US20150184978A1 - Gun holster and electronic accessory - Google Patents

Gun holster and electronic accessory Download PDF

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Publication number
US20150184978A1
US20150184978A1 US14/583,342 US201414583342A US2015184978A1 US 20150184978 A1 US20150184978 A1 US 20150184978A1 US 201414583342 A US201414583342 A US 201414583342A US 2015184978 A1 US2015184978 A1 US 2015184978A1
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Prior art keywords
holster
gun sight
laser gun
pocket
green laser
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Abandoned
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US14/583,342
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Brian Hedeen
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Laser Aiming Systems Corp
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Laser Aiming Systems Corp
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Priority to US201361921318P priority Critical
Priority to US201361921311P priority
Priority to US201361921315P priority
Priority to US201361921312P priority
Application filed by Laser Aiming Systems Corp filed Critical Laser Aiming Systems Corp
Priority to US14/583,342 priority patent/US20150184978A1/en
Publication of US20150184978A1 publication Critical patent/US20150184978A1/en
Assigned to Laser Aiming Systems Corporation reassignment Laser Aiming Systems Corporation ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HEDEEN, BRIAN
Assigned to Laser Aiming Systems Corporation reassignment Laser Aiming Systems Corporation CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE ATTORNEY DOCKET NUMBER PREVIOUSLY RECORDED AT REEL: 040533 FRAME: 0025. ASSIGNOR(S) HEREBY CONFIRMS THE ASSIGNMENT. Assignors: HEDEEN, BRIAN
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41CSMALLARMS, e.g. PISTOLS, RIFLES; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR
    • F41C33/00Means for wearing or carrying smallarms
    • F41C33/02Holsters, i.e. cases for pistols having means for being carried or worn, e.g. at the belt or under the arm
    • F41C33/04Special attachments therefor
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41GWEAPON SIGHTS; AIMING
    • F41G1/00Sighting devices
    • F41G1/32Night sights, e.g. luminescent
    • F41G1/34Night sights, e.g. luminescent combined with light source, e.g. spot light
    • F41G1/35Night sights, e.g. luminescent combined with light source, e.g. spot light for illuminating the target, e.g. flash lights
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41CSMALLARMS, e.g. PISTOLS, RIFLES; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR
    • F41C33/00Means for wearing or carrying smallarms
    • F41C33/02Holsters, i.e. cases for pistols having means for being carried or worn, e.g. at the belt or under the arm
    • F41C33/0254Holsters, i.e. cases for pistols having means for being carried or worn, e.g. at the belt or under the arm with accommodation for auxiliary devices mounted on the small arm, e.g. telescopic sights, flashlights or laser-devices
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41CSMALLARMS, e.g. PISTOLS, RIFLES; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR
    • F41C33/00Means for wearing or carrying smallarms
    • F41C33/02Holsters, i.e. cases for pistols having means for being carried or worn, e.g. at the belt or under the arm
    • F41C33/0263Holsters, i.e. cases for pistols having means for being carried or worn, e.g. at the belt or under the arm having a locking system for preventing unauthorized or accidental removal of the small arm from the holster

Abstract

A holster is configured to accommodate a gun to which an electronic weapon mounted accessory has been secured. The holster includes a material defining a pocket sized for the gun and the electronic weapon mounted accessory.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/921,311, filed Dec. 27, 2013; U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/921,312, filed Dec. 27, 2013; U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/921,315, filed Dec. 27, 2013; and U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/921,318, filed Dec. 27, 2013, each of which are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention relates to accessories used with firearms, and more particularly to holsters, laser sighting devices and other accessories relating to firearms, such as handguns, holsters, and laser sighting devices.
  • BACKGROUND
  • A wide variety of accessories have been developed for users of firearms, to facilitate target visualization and improve targeting accuracy. Among these are laser sighting devices configured to generate a coherent energy beam parallel or nearly parallel to the extension of a gun barrel, with the precise alignment depending largely on the distance to the target and windage. When activated, the coherent energy beam forms a spot of light on the target to indicate the expected point of impact of the firearm projectile. These devices can enhance the experience of any firearm user and have considerable importance in certain law enforcement and military operations.
  • Typical laser sighting devices employ visible red or infrared laser frequencies, as energy at the desired frequency can be generated directly, e.g., with a neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) crystal. More recently, it has been discovered that visible light in the “green” range, e.g. having a wavelength from about 490 to about 570 nanometers, has much higher visibility than visible red laser energy. The more visible beam, while enhancing utility of a sighting device in general, is particularly effective for daytime use.
  • A difficulty that has limited the use of green laser energy in sighting devices is the need for additional components not required by visible red and infrared lasers. To generate coherent energy in the green region of the spectrum, a Nd:YAG crystal is used to generate energy at a wavelength outside the visible spectrum, such as about 1064 nm, that is then provided to a frequency doubler, such as a potassium titanium oxide phosphate (KTP) or lithium triborate (LBO) crystal to generate the desired wavelength, such as about 532 nm. The additional components require a larger laser drive circuit, typically a printed circuit board, and a larger power supply to meet a higher power requirement. The resulting sighting device may be larger and/or more difficult to use with handguns than other laser sighting devices, either because the handgun barrel is not long enough to accommodate the device or because the device protrudes ahead of the barrel an excessive amount. In accessory devices incorporating green laser sighting and white light (multichromatic energy) illumination, this difficulty is magnified.
  • Another problem encountered with the green laser is the higher power requirement and the accompanying reduction in useful life of the power source, typically one or more batteries. A larger battery, of course, contributes to the size of the device. The battery size may be even larger in devices that combine laser and multichromatic illumination as they typically employ separate voltage level power sources for the separate light sources.
  • While sighting devices and other accessories can be mounted to firearms in a variety of ways, one approach gaining increasing acceptance involves forming longitudinally extending rails on opposite sides below the barrel of a handgun ahead of the trigger guard, for example as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,185,854 (Solinsky et al.). The accessory or auxiliary device is provided with opposed projections, each slidable relative to one of the rails to guide the accessory for longitudinal travel relative to the barrel. The accessory also carries a transverse spring loaded bar that fits into a transverse groove formed in the barrel to secure the accessory against longitudinal travel. While this approach has proven useful for attaching a variety of accessories including laser sights and illumination devices, problems are encountered due to the differences in locations for the transverse grooves among different brands of firearms.
  • Sighting devices typically include a switch for turning the sighting device on and off. A user can turn the switch on to activate the green laser, red laser, or white light of the sighting device. A user can then turn the switch off to deactivate the green laser, red laser, or white light, thus conserving power.
  • SUMMARY
  • Disclosed herein are various embodiments of laser gun sights, holsters, and position sensor assemblies.
  • According to one embodiment, a combination includes a holster and a laser gun sight securable to a gun. The holster includes a material defining a pocket sized for a gun having an attached laser sight. The laser gun sight includes a housing including a laser aperture, a laser module disposed within the laser aperture, a circuit board including circuitry configured to operate the laser module, and a sensor disposed on the circuit board. The sensor is configured to detect the position of the laser gun sight relative to the holster.
  • Another embodiment is a combination including a holster and an electronic weapon mounted accessory securable to a gun. The holster comprises a material defining a pocket sized for a gun having an attached electronic weapon mounted accessory. The electronic weapon mounted accessory includes a circuit board including circuitry configured to operate the electronic weapon mounted accessory and a sensor disposed on the circuit board and configured to detect position of the electronic weapon mounted accessory relative to the holster.
  • Another embodiment is a holster configured to accommodate a gun to which an electronic weapon mounted accessory has been secured. The holster includes a material defining a pocket sized for the gun and the electronic weapon mounted accessory. The pocket includes a muzzle receiving area and an electronic weapon mounted accessory receiving area. A magnet is attached to the resilient material proximate the electronic weapon mounted accessory receiving area.
  • While multiple embodiments are disclosed, still other embodiments will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, which shows and describes illustrative embodiments. Accordingly, the drawings and detailed description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not restrictive.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an illustrative green laser gun sight secured to a handgun in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIGS. 2A and 2B are perspective views of a housing forming a portion of the green laser gun sight of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a green laser module.
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the green laser gun sight of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the green laser gun sight of FIG. 4, with a front plate removed to illustrate internal components.
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a portion of the handgun of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view illustrating attachment of the green laser gun sight to the handgun.
  • FIG. 8 is a front perspective view of an illustrative green laser gun sight in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 9 is a rear perspective view of the green laser gun sight of FIG. 8, shown mounted on a gun having a long rail system.
  • FIG. 10 is a schematic illustration of a remote switch that may be used with the green laser gun sight of FIG. 8.
  • FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the handgun and green laser gun sight of FIG. 1 disposed within a holster.
  • FIG. 12 is an upper perspective view of the holster of FIG. 11.
  • FIG. 13 is a lower perspective view of the holster of FIG. 11.
  • FIG. 14 is a partially cutaway perspective view of the holster of FIG. 11.
  • FIG. 15 is a view of a portion of the holster of FIG. 11, showing the primary retention feature engaging a component of the green laser gun sight.
  • FIG. 16 is a schematic view of a green laser module used in the green laser gun sight of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 17 is a simplified schematic view of electrical circuitry in the green laser gun sight of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 18 is a simplified schematic view of electrical circuitry in the green laser gun sight of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 19 is a perspective view of the handgun and green laser gun sight of FIG. 1 disposed within a holster.
  • FIG. 20 is a partially cutaway perspective view of the holster of FIG. 19.
  • FIG. 21 is an upper perspective view of the holster of FIG. 19.
  • FIG. 22 is a side schematic view of the handgun and the green laser sight in a soft holster.
  • FIG. 23 is a schematic view of an activation triggering device.
  • FIG. 24 is a perspective view of a top of an activation triggering device.
  • FIG. 25 is a perspective view of a bottom of the activation triggering device of FIG. 24.
  • FIG. 26 is a top view of the handgun resting on a gun storage pad.
  • FIG. 27 is a top view of the gun storage pad.
  • FIG. 28 is a side sectional view of the gun storage pad taken along line 28-28 of FIG. 27.
  • FIG. 29 is a perspective view of a paddle.
  • FIG. 30 is a perspective view of a rear of the paddle.
  • FIG. 31 is a side view of the paddle.
  • While the disclosure is amenable to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments have been shown by way of example in the drawings and are described in detail below. The intention, however, is not to limit the disclosure to the particular embodiments described. On the contrary, the disclosure is intended to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives thereof.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The disclosure pertains generally to laser gun sights such as green laser gun sights that are configured to be easily attached to a variety of different hand guns. In some embodiments, the green laser gun sights are configured to permit elevation and windage adjustment without requiring movement of an entire laser module, thereby affording use of a more compact device housing. In some embodiments, the laser module can be in direct contact with the housing. Because the housing can then function as a heat sink, a smaller laser module may be used.
  • The green laser gun sights described herein may be used with a variety of different firearm or gun styles and sizes, including handguns, rifles, shotguns and the like. For purposes of illustration, FIGS. 1 through 7 illustrate an embodiment of a green laser gun sight attached to a small handgun while FIGS. 8 through 10 illustrate an embodiment of a green laser gun sight secured to a larger gun such as a rifle. FIGS. 11 through 14 illustrate an embodiment of a holster that is configured to be used in combination with a handgun to which a green laser gun sight has been attached. Embodiments of the holster are configured to engage various portions of the green laser gun sight to releasably secure the gun within the holster without engaging the trigger guard. In some embodiments, the green laser gun sight and the holster are configured, in combination, to automatically shut off the green laser gun sight when a gun is holstered and to automatically turn on the green laser gun sight when the holstered gun is drawn, or removed from the holster.
  • Turning to FIG. 1, a handgun 10 is illustrated. The handgun 10 includes, among other elements and features, a barrel 12 and a trigger guard 14. The barrel 12 includes a rail system 16 that is configured to accommodate a variety of different accessories and other attachments. In some embodiments, a laser gun sight 18 may be attached. In some embodiments, as illustrated, the green laser gun sight 18 is secured to the rail system 16 ahead of the trigger guard 14. In some embodiments, the green laser gun sight 18 is configured such that the green laser gun sight 18 does not extend beyond a muzzle end 20 of the barrel 12. It will be appreciated that the rail system 16 may vary somewhat, depending on the identity of the handgun 10. Further details of the green laser gun sight 18, as well as details of how the green laser gun sight 18 attaches to the handgun 10, will be discussed with respect to subsequent Figures.
  • FIGS. 2A and 2B are perspective views of a housing 22 that forms a part of the green laser gun sight 18. FIG. 2A is a right rear perspective view while FIG. 2B is a left front perspective view. The housing 22 may be formed of any suitable material. In some embodiments, the housing 22 is formed of a strong, lightweight metal such as aluminum. It will be appreciated that the housing 22, particularly if formed of a highly heat conductive material such as a metal such as aluminum, will function as a heat sink. The housing 22 can include several apertures such as a green laser module aperture 24, a visible light module aperture 26 and a larger aperture 28 that may be configured to accommodate a battery (not illustrated) as well as at least some of the laser circuitry. In some embodiments, the visible light module may include an LED light source.
  • The housing 22 can also include features that facilitate attachment of the green laser gun sight 18 to the handgun 10. A pair of grooves 30 may be formed on the housing 22. For example, one groove 30 may be formed on each side of the housing 22 (only one visible in this illustration). As will be explained subsequently, the grooves 30 accommodate a rail set that connects the green laser gun sight 18 to the handgun 10. The housing 22 can also include a through aperture 32 for connecting the green laser gun sight 18 to the handgun 10.
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating a green laser module 34 that is aligned to slide into the laser module aperture 24. In some embodiments, the green laser module 34 has a cylindrical shape that fits snugly into the laser module aperture 24. The housing 22 may also serve as a heat sink for the green laser module 34. This may be especially beneficial as green lasers may produce more heat than a correspondingly-powered red laser.
  • FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of the green laser gun sight 18. Rail sets 36 and 38 are disposed on either side, respectively, of the green laser gun sight 18 and fit into the grooves 30 disposed on either side of the green laser gun sight 18. It will be appreciated that the rail sets 36 and 38 slide downward into the grooves 30. A connector, such as the cross pin 40, may extend between the rail sets 36 and 38 and may secure the rail sets 36 and 38. In some embodiments, for example, the cross pin 40 may slide through an aperture formed in the rail set 36 and may be threadedly engaged in a corresponding threaded aperture formed within the rail set 38. In some embodiments, the connector, such as the cross pin 40 may include a head 41 that may be used in advancing or withdrawing the cross pin 40 as well as a threaded portion 43 (shown in FIG. 7). The head 41 may also be used to help secure the green laser gun sight 18 (and hence the handgun 10) within a holster.
  • As will be illustrated with respect to a subsequent drawing, the cross pin 40 also helps to secure the rail sets 36 and 38, and hence the green laser gun sight 18, to the handgun 10. It can be seen that the rail set 36 includes a mounting surface 42 and the rail set 38 includes a mounting surface 44. The mounting surfaces 42 and 44 may be configured to interact with the rail system (FIG. 1) and may be modified to fit a particular handgun 10.
  • The green laser gun sight 18 includes a front cover 52. In some embodiments, the front cover 52 may be formed of a suitable material, such as a polymeric material. The front cover 52 may include a portion 46 that is configured to permit laser light to emerge and a portion 48 that is configured to accommodate a visible light. A cover 50 seals off the larger aperture 28 (FIG. 2). In some embodiments, the cover 50 may be threadedly engaged with the housing 22, but this is not required. A first screw 54 and a second screw 56 may be arranged along one side of the portion 46. In one embodiment, the first screw 54 may be an elevation screw and the second screw 56 may be a windage screw.
  • In some embodiments, the green laser gun sight 18 includes one or more switches 80 that can be used, for example, to program the green laser gun sight 18, to turn the green laser module 34 on or off, to turn the visible light module on or off, or to vary a pulse rate for the green laser module 34 and/or vary a strobe rate for the visible light module. In some embodiments, the green laser gun sight 18 may include a pair of switches 80, with one switch 80 arranged on each side of the green laser gun sight 18. In some embodiments, as will be discussed subsequently, the switch(es) 80 may be disposed at a remote location.
  • In some embodiments, the switch 80 on the right side of the green laser gun sight 18 and the switch 80 on the left side of the green laser gun sight 18 may be used interchangeably. For example, it may be more natural and/or convenient for a right-handed user to use their thumb to operate the switch 80 on the left side of the green laser gun sight 18. Similarly, it may be more natural and/or convenient for a left-handed user to use their thumb to operate the switch 80 on the right side of the green laser gun sight 18. In some cases, a user may prefer to turn the green laser gun sight 18 on or off using a different finger before they are holding the gun 10 in a ready-to-fire position. In some embodiments, the green laser gun sight 18 includes circuitry that enables either switch 80 to be used.
  • FIG. 5 is similar to FIG. 4, except that the front cover 52 has been removed to better illustrate internal components. A light assembly 62 is disposed in alignment with the portion 48 of the front cover 52 (FIG. 4). It can be seen that the first screw (i.e., elevation screw) 54 and the second screw (i.e., windage screw) 56 are arranged in opposition to a spring 60 and thus can be used to alter a position of a laser collimating lens 58 as the force applied to the laser collimating lens 58 by the spring 60 includes a component aligned with (in opposition to) the elevation screw 54 as well as a component that is aligned with (in opposition to) the windage screw 56. An elevation screw spacer 54 a extends between the elevation screw 54 and the laser collimating lens 58. In some embodiments, the laser collimating lens 58 may rest on a ribbed or otherwise textured surface to reduce friction.
  • An individual can adjust the aim of the laser beam emitted by the green laser sighting device 18 by turning the elevation screw 54 and/or the windage screw 56. As a result of turning the elevation screw 54 and/or the windage screw 56, the laser collimating lens 58 may slide radially and/or perpendicularly with respect to the green laser module 34. In some embodiments, the elevation screw 54 and/or the windage screw 56 may be configured to permit the laser collimating lens 58 to pivot relative to the green laser module 34. In some embodiments, the laser collimating lens 58 may be stationary, and the elevation screw 54 and/or the windage screw 56 may be used to alter the position of an additional lens or other optical component (not illustrated) in order to fine tune aiming of the green laser module 34.
  • FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate in greater detail the attachment of the green laser gun sight 18 to the handgun 10. FIG. 6 illustrates an enlarged end portion of the handgun 10 in which the rail system 16 may be seen as including a left (in the illustrated orientation) profile 64 and a corresponding right profile 66. FIG. 7 illustrates the green laser gun sight 18 in combination with the rail set 36 and the rail set 38. It will be appreciated that the mounting surface 42 of the rail set 36 is configured to fit into or otherwise interact with the left profile 64 of the rail system 16 and that the mounting surface 44 of the rail set 38 is configured to fit into or otherwise interact with the right profile 66 of the rail system 16. The left profile 64 and/or the right profile 66 may be configured to provide a key and lock arrangement between the rail sets 36 and 38 and the rail system 16 such that when the rail sets 36 and 38 are held together via an attaching member, such as cross pin 40, the green laser gun sight 18 is held in place on the handgun 10.
  • In some embodiments, the rail system 16 also includes a horizontal cross slot 68. In some embodiments, as illustrated, the rail set 36 and the rail set 38 may include, respectively, mounting apertures 70 and 72 that permit the cross pin 40 to extend through the rail set 36 and the rail set 38. In some embodiments, the horizontal cross slot 68 is sized and positioned to accommodate the cross pin 40 and thereby prevent or at least substantially prevent lateral movement of the laser sighting device 18 relative to the handgun 10. In some embodiments, each of the rail sets 36 and 38 may include several different mounting apertures to accommodate particular handguns 10 having different positions for the horizontal cross slot 68.
  • In some embodiments, the rail sets 36 and 38 may include an aperture 35 (only one visible in FIG. 7) that is configured to accommodate a connector 33, such as a threaded rod or screw. The connector 33 may extend through the aperture 35. In some embodiments, the connector 33 may threadably engage with the aperture 32 formed in the housing 22 at or near the top of the groove 30. In some embodiments, the connector 33 may be a pin that may extend through the apertures 35 to secure the first and second rail sets 36, 38 to the green laser gun sight 18. In some embodiments, a single pin may extend through both rail sets 36, 38 and may form a frictional or compressive fit with the apertures 35 formed in each of the rail sets 36, 38.
  • It will be appreciated, therefore, that the green laser gun sight 18 may be attached to a variety of different guns or handguns 10 without requiring alteration of the housing 22. Rather, the rail sets 36 and 38 may be configured to have mounting surfaces 42 and 44, respectively that are configured to interact with the particular rail system 16 of a particular gun 10.
  • The green laser gun sight 18 described with respect to FIGS. 1 through 7 may be considered in some cases as being designed for use with smaller handguns such as compact and subcompact handguns. FIGS. 8 through 10 illustrate a green laser gun sight 82 that shares many features with the green laser gun sight 18, but in some cases may be considered as being designed for use with larger guns such as full size handguns, rifles, shotguns and the like.
  • The green laser gun sight 82 includes a portion 84 that is configured to accommodate the green laser module 34. In some embodiments, the portion 84 may include a transparent plate, such as a glass plate, that permits the green laser light to pass through. The green laser gun sight 82 also includes a visible light module 86. In some embodiments, as illustrated, the visible light module 86 may be configured to provide substantially more visible light than that provided by the visible light module 62 (FIG. 5) and may extend outward relative to the portion 84. In some embodiments, the visible light module 86 may be considered as being positioned in front of a battery aperture formed within the green laser gun sight 82. In some embodiments, the visible light module 86 may be user-removable in order to permit battery installation and/or replacement. In some embodiments, the green laser gun sight 82 includes an elevation screw 88 and a windage screw 90 that can be used to adjust the aim of the green laser module by moving a laser collimation lens (as discussed previously with respect to the green laser gun sight 18).
  • The green laser gun sight 82 includes a first rail set 92 and a second rail set 94 that may be attached to the green laser gun sight 82 in a manner similar to that described previously with respect to the green laser gun sight 18. In some embodiments, a fastener 96, such as a screw or bolt, attaches the first rail set 92 to the green laser gun sight 82, while a similar fastener (not visible) attaches the second rail 94 to the opposing side of the green laser gun sight 82. In some embodiments, as illustrated, a pair of cross pins 98 secure the first rail set 92 to the second rail set 94 and thus secure the green laser gun sight 82 to a gun rail system. In some embodiments, it will be appreciated that larger guns have longer rail systems 102 and thus can accommodate more than one cross pin 98. In some embodiments, the green laser gun sight 82 may be physically larger and longer than, for example, the green laser gun sight 18 and thus may benefit from using more than one cross pin 98.
  • In some embodiments, the green laser gun sight 82 includes one or more switches 100 that can be used, for example, to program the green laser gun sight 82, to turn the green laser module 34 on or off, to turn the visible light module 86 on or off, to vary a pulse rate for the green laser module 34 and/or to vary a strobe rate for the visible light module. In some embodiments, there is a pair of switches 100. For example one switch 100 may be arranged on each side of the green laser gun sight 82. In some embodiments, as illustrated for example in FIG. 9, the green laser gun sight 82 may not include the switch 100.
  • FIG. 9 is a rear perspective view of a green laser gun sight 104 secured to a long rail system 102. In some embodiments, the green laser gun sight 104, however, does not include the switch 100. Instead, the green laser gun sight 104 includes a rotary switch 106 and a lead 108 that extends to a remote switch (not illustrated). In some embodiments, the rotary switch 106 may be used to select a particular lighting program, i.e., solid or strobing visible light, solid or pulsing green laser, and the like, while the remote switch may be used to turn either the visible light module 86 and/or the green laser module 34 on or off.
  • As an illustrative but non-limiting example, the settings “A”, “B”, “C” and “D” may each be used to designate a particular function such as constant laser only, constant light only, or constant laser with constant light. In some embodiments, each of these functions may be momentary only. In some embodiments, on or more of the aforementioned settings may be used to designate independent activation between the two separate buttons 112 and 114 (discussed below with respect to FIG. 10). In some embodiments, the settings “1”, “2”, “3” and “4” may be used in a similar manner. In some embodiments, the setting labeled “P” may be used for a program setting that allows the user to change settings according to their preferences, such as the pulse rate for the laser and/or the strobe rate for the visible light. For example, one of the buttons 112 and 114 may be used to increase the laser pulse rate while the other of the buttons 112 and 114 may be used to decrease the laser pulse rate.
  • FIG. 10 is a schematic illustration of a remote switch 110 that includes a first switch button 112 and a second switch button 114. In some embodiments, the first switch 112 and the second switch button 114 may be individually pressed to turn the green laser gun sight 104 on or off. In some embodiments, the first switch 112 and the second switch 114 may be pressed together and/or in combination with rotating the rotary switch 106 to select between different program modes. The remote switch 110 may be located at any convenient location along the gun. In some embodiments, the remote switch 110 may be placed at a location proximate where the user holds the rifle or shotgun with their non-trigger hand, such as at or near the magazine. In some embodiments, the remote switch 110 may be mechanically or adhesively secured to the gun.
  • FIGS. 11 through 14 provide various views of a holster that is configured to accommodate a handgun 10 to which a green laser gun sight 18 has been attached. In some embodiments, the holster described herein is configured to interact with the green laser gun sight 18 to releasably secure the handgun 10 within the holster without engaging the trigger guard 14.
  • FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the handgun 10 disposed within a holster 120. FIG. 12 provides a view down into the holster 120 while FIG. 13 provides a lower perspective view. As seen in FIGS. 11-13, the holster 120 includes a pocket 122 that is formed between an outer panel 124 and an inner panel 126. In this, inner and outer may be considered as being relative to a user who has the holster 120 secured to their belt. The inner panel 126 is closest to a securement portion 128 that is configured to be secured to a user's belt.
  • In some embodiments, the outer panel 124 and the inner panel 126 may be distinct portions that are screwed, bolted, riveted, adhered or otherwise secured together. In some embodiments, the outer panel 124 and the inner panel 126 may instead be outer and inner portions, respectively, of a unitary structure. In some embodiments, the outer panel 124 and the inner panel 126 are molded or thermoset as a unitary structure. The holster 120 may be formed of any suitable material. In some embodiments, the holster 120 is largely molded from a relatively rigid polymeric material such that a polymeric material defines the pocket 122. For example, the holster 120 may be formed from a thermal plastic. In some embodiments, a suitable material may have a modulus of elasticity of approximately 330,000 psi and/or a hardness of 90 on the Rockwell R scale. One example of a suitable material includes KYDEX®, an acryl polyvinyl chloride available from Kydex LLC.
  • The holster 120 includes a primary retention device 130 and a secondary retention device 132. In some embodiments, the primary retention device 130 is configured to releasably engage with an external component of the green laser gun sight 18. In some embodiments, as illustrated, the primary retention device 130 includes a moveable lever 134 that includes an engagement portion 136, a finger button portion 138 and an intervening pivot point 140. In some embodiments, the moveable lever 134 is movable between an engagement position in which the engagement portion 136 interacts with a portion of the green laser gun sight 18 and a disengagement position in which the engagement portion 136 is moved out of engagement with the green laser gun sight 18. In some embodiments, the moveable lever 134 is biased into the engagement portion by a spring or similarly resilient element (not illustrated). In some embodiments, the primary retention device 130 is configured such that a user may easily draw the handgun 10 from the holster 120 by depressing the finger portion with their finger to move the primary retention device 130 to a disengagement position and wherein the primary retention device 130 is positioned relative to the pocket 122 such that the gun 10 may be withdrawn from the holster 120 with the user's finger proximate a switch 80 (FIG. 4) on the green laser gun sight 18.
  • In some embodiments, the secondary retention device 132 includes a resilient member 142 that forms a frictional fit with the housing 22 of the green laser gun sight 18. It will be appreciated that the secondary retention device 132 is configured to resist accidental removal of the gun 10 from the holster 120 but permits removal of the gun 10 from the holster 120 when the finger portion 138 is depressed and the gun 10 is withdrawn.
  • FIGS. 14 and 15 illustrate how the primary retention device 130 interacts with the green laser gun sight 18. In particular, the primary retention device 130 interacts with a component of the green laser gun sight 18. In some embodiments, the engagement portion 136 of the primary retention device 130 engages with the head 141 of the cross pin 140. By comparing FIG. 14 with, for example, FIG. 4, it will be appreciated that the engagement portion 136 is positioned to oppose movement of the head 141 of the cross pin 140 and thus prevent withdrawal of the green laser gun sight 18 and the gun 10 to which the green laser gun sight 18 is attached. FIG. 15 also illustrates the relative position of the head 141 and the engagement portion 136 of the primary retention device 130 when the gun 10 is secured within the holster 120. It can be seen that the engagement portion 136 blocks movement of the head 141 when in an engagement position but permits movement when the user depresses the finger portion 138 and thus pivots the engagement portion 136 out of the way of the head 141.
  • FIG. 16 is a schematic illustration of a green laser module 154 that may be considered as representative of the green laser module 34 previously discussed. The green laser module 154 is configured to produce coherent energy in the green (490-570 nm) range of a visible spectrum. Laser module components include a semiconductor chip 166 that emits radiation when receiving battery power, a lasing medium or crystal 168 provided for light amplification at the fundamental frequency corresponding to a wavelength of 1064 nm and a frequency doubler or crystal 170 for converting the energy to the desired wavelength of 532 nm. In some embodiments, beam collimating optics 172 are positioned to receive the light emitted by the frequency doubler or crystal 170. In some embodiments, the beam collimating optics 172 include the collimating lens 58 discussed previously. In some embodiments, the green laser module 154 may incorporate an infrared blocking filter.
  • FIG. 17 provides a simplified schematic view of electrical circuitry in the green laser gun sight 18. In some embodiments, a printed circuit board 174 may be separated from the green laser module 154. A printed circuit board 176 that incorporates a microprocessor for a variety of functions including providing battery power to the printed circuit board 174 pulsed at a variety of predetermined pulsing frequencies, and interrupting power to the laser drive circuit after a predetermined time of laser operation with no user input, to prevent overheating and prolong battery life. A flexible or pliant conductor 178 electrically couples the battery 162 to the pulsing circuit 176, a conductor 180 couples the pulsing circuit 176 to the laser drive circuit 174, and a conductor 182 couples the laser drive circuit 174 to the laser module 154. A switch 184 is coupled to the pulsing circuit 176 and is operable to select one of several desired pulsing frequencies. In one version, the predetermined frequencies are 5 Hz, 7 Hz, and 10 Hz.
  • The pulsed input to laser drive circuit 174 causes the drive circuit 174 to generate a laser beam at substantially the same pulsing frequency, so that users visually perceive the beam as pulsed. Moreover, at the relatively low pulsing frequencies involved, the separate pulsing frequencies are readily visually distinguishable from one another. Consequently, in a situation in which sighting beams from several different firearms may be directed towards the same target, for example in certain law enforcement or military operations, the different pulsing rates allow each user to distinguish his or her sighting beam from the others.
  • More generally, the pulsing circuit 176 can be configured to provide power to the laser drive circuit 174 at several distinct pulsing frequencies, and further to provide power at several different pulsing circuit duty cycles, each associated with a different one of the pulsing frequencies. In each case, the laser drive circuit 174 provides power to the laser module according to a duty cycle controlled by its corresponding pulsing circuit duty cycle.
  • In some embodiments, the operator selects the desired pulsing frequency by operating the switch 184 to cycle through five distinct modes: continuous wave, pulse frequency number 1, pulse frequency number 2, pulse frequency number 3, and off. The switch 184 also is operable to control the light source 164. With further reference to FIG. 9, a conductor 190 couples the battery 162 to a voltage conversion circuit 192, which in turn is electrically coupled to the light source 164 by a conductor 194. Thus, the green laser module 154 and the light source 164 may be powered by the same power source.
  • FIG. 18 provides a simplified schematic view of electrical circuitry in the green laser gun sight 18. While the laser gun sight 18 has been described as being a green laser gun sight, in some embodiments the laser gun sight 18 may instead be a red laser gun sight, a blue laser gun sight or an infrared laser gun sight. In some embodiments, the laser gun sight 18 is a green laser gun sight 18.
  • In some embodiments, the printed circuit board 176 may include a sensing circuit 184 that includes a Hall effect sensor 186. In some embodiments, as will be described, the holster 120 may include one or more magnets that are sized to produce a magnetic field that can be detected by the Hall effect sensor 186. In some embodiments, one or more magnets may be placed in a soft holster such as a pocket gun holster. In some embodiments, one or more magnets may instead be disposed on or in a flat surface such as the floor of a safe, a nightstand drawer, an automobile glove box, or the like. If the sensing circuit 184 detects a magnetic field of a particular strength, the microprocessor 185 decides that a gun 10 to which the green laser gun sight 18 has been mounted has been holstered. When the sensing circuit 184 no longer detects the magnetic field, the microprocessor 185 decides that the gun 10 has been drawn from the holster 120 or picked up from the aforementioned flat surface.
  • In some embodiments, the microprocessor 185 is configured to turn off the green laser gun sight 18 when detection of a magnetic field indicates that the gun 10 has been holstered or otherwise put away. In some embodiments, the microprocessor 185 is configured to turn on the green laser gun sight 18 when a lack of detection of a magnetic field indicates that the gun 10 has been drawn or picked up. In some embodiments, the microprocessor 185 is configured to turn on the green laser gun sight 18 upon removal from the holster 120 if the green laser gun sight 18 was turned on when holstered, and is configured to keep the green laser gun sight 18 turned off upon removal from the holster 120 if the green laser gun sight 18 was turned off when holstered.
  • In some embodiments, turning the green laser gun sight 18 on and off refers to completely shutting off the green laser gun sight 18 in order to conserve battery power. In some embodiments, this refers to turning portions of the aforementioned circuitry on or off. For example, turning off the green laser gun sight 18 may refer to stopping power to the laser module 154 and/or the LED module 164 to conserve battery power and/or prevent inadvertent detection of the gun 10 while other portions of the circuitry remain powered.
  • In some embodiments, the green laser gun sight 18 may be programmed using the one or more buttons 80 to automatically turn on the laser module 154 and/or the LED module 164 when the gun is drawn from the holster 120. In some embodiments, the green laser gun sight 18 may be programmed to automatically turn on the laser module 154 and/or the LED module 164 after a user programmable time delay should the user wish a short delay to, for example, better position the gun before providing a visual indication of the gun's presence.
  • FIGS. 19-21 are similar to FIGS. 11, 12 and 14 described previously, but have been annotated to indicate an embodiment in which the green laser gun sight 18 and the holster 120 have been configured, in combination, to provide an instant-on feature. In FIG. 19, a region 190 has been indicated in phantom to show the relative position of the Hall effect sensor 186 in the sensing circuit 184 as well as a magnet disposed within the holster 120. FIG. 20 shows an embodiment in which a magnet 192 has been embedded in the resilient member 142. In some embodiments, the magnet 192 is a rare earth metal and may be adhesively fixed within a pocket formed in the resilient member 142. In FIG. 21, it can be seen that the magnet 192 is positioned relatively close to a region 194 of the green laser gun sight 18 that includes the sensing circuit 184 and the Hall effect sensor 186.
  • FIG. 22 is a side schematic view of the handgun 10 and the green laser gun sight 18 disposed within a soft holster 200 formed of a resilient material 202. The resilient material 202 comprises an exterior layer 204 forming an exterior of the soft holster 200 and an interior layer 206 forming an interior of the soft holster 200. In the illustrated embodiment, edging material 208 is sewn around a perimeter of the resilient material 202. In the illustrated embodiment, the resilient material 202, including the exterior layer 204, the interior layer 206, and the edging material 208, comprise one or more types of relatively durable fabrics. In alternative embodiments, the resilient material 202 can comprise one or more non-fabric resilient materials that are suitable for the application, such as leather.
  • The soft holster 200 defines a pocket 210 sized for the handgun 10 with the attached green laser gun sight 18. The pocket 210 includes a muzzle receiving area 212 for receiving the muzzle end 20 of the handgun 10 and a laser sight receiving area 214 for receiving the green laser gun sight 18. The muzzle receiving area 212 is adjacent to and directly above the laser sight receiving area 214. In some embodiments, the soft holster 200 can be shaped to hold the handgun 10 with the attached green laser gun sight 18 relatively firmly. In other embodiments, the soft holster 200 can hold the handgun 10 with the attached green laser gun sight 18 less firmly yet still have the muzzle receiving area 212 and the laser sight receiving area 214.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the soft holster 200 is a pocket gun holster having a tab 216 adjacent to and extending downward from the laser sight receiving area 214. The tab 216 can function to hook on a user's pocket (such as a pocket or a front pocket of a pair of pants, not shown) or waistband of a pair of pants (not shown) to retain the soft holster 200 in the user's pocket when the handgun 10 is drawn from the soft holster 200. In alternative embodiments, the soft holster 200 can be shaped differently than as illustrated. For example, in some embodiments the tab 216 can be omitted.
  • A magnet 218 is attached to the resilient material 202 proximate the laser sight receiving area 214. The magnet 218 can be attached to the resilient material 202 at a location suitable for being detected by the Hall effect sensor 186 of the green laser gun sight 18. In the illustrated embodiment, the magnet 218 is mounted nearer the tab 216 than a top 220 of the soft holster 200. As the handgun 10 and the green laser gun sight 18 are removed from the soft holster 200, the Hall effect sensor 186 can sense being removed from the magnetic field of the magnet 218 and automatically activate the green laser gun sight 18 to emit a green laser. In various embodiments, the magnet 218 can be positioned differently than as illustrated so long as the magnet 218 is positioned at a location suitable for being detected by the Hall effect sensor 186 of the green laser gun sight 18.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the magnet 218 is positioned between the exterior layer 204 and the interior layer 206. In an alternative embodiment, the magnet 218 can be attached to the interior layer 206, inward of the interior layer 206. In another alternative embodiment, the magnet 218 can be attached to the exterior layer 204, outside of the exterior layer 204.
  • In one embodiment, the magnet 218 can be attached to the resilient material 202 via adhesive suitable for attaching to fabric. In another embodiment, the magnet 218 can be sewn to the resilient material 202. In further embodiments, the magnet 218 can be attached to the resilient material 202 via another method suitable for the application. By providing the soft holster 200 with the magnet 218 as described, the green laser gun sight 18 can turn on automatically when used with relatively small handguns, such as subcompact handguns used with a soft pocket holster.
  • In some embodiments, the green laser gun sight 18 can be replaced with another electronic weapon mounted accessory, such as a red laser, a white light, or a combination of a red or green laser and a white light. In such circumstances, the laser sight receiving area 214 could be more generally referred to an electronic weapon mounted accessory receiving area. Such electronic weapon mounted accessories can be used, activated, and deactivated in substantially the same manner as described with respect to the green laser gun sight 18.
  • FIG. 23 is a schematic view of an activation triggering device 300. The activation triggering device 300 includes a magnet 302 and a fastening mechanism 304. In the illustrated embodiment, the activation triggering device 300 is a gun holster activation triggering device. The fastening mechanism 304 is mounted to the magnet 302 and configured to be secured to a gun holster, such as the holster 120 (shown in FIGS. 11-15 and 19-21) and the soft holster 200 (shown in FIG. 22). In one embodiment, the fastening mechanism 304 can include adhesive for adhering the activation triggering device 300 to the holster. In alternative embodiments, the fastening mechanism 304 can be a screw, bolt, clamp, adhesive, or other material or component configured for attaching the activation triggering device 300 to the holster via sewing, welding, bolting, screwing, clamping, or other method suitable for the application.
  • The activation triggering device 300 can be used to modify an existing holster that did not previously have a position sensing magnet, into a holster having a position sensing magnet suitable for use with the sensing circuit 184 and the Hall effect sensor 186 described above. The activation triggering device 300 can first be positioned on a holster (such as the holster 120 or the soft holster 200) such that the magnet 302 is proximate a sight receiving area (such as the sight receiving area 214). The fastening mechanism 304 can then be attached to the holster such that the magnet 302 is substantially fixed with respect to the holster. A gun sight (such as the green laser gun sight 18) can be attached to a handgun (such as the handgun 10) in a manner described above, or in another manner. Then, the handgun 10 with the attached green laser gun sight 18 can be inserted and removed from the holster with the attached activation triggering device 300, and the green laser gun sight 18 can be automatically deactivated and activated upon insertion and removal, respectively.
  • In one embodiment, the activation triggering device 300 can be attached to an outer surface of the holster. In another embodiment, the activation triggering device 300 can be attached to an inner surface of the holster inside a pocket (such as the pocket 122 or the pocket 210) of the holster. The activation triggering device 300 can be paired with a green laser gun sight (such as the green laser gun sight 18) wherein the combination of the activation triggering device 300 and the green laser gun sight 18 are sized to fit within the pocket of the holster when the green laser gun sight 18 is mounted on the handgun 10.
  • By attaching the activation triggering device 300 to a holster as described, the green laser gun sight 18 can be mounted on the handgun 10 and the green laser gun sight 18 can turn on automatically when used with that holster. Thus, the activation triggering device 300 allows for retrofitting and upgrading of existing, conventional holsters for use with the automatic activation feature of the green laser gun sight 18. Such conventional holsters can be manufactured and sold separately from the activation triggering device 300. Such conventional holsters need not be designed especially for use with the activation triggering device 300.
  • FIG. 24 is perspective view of a top of an activation triggering device 310, which is an alternative embodiment of the activation triggering device 300. FIG. 25 is a perspective view of a bottom of the activation triggering device 310. The activation triggering device 310 includes a housing 312 at least partially covering a magnet 314. The housing 312 includes a top surface 316 that curves down toward edges 318, 320, 322, and 324. The edges 318 and 320 are substantially curved edges, with the edge 318 positioned opposite the edge 320. The edges 322 and 324 are substantially straight edges extending between the edges 318 and 320, with the edge 322 positioned opposite the edge 324.
  • The housing 312 has a bottom surface 326 positioned opposite the top surface 316. The bottom surface 326 defines a cavity 328 sized for the magnet 314. Bosses 330, 332, and 334 may extend radially inward into the cavity 328. The magnet 314 is positioned in the cavity 328 of the housing 312, and can be held in the cavity 328 via a friction fit with the bosses 330, 332, and 334. Adhesive can be used to attach the magnet 314 to the housing 312 in addition to or instead of the bosses 330, 332, and 334.
  • A layer of adhesive 336 can be applied to the bottom surface 326 of the housing 312 and to the magnet 314. In alternative embodiments, the layer of adhesive 336 can be applied to only one of the bottom surface 326 or the housing 312. In further alternative embodiments, the activation triggering device 310 can be attached via a mechanism other than adhesive, such as double-sided tape, sewing, a press fit, bolting, screwing, or riveting.
  • The activation triggering device 310 can be relatively small. In the illustrated embodiment, the activation triggering device 310 has a width of about 0.75 inches (1.905 centimeters) and a thickness of about 0.125 inches (0.3175 centimeters). In alternative embodiments, the activation triggering device 310 can have a width of less than about 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) and a thickness of less than about 0.25 inches (0.635 centimeters). In further alternative embodiments, the activation triggering device 310 can have another size and shape suitable for the application.
  • In one embodiment, the activation triggering device 310 can be adhered or otherwise attached to a holster, such as the holster 120 (shown in FIGS. 11-15 and 19-21) and the soft holster 200 (shown in FIG. 22), in a similar manner to that described above with respect to the activation triggering device 300. In an alternative embodiment, the activation triggering device 310 can be adhered or otherwise attached to a bottom of a drawer. The handgun 10 can then be put in the drawer with the green laser gun sight 18 and the Hall effect sensor 186 positioned proximate the activation triggering device 310. As the handgun 10 is removed from the drawer, the Hall effect sensor 186 can sense being removed from the magnetic field of the magnet 314 and automatically activate the green laser gun sight 18. Thus, the green laser gun sight 18 can automatically turn on as soon as the handgun 10 is removed from proximity of the activation triggering device 310 in the drawer.
  • In another embodiment, the position sensor 310 can be adhered or otherwise attached to an interior surface of a safe. For example, the position sensor 310 can be attached via a layer of adhesive 336 to either a foam surface or a hard surface within the safe. The handgun 10 can then be put in the safe with the green laser gun sight 18 and the Hall effect sensor 186 positioned proximate the activation triggering device 310. As the handgun 10 is removed from the safe, the Hall effect sensor 186 can sense being removed from the magnetic field of the magnet 314 and automatically activate the green laser gun sight 18. Thus, the green laser gun sight 18 can automatically turn on as soon as the handgun 10 is removed from proximity of the activation triggering device 310 in the safe.
  • In another alternative embodiment, one or more of the position sensors 310 can be adhered or otherwise attached to a storage device such as a gun rack. For example, the activation triggering device 310 can be attached via the layer of adhesive 336 to a gun holding portion of the gun rack. The handgun 10 can then be put in or on the gun rack with the green laser gun sight 18 and the Hall effect sensor 186 positioned proximate the activation triggering device 310. As the handgun 10 is removed from the gun rack, the Hall effect sensor 186 can sense being removed from the magnetic field of the magnet 314 and automatically activate the green laser gun sight 18. Multiple position sensors can be used in gun racks designed for multiple guns.
  • In further alternative embodiments, the activation triggering device 310 can be adhered or otherwise attached to virtually any object suitable for the application, such as a shelf, a wall, a ceiling, a glove box, a motorcycle compartment, another vehicle compartment, a clothing pocket, a purse, a briefcase, or a personal planner having a compartment, or another container. Thus, the green laser gun sight 18 can automatically turn on as soon as the handgun 10 is removed from proximity of the activation triggering device 310 in virtually any location.
  • FIG. 26 is a top view of the handgun 10 resting on a gun storage pad 400. The gun storage pad 400 is a substantially flat mat upon which the handgun 10 can rest. The gun storage pad 400 has a substantially flat top surface 402 defined by sides 404, 406, 408, and 410. The top surface 402 can be relatively non-abrasive so as to reduce scuffing of the handgun 10 and the green laser gun sight 18. The magnet 218 is mounted to the gun storage pad 400.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 26, the handgun 10 is rested on the gun storage pad 400 with the Hall effect sensor 186 of the green laser gun sight 18 positioned proximate the magnet 218. In the illustrated embodiment, the Hall effect sensor 186 is positioned proximate but not directly above the magnet 218. In an alternative embodiment, the Hall effect sensor 186 can be positioned directly above the magnet 218.
  • As the handgun 10 and the green laser gun sight 18 are rested on the gun storage pad 400, the Hall effect sensor 186 can sense the magnetic field of the magnet 218 and automatically deactivate the green laser gun sight 18. As the handgun 10 and the green laser gun sight 18 are removed from the gun storage pad 400, the Hall effect sensor 186 can sense being removed from the magnetic field of the magnet 218 and automatically activate the green laser gun sight 18. Thus, the green laser gun sight 18 can automatically turn on as soon as the handgun 10 is removed from the gun storage pad 400.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the gun storage pad 400 is shown with a single magnet 218. In that embodiment, the Hall effect sensor 186 can sense the magnet 218 so long as the Hall effect sensor 186 is positioned sufficiently close to the magnet 218 when the handgun 10 and the green laser gun sight 18 are laid down on the gun storage pad 400. In alternative embodiments, the gun storage pad 400 can have multiple magnets 218 so as to create a larger sensing area on the gun storage pad 400. In further alternative embodiments, the gun storage pad 400 can have magnets 218 distributed across much of or the entire top surface 402.
  • FIG. 27 is a top view of the gun storage pad 400. As shown in FIG. 27, the magnet 218 is mounted on the top surface 402 of the gun storage pad 400. In an alternative embodiment, the magnet 218 can be mounted on a bottom surface 412 of the gun storage pad 400, which is opposite of the top surface 402. In a further alternative embodiment, the magnet 218 can be mounted between top and bottom layers (not shown) of the gun storage pad 400.
  • The top surface 402 of the gun storage pad 400 can include a gun alignment feature 414 for aligning the handgun 10 on the gun storage pad 400. In one embodiment, the gun alignment feature 414 can provide a visual indication of where the handgun 10 should be placed. For example, the gun alignment feature can be a printed image shaped like a handgun. In an alternative embodiment, the gun alignment feature 414 can provide a visual indication of where the green laser gun sight 18 or the Hall effect sensor 186 should be placed.
  • In another alternative embodiment, the gun alignment feature 414 can include one or more raised ridges tending to align the handgun 10 and/or the green laser gun sight 18 into a suitable position. In an embodiment with the gun alignment feature 414 having raised ridges, the top surface 402 can be substantially planar, though not entirely planar due to the raised ridges.
  • In a further alternative embodiment, the gun alignment feature 414 can include a fabric hook and loop fastening strap such as Velcro brand fasteners, a magnet sized for holding the handgun 10 and/or the green laser gun sight 18, or projections for providing a friction fit on the handgun 10 and/or the green laser gun sight 18.
  • In some embodiments, the gun storage pad 400 can be designed to lay flat on a surface without being attached to the surface. In other embodiments, the gun storage pad 400 can be attached to a surface via a mechanism such as adhesive, a magnet, tape, sewing, bolting, screwing, or nailing. In some embodiments the gun storage pad 400 can be located on a horizontal surface. In other embodiments the gun storage pad can be located on an angled or vertical surface.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the gun storage pad 400 includes a single gun alignment feature 414. In alternative embodiments, the gun storage pad 400 can include multiple gun alignment features 414 for locating multiple guns with respect to multiple magnets 218.
  • FIG. 28 is a side sectional view of the gun storage pad 400 taken along line 28-28 of FIG. 27. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 28, the top surface 402 is substantially planar, though not entirely planar due to the magnet 218 being mounted on the top surface 402. In alternative embodiments, the top surface 402 can be entirely planar, with the magnet 218 being mounted on the bottom surface 412 or within the gun storage pad 400.
  • FIG. 29 is a perspective view of a paddle 500. The paddle 500 is a holster mounting paddle for securing a gun holster, such as the holster 120 (shown in FIGS. 11-15 and 19-21) and the soft holster 200 (shown in FIG. 22). The paddle 500 includes a paddle attachment plate 502, a paddle extension 504, and a bridge 506 connecting the paddle attachment plate 502 to the paddle extension 504.
  • The paddle attachment plate 502 includes three mounting pads 508, 510, and 512. The mounting pads 508, 510, and 512 are each raised from an outer surface 514 of the paddle attachment plate 502. The mounting pad 508 includes three holes 516, 518, and 520 extending through and defined by the paddle attachment plate 502. The holes 516, 518, and 520 are aligned in an arcuate shape, concave inward toward a center of the paddle attachment plate 502. The mounting pad 510 includes three holes 522, 524, and 526 extending through and defined by the paddle attachment plate 502. The holes 522, 524, and 526 are also aligned in an arcuate shape, concave inward toward a center of the paddle attachment plate 502.
  • The paddle 500 will be described as having a left side 528, a right side 530, a top 532, and a bottom 534. However, it should be understood that the terms “left side” and “right side” are relative terms that can be alternated if the paddle 500 were in a different orientation. The mounting pad 508 and the holes 516, 518, and 520 are positioned toward the left side 528 and near the top 532. The mounting pad 510 and the holes 522, 524, and 526 are positioned toward the right side 530 and near the top 532. Thus, the holes 516, 518, and 520 arc inward toward the holes 522, 524, and 526, and vice versa.
  • The mounting pad 512 includes five holes 536, 538, 540, 542, and 544 extending through and defined by the paddle attachment plate 502. The holes 536, 538, 540, 542, and 544 are aligned in a zig-zag or “W” shape, and are positioned toward the bottom 534. The various holes 516, 518, 520, 522, 524, 526, 536, 538, 540, 542, and 544 provide locations through which a pin, bolt, screw, or other fastener can be inserted to adjustably mount a holster to the paddle 500. The orientation of the holster with respect to the paddle 500 can be adjusted by selecting different holes 516, 518, 520, 522, 524, 526, 536, 538, 540, 542, and 544 to use. For example, a first pin can be inserted into one of holes 516, 518, or 520, a second pin can be inserted into one of the holes 522, 524, or 526, and a third pin can be inserted into one of the holes 536, 538, 540, 542, and 544. Which holes are selected can depend on a user's preferred orientation of the holster, which can vary depending on whether the user is left-handed or right handed, which pocket or other location is being used as a mounting location, and user preferences.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, a holster can be adjustably mounted to three holes: one in each of the mounting pads 508, 510, and 512. The holster can be mounted in an upright orientation by being connected to the paddle 500 at holes 518, 524, and 540. The holster can be mounted in an angled orientation by being connected to the paddle 500 at holes 520, 542, and 524. The holster can be mounted at a greater angle by being connected to the paddle 500 at holes 520, 522, and 544. The holster can be mounted in an angled orientation but rotated in the other direction by being connected to the paddle 500 at holes 518, 526, and 538. The holster can be mounted at a greater angle by being connected to the paddle 500 at holes 516, 526, and 536. The hole orientation in the illustrated embodiment of the paddle 500 allows a holster to be mounted to the paddle 500 at five different angles which can all allow the holster to have a relatively low center of gravity with respect to the paddle 500. For example, the holster can be mounted in an upright orientation by being connected to the paddle 500 using holes 518 and 524, which are vertically lower than the holes 516 and 522.
  • The paddle extension 504 is substantially U-shaped, having a first branch 546 positioned on the left side 528 of the paddle attachment plate 502 and a second branch 548 positioned on the right side 530 of the paddle attachment plate 502. The first and second branches 546 and 548 are each attached to and extend downward from the bridge 506. Branch 546 has ribs 550, 552, 554, and 556 extending from an outer surface 558 of the paddle extension 504. Branch 548 has ribs 560, 562, 564, and 566 extending from the outer surface 558 of the paddle extension 504. The ribs 550, 552, 554, 556, 560, 562, 564, and 566 each have a sharp top edge and a sloping bottom edge so as to act as teeth to hold the paddle 500 in a pocket, such as a pocket of a user's pants (not shown) or a waistband (not shown).
  • The paddle extension 504 further includes a hook 568 positioned toward the bottom 534 and between the first and second branches 546 and 548. The hook 568 acts as an additional tooth to hold the paddle 500 in the pocket or a waistband.
  • FIG. 30 is a perspective view of a rear of the paddle 500. The paddle attachment plate 502, the paddle extension 504, and the bridge 506 are each substantially curved to conform to a shape of a user's body. A rear surface 570 of the paddle attachment plate 502 has ribs 572, 574, 576, 578, 580, 582, 584, and 586 extending from the rear surface 588 toward the paddle extension 504. The ribs 572, 574, 576, and 578 are on a first side of the paddle extension 504, positioned between the mounting pad 510 and the right side 530 (which appears on the left as viewed from the rear as in FIG. 30). The ribs 580, 582, 584, and 586 are on a second side of the paddle extension 504, positioned between the mounting pad 508 and the left side 528 (which appears on the right as viewed from the rear as in FIG. 30). The ribs 572, 574, 576, 578, 580, 582, 584, and 586 each have a sharp top edge and a sloping bottom edge so as to act as teeth to hold the paddle 500 in a pocket, such as a pocket of a user's pants (not shown) or a waistband (not shown). In the illustrated embodiment, the paddle 500 includes the ribs 550, 552, 554, 556, 560, 562, 564, and 566 (shown in FIG. 29) in conjunction with the ribs 572, 574, 576, 578, 580, 582, 584, and 586. In alternative embodiments, only some ribs can be included, with other ribs omitted. In various embodiments, the shape, position and orientation of the ribs can be modified as appropriate for a given application.
  • FIG. 31 is a side view of the paddle 500. The hook 568 as well as the ribs 560, 562, 564, and 566 are shown as extending from the outer surface 558 of the paddle extension 504. The paddle attachment plate 502 is connected to an outer portion 588 of the bridge 506 and the paddle extension 504 is connected to an inner portion 590 of the bridge 506 so as to define a slot 592 between the paddle attachment plate 502 and the paddle extension 504. The slot 592 allows a substantially flat object, such as a belt or fabric of a pants pocket or waistband, to be positioned between the paddle attachment plate 502 and the paddle extension 504. Bottom lips 594 and 596 of the paddle attachment plate 502 and the paddle extension 504, respectively, are not attached to one-another. Thus, the paddle attachment plate 502 and the paddle extension 504 each extend from the bridge 506 in a cantilevered fashion.
  • The paddle 500 can be made from a flexible and resilient material, which allows the paddle attachment plate 502 to be bent away from the paddle extension 504 to allow the paddle 500 to be inserted over a belt or waistband. The paddle 500 can then spring back to the illustrated shape, allowing the paddle attachment plate 502 and the paddle 504 to collapse on and hold the belt or waistband. This resiliency creates a force to hold the ribs 550, 552, 554, 556, 560, 562, 564, and 566 and/or the ribs 572, 574, 576, 578, 580, 582, 584, and 586 against the belt or waistband to hold the paddle 500 and an attached holster relatively firmly. In the illustrated embodiment, the paddle 500 is made from a polymer material via injection molding. In some embodiments, the paddle 500 can be a composite material, such as a combination of the polymer material and glass. In alternative embodiments, the paddle 500 can be made of another material and/or via another manufacturing method suitable for the application.
  • Various modifications and additions can be made to the exemplary embodiments discussed. For example, while the embodiments described above refer to particular features, the scope of this invention also includes embodiments having different combinations of features and embodiments that do not include all of the described features. Accordingly, the scope of the disclosure is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications, and variations as fall within the scope of the disclosure, together with all equivalents thereof.

Claims (19)

What is claimed is:
1. A combination comprising:
a holster comprising a pocket; and
a laser gun sight securable to a gun, the laser gun sight including:
a housing including a laser aperture;
a laser module disposed within the laser aperture;
a circuit board including circuitry configured to operate the laser module; and
a sensor disposed on the circuit board and configured to detect position of the laser gun sight relative to the holster,
wherein the pocket is sized to receive the laser gun sight secured to the gun.
2. The combination of claim 1, wherein the laser module comprises a green laser module.
3. The combination of claim 1, wherein the holster includes a magnet disposed within the holster such that the magnet is proximate the sensor on the circuit board when the laser gun sight is positioned within the pocket of the holster.
4. The combination of claim 3, wherein the sensor comprises a Hall effect sensor that provides an electrical signal to the circuitry indicating whether a magnetic field is detected by the sensor.
5. The combination of claim 3, wherein the holster comprises an interior layer and an exterior layer that is positioned exterior of the interior layer, and wherein the magnet is positioned between the interior and exterior layers.
6. The combination of claim 3, wherein the pocket is shaped such that the sensor senses the position of the magnet while the laser gun sight is positioned within the pocket of the holster.
7. The combination of claim 1, wherein the circuitry is configured to turn the laser gun sight off upon insertion into the holster, and is configured to turn the laser gun sight on upon removal from the holster.
8. The combination of claim 1, wherein the circuitry is configured to turn the laser gun sight on upon removal from the holster if the laser gun sight was on when positioned within the pocket of the holster, and is configured to keep the laser gun sight off upon removal from the holster if the laser gun sight was off when positioned within the pocket of the holster.
9. The combination of claim 1, wherein the laser gun sight further comprises:
a collimating lens disposed in front of the laser module;
an elevation screw interacting with the collimating lens;
a windage screw interacting with the collimating lens; and
a spring disposed in opposition to the elevation screw and the windage screw.
10. The combination of claim 1, wherein the pocket is defined by a material selected from the group consisting of fabric, leather and polymeric material.
11. The combination of claim 1, wherein the holster comprises a tab adjacent to and extending downward from the pocket, wherein the tab is configured to hook on a pocket of a pair of pants.
12. A combination comprising:
a holster comprising a pocket; and
an electronic weapon mounted accessory securable to a gun, the electronic weapon mounted accessory including:
a circuit board including circuitry configured to operate the electronic weapon mounted accessory; and
a sensor disposed on the circuit board and configured to detect the position of the electronic weapon mounted accessory relative to the holster,
wherein the pocket is sized to receive the electronic weapon mounted accessory secured to the gun.
13. The combination of claim 12, wherein the holster includes a magnet disposed within the holster such that the magnet is proximate the sensor on the circuit board when the electronic weapon mounted accessory is holstered, and wherein the sensor comprises a Hall effect sensor that provides an electrical signal to the circuitry indicating whether a magnetic field is detected by the sensor.
14. The combination of claim 12, wherein the circuitry is configured to turn the laser gun sight off upon insertion into the holster, and is configured to turn the laser gun sight on upon removal from the holster.
15. The combination of claim 12, wherein the circuitry is configured to turn the laser gun sight on upon removal from the holster if the laser gun sight was on when holstered, and is configured to keep the laser gun sight off upon removal from the holster if the laser gun sight was off when positioned within the pocket of the holster.
16. A holster configured to accommodate a handgun to which an electronic weapon mounted accessory has been secured, the holster comprising:
a material defining a pocket sized for the handgun and the electronic weapon mounted accessory, wherein the pocket includes a muzzle receiving area and an electronic weapon mounted accessory receiving area; and
a magnet attached to the material proximate the electronic weapon mounted accessory receiving area.
17. The holster of claim 16, wherein the holster comprises an interior layer and an exterior layer that is positioned exterior of the interior layer, and wherein the magnet is positioned between the interior and exterior layers.
18. The holster of claim 16, wherein the material is selected from the group consisting of fabric, leather and polymeric material.
19. The holster of claim 16, wherein the holster comprises a tab adjacent to and extending downward from the pocket, wherein the tab is configured to connect to a pocket on a pair of pants.
US14/583,342 2013-12-27 2014-12-26 Gun holster and electronic accessory Abandoned US20150184978A1 (en)

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US201361921318P true 2013-12-27 2013-12-27
US201361921311P true 2013-12-27 2013-12-27
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US201361921312P true 2013-12-27 2013-12-27
US14/583,342 US20150184978A1 (en) 2013-12-27 2014-12-26 Gun holster and electronic accessory

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USD738455S1 (en) * 2014-04-23 2015-09-08 Crimson Trace Corporation Laser device
US20160033221A1 (en) * 2013-03-15 2016-02-04 Jacob Stewart Schmehl Firearm accessory
USD749184S1 (en) * 2014-07-18 2016-02-09 Solid Proof Technologies LLC Emergency assistance device for a firearm
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