CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This Application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Nos. 60/738,671 filed Nov. 21, 2005, and 60/775,380 filed Feb. 21, 2006.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to a gun stock for weapons, such as shotguns and rifles. More particularly, the present invention relates to an improved composite gun stock including outer stock halves constructed from wood and an inner spline constructed from synthetic material.
2. Discussion of the Prior Art
Gun stocks have long been used in order to assist a shooter in holding and aiming a weapon, and properly transferring the recoil associated with discharging the weapon. Prior art gun stocks are commonly made from wood or synthetic resin material.
Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, synthetic stocks are relatively impervious to damage from the elements. However, they do not absorb sound very well, producing a hollow, noisy sound when they come into contact with an object, such as brush, a common occurrence when the weapon is a hunting rifle or shotgun. In addition, most synthetic stocks are regarded as having a generally undesirable appearance.
Gun stocks constructed from wood offer the advantages of relatively good sound absorption qualities and are generally easier to custom fit to a particular user. Unfortunately, wood stocks are often exposed to water and generally damp conditions. Wood stocks are often susceptible to damage caused by such elements that may lead to warping, as well as other deformations of the original stock.
Many weapons are as much show-pieces as actual field weapons and cost tens of thousands of dollars. For these more expensive weapons, wood is more desirable as the material from which to make the stock since it is generally accepted that wood provides a better look than synthetic resin material. A solid wood gun stock must be made from a rough blank that is about 2 ¼″ in thickness. High quality, fancy grain, grades of wood are increasingly difficult to acquire in these relatively thick rough blanks.
It is known in the prior art to construct a gun stock from multiple thin pieces of wood that are glued together to form a blank. The blank is then machined into the desired shape. In this construction, very high quality wood may be easily obtained for making the layered gun stock since the supply of high quality thin wood material is relatively greater than relatively thick wood material. Such a layered stock, however, yields an uneven finish as the grains and colors of the respective pieces are unlikely to match and provide a homogeneous looking stock.
- BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
As a result, a need exists for a wood stock that may be constructed from relatively thin pieces of wood which provides a homogeneous look. In addition, there exists a need for a method of constructing a gun stock from thinner material to provide a fancy high grade grain look than in prior art composite gun stocks. In other words, there exists a need to manufacture a composite gun stock that does not look like a composite gun stock.
The present invention addresses the needs discussed above and advances the state of the art in manufacturing gun stocks. A gun stock constructed in accordance with the present invention broadly includes first and second stock members and a spline positioned between the stock members.
The stock members each present inner and outer faces, and are constructed from cellulosic material. The spline is positioned between the inner faces of the stock members, strengthening the stock and permitting the stock members to be constructed from relatively thin pieces of wood.
In a first preferred embodiment, directed toward a relatively short stock, such as one used for a shotgun, the spline includes a cloth element impregnated with an adhesive resin joining the first and second stock members together. The spline is relatively thin compared with the stock members.
A second preferred embodiment is directed towards a relatively long gun stock used for a weapon such as a rifle. In the second embodiment, the spline includes two cloth elements impregnated with adhesive resin with an insert positioned between the cloth elements. The insert may be constructed from cellulosic material, such as wood, or synthetic material, such as plastic.
- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
A method of constructing a gun stock broadly includes the steps of forming a spline by positioning a first carbon fiber cloth on the inner face of the first stock member, and impregnating the cloth with an adhesive resin. The second stock member is then placed on the spline, and the first and second stock members are pressed toward each other until the adhesive resin sets.
Preferred embodiments of a gun stock are described in detail below with reference to the drawing figures, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a gun stock constructed in accordance with a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is end view of the gun stock of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side elevation of the gun stock of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the gun stock of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a plan view of a gun stock constructed in accordance with a second preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 6 is an rear view of the gun stock of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a side elevation of the gun stock of FIG. 5; and
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
FIG. 8 is a bottom view of the gun stock of FIG. 5.
Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 depicts a gun stock 10 constructed in accordance with a first preferred embodiment. The gun stock 10 is a so-called “short” stock configured for use with a shotgun or rifle. The gun stock 10 includes a butt portion 12 and trigger hand grip portion 14. The stock 10 also includes a forward end 16 that couples with the barrel portion of a weapon (not shown). A separate non-trigger hand grip portion (not shown) is attached beneath the barrel of the weapon for assistance in balancing the weapon during use.
The stock 10 is constructed from a first stock member 18, a second stock member 20, and a spline 22 positioned between the stock members 18, 20. Each stock member 18, 20 includes inner and outer faces 24, 26. The stock members 18, 22 are constructed from wood material having a thickness of between about 1-1¼″.
The spline 22 includes a carbon fiber sheet 28. The carbon fiber sheet 28 is formed from a carbon fiber cloth, having approximately the same dimensions as each stock member inner face 24, impregnated with an adhesive resin, such as an epoxy, that acts as a binding agent, joining the stock members 18, 20 together. The spline 22 is approximately 0.060″ in thickness. Once the gun stock 10 is machined, sanded and finished into its final form, the spline has the appearance of a very thin black line along the approximate middle of the gun stock 10.
It will be appreciated by one skilled in the art of gun stock construction, by using relatively thin material for the stock halves, a manufacturer gains access to a larger supply of fancy grain, high quality material for construction of gun stocks 10. In addition, the spline 22 assists in inhibiting warping of the gun stock 10 when it is exposed to the elements commonly associated with outdoor sportsmanlike activities, such as rain. Due to the relatively small width of the carbon sheet 28, and its stately black color, the gun stock 10 has a greatly improved look when compared with other composite gun stocks manufactured using prior art methods.
A gun stock 30 constructed in accordance with a second preferred embodiment is shown in FIGS. 5-8. The gun stock 30 is a so-called long gun stock that is commonly used for weapons such as rifles. The gun stock 30 includes a unitary body having a butt portion 32, a trigger hand grip portion 34 and a non-trigger hand grip portion 36.
The gun stock 30 includes a first stock member 38, a second stock member 40 and a spline 42. The first and second stock members 38, 40 each have inner and outer faces 44, 46. The stock members are preferably constructed from wood material having an approximate thickness of between 1-1¼″.
The spline 42 is positioned between the inner faces 44 of the stock members 38, 40. The spline 42 includes first and second carbon fiber sheets 48, 50 and an insert 52 positioned between the sheets 48, 50. The sheets 48, 50 each include a carbon fiber cloth having approximately the same size as the inner faces 44 of the stock members 38, 40. The carbon fiber cloth is impregnated with an adhesive resin, such as an epoxy, in order to adhere the sheets 48, 50 to the insert 52 and to join the stock members 38, 40 together. It will be appreciated by one skilled in the art of constructing gun stocks that the relatively longer gun stocks used for rifles are more prone to warping and damage caused by twisting and bending of the stock than the relatively shorter gun stocks used with shotguns. By incorporating a relatively thicker spline 42 and using two carbon fiber sheets 48, 50, the overall strength of the gun stock 30 is greatly improved compared to the prior art long gun stocks constructed from a single piece of wood.
The insert 52 is constructed from wood and has a thickness dimension of about ¼″. The insert 52 may be constructed from the same type of wood as the stock members 38, 40, or of a different type in order to impart a stylistic design element to finished gun stock 30. For example, walnut is a favorite wood type used for gun stocks due to its relative hardness, dark stately color and rich wood grain pattern. When walnut is used to construct the stock members 38, 40, incorporating an insert 52 constructed from a wood type having a different but complementary color, such as maple or rosewood, adds to the overall appearance of the gun stock 30 yielding an interesting design feature not found in gun stocks made from one piece of wood.
A method of constructing either of the gun stocks 10, 30 in accordance with the first and second embodiments of the present invention broadly comprises the steps of providing first and second stock members, and forming a spline between the stock members. With respect to the gun stock of the first embodiment, the first stock member 18 is laid on its side with its inner face 24 facing upwardly. The carbon fiber cloth is then laid on the inner face 24 of the first stock member 18. Epoxy is poured on the carbon fiber cloth and worked into the cloth, thereby impregnating the cloth. Once the cloth is fully impregnated, the second stock member 20 is placed on top of the cloth with its inner face 24 touching the impregnated cloth. The stock members 18, 20 are then pressed together, such as by clamping, until the epoxy sets, thereby joining the stock members together in order to form a stock blank. The stock blank is then machined, sanded and finished to yield the gun stock 10.
With respect to the gun stock 30 of the second embodiment described above, the first stock member 38 is laid on its side with its inner face 44 facing upwardly. The first carbon fiber sheet 48 is formed by laying a first carbon fiber cloth on the inner face 44 of the first stock member 38. Epoxy is worked into the cloth, impregnating the cloth. The insert is laid on the first sheet 48. The second sheet 50 is formed by placing the second carbon fiber cloth on the insert and working epoxy into the cloth until it is impregnated. The second stock member 40 is then placed on the second sheet 50 and the first and second stock members 38, 40 are pressed together, such as by clamping, until the epoxy sets. Once the epoxy sets, forming a gun stock blank, the blank is then machined, sanded and finished yielding gun stock 30.
The present invention has been described with reference to the guns tock constructed in accordance with first and second preferred embodiments. It is understood that changes may be made and equivalents employed without departing from the scope of the claims below.