of the cartridge case ejector window 12. However, in alternative examples, the first sections 28 profiles 24 may run on the lower edge of the cartridge case ejector windows 12. In addition, one single or even several hollow body profiles 24 can run in the shaft region 4. Also, one single or even several hollow body profiles 24 can run in the scope mounting region 6, in which a bush 22 is arranged, for example, between two corresponding second sections 30 of two corresponding hollow body profiles 24.
The outer surface 20 of the bush 22 is partially exposed by the recess 18. Consequently, the outer surface 20 is accessible for the attachment of sighting/aiming devices and other devices and components (not shown) thereto. Because the arrangement of the bush 22 with respect to the hollow body profile 24 enables the recess 18 to have a great dimension with an especially large attachment surface 20, the additional components and devices may be tightly and securely coupled to the weapons scope and uninfluenced by deformations of the receiver 1 such as, for example, those deformations caused by heat and/or stress. Further, this arrangement enables robust and precise adjustment of the additional components and devices.
In one example, the receiver 1 is manufactured through a conventional plastic injection molding process. In particular PA (polyamide) pellets with solid body admixtures (e.g., glass fibers, carbon fibers) work well. The plastic pellets are heated in an extrusion press and injected into a mold corresponding to the receiver 1. The hollow space 32 of the hollow body profile 24, which is first completely filled with plastic, is produced by means of the injection of a gas, which partially squeezes the still fluid or plastic synthetic material out of a duct. The gas injection takes place via suitable needles, nozzles, or other injection apparatus and is controlled in such a way that the desired wall strengths of the profile 24 are constructed. The resulting hollow space 32 remains dimensionally stable even when the gas injection process ceases and the receiver cools, for example by quenching. The plastic material solidifies without sink marks or without distorting adjoining thin-walled areas. To increase the stability or to influence damping characteristics the hollow space 32 can then be filled with a suitable material (e.g. elastomer, artificial resin, foam). In addition, filling the hollow spaces 32 prevents moisture from penetrating into the hollow spaces 32, and/or prevents the hollow spaces 32 from soiling. In addition, prefabricated hollow body profiles 24 can be injected, cemented, welded or installed in some other way.
The integration of weapons components such, for example, housings, grips, handles, shaft elements, etc. into the receiver 1 is particularly beneficial for weapons that require particularly robust, light components with a great degree of freedom of design as well as for weapons that use large-caliber ammunition with the required precision. These weapons may include not only small arms of all types, but also automatic weapons that are easily transportable (e.g., while mounted on racks or carriages) whose receivers previously were manufactured exclusively of metal.
As described above, the present examples enable the attachment of other components and devices without extremely tight tolerance requirements to maintain a secure fitting. Further, the present examples allow the receiver 1 to support high mechanical loads that are associated with the firing of the weapon without the need for metallic inserts in the receiver 1. These benefits are accomplished by the inclusion of the hollow body profile 24 integrally to the injection molded receiver 1 for the purpose of reinforcement, wherein the hollow body profile 24 is formed by the injection of a suitable medium such as, for example, of a gas.
The construction of one or more reinforcing hollow body profiles 24 on the receiver 1 increases, for example, the dimensional stability of a receiver 1. The hollow body profiles 24 reinforce the receiver 1 without causing volume contraction to occur as is the case with conventional massively constructed profiles where sink marks and/or tolerance deviations are caused by the cooling of the receiver 1. Furthermore, in the illustrated example, the purposeful arrangement of the hollow body profiles or hollow ribs 24 enables the average wall thickness of the total receiver 1 to be reduced.
As mentioned above, in some examples, the receiver 1 includes a hollow body profile 24 that has a first section 28 running across the shaft region 4 of the receiver 1 along the weapons scope axis 26. In other examples, the receiver 1 has a hollow body profile 24 that includes a second section 30 that is essentially vertically constructed with respect to the weapons scope axis 26 at the scope side end of the shaft region 4. These constructions stabilize a large relatively thin-walled area of the shaft region 4 of the weapons receiver 1 and create a load bearing, groove-free transition 38 to the scope mounting region 6 of the weapons receiver 1.
As described herein, the bush 22, which is manufactured, for example, out of metal or CFK (carbon-fiber impregnated plastic), is securely coupled to the receiver 1. Consequently, the bush 22 can assume several core functions at the same time. The bush 22 holds the weapons scope itself, which depending on the design of the weapon, is in fixed or flexible arrangement in the direction of the scope axis 26. Additionally, the bush 22 serves as an impact point of a brake system, which restricts the axial movement of the scope, and the bush 22 can also serve as a function element of the breech mechanism (not shown). The unique embedding of the bush 22 allows a recess 18 in the plastic receiver 1 that exposes a part of the outer surface 20 of the bush 22, which in turn can then serve as the connection point for a sighting, fire control devices, or other elements, which require a rigid connection that is free of strict tolerance requirements.
Turning to the portion of the hollow body profile 24 in the shaft region 4, the hollow body profile 24 reinforces the edge, in the illustrated example, the top edge, of the cartridge case ejector window 12 and simultaneously serves as a stable stop or connection or guide rail for an associated breechblock (not shown). Further, the portion hollow body profile 24 that is exposed to the outside of the weapon may also hold engagement elements for engaging the cover. Traditionally and particularly in the case of large-caliber weapons with large ejector windows, these functions were otherwise only able to be implemented through expensive engineering design and production processes.
In some examples, the hollow body profile 24 is located in the interior of the receiver 1 and includes outer surfaces 34 that are pointed toward the interior of the receiver 1. The outer surfaces 34 may serve as guide rails of a breech element such as, for example, a breechblock carrier (not shown), as described above. The use of the outer surfaces 34 as guide rails is assured by the high fitting accuracy and the high dimensional stability of the hollow profile 24.
The hollow body profile 24 may be constructed, as described above via an injection molding process that also includes constructing a hollow space 32 in the hollow body profile 24 by injecting a suitable medium such as, for example, a gas. This manufacturing method permits the construction of virtually any geometric shapes of the hollow body profile 24. Furthermore, the gas may be injected with a needle, which makes it possible to construct the hollow body profile 24 in arbitrary places on the component. Also, in some examples, the method involves using a suitable material such as, for example, a plastic like polyamide to create the hollow body profile 24.
The receiver 1 and integral hollow body profile 24 and other components mentioned herein are suitable for any number of firearms including small arms that have automatic or semi-automatic firing of large-caliber anmunition.
This application claims priority to German Patent Application 103 49 160.0 that was filed on Oct. 22, 2003, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
Although certain example methods, apparatus and articles of manufacture have been described herein, the scope of coverage of this patent is not limited thereto. On the contrary, this patent covers all methods, apparatus and articles of manufacture fairly falling within the scope of the appended claims either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents.