US20080121096A1 - System and method for loading and feeding a shotgun - Google Patents

System and method for loading and feeding a shotgun Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080121096A1
US20080121096A1 US12/012,381 US1238108A US2008121096A1 US 20080121096 A1 US20080121096 A1 US 20080121096A1 US 1238108 A US1238108 A US 1238108A US 2008121096 A1 US2008121096 A1 US 2008121096A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
assembly
track
bolt
magazine
slidable
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Abandoned
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US12/012,381
Inventor
Jeffrey Hajjar
Warren Stockton
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Snake River Machine Inc
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Snake River Machine Inc
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Publication date
Priority to US36383702P priority Critical
Priority to US38734602P priority
Priority to US10/382,568 priority patent/US6877265B2/en
Priority to US10/907,038 priority patent/US7380361B2/en
Application filed by Snake River Machine Inc filed Critical Snake River Machine Inc
Priority to US12/012,381 priority patent/US20080121096A1/en
Assigned to SNAKE RIVER MACHINE, INC. reassignment SNAKE RIVER MACHINE, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HAJJAR, JEFFREY, STOCKTON, WARREN
Publication of US20080121096A1 publication Critical patent/US20080121096A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41AFUNCTIONAL FEATURES OR DETAILS COMMON TO BOTH SMALLARMS AND ORDNANCE, e.g. CANNONS; MOUNTINGS FOR SMALLARMS OR ORDNANCE
    • F41A9/00Feeding or loading of ammunition; Magazines; Guiding means for the extracting of cartridges
    • F41A9/61Magazines
    • F41A9/64Magazines for unbelted ammunition
    • F41A9/73Drum magazines
    • F41A9/74Drum magazines with radially disposed cartridges
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41AFUNCTIONAL FEATURES OR DETAILS COMMON TO BOTH SMALLARMS AND ORDNANCE, e.g. CANNONS; MOUNTINGS FOR SMALLARMS OR ORDNANCE
    • F41A9/00Feeding or loading of ammunition; Magazines; Guiding means for the extracting of cartridges
    • F41A9/61Magazines
    • F41A9/64Magazines for unbelted ammunition
    • F41A9/72Tubular magazines, i.e. magazines containing the ammunition in lengthwise tandem sequence

Abstract

A trigger group assembly for a semi-automatic shotgun includes a follower pin that is slideably attached to a sliding track assembly. The follower pin engages a pair of tracks to facilitate cooperation the sliding track assembly's carrier with the shell retainer of a detachable magazine in such a way that when the bolt is propelled rearward, a cartridge is released from the magazine, and when the bolt is propelled forward, the cartridge is lifted by the carrier into the path of the bolt and loaded into the chamber of the firearm.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/907,038, filed on Mar. 17, 2005; which is a continuation-in-part and claims the benefit of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/382,568, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,877,265, entitled “System and method for increased magazine capacity for a Firearm,” filed Mar. 6, 2003; which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/363,837, entitled “Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine And Cooperating Semi-Automatic Shotgun,” filed Mar. 14, 2002; and, U.S. Patent Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/387,346, entitled “Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine And Cooperating Semi-Automatic Shotgun,” filed Jun. 10, 2002. The contents of these applications are incorporated herein by reference.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention relates generally to the field of firearms, and more particularly, to a system and method for loading and feeding a cartridge into the firing chamber of a semi-automatic shotgun.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Throughout the history of the firearm, particularly as to an instrument of warfare and defense, its development has been guided by the purpose of rapidly firing a large amount of projectiles while requiring minimal reloading. The shotgun is one particular firearm that has been an effective close-range weapon. Although the shotgun has been proven effective as an entry weapon wherein close-quarters impairs the use of long-barreled and/or high-powered weapons, its limited ammunition capacity, lack of interchangeability among ammunition types, and relative lengthy reloading time renders today's shotgun less than adequate in an urban-combat arena.
  • Various governmental and private security agencies throughout the world have expressed a desire for a compact, detachable, magazine-fed shotgun for tactical operations in close-quarters. Unfortunately, today's sporting shotguns adapted for law enforcement and military purposes provide an unsatisfactory option for many tactical situations.
  • The present invention is provided to address these and other issues.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is directed to a method and apparatus for feeding and loading a cartridge from a magazine into the firing chamber of a semi-automatic shotgun having a high capacity magazine including a retainer for retaining cartridges therein. In particular, one embodiment of the present invention includes a trigger group assembly including a slidable track assembly and a trigger frame assembly. The slidable track assembly includes a feeding track and a loading track and a bolt is slidably coupled thereto. A carrier is pivotally connected to the trigger frame assembly, and a follower pin is affixed to the carrier and further coupled to the feeding track and/or the loading track of the slidable track assembly. During movement of the slidable track assembly, the follower pin travels along the feeding track and/or the loading track and moves the carrier to facilitate the feeding and/or loading of the cartridges from the magazine.
  • In a further aspect of the above embodiment of the present invention, a trigger frame assembly supports the slidable track assembly. The slidable track assembly includes a means for reducing recoil wherein the bolt in disengaged from and re-engaged to the slidable track assembly. In one preferred embodiment of the means for reducing recoil includes a link is operatively connected to the slidable track assembly and removably coupled to the bolt. The link is slidably engaged with a rail of the trigger frame assembly wherein the link slides off the rail during rearward movement of the slidable track assembly and thus disengages the bolt from the slidable track assembly until forward movement of the bolt, wherein the link slides onto the rail and reengages the bolt to the slidable track assembly.
  • In a further aspect of the present invention, a trigger group assembly is operatively coupled to a bolt and a carrier of the semi-automatic shotgun, wherein cartridges are loaded from a high-capacity magazine and fed into a firing position. The trigger group assembly comprises a track assembly including a feeding track and a loading track—each track having a first terminus and a second terminus. A pair of deflectors—a first and second—each extend from the track assembly proximate its opposing ends. A spool is operatively coupled to the track assembly, wherein during movement of the track assembly, the first and second deflectors facilitate transition of the spool between the feeding and loading tracks.
  • In a further aspect of the present invention, the spool includes a pin having a portion that is slideably attached to the shotgun's shell carrier and alternately engages the feeding and loading of the track assembly that is further engaged with the moveable bolt of the firearm. The track assembly is capable of cooperating with an actuator and the shell retainer of a detachable magazine in such a way that when the bolt is propelled rearward, a shell cartridge is released from the magazine; and when the bolt is propelled forward, the shell cartridge is lifted by the carrier into the path of the bolt and loaded into the firing chamber of the firearm.
  • In a still further aspect of one embodiment of the present invention, the actuator carries a spring-biased trip that slides in an inclined track and impinges on the shell retainer of the detachable magazine so that when the actuator is forced downward by the shell carrier, the trip remains in the path of the emerging cartridge until the cartridge forces the trip backward along its inclined track, wherein it disengages from the retainer and the retainer can then return to its normal position to block the release of another cartridge.
  • An object of the present invention is to provide a semi-automatic shotgun with an alternate configuration for cooperative interaction between its shell carrier and bolt.
  • Another object of the present invention is to provide a semi-automatic shotgun having reduced recoil.
  • These and other aspects and attributes of the present invention will be discussed with reference to the following drawings and accompanying specification.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a high-capacity magazine of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective cross-sectional view of the high-capacity magazine of the present invention shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention showing the high-capacity magazine and the semi-automatic shotgun;
  • FIG. 4A is a perspective view of one embodiment of the shell retainer;
  • FIG. 4B is a view showing the relationship between the shell retainer and the plurality of tubes of one embodiment of the present invention when viewed in line with the longitudinal axis of the magazine;
  • FIG. 5 is a partial perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention showing the high-capacity magazine and the semi-automatic shotgun;
  • FIG. 6 is a view of one embodiment of the semi-automatic shotgun of the present invention;
  • FIG. 7 is an exploded view of the semi-automatic shotgun shown in FIG. 6;
  • FIG. 8 is a partial cross-sectional view of one embodiment of the present invention depicting trigger group assembly including the slidable track assembly and the trigger frame assembly;
  • FIG. 9 is an alternate embodiment of the semi-automatic shotgun of the present invention;
  • FIG. 10 is a partial perspective view of the high-capacity magazine and cooperating semi-automatic shotgun of an alternative embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 11 is a partial view of one embodiment of the present invention directed to a trigger group assembly and including the shell retainer with which it cooperates;
  • FIG. 12 is a partial perspective view of one embodiment of a trigger group assembly of the present invention including a track assembly supported by the trigger frame assembly;
  • FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the spool, pin, shell carrier, and actuator assembly of the trigger group assembly of the present invention;
  • FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the spool after the slidable track assembly has moved rearward along a feeding track of the slidable track assembly in the course of the feeding cycle of the action system;
  • FIG. 15 is a perspective view of the spool moving along a loading track during forward movement of the track assembly in the course of the loading cycle of the action system;
  • FIG. 16 is a partial perspective view of the trigger group assembly after the spool has reached the terminus of the loading track and been transitioned to the feeding track;
  • FIG. 17 is a partial perspective view of the trigger group assembly during a portion of the feeding cycle;
  • FIG. 18 is a partial perspective view of the trigger group assembly after the spool has reached the terminus of the feeding track and been transitioned to the loading track;
  • FIG. 19 is a partial perspective view of the trigger group assembly during a portion of the loading cycle;
  • FIG. 20 is a partial perspective view of the trigger group assembly after the spool has reached the terminus of the loading track and been transitioned to the feeding track;
  • FIG. 21 is a partial perspective view of the trigger group assembly after the shell cartridge has been fed from the magazine and loaded into the firing chamber of the semi-automatic shotgun and ready to fire;
  • FIG. 22 depicts an alternate embodiment of the trigger group assembly and the cooperating shell retainer with the bolt in the forward, i.e., in battery, position; and,
  • FIG. 23 depicts the alternate embodiment of the trigger group assembly and the cooperating shell retainer shown in FIG. 22 with the bolt in the furthest rearward position and the slidable track assembly in the rearward, i.e., feeding, position.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • While this invention is susceptible to embodiments in many different forms, there are shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail, preferred embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosures are to be considered as exemplifications of the principles of the invention and are not intended to limit the broad aspects of the invention to the embodiments illustrated.
  • Referring to the drawings in detail, wherein similar reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several views, one embodiment of the present invention shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is a high-capacity magazine 1 for holding a cartridge 7 for use with a firearm 54 shown in FIGS. 6-9. The firearm 54 includes an actuator 33 operatively connected to a trigger group assembly 65 shown in FIG. 8. The magazine 1 comprises a plurality of tubes 2 being defined within the magazine and axisymmetric about a longitudinal axis 50. Each tube 2 is preferably cylindrically shaped and includes a first end 51 and a second end 52—the first end is open. A retainer 6 is mounted about the open end 51 of the tubes 2 and is adaptive to impede release of the cartridge 7 from the open end of the tube. When the magazine 1 is attached to the firearm 54, the retainer 6 is operatively meshed with the actuator 33 wherein the retainer and the actuator cooperate to permit removal of the cartridge 7 from the magazine.
  • The magazine 1 further includes a bias 5, e.g., spring, contained within the magazine for urging the cartridge 7 toward the open end 51 of the tube 2 wherein the retainer 6, actuator 33, and bias cooperate to expel the cartridge from the magazine 1 in response to movement of the trigger group assembly 65 and subsequent motion of the actuator. FIGS. 2 and 8 depict the bias 5 contained within each tube 2. The spring 5 is of a sufficient rate to effectively expel stored cartridges 7—lethal and non-lethal—releasably retained within the magazine 1 by the retainer 6. A follower 4 may be utilized between the spring 5 and the cartridge 7.
  • The retainer 6 further comprises a plurality of leaves 16 axisymmetrically aligned with the longitudinal axis 50 of the magazine 1 wherein the plurality of leaves impede the release of the cartridges 7 from the open ends 51 of the tubes 2. The plurality of leaves 16 may be affixed about the perimeter of the magazine 1 near the open ends 51 of the tubes 2.
  • Although the retainer 6 as depicted in FIG. 2 is secured along the longitudinal axis 50 of the magazine 1, it is to be understood that other means of retaining the cartridge 7 and cooperating with the triggering assembly action of the firearm to transfer the cartridge from the magazine to the firearm 54 may be devised within the scope of the invention.
  • Alternatively, the retainer 6 may include a base 60 having a longitudinal axis 53 as shown in FIG. 2. The plurality of leaves 16 are connected to the base 60, and the base is coaxially aligned with the longitudinal axis 50 of the magazine 1. Additionally, as shown in FIG. 2, a collar 8 can be incorporated to retain the spring 5 and follower 4 within the ammunition tube 2. Preferably, the collar 8 includes a longitudinal axis in alignment with the longitudinal axis 50 of the magazine 1 and is secured to the magazine near the open ends 51 of the tubes 2. The collar 8 is of such diameter and design as to impede further travel of the follower 4, and spring 5, without impeding the cartridge 7 having a slightly smaller diameter.
  • Referring to FIGS. 2, 4A, 4B, and 8, the retainer 6 is mounted about the open end 51 of the tubes 2 and preferably comprises a plurality of leaves 16. Each leaf 16 is associated with one or more tubes 2. Each leaf 16 is of sufficient stiffness to maintain its corresponding portion 17 in the path of the cartridge 7 against the force of the spring 5. Although a portion 17 of a single leaf 16 may cooperate effectively with more than one of the tubes 2—and vice versa—it is preferable that an exclusive relationship exists between each one of the plurality of tubes 2 and each one of the plurality of leaves 16 wherein a portion 17 of the retainer 6 overlaps an associated portion of one of the plurality of tubes 2 when viewed perpendicularly to a plane normal to the longitudinal axis 50 of the magazine 1. FIGS. 4A and 4B depict such a tube-retainer relationship between each of the plurality of leaves 16 and each of the plurality of tubes 2 wherein each portion 17 of the leaf 16 is substantially parallel to a plane substantially normal to the longitudinal axis 51 of the magazine 1. The portion 17 of the leaf 16 intersects a circumference 61 of the associated tube 2. The tube circumference 61 includes the surface of the tube 2 and extends beyond the ends of the tube.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 5-7, the magazine 1 further includes a means for indexing a selected tube 2 for alignment with the receiver 28 of the firearm 54. An index assembly 66 is operatively connected to the magazine 1 and adaptive for rotating the magazine about its longitudinal axis 50. The index assembly 66 is capable of aligning one of the plurality of tubes 2 when attached to the firearm 54.
  • Pushing a release button 20 attached to a spring-loaded 21 detent 11 releases the magazine 1 from its present position wherein the magazine can be rotated to index the desired tube 2 in position for injecting ammunition 7 into the firearm 54. A number of cartridges 7 can be sequentially cycled through the firearm 54 utilizing one tube 2. Between firings, the magazine 1 may be manually advanced at any time to present another tube 2, or the magazine may be quickly removed and replaced by another magazine. Additionally, different types of munitions 7 may be loaded into different tubes 2 in one magazine 1 to allow the firearm operator to select and index to the desired munitions without having to remove the magazine, which would otherwise render the firearm operator momentarily “unarmed.” The selectability of tubes 2 provides the firearm operator with the ability to utilize various types of ammunition, e.g., lethal, non-lethal. As such, the firearm 54 is adaptive to various situations requiring lethal and non-lethal responses without having to disengage the magazine 1 from the firearm.
  • As an example, one tube 2 can be loaded with teargas canisters, another tube can be loaded with non-lethal projectiles, e.g., rubber bullets, and another tube can be loaded with lethal ammunition. A situation may arise wherein an initial non-lethal response is required. After a period of time, the severity of the situation may escalate wherein use of a lethal response may be warranted. The firearm 54 of the present invention can be readied for an appropriate response by indexing the tubes 2 so that the lethal ammunition is positioned for feeding into the firearm. Thus, the firearm operator can quickly adapt to changing situations by either advancing the magazine 1 to the appropriate tube 2 or quickly removing one magazine for another, without having to individually remove each cartridge 7 from the magazine prior to reloading the magazine with another type of ammunition.
  • To facilitate adaptation of the magazine 1 and/or firearm to the various levels of response, an indicator can be utilized to identify the type of ammunition stored in the magazine and cylinder tube 2. The indicator, e.g., color, letter, marking, shape, or combination thereof; is preferably located on an outer portion of the magazine 1 or tube 2 for identification by the firearm user. The user can confirm alignment of a desired ammunition type by inspecting the position of the indicator with respect to the firearm.
  • The magazine 1 also includes means for connecting the magazine to the firearm 54. Referring again to FIGS. 3 and 5-7, a connector assembly 67 is affixed about the second end of the magazine 1 and is adaptive for attachment to the firearm 54. The connector assembly 67 preferably includes a round boss 3 wherein the magazine 1 can be attached and detached with the firearm 54. The magazine 1 may be removed from the firearm 54 by depressing the upper forward surface 49 of the pivot cup 9, shown in FIG. 5, and simultaneously pulling down on the end of the magazine 1. In the preferred embodiment, the magazine 1 serves as the fore-end or forward holding surface of the firearm 54. Thus, the operator's forehand is always in position to index and/or release the magazine 1. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, removal of the magazine 1 can be accomplished with one hand.
  • As shown in FIGS. 3, 5, and 7, the magazine 1 is attached to the firearm 54, e.g., semi-automatic shotgun, by inserting the end of the magazine proximate the open ends of the tubes 2 into a shallow cylindrical well 13 that is fixed to, and part of, the firearm receiver 28. The opposite end of the magazine 1 can be moved upward so that the round boss 3 snaps into the spring-loaded 21 hinged-cup 9 that pivots on an axle 10 of a bracket 12 attached to a forward end of a firearm barrel 15. The magazine 1 is retained parallel to and below the barrel 15—free to rotate around its longitudinal axis 50. The magazine 1 is aligned by the index assembly 66 wherein the detent 11 snaps into an appropriate socket 18 aligned with the one of the plurality of tubes 2 in which the tube is in position to release the cartridge 7 into the firearm 54.
  • It is to be understood that alternate means of retaining and indexing the magazine 1 in an operative position using regularly spaced indentures about the longitudinal axis 50 can be easily devised within the scope of the present invention.
  • One embodiment of the firearm's 54 trigger group assembly 65, shell carrier 37, and receiver 28 are shown in FIG. 8. The trigger group assembly 65 is operatively meshed with the actuator 33. Pulling of the trigger 32 momentarily displaces the actuator 33 to dislocate the portion 17 of one of the plurality of leaves 16 being operatively aligned with the actuator. Ammunition 7 is released by the dislocated portion 17 of the leaf 16 and transfers into the firearm 54 for subsequent firing.
  • Mechanisms for cooperating with a high-capacity magazine 1 and for releasing, receiving, and maneuvering ammunition into a barrel 15, as well as the hammer, safety, and firing mechanism, are preferably contained within a pistol-grip lower receiver 29 and are of relatively conventional design common to sporting semi-automatic shotguns well known to those familiar with firearm design. The magazine 1 is detachably affixed to the firearm 54, parallel to, and under the shooting barrel 15 wherein a selected one of a plurality of ammunition tubes 2 can be aligned with a receiver assembly of the firearm.
  • The preferred embodiment of the present invention shown in FIGS. 5-7 is a gas-operated semi-automatic shotgun 54 having two pistons 22 in bores 48 symmetrically arranged parallel to, and in close proximity with, the barrel 15 and magazine 1. The pistons 22 and bores 48 are of appropriate diameter and stroke to unlock a conventional bolt 25 and propel it rearward in the receiver 28 when a cartridge 7 is fired and a portion of the propellant gas is vented from the barrel 15 into the piston bores 48. The bolt 25 is then propelled forward by springs 23 on guide rods 24 fixed to a buttstock 26—engaging the conventional feed mechanism—and returned to battery. Preferably, the buttstock 26 and pistol grip are fixed to the receiver 28 by an alignment pin 31 in a hole 30 common to several sub-assemblies. It is to be understood that other arrangements of the basic elements of the firearm 54 and other types of operating systems, e.g., inertia, retarded-blowback, etc., common to firearm design could be easily devised within the scope of the present invention.
  • The trigger group assembly 65 of the preferred embodiment depicted in FIG. 8 utilizes elements common to semi-automatic shotguns including a trigger 32 that pivots on a first pin 34; a sear 40 and a disconnect 41 that pivot on a second pin 45; a hammer 38 and a shell carrier (carrier) 37 that pivot on a third pin 39; and a shell carrier pawl 42 that pivots on a fourth pin 43 in the shell carrier 37. The device of the present invention comprises a magazine 1 including a retainer 6 being centrally located among the plurality of ammunition tubes 2. The retainer 6 is meshed with an operatively connected actuator 33. The actuator 33 is operatively connected to the trigger group assembly 65 of the firearm 54, e.g., pivotally attached to the first pin 34, wherein the actuator 33 and retainer 6 cooperate to allow cartridges to be removed from the tubes 2.
  • More specifically, a shell carrier latch 36 being pivotable about a fifth pin 35 is held in a ready-position by a latch spring 47. When the trigger 32 is pulled, the shell carrier latch 36 engages and pulls down on the actuator 33, which in turn pulls down on the portion 17 of the retainer 6 and releases a shell cartridge 7 to be propelled rearward by the spring 5 and follower 4. The released shell impinges on the shell carrier latch 36 and disengages it from the carrier 37 and the actuator 33—thus allowing the retainer portion 17 of the leaf 16 to return back into position to retain the next shell within the tube 2. As the carrier 37 is released, it is caused to rotate about its axis by the shell carrier pawl 42 that is engaged in a notch 44 in the bolt 25, which is urged forward by the bolt return springs 23. As the carrier 37 rotates and lifts the shell cartridge 7, the shell carrier pawl 42 disengages from the bolt 25, allowing the bolt to push the shell ahead of it into the firing chamber. As the forward-moving bolt 25 clears the shell carrier pawl 42, the shell carrier spring 46 causes the shell carrier 37 to rotate back to its original position, re-engaging the shell carrier latch 36. If there is no shell in position to feed when the trigger 32 is pulled, the carrier 37 is not released and the bolt 25 is retained in its rearmost position by the shell retainer pawl 42 after it has been propelled backward by the expanding gas of the cartridge 7 just fired. This functionality provides that when the bolt 25 is locked back, the firearm operator knows the magazine tube 2 is empty and may index to the next tube in the magazine 1 or load another magazine. Manual means to disengage the shell carrier latch 36 without pulling the trigger 32 can be easily devised, thus allowing the firearm operator to close the bolt 25 on an empty chamber.
  • FIG. 10 depicts another embodiment of the invention involving the cooperation between the trigger group assembly 65 and the magazine 1. The carrier 37 pivots on pin 77 and impinges directly on the shell retainer 16. The carrier latch 36 is pivotally attached to the carrier 37 by pin 35 and engages a cross bar 72 fixed between the longitudinal members of a transfer bar 71 that pivots on pin 76. The transfer bar 71 has a cam follower portion 73 that is impinged on by an angled surface 74 in the bolt 25. When the trigger 32 is pulled, it causes the sear 40 to release the hammer 38 that impinges on the firing pin of the bolt 25 that fires the shell cartridge 7 in the barrel 15 of the firearm 54. The gas pressure of the fired shell 7 then forces the bolt 25 rearward, thus causing the angled surface 74 to force the cam follower portion 73 of the transfer bar 71 downward. It is to be understood that in this embodiment, the bolt is a delayed-blowback roller-lock type well known to firearm designers, but that other types of actions systems can be utilized. The crossbar 72 in the downward pivoting transfer bar 71 pulls down on the carrier latch 36 that is pivotally fixed in the carrier 37, causing the carrier to pivot downward and impinge on the retainer 16, releasing the shell 7 from the magazine 1. As the shell 7 is propelled out of the magazine, it strikes the carrier latch 36, causing it to pivot on pin 35 and disengage from the crossbar 72 in the transfer bar 71; this then allows the shell carrier 37 to lift the shell up and in front of the returning bolt 25, which has momentarily engaged the carrier pawl 42 to force the carrier 37 to pivot upwards on pin 77. As the returning bolt 25 forces the shell 7 into battery in the barrel 15, its forward surface 78 impinges on the carrier 37 and impels it downward so the carrier latch 36 is re-engaged with the crossbar 72.
  • In short, the rearward movement of the bolt 25 causes the shell 7 to feed from the magazine 1, and the emerging shell trips the carrier latch 36 to release the retainer 16 back to its normal position to stop the next shell. If there are no more shells 7 in the magazine tube 2 to be released, the carrier latch 36 will not be disengaged from the crossbar 72 in the transfer bar 71 and the carrier 37 will not be allowed to pivot upwards when the returning bolt 25 engages the carrier pawl 42, thus retaining the returning bolt 25 in the “locked-back” position. A notch 75 is provided in the bolt 25 to allow the cam follower portion 73 of the transfer bar 71 to rotate upwards, thus allowing the carrier 37 to release its pressure on the retainer 16 so that the magazine 1 may be indexed to another tube 2 or removed and replaced. After the magazine 1 is indexed or replaced, the transfer bar 71 may then be depressed by a manual means available to the operator, thereby releasing a shell 7 from the magazine tube 2, which upon tripping the carrier latch 36 allows the carrier 37 to lift the shell and release the bolt 25 to carry the shell 7 into battery ready to fire.
  • FIG. 9 depicts an alternate configuration wherein the magazine 1 may be inserted into a cylindrical well 70 of a shotgun with suitable means to removably retain the magazine and engage the regular indentures about its circumference for indexing purposes. In such a case, the element of the cooperating action of the firearm can be suitably reconfigured.
  • The preferred embodiment of the present invention incorporates certain design features specifically directed toward tactical operations by law enforcement and military personnel operating in close-quarters such as apartment buildings and aboard ships. Several desired characteristics of the firearm include automatic or semi-automatic firing action; a short overall length; lightweight; minimal snagging protuberances; and corrosion-resistant materials—suitable for close-quarter tactical situations. The firearm 54 is also capable of incorporating an accessory mounting rail 19 integral to the receiver 28 consistent with mil-spec 1911 for attaching aiming and illuminating devices (not shown).
  • The firearm 54 is preferably designed for ease and relative low cost of manufacture—utilizing molded, machined, or fabricated plastic material for the magazine 1, pistol-grip lower receiver, and buttstock; metal die-stamping for the receiver and action parts; investment casting for the trunnion block 14, and bolt parts to minimize expensive machining operations.
  • The size of the firearm 54 and the number of ammunition tubes 2 incorporated within the magazine 1 is dependent upon the firearm manufacturer's preference. In one embodiment, the dimensions of the firearm include an overall length of 28 in., a height of 7 in., and a fully loaded weight of approximately 9 pounds. It may be preferable to utilize a magazine 1 having four cylindrical tubes 2, as five may be too large to securely and comfortably grasp for the average hand, while three tubes may require a greater degree of rotation between indexed tubes. Each tube 2 can hold four shot shells, e.g., 2¾ in., 12 gauge; for a total of sixteen rounds per magazine 1. It is also to be understood that other configurations having more or less capacity and larger or smaller munitions could easily be devised within the scope of the invention.
  • FIGS. 11-16 depict another embodiment of the present invention directed to a trigger group assembly 65 for a shoulder-fired firearm capable of providing a positive method for positioning the carrier 37 relative to the bolt 25; as opposed to utilizing a spring-loaded pawl commonly incorporated in semi-automatic shotguns. In particular, a slidable track assembly 93 acts on the carrier 37 and the actuator assembly 33 to feed and load cartridges of ammunition from the magazine 1 to the firing chamber of the shotgun. This embodiment of the track assembly 93 is capable of cooperating with the high-capacity magazine described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,877,265. It is to be understood that the trigger group assembly 65 of the present invention is capable of being adapted for cooperation with other embodiments of actuators 33 that are also capable of meshing with other types of retainers 6 of other cartridge magazines 1.
  • The trigger group assembly 65 includes the sliding track assembly 93 that is coupled to—and propelled by—the bolt 25, and which cooperates with the carrier 37 to act on the actuator 33 to feed and load cartridges of ammunition from the magazine 1 to the firing chamber of the shotgun. As seen in FIGS. 11-14, the carrier 37 is pivotally 77 attached to a trigger group frame 98. A spool 91 is attached to the carrier 37 preferably by a follower pin 84. The follower pin 84 is slidable and attached to the carrier 37 near its end, wherein a portion 92 of the pin is capable of traveling within the track assembly 93, in particular, a feeding track 94 and a loading track 95. The spool 91 is capable of traveling along either track 94, 95 such that when the spool 91 is slid along the axial pin 84 to its limit near one side of the carrier 37, the portion 92 of the pin 84 protrudes beyond the carrier into the feeding 94 or loading 95 track of the track assembly 93, but does not protrude beyond the carrier on the opposite side. That is, the pin 84, or the portion 92 thereof, can travel in either the feeding 94 or loading 95 track, but not simultaneously in both tracks—except for perhaps a brief movement of transition of the spool 91 there between, at either terminus of the tracks. The sideways—axial—movement of the spool 91 and pin 84 from one track to the other is accomplished by a first 96 and second 97 deflectors, or ramps extending from the track assembly 93 shown in FIGS. 15 and 16.
  • When the shotgun is fired, the bolt 25 begins to move rearward, taking the engaged slidable track assembly 93 along with it. When the portion 92 of the pin 84 encounters the incline in the feeding track 94, the pivotally mounted carrier 37 slightly rotates about its axis 77 and forces a front edge of the carrier down on the actuator assembly 33, which rotates in turn about its axle 82 and forces its sliding trip 80 (see FIGS. 13 and 17) down on the top leaf 17 of the retainer 6 in the magazine 1, thus releasing a cartridge 7 that is urged rearward by the spring 5.
  • When the released cartridge 7 encounters the sliding trip 80 in its path, it pushes it backward in an inclined track in the actuator 33 against a spring-loaded plunger 81 until the trip 80 is disengaged from the retainer 6 and submerged beneath the path of the cartridge, thus allowing the top leaf 17 of the retainer 6 to return to its normal position and block the next-in-line cartridge from exiting the magazine 1.
  • As the bolt 25 and track assembly 93 approach their rearward terminus, the first deflector 96 transitions the spool 91 over so that the portion 92 of the pin 84 vacates the feeding track 94 and engages the loading track 95 of the track assembly 93. (See FIG. 18). Then, as the bolt 25 and track assembly 93 are urged forward by the firearm's return spring 23, the portion 92 of the pin 84 is forced downward by the loading track 95, which rotates the carrier 37 upwards, lifting the cartridge upwards into the path of the bolt 25, which loads the cartridge into the firing chamber of the shotgun. (See FIG. 19). When the bolt 25 and track assembly 93 approach their forward terminus (e.g., in battery), the second deflector 97 transitions the spool 91 over so the portion 92 of the pin 84 is re-engaged in the feeding track 94 of the track assembly 93 (see FIG. 20), and now ready to feed a new cartridge when the cartridge in the chamber is fired (see FIG. 21).
  • During operation of the shotgun of the present invention described above, it was observed that upon firing, the shotgun and the attached high capacity magazine 1 recoiled immediately, but the inertia of the shell(s) 7 within the high capacity magazine delayed the shell's exit from the magazine until the bolt 25 was already fully rearward. In response to the cartridge's delayed exit, the path of the track(s) 94, 95 in the sliding track assembly 73 was altered so that the follower pin 84 having a portion 92 traveling within the feeding track 94 would not facilitate rotation of the carrier 37 downward to depress the shell retainer 6 and release the cartridge until the bolt 25 had driven the sliding track assembly 93 to its rearward terminus. In addition, a link(s) 86 was included and configured to timely slide off of the supporting rail(s) 87 of the trigger frame assembly 98, thus disengaging the bolt 25 from the slidable track assembly 93 as shown in FIGS. 22 and 23. This configuration provides more time to allow the shell 7 to exit the high-capacity magazine 1, and further allows the sliding track assembly 93 to come to a smoother stop without a significant terminal impact, which thus allows the bolt 25 to continue rearward against the resistance of the recoil/return springs 23 until the bolt is stopped more smoothly with minimal impact. It is to be understood that although various trigger assemblies are capable of being utilized with the sliding track assembly 93 of the present invention, FIGS. 22 and 23 depict a preferred embodiment of the sliding track assembly that is capable of cooperating with the actuator 33 to mesh with the retainer 6 of the high capacity ammunition magazine 1—in particular, the retainer and high capacity magazine described herein, as well as in U.S. Pat. No. 6,877,265.
  • The sliding track assembly 93, which is slidably attached to and propelled by the bolt 25, acts on the carrier 37, which acts on actuator 33 to feed and load rounds 7 of ammunition from the magazine 1 to the firing chamber of the shotgun. In particular, the sliding track assembly 93 is releasably engaged with the bolt 25, and is further slidably aligned with the trigger frame assembly 98. The sliding track assembly 93 also includes a track 90 capable of receiving the follower pin 84 of the carrier 37. The follower pin 84 travels within the track 90 while the carrier 37 moves, i.e., pivots, within the trigger group assembly 65. Preferably, two tracks are utilized as in the earlier described embodiment of the sliding track assembly 93, however unlike the earlier embodiment that includes differently shaped tracks for loading and feeding, the sliding track assembly 93 shown in FIGS. 22 and 23 include identical opposing tracks 90 mirroring each other, wherein the follower pin 84 simultaneously engages both tracks 90 (feeding and loading) and does not shuttle from one track to the other track.
  • In addition, the sliding track assembly 93 depicted in FIGS. 22 and 23 was modified to include a link 86, preferably a pair of links, pivotally attached to the sliding track assembly 93 by an axle 85 and which are capable of removably engaging the rear surface of the bolt 25 when the links are supported by the rails 87 of the trigger frame assembly 98. Thus, the movable links 86 are capable of disengaging and reengaging the bolt 25 to the sliding track assembly 93. That is, as the bolt 25 travels rearward, the links 86 disengage from the bolt 25 as the links slide off the rails 87 and are not supported. The bolt 25 continues sliding rearward against the return/recoil spring(s) until it stops. As the return/recoil spring(s) 23 drives the bolt 25 forward, the front surface of the bolt impinges on the boss(es) 79 of the sliding track assembly 93, in turn driving the sliding track assembly forward, which then causes the hinged links 86 to ride-up on the rails 87 of the trigger frame assembly 98 and reengaging the bolt 25 with the sliding track assembly, and which causes the follower pin 84 to rotate the carrier 37 upwards, lofting the shell into the forward path of the bolt which then, as it comes into battery, loads the shell into the firing chamber of the semi-automatic shotgun that is now ready for another cycle. This preferred embodiment of the trigger group assembly 65 provides for the symmetric support of the follower pin 84 when it is under load, i.e., during pressing of the retainer 6 and lofting of the shell. It further accommodates for the inertial delay of the shell(s) within the high-capacity magazine 1 and also simplifies the mechanism by eliminating the spool 71 and the first 96 and second 97 deflectors while also reducing the recoil of the bolt 25 “bottoming out” by allowing the bolt to disengage from the sliding track assembly 93—which must stop at a certain terminus—when the links 86 ride off of the rails 87 of the trigger frame assembly 98 and continue to compress the recoil spring(s) 23 until the bolt comes to a relatively smoother stop with minimal impact before it is returned forward.
  • Each of the embodiments of the sliding track assembly 93 as seen in FIGS. 11, 12, 14, 22, and 23 may also include an actuator lever 83 that can be attached to an actuator axle 82 to provide an externally accessible means by which the operator can manually feed a cartridge from the magazine 1.
  • It will be understood that the present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or central characteristics thereof. The present embodiments, therefore, are to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, and the invention is not to be limited to the details given herein. While specific embodiments have been illustrated and described, numerous modifications come to mind without significantly departing from the characteristics of the invention and the scope of protection is only limited by the scope of the accompanying Claims.

Claims (23)

1. A trigger group assembly for a semi-automatic shotgun having a high-capacity magazine including a retainer for retaining cartridges therein, the trigger group assembly comprising:
a follower pin operatively connected to a carrier, wherein the follower pin is capable of engaging a feeding track and a loading track of a slidable track assembly, the slidable track assembly being operatively connected to a bolt of the shotgun, wherein the carrier cooperates with an actuator and the retainer of shotgun's magazine, the actuator being responsive to movement of the carrier in such a way that when the bolt is propelled rearward, the cartridge is released from the magazine and when the bolt is propelled forward, the cartridge is lifted by the carrier into the path of the bolt and loaded into the chamber of the shotgun.
2. The trigger group assembly of claim 1 wherein the feeding track is in a first plane and the loading track is in a second plane, and the first and second planes are substantially parallel.
3. The trigger group assembly of claim 1 wherein the actuator includes a spring-biased trip that slides in an inclined track and impinges on the retainer of the magazine such that when the actuator is forced downward by the carrier, the trip remains in the path of the emerging cartridge until the cartridge forces the trip backward along its inclined track such that it disengages from the retainer, wherein the retainer returns to its normal position to block the release of another cartridge.
4. The slidable track assembly of claim 1, wherein the feeding track and the loading track each having a first terminus and a second terminus; the slidable track assembly further comprising:
a first deflector extending from the slidable track assembly proximate a first end of the slidable track assembly; and,
a second deflector extending from the slidable track assembly proximate a second end of the slidable track assembly, wherein during movement of the slidable track assembly, the first and second deflectors facilitate coupling transition of the follower pin between the feeding and loading tracks.
5. The trigger group assembly of claim 1 further comprising:
a trigger frame assembly supporting the slidably track assembly, the carrier being pivotally attached to the trigger frame assembly; and,
a spool operatively connected to the follower pin, wherein movement of the spool in response to engagement between the follower pin with the feeding and loading tracks results in a feeding and loading cycle of the carrier, respectively.
6. The trigger group assembly of claim 1 further comprising:
a lever operatively connected to the actuator, the lever being accessible external to the semi-automatic shotgun and capable of being manually operated, wherein manual actuation of the lever facilitates release of a cartridge from the magazine.
7. The trigger group assembly of claim 1 further comprising:
a trigger frame assembly supporting the slidable track assembly, the trigger frame assembly including a rail; and,
a means for reducing recoil.
8. The trigger group assembly of claim 7 wherein the means for reducing recoil comprises:
a link operatively connected to the slidable track assembly and removably engaged to the bolt, the link being capable of sliding along the rail of the trigger frame assembly wherein as the link slides off the rail during rearward movement of the slidable track assembly, the bolt disengages from the slidable track assembly until forward movement of the bolt whereupon the link slides back onto the rail and reengages the bolt to the slidable track assembly.
9. A semi-automatic shotgun having a high capacity magazine including a retainer for retaining cartridges therein, the semi-automatic shotgun comprising:
a trigger group assembly including a slidable track assembly and a trigger frame assembly;
a bolt slidably coupled to the slidable track assembly, the slidable track assembly including a feeding track and a loading track;
a carrier pivotally connected to the trigger frame assembly; and,
a follower pin affixed to the carrier and capable of being transitionally coupled between the feeding track and the loading track of the slidable track assembly, wherein during movement of the slidable track assembly, the follower pin travels along the feeding track and/or the loading track and moves the carrier to facilitate the feeding and/or loading of the cartridges from the magazine.
10. The trigger group assembly of claim 9 further comprising an actuator responsive to movement of the carrier and capable of engaging the retainer of the high-capacity magazine.
11. The trigger group assembly of claim 10 wherein the actuator includes a spring-biased trip that slides in an inclined track and impinges on the retainer of the magazine such that when the actuator is forced downward by the carrier, the trip remains in the path of the emerging cartridge until the cartridge forces the trip backward along its inclined track such that it disengages from the retainer, wherein the retainer returns to its normal position to block the release of another cartridge.
12. The trigger group assembly of claim 10, further comprising a lever operatively connected to the actuator, the lever being accessible external to the semi-automatic shotgun and capable of being manually operated, wherein manual actuation of the lever facilitates release of a cartridge from the magazine.
13. The trigger group assembly of claim 9, further comprising:
the trigger frame assembly including a rail; and,
a means for reducing recoil.
14. The trigger group assembly of claim 13 wherein the means for reducing recoil comprises:
a link operatively connected to the slidable track assembly and removably engaged to the bolt, the link being capable of sliding along the rail of the trigger frame assembly wherein as the link slides off the rail during rearward movement of the slidable track assembly, the bolt disengages from the slidable track assembly until forward movement of the bolt whereupon the link slides back onto the rail and reengages the bolt to the slidable track assembly.
15. The slidable track assembly of claim 9, wherein the feeding track and the loading track each include a first terminus and a second terminus, the slidable track assembly further including:
a first deflector extending from the slidable track assembly proximate a first end of the slidable track assembly; and,
a second deflector extending from the slidable track assembly proximate a second end of the slidable track assembly,
wherein during movement of the slidable track assembly, the first and second deflectors facilitate coupling transition of the follower pin between the feeding and loading tracks.
16. For a semi-automatic shotgun including a trigger group assembly and a high-capacity magazine, a method comprising the steps of:
utilizing the force of a fired cartridge to move a slidable track assembly in a loading direction, the slidable track assembly including a feeding track and a loading track;
utilizing the loading track to move a carrier in a loading cycle; and,
utilizing the feeding track to move the carrier in a feeding cycle.
17. The method of claim 16, further including the step of providing a means for reducing recoil.
18. The method of claim 17, further including:
disengaging the shotgun's bolt with slidable track assembly; and,
reengaging the shotgun's bolt with the slidable track assembly.
19. The method of claim 18 wherein the means for reducing recoil comprises:
a link operatively connected to the slidable track assembly and removably engaged to the bolt, the link being capable of sliding along the rail of the trigger frame assembly wherein as the link slides off the rail during rearward movement of the slidable track assembly, the bolt disengages from the slidable track assembly until forward movement of the bolt whereupon the link slides back onto the rail and reengages the bolt to the slidable track assembly.
20. The method of claim 16 further including the step of transitioning the carrier from the loading track to the feeding track.
21. The method of claim 16, further including the step of releasing a cartridge from a magazine.
22. The method of claim 21, further including the step of:
providing an actuator coupled between the trigger frame assembly and the high-capacity magazine, the actuator being responsive to movement of the carrier, wherein the actuator cooperates with the high-capacity magazine to facilitate release of the cartridges from the high-capacity magazine.
23. The method of claim 21, further including the step of:
providing a lever, the lever being connected to an actuator and further being accessible external to the semi-automatic shotgun and capable of being manually operated to facilitate release of the cartridges from the high-capacity magazine.
US12/012,381 2002-03-14 2008-01-31 System and method for loading and feeding a shotgun Abandoned US20080121096A1 (en)

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US36383702P true 2002-03-14 2002-03-14
US38734602P true 2002-06-10 2002-06-10
US10/382,568 US6877265B2 (en) 2002-03-14 2003-03-06 System and method for increased magazine capacity for a firearm
US10/907,038 US7380361B2 (en) 2002-03-14 2005-03-17 System and method for increased magazine capacity for a firearm
US12/012,381 US20080121096A1 (en) 2002-03-14 2008-01-31 System and method for loading and feeding a shotgun

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US20200041221A1 (en) * 2018-08-06 2020-02-06 Makin Mesco Automatic and semi-automatic handgun with magazine aligned and disposed beneath the barrel
US11022386B2 (en) 2019-08-15 2021-06-01 Smith & Wesson Inc. Firearm breech cover interlock
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