US20110107643A1 - Ergonomic Firearm Fore Grip - Google Patents

Ergonomic Firearm Fore Grip Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110107643A1
US20110107643A1 US12614051 US61405109A US20110107643A1 US 20110107643 A1 US20110107643 A1 US 20110107643A1 US 12614051 US12614051 US 12614051 US 61405109 A US61405109 A US 61405109A US 20110107643 A1 US20110107643 A1 US 20110107643A1
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US
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
hand
firearm
fore
grip
contact
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12614051
Inventor
Richard Fitzpatrick
Michael T. Mayberry
Travis Darran Haley
Eric Christopher Burt
Brian Abbott
Mike Morgan
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Magpul Industries Corp
Original Assignee
Magpul Industries Corp
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41CSMALLARMS, e.g. PISTOLS, RIFLES; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR
    • F41C23/00Butts; Butt plates; Stocks
    • F41C23/16Forestocks; Handgrips; Hand guards

Abstract

The firearm fore grip for use with a firearm having a barrel extending along a bore axis and an attachment rail operatively associated with the barrel and extending along the bore axis. The firearm fore grip comprises a base configured to engage an attachment rail, the base having a leading and a trailing end. A first hand contact surface is configured to extend substantially parallel to the attachment rail from the leading end of the base. A second hand contact surface extends from the first hand contact surface intermediate a leading and trailing ends of the base at an obtuse angle relative to the first hand contact surface.

Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • [0001]
    This disclosure is generally directed to firearms and, more particularly, to an ergonomic firearm fore grip that is configured to maximize user comfort and accuracy.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    Many firearms, particularly rifles, are controlled with a firing hand engaging a forward part of a firearm stock and the non-firing hand receiving a hand guard surrounding the firearm barrel. Simply grasping the hand guard in this manner is not comfortable for some users and can lead to user fatigue, particularly where many rounds are fired from an automatic firearm. A number of firearm fore grips are known in the art and are intended to address such problems. For example, known are pistol style grips which a user can grasp with a non-firing hand. Closely related are vertical fore grips. Each of these grips are intended to be grasped with the knuckles of the non-firing hand facing forward and the thumb on the top as in a fist. This type of hand positioning is known is as partial pronation. In partial pronation the pronator muscles are in flexion and the weapon movement is generally originated at the elbow joint as opposed to the wrist. In addition, this hand and arm positioning leads to vascular constriction, or restricted blood flow to the fingers. One result of this pronated position and the vascular constriction is inducement of fatigue after a short period of time, thus inhibiting weapon control. Weapon control is further inhibited because the user's hand is relatively far removed from a bore axis of the barrel. In an effort to minimize this fatigue, some users of vertical fore grips simultaneously grasp the fore grip with their little, ring and perhaps middle finger while engaging the hand guard surrounding the barrel with the index finger and the thumb, with the thumb pointing toward the barrel muzzle. This configuration provides more control of the mass of the weapon as compared to having the mass on top of the hand, which is the case with the normal pistol grip or vertical fore grip grasp. However, grasping the firearm in this manner provides only partial contact of the hand on the vertical fore grip and can be awkward and uncomfortable for users, particularly in extended firing sessions. In addition, gripping in this manner does not effectively promote point control of the firearm. Point control is critical for initial target engagement. Point control facilitates a user bringing a firearm on target quickly. The ability to quickly target is particularly important in dynamic environments such as urban or close quarter combat, where fractions of a second be critical to a user.
  • [0003]
    An ergonomic firearm fore grip as disclosed and claimed herein is intended to overcome one or more of the problems discussed above.
  • SUMMARY OF THE EMBODIMENTS
  • [0004]
    A first aspect of the invention is a firearm fore grip for use with a firearm having a barrel extending along a bore axis and an attachment rail operatively associated with the barrel and extending along the bore axis. The fore grip comprises a base configured to engage an attachment rail, the base having a leading and a trailing end. A first hand contact surface is configured to extend substantially parallel to the attachment rail from the leading end of the base. A second hand contact surface extends from the first hand contact surface intermediate the leading and trailing ends of the base at an obtuse angle relative to the first hand contact surface.
  • [0005]
    Another aspect of the invention is a firearm comprising a barrel having a top and a bottom and extending along a bore axis. An attachment rail is operatively associated with the barrel and extends along the bottom of the barrel along the bore axis. A fore grip comprises a base configured to engage the attachment rail, the base having a leading and a trailing end. A first hand contact surface is configured to extend substantially parallel to the attachment rail from the leading end of the base. A second hand contact surface extends from the first hand contact surface intermediate the leading and trailing ends of the base at an obtuse angle relative to the first hand contact surface.
  • [0006]
    In either embodiment, the obtuse angle is selected to provide support for at least the index finger on the first hand contact surface and to provide support for at least the little finger on the second hand contact surface and to provide support for all the remaining fingers of the hand on the first and second hand contact surfaces with the hand engaging the firearm fore grip in a supinated position.
  • [0007]
    In another aspect, the base may comprise an elongate channel opposite the first and second hand contact surfaces extending the length of the base. The elongate channel is configured to matingly receive the rail. In such embodiments a locking mechanism may be provided with the locking mechanism being configured to maintain the firearm fore grip in a select position relative to the rail.
  • [0008]
    The firearm fore grip as claimed herein allows the user to support the firearm barrel and control the firearm barrel with the hand in a supinated position (i.e., with the palm facing up and the knuckles toward the ground). In this manner, the supinator muscles are in extension and most of the weapon movement can be controlled with the user's wrist. Coupling this control with the fact that supination muscles tend to be stronger than pronation muscles means the claimed fore grip can reduce shooter fatigue and enhance point control to an extent not possible with known firearm fore grips.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0009]
    FIG. 1 is perspective view of a firearm having a firearm fore grip in accordance with the present invention disposed on a rail attached to hand guard of the firearm;
  • [0010]
    FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the firearm bearing the firearm fore grip of FIG. 1;
  • [0011]
    FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the firearm fore grip depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2 removed from the firearm;
  • [0012]
    FIG. 4 is a front elevation view of the firearm fore grip of FIG. 1;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of the firearm fore grip of FIG. 1;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 6 is a top rear perspective view of the firearm fore grip of FIG. 1;
  • [0015]
    FIG. 7 depicts a user grasping the firearm fore grip of FIG. 1;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 8 depicts an alternative manner of grasping the firearm fore grip of FIG. 1 where the user wraps his fingers and thumb around the fore grip and firearm hand guard; and
  • [0017]
    FIG. 9 depicts a further alternative manner of grasping the firearm fore grip of FIG. 1 where the user wraps his little, ring and middle fingers around the fore grip, the index finger wraps around a leading end of the hand stop and the thumb extends parallel to the barrel.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0018]
    Unless otherwise indicated, all numbers expressing quantities of ingredients, dimensions, reaction conditions and so forth used in the specification and claims are to be understood as being modified in all instances by the term “about”.
  • [0019]
    In this application and the claims, the use of the singular includes the plural unless specifically stated otherwise. In addition, use of “or” means “and/or” unless stated otherwise. Moreover, the use of the term “including”, as well as other forms, such as “includes” and “included”, is not limiting. Also, terms such as “element” or “component” encompass both elements and components comprising one unit and elements and components that comprise more than one unit unless specifically stated otherwise.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a firearm 10 having a barrel 12 which extends along a bore axis 14. The barrel 12 is surrounded by a hand guard 16. Surrounding the hand guard 16 are four attachment rails consisting of a bottom attachment rail 18, a top attachment rail 20, a right attachment rail 22 and a left attachment rail 24 disposed at 6, 12, 3 and 9 o'clock respectively. The attachment rails may be of any known configuration. However, as illustrated herein, the attachment rails are of the Picatinny type. Attached to the bottom attachment rail 18 is a firearm fore grip 26.
  • [0021]
    The firearm fore grip comprises a base 28 having a leading end 30 and a trailing end 32. The top of the base is configured to engage an attachment rail, in particular the attachment rail 18, as depicted in FIG. 1. Engagement is accomplished by elongate channel 34 formed in the top of the base 28, which is configured to matingly receive a rail such as the attachment rail 18. Referring to FIG. 1, the attachment rail 18 has a roughly T-shaped cross-section and flanges 36 extending the length of the elongate channel 34 are inclined over the elongate channel 34 in a manner to snuggly receive the top of the “T” cross-section rail as depicted in FIG. 1. Alternate embodiments of the firearm fore grip 26 could have an elongate channel having a different cross-section for engaging an attachment rail other than a Picatinny attachment rail. In addition, alternate embodiments need not be configured to engage an attachment rail, but could instead be configured for direct attachment to a hand guard or shroud surrounding the firearm barrel 12, or even integrally manufactured as a part of such a hand guard or shroud.
  • [0022]
    Referring to FIGS. 3-6, a first hand contact surface 40 is connected to the base opposite the elongate channel 34. In the illustrated embodiment, the first hand contact surface 40 includes traction ribs 42 extending transverse the first hand contact surface 40. A second hand contact surface 44 extends from the first hand contact surface 40 intermediate the leading and trailing ends 30, 32 at an obtuse angle relative to the first hand contact surface 40. The second hand contact surface 44 also includes traction ribs 46 extending transverse the length of the second hand contact surface 44. In the embodiment illustrated herein, a bridge 48 supports the second hand contact surface 44 partially cantilevered from the base 28, as best viewed in FIG. 5. A support leg 50 extends between a distal end of the bridge 48 and a trailing end 32 of the base 28. The base 28, the bridge 48 and the support leg 50 define a substantially triangular cavity or void 52 therebetween. The fore grip may also have this cavity 52 enclosed for additional storage capability or the fore grip may be substantially or entirely solid, without the cavity.
  • [0023]
    The firearm fore grip 26 further includes a hand stop 52 depending from the first hand contact surface 40 at the leading end 30. As the name implies, the hand stop 52 is configured to prevent a user's fingers from slipping off the leading end of the hand contact surface 40 to both enhance control of a firearm and to minimize the risk of a user's hand slipping in front of the muzzle of the barrel.
  • [0024]
    A finger divider 54 comprises a protrusion extending from the second hand contact surface 44 near the first hand contact surface 40. The protrusion 54 is shaped to be comfortably received between adjacent fingers of a user and acts both as a point of reference for the user and to secure the user's grasp of the fore grip. The finger divider 54 may, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 5, be part of a removable module 56 that can be removed from the second hand contact surface 44 and replaced with a module not having a finger divider 54. In other alternate embodiments, the finger divider 54 could be replaced with an actuator switch operatively associated with a laser sight or other firearm accessory for convenient use or actuation.
  • [0025]
    At a distal end of the second hand contact surface 44 reference shelf 57 extends slightly above the second hand contact surface 44. As with the other protrusions on the first and second hand contact surfaces, the reference shelf 57 can help a user to readily orient his hand to the fore grip and can further function to help retain the user's hand on the fore grip.
  • [0026]
    The firearm fore grip 26 further includes opposing finger guards 58, 60 extending from the first hand contact surface over the top of the base 28. As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the finger guards 58, 60 extend to partially envelop the hand guard with the firearm fore grip 26 mounted in an operative position on the hand guard of a firearm. Each of the finger guards 58, 60 defines a lateral finger/thumb shelf 62, 64 which extend substantially parallel to a bore axis 14 when mounted on a firearm surface texturing such as stepped serrations may be provided on the lateral finger/thumb shelves 62, 64.
  • [0027]
    Referring to FIG. 4, the firearm fore grip 26 further includes a finger engaging platform 66 on each side of the bridge 48 (only one is visible) facing substantially opposite the second hand contact surface 44. As with the lateral finger/thumb shelves 62, 64, surface texturing may be provided on the finger engaging platforms 66.
  • [0028]
    The obtuse angle A between the first and second hand contact surfaces is selected to provide support for at least the index finger on the first hand contact surface, to provide support for at least the little finger on the second hand contact surface and to provide support for all the remaining fingers of the hand on one of the first and second hand contact surfaces with a hand engaging the firearm fore grip 26 in a supinated position as illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8. In one embodiment, the obtuse angle may be in the range between 165-145 degrees and still provide suitable ergonomic positioning of the hand. In another embodiment the obtuse angle may be in the range between 165-135 degrees. In some embodiments, the angle may vary based on where lengthwise of the hand guard 16 the fore grip 26 is intended to be placed. The obtuse angle may be selected to be less as the intended position of the fore grip 26 moves away from the barrel muzzle. In the embodiment illustrated herein, the obtuse angle is about 148 degrees.
  • [0029]
    The firearm fore grip 26 as depicted herein further includes a locking mechanism 70 configured to maintain the firearm fore grip in a select position relative to a rail. In the particular embodiment illustrated herein, the locking mechanism 70 comprises a slotted pan-head screw 72 sized and configured to extend between lateral sides of the base 28 with the shaft 74 of the screw 72 being sized be received between adjacent rails of the attachment rails 18, 20, 22, 24 to both clamp the base 26 to the attachment rail and further to prevent movement of the fore grip along the length of the attachment rail.
  • [0030]
    The entire firearm fore grip 26 could be formed of a single piece of material, for example an injected molded thermal plastic such as hard urethane, Nylon or other polymeric materials with or without fiber, mineral or other reinforcing materials Alternatively, as is the case with the embodiment illustrated herein, the firearm fore grip 26 is formed in essentially minor-imaged halves 76, 78 which are matingly engaged and held in place by the slotted pan-head screw 70 and a secondary screw 80. In this manner, the firearm fore grip 26 can be attached to a firearm by slidably engaging the bottom attachment rail 18 with the elongated slot 34 and then locking the firearm fore grip in a select position lengthwise of the rail by inserting and tightening the slotted pan-head screw 72. Alternatively, the slotted pan-head screw 72 can be unscrewed and the secondary screw 80 can also be unscrewed to separate the two halves 76, 78 and then the two halves 76, 78 are assembled with the rail received in the slot 34. Thereafter, the screws 72, 80 are reinserted and tightened to clamp the rail and hold the firearm fore grip in place on the rail.
  • [0031]
    In use the firearm fore grip 26 provides the user with a number of options to grasp the fore grip to securely control the barrel of the firearm. FIG. 6 illustrates a finger wrap position with the user's index finger 82 in near abutment (which could include abutment) with the hand stop 52 and the tip of the index finger engaging a lateral finger/thumb shelf 62. This manner of grasping further provides the middle finger 84 engaging the first hand contact surface 40 near its base and the tip of the middle finger engaging a side of the first hand contact surface 44. The ring finger 86 and the little finger 88 contact and wrap around the second hand contact surface 44 with the tips of the ring finger 86 and the little finger 88 engaging the finger engaging platform 66. The thumb 90 (which is illustrated in ghost lines) extends substantially parallel to the bore axis 14 with the tip of the thumb 90 engaging the lateral finger/thumb shelf 64 opposite the lateral finger/thumb shelf 62.
  • [0032]
    FIG. 8 illustrates an alternative grasping option wherein the lower part of the index finger 82 and the middle finger 84 contact the first hand contact surface 40 and the lower portions of the ring finger 86 and the little finger 88 engage the second hand contact surface 44. With this configuration only the tip of the index finger 82 engages the lateral finger/thumb shelf 62 and the thumb 90 wraps around the hand guard 16.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 9 illustrates a further alternative manner of grasping the firearm fore grip of FIG. 1 where a little finger 88, ring finger 86 and middle finger 88 wrap around the fore grip, and the index finger wraps around a leading end of the hand stop 52 and the thumb extends parallel to the barrel pointed toward the muzzle. For user safety, this manner of grasping would not be recommended where the leading end of the hand stop 52 is in close proximity to the muzzle
  • [0034]
    As FIGS. 7 9 illustrate, the fore grip as disclosed and claimed herein provides a user with flexibility in grasping the fore grip to accommodate different shooting styles and objectives. In any of the examples illustrated in FIGS. 7-9—the fore grip provides an ergonomically effective grasp and thus facilitating secure and accurate point control of the firearm barrel while minimizing user fatigue.
  • [0035]
    Various embodiments of the disclosure could also include permutations of the various elements recited in the claims as if each dependent claim was a multiple dependent claim incorporating the limitations of each of the preceding dependent claims as well as the independent claims. Such permutations are expressly within the scope of this disclosure.
  • [0036]
    The description of the present invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description, but is not intended to be exhaustive or limiting of the invention to the form disclosed. The scope of the present invention is limited only by the scope of the following claims. Many modifications and variations will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. The embodiment described and shown in the figures was chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention, the practical application, and to enable others of ordinary skill in the art to understand the invention for various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. An firearm fore grip for use with a firearm having a barrel extending along a bore axis and an attachment rail operatively associated with the barrel and extending along the bore axis, the fore grip comprising:
    a base configured to engage an attachment rail, the base having a leading and a trailing end;
    a first hand contact surface configured to extend substantially parallel to the attachment rail from the leading end of the base; and
    a second hand contact surface extending from the first hand contact surface intermediate the leading and trailing ends of the base at an obtuse angle relative to the first hand contact surface.
  2. 2. The firearm fore grip of claim 1 further comprising a hand stop at the leading end of the base depending from the first hand contact surface.
  3. 3. The firearm fore grip of claim 1 further comprising a finger divider on the second contact surface, the finger divider comprising a protrusion extending from the second hand contact surface near the first contact surface, the protrusion being configured to seat between adjacent fingers of a user.
  4. 4. The firearm fore grip of claim 3 wherein the finger divider is defined on a modular insert operatively associated with the second hand contact surface.
  5. 5. The firearm fore grip of claim 3 wherein the finger divider is configured to function as a control switch for actuating an accessory attached to the firearm.
  6. 6. The firearm fore grip of claim 1 further comprising a reference shelf extending from the second hand contact surface at a distal end of the second hand contact surface.
  7. 7. The firearm fore grip of claim 1 further comprising traction ribs on the first and second hand contact surfaces.
  8. 8. The firearm fore grip of claim 1 further comprising opposing finger guards extending from the first hand contact surface over the base.
  9. 9. The firearm fore grip of claim 8 further comprising at least one lateral finger/thumb shelf defined on at least one of the finger guards extending substantially parallel to the bore axis.
  10. 10. The firearm fore grip of claim 1 wherein the base comprises an elongate channel opposite the first and second hand contact surfaces extending the length of the base, the elongate channel being configured to matingly receive the rail.
  11. 11. The firearm fore grip of claim 10 further comprising a locking mechanism configured to maintain the firearm fore grip in a select position relative to the rail.
  12. 12. The firearm fore grip of claim 1 further comprising a bridge supporting the second hand contact surface at least partially cantilevered from the base.
  13. 13. The firearm fore grip of claim 12 further comprising a support extending between a distal end of the bridge and the trailing end of the base.
  14. 14. The firearm fore grip of claim 13 further comprising void defined between the bridge, the support and the base.
  15. 15. The firearm fore grip of claim 12 further comprising a finger engaging platform facing away from the second hand contact surface on a surface of the bridge substantially opposite the second hand contact surface.
  16. 16. The firearm fore grip of claim 1 wherein the obtuse angle is selected to provide support for at least the index finger on the first hand contact surface and to provide support for at least the little finger on the second hand contact surface and to provide support for all of the remaining fingers of the hand on one of the first and second hand contact surfaces with a hand engaging the firearm for grip in a supinated position.
  17. 17. The firearm fore grip of claim 16 wherein the obtuse angle is about 148 degrees.
  18. 18. An firearm comprising:
    a barrel having a top and a bottom and extending along a bore axis;
    an attachment rail operatively associated with the barrel and extending along the bottom of the barrel along the bore axis; and
    a fore grip, the fore grip comprising:
    a base configured to engage the attachment rail, the base having a leading and a trailing end;
    a first hand contact surface configured to extend substantially parallel to the attachment rail from the leading end of the base; and
    a second hand contact surface extending from the first hand contact surface intermediate the leading and trailing ends of the base at an obtuse angle relative to the first hand contact area.
  19. 19. The firearm of claim 18 further comprising a hand stop at the leading end of the base extending substantially normal from the first hand contact surface.
  20. 20. The firearm of claim 18 further comprising the obtuse angle being selected to provide support for at least the index finger on the first hand contact surface and to provide support for at least the little finger on the second hand contact surface and to provide support for all of the remaining fingers of the hand on one of the first and second hand contact surfaces with the hand engaging the firearm fore grip in a supinated position.
US12614051 2009-11-06 2009-11-06 Ergonomic Firearm Fore Grip Abandoned US20110107643A1 (en)

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US12614051 US20110107643A1 (en) 2009-11-06 2009-11-06 Ergonomic Firearm Fore Grip
PCT/US2010/052233 WO2011056361A3 (en) 2009-11-06 2010-10-12 Ergonomic firearm fore grip

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