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Publication numberUS20020157297 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/138,910
Publication date31 Oct 2002
Filing date3 May 2002
Priority date5 Nov 1999
Also published asCA2390170A1, CA2390170C, DE19953365A1, EP1226399A1, EP1226399B1, WO2001033157A1
Publication number10138910, 138910, US 2002/0157297 A1, US 2002/157297 A1, US 20020157297 A1, US 20020157297A1, US 2002157297 A1, US 2002157297A1, US-A1-20020157297, US-A1-2002157297, US2002/0157297A1, US2002/157297A1, US20020157297 A1, US20020157297A1, US2002157297 A1, US2002157297A1
InventorsJohannes Murello
Original AssigneeJohannes Murello
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Anchoring element for a firearm
US 20020157297 A1
Abstract
Firearm and an anchoring elements for use with a firearm are disclosed. A disclosed anchoring element includes a connecting part which is dimensioned to be connected to a first barrel. It also includes a first mounting guide which is adapted to releasably secure a second barrel to determine a relative position of the second barrel with respect to the first barrel. The anchoring element further includes a second mounting guide structured to releasably secure a second module to the first barrel to determine a relative position of the second module with respect to the first barrel.
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Claims(25)
What is claimed is:
1. For use with a firearm system having a first barrel and a second barrel, the second barrel being releasable connected to the firearm system as a first module, an anchoring element comprising:
a connecting part which is dimensioned to be connected to the first barrel;
a first mounting guide which is adapted to releasably secure the second barrel to determine a relative position of the second barrel with respect to the first barrel; and
a second mounting guide structured to releasably secure a second module to the first barrel to determine a relative position of the second module with respect to the first barrel.
2. An anchoring element as defined in claim 1, wherein the second module comprises at least one of:
an optical aiming device;
a computer-controlled fire control device;
an add-on firearm;
a weapon casing;
means for carrying the firearm system;
a breech; and
a breech guide unit.
3. An anchoring element as defined in claim 1, wherein the connecting part is dimensioned to be connected with the first barrel by way of a mounting cylinder supporting the first barrel.
4. An anchoring element as defined in claim 1, wherein the connecting part is dimensioned to be connected directly to the first barrel.
5. An anchoring element as defined in claim 1, wherein the connecting part is adapted to be positioned on the front end of the barrel.
6. An anchoring element as defined in claim 1, wherein the connecting part includes a carrier bar which is structured to transfer a force operating on the firearm system to a supporting part of the firearm system.
7. An anchoring element as defined in claim 1, wherein the anchoring element is manufactured from a one-piece block of material.
8. An anchoring element as defined in claim 7, wherein the anchoring element is manufactured by milling the one-piece block of material.
9. An anchoring element as defined in claim 1, wherein the anchoring element is manufactured from a metal alloy.
10. An anchoring element as defined in claim 9, wherein the metal alloy is an aluminum alloy.
11. An anchoring element as defined in claim 1, wherein the firearm system is one of a semi-automatic hand-held firearm and a fully-automatic hand-held firearm.
12. An anchoring element as defined in claim 1, wherein the firearm system is a bull pup.
13. A firearm comprising:
a first barrel;
an anchoring element operatively connected to the first barrel; and
a second barrel releasably connected to the anchoring element as a first module.
14. A firearm as defined in claim 13, further comprising a second module releasably coupled to the anchoring element.
15. A firearm as defined in claim 14, wherein the second module comprises at least one of:
an optical aiming device;
a computer-controlled fire control device;
an add-on firearm;
a weapon casing;
means for carrying the firearm;
a breech; and
a breech guide unit.
16. A firearm as defined in claim 13, wherein the connecting part is connected with the first barrel by way of a mounting cylinder supporting the first barrel.
17. A firearm as defined in claim 13, wherein the connecting part is connected directly to the first barrel.
18. A firearm as defined in claim 13, wherein the connecting part is positioned on the front end of the barrel.
19. A firearm as defined in claim 13, wherein the connecting part includes a carrier bar which is structured to transfer a force operating on the firearm to a supporting part of the firearm.
20. A firearm as defined in claim 13, wherein the anchoring element is manufactured from a one-piece block of material.
21. A firearm as defined in claim 20, wherein the anchoring element is manufactured by milling the one-piece block of material.
22. A firearm as defined in claim 13, wherein the anchoring element is manufactured from a metal alloy.
23. A firearm as defined in claim 22. wherein the metal alloy is an aluminum alloy.
24. A firearm as defined in claim 13, wherein the firearm is one of a semi-automatic hand-held firearm and a fully-automatic hand-held firearm.
25. A firearm as defined in claim 13, wherein the firearm is a bull pup.
Description
    RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This patent issued from a continuing application which claims priority under 35 U.S.C. 120 from International Patent Application No. PCT/EP00/10515, filed Oct. 25, 2000.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The invention relates generally to firearms, and more particularly, to an anchoring element for a firearm system.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    The term “firearm system” includes firearms that have at least one barrel and at least two modules such as add-on elements. The firearm system can optionally include a weapon casing.
  • [0004]
    As used in this document, positional terms such as “forward,” “top,” “left,” etc., refer to a weapon that is positioned for firing a generally horizontal shot, whereby the direction of shooting proceeds forward away from the shooter. The same convention is applicable to statements about direction (“to the front,” “upwardly,” “to the left,” etc.).
  • [0005]
    The article “Futuristic vision achieved” by R. Wilhelm, in: “DE-Z: Deutsches Waffenjournal” (the “German Weapons Journal,” May 1999, pages 672-679), and German Patent DE 198 15 261 C1, are noted as reflecting the state of the art. The publication in “Deutsches Waffenjournal” shows a ring which sits on the barrel and supports a sight.
  • [0006]
    The patent documents DE 25 31 620 A, U.S. Pat. No. 3,325,967 A, and FR 555 668 A depict a connecting part which is connectable with the barrel and which has a mount for one single module which can, if necessary, be exchanged for another one. The module can, for example, be a second barrel, a telescopic sight, or a gradated sight.
  • [0007]
    In modem military hand-held firearms, it is common for optical aiming devices or other add-on elements to be attached to the weapon casing. As a general rule, supplemental parts, such as mounts or other connecting elements, which are attached to the weapon casing and which make the attachment of the add-on elements possible, are used for that purpose. The barrel of the firearm is, in most cases, supported within the interior of the weapon casing, along with the breech. This construction has proven its value in many ways, since the barrel and breech are thus protected against damages from impacts or contamination. However, such a construction also has the disadvantage that parts of the weapon casing are also positioned between the barrel and the add-on element (e.g., a telescopic sight next to the connecting elements). The barrel and telescopic sight are then connected with one another by means of a chain of individual parts, the manufacturing tolerances of which can be added to one another to calculate the total tolerance. These “chains of tolerance” can make subsequent necessary adjustments expensive and can, in the extreme case, lead to imprecisions in the shooting pattern. Upon attaching an additional add-on element such as a telescopic sight to the weapon casing, the chain of tolerances between the telescopic sight and the longitudinal axis of the weapon then becomes still longer, and the possibility of imprecision still greater.
  • [0008]
    The problems represented are additionally reinforced if the individual parts in the chain of tolerances are made of different materials. Because of the different thermal expansions of the individual parts upon temperature oscillations, additional problems of precision can then appear.
  • [0009]
    It lies within the skill of the technician to counteract the problems discussed above by means of a more precise manufacturing or a suitable selection of materials. Such measures, however, necessarily increase the manufacturing costs of the firearm.
  • [0010]
    In addition, weapons in which the mount of the telescopic sight is attached directly to the barrel are already known from the areas of hunting and sports weapons. The chain of tolerances between the barrel and the sight is thereby shorter, which has a positive effect on the precision of the shooting pattern. Such solutions are not used in other areas of weapons, however, particularly in the area of semi- and fully-automatic military weapons, which is presumably attributable to the covering of the barrel by the weapon casing that is present in these weapons.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0011]
    [0011]FIG. 1 is a cut-away, left-side view of an anchoring element constructed in accordance with the teachings of the invention, and shown with a front sight deployed, a mounting cylinder, and a 2-axis adjustment unit.
  • [0012]
    [0012]FIG. 2 is an isolated rear view (not to scale) of the anchoring element of FIG. 1.
  • [0013]
    [0013]FIG. 3 is a top view of section III-III from FIG. 2.
  • [0014]
    [0014]FIG. 4 is a front view of section IV-IV from FIG. 3.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EXAMPLES
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 1 depicts an exemplary anchoring element (1) constructed in accordance with the teachings of the invention, mounted on a partially illustrated firearm (3). The direction of shooting of the firearm (3) is indicated by the arrow (5). The illustrated firearm (3) is a combination of a large-caliber semi-automatic rifle and an add-on, rapid-fire gun. The rifle and gun have a trigger device in common. The barrels of these weapons are intended to be adjustable relative to one another. The first barrel (e.g., the barrel of the large-caliber semi-automatic rifle (not shown)), is supported in a manner free of clearance in an intermediate casing (7). The casing (7) serves as a mounting cylinder and is solidly connected with the weapon casing. The support bearing of the intermediate casing (7) permits longitudinal movement of the first barrel during the shooting process. The second barrel (e.g., the barrel of the add-on rapid-fire gun (not shown)), is connected with a 2-axis adjustment unit (9). The adjustment unit (9) enables adjustment of the position of the second barrel relative to the first barrel. This 2-axis adjustment unit (9) is known from an older, unpublished, application of the applicant (file reference 199 23 474.4), and is described in detail there.
  • [0016]
    The anchoring element (1) has an upper part (1-[a]). It also has a lower component (1-[b]) configured in a ring shape (see FIG. 2 or 4), which will be referred to in the following as the “connecting ring”. A front sight (13) is secured in its position in a rotatably supported manner by means of a pin (15) and a bolt (17) which is spring-stressed (spring not depicted). The sight (13), the pin (15) and the bolt (17) are mounted in the upper part (1-[a]). The front sight (13) can, thus, be folded over from the deployed position that is shown in FIG. 1 into a generally horizontal resting position. The anchoring element (1) is supported in a clearance-free and rotatable manner on the intermediate casing (7). The anchoring element (1) is connected with the casing (7) by way of a first key/slot connection (11), in such a manner that it is secured against twisting.
  • [0017]
    The 2-axis adjustment unit (9) is supported next to the anchoring element (1) on the intermediate casing (7). An adjustment element (9-[a]) of the 2-axis adjustment unit (9) is connected, by means of a second key/slot connection (19) with the anchoring element (1) and thereby secured against twisting. (For the purpose of adjusting, the adjusting element (9-[a]) remains displaceable in the vertical direction).
  • [0018]
    It can be seen from FIG. 2 that the upper part (1 -[a]) has a dovetail guide unit (21) on the upper side. The guide unit (21) is oriented in the longitudinal direction of the weapon. This guide unit (21) serves as a universal interface for the accommodation of different add-on devices, (for example, optical aiming devices). The upper part (1-[a]) additionally has two blind borings (23-[a] and 23-[b]) (see also FIG. 3) which serve for the accommodation of two closing spring rods, which are not depicted. These spring rods are part of the breech guide unit of the large-caliber semiautomatic rifle and are supported, in the installed condition, with their forward ends in the blind borings (23-[a], -[b]), while their rears ends are supported on the weapon casing.
  • [0019]
    The connecting ring (1-[b]) has two carrier bars (25-[a] and 25-[b]) extending generally horizontally. In the installed condition of the anchoring element (1), these carrier bars (25-[a] and 25-[b]) project out over the weapon casing on the left side and the right side of the weapon, respectively. It can be seen in FIG. 3 (or also FIG. 4) that the carrier bars (25-[a], -[b]) have loop-shaped cross-borings (27-[a] or 27-[b]). These cross-borings serve for the attachment of a carrying strap for carrying the firearm (3).
  • [0020]
    The carrier bars (25-[a], -[b]) also have two shoulders (29-[a] or 29[b]) projecting upward to a height (see FIG. 2). These shoulders form the counterpart to a snap connection of a part of the weapon casing, which is not depicted. This part of the housing, which serves as a protective covering for the 2-axis adjustment unit (9), is placed onto the carrier bars (25-[a], -[b]) from the front side of the firearm (3) for attachment to the anchoring element (1). Correspondingly molded elastic side parts of the housing part are thereby clicked into the shoulders (29-[a], -[b]) from the internal side. The housing part is thereby secured in its inserted position and can thereby be removed from the gun again without the use of a tool in the event of need, such as for the operation of the 2-axis adjustment unit (a).
  • [0021]
    [0021]FIG. 4 shows that the upper part (1-[a]) is divided into two bars (1-[a′] and 1-[a″]) towards the front, by means of which the upper part (1-[a]) is connected with the connecting ring (1-[b]). The bars (1[a′] and l-[a″]) define a hollow space (31) between themselves, which space serves for the accommodation of the front sight (13) in the installed condition (not depicted). The pin (15) of the front sight (13) is, in that case, supported in penetrating borings (33-[a] and 33-[b]) of the bars (1-[a′] or 1-[a″]).
  • [0022]
    From the foregoing, persons of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the present anchoring element (1) fulfills six functions. In particular, it serves: (1) as a suspension unit for the front sight (13) and the engaging of the same; (2) for the accommodation of various add-on devices, such as optical aiming devices; (3) as a mount for a carrying strap or handle; (4) for securing a housing part serving as a cover; (5) as part of the guide unit for the 2-axis adjustment unit of the add-on rapid-fire gun; and (6) as a bracing support for both of the closing spring rods.
  • [0023]
    The illustrated anchoring element (1) consists of an aluminum alloy and is produced from a one-part block of material by means of milling out. It thereby has both high precision of shape and also high stability.
  • [0024]
    Due to the structure of the anchoring element (1) and a clearance-free bearing support on the intermediate casing (7), a precise adjustment of the optical aiming devices which can be attached to the dovetail guide unit is possible. Because of the relatively short length of the dovetail guide unit, a larger aiming device, such as a night vision device or a computer-controlled fire control device, for example, can be attached to the firearm (3) in such a manner that it is suspended on the anchoring element (1) at the one end, and on the rear part of the weapon casing at the other end. Practice tests have also shown that such a partial attachment to the anchoring element is sufficient to guarantee a precise shooting pattern.
  • [0025]
    As has already been described, the intermediate casing (7) is, in the present example, positioned between the anchoring element (1) and the first barrel. It is entirely possible, however, to attach the anchoring element (1) directly with the first barrel and to position it next to the intermediate casing (7) (the casing (7) will, if necessary, be interrupted, at the corresponding spot, by the anchoring element [1]). Such a modification, however, is not preferred for technical manufacturing reasons.
  • [0026]
    In addition to an improvement in shooting precision, the illustrated anchoring element (1) is advantageous in that the weapon casing can be designed to be relatively light and cost-favorable in its construction. The reason for this is that the forces normally acting on the weapon casing are supported almost exclusively by the anchoring element (1). Thus, impacts and similar forces that are exerted on the add-on device, or, in particular, on the carrier bars (25-[a], -[b]), are guided by the anchoring element (1) into the interior of the weapon. These forces are then transferred to supporting parts of the firearm (3), such as, for example, the intermediate casing (7) and the first barrel and distributed over a large surface in this way. Damaging of the weapon casing, as well as of other parts of the firearm (3), is thereby effectively prevented, and the weapon is, on the whole, sturdier.
  • [0027]
    The disclosed exemplary firearm system permits attachment of several modules and, at the same time, avoids the problems of precision described in the background section above. To this end, the anchoring element (1) is attached to the first barrel of the firearm system and can be connected with several of the modules (structural- and/or add-on elements) by way of corresponding mounting guides. The anchoring element (1), thus, represents a “fixing body” relative to the first barrel, to which several modules can be directly attached and which can, if applicable, be oriented towards the first barrel or towards one another. In this way, long chains of tolerance between the first barrel and the modules, or between the modules themselves, are avoided.
  • [0028]
    The use of the anchoring element (1) has effects on the overall design of the firearm system, since it is advantageous if the individual modules are positioned in a manner suitable for connection with the anchoring element (1).
  • [0029]
    The illustrated anchoring element is particularly well suited for use with a firearm system such as that shown in DE 25 31 620 A which is hereby incorporated by reference. At least one additional mounting guide carries an additional module and the relative position of the module relative to the first barrel is fixed or can be fixed by this connection.
  • [0030]
    It is sufficient for precise adjustability of the individual modules to only manufacture the illustrated anchoring element (1) (and not entire parts of the weapon casing) with corresponding precision. The expense for manufacturing and other costs is thereby comparatively lower.
  • [0031]
    In regard to the function of the illustrated anchoring element (1), it should be clarified yet again that, in this example, the anchoring element (1) connects at least two modules with the barrel by way of the mounting guide(s). It is therefore designed in a “multi-functional” manner, and thereby goes far beyond the function of prior art devices, such as, for example, the telescopic sight mount described above. The illustrated anchoring element (1) can also be used with, for example, a firearm system with at least one module.
  • [0032]
    The anchoring element (1) is preferably configured in such a manner that it can be connected, by way of the mounting guide(s), with at least two of the following modules: (1) at least one optical aiming device, preferably a computer-supported fire control device and/or a sighting device; (2) an add-on firearm, such as, for example, a rapid-fire gun or a grenade-thrower add-on device; (3) an adjustment device, preferably of a 2-axis adjustment unit, by means of which an additional module for the first barrel, for example, can be adjusted; (4) at least one part of the weapon casing; (5) means for carrying the weapon, such as, for example, a carrying strap or a support grip; and/or (6) at least one part of the breech or of the breech guide unit.
  • [0033]
    It proceeds from this that the individual mounting guides can be designed very differently, depending on which modules they are intended to be connected with and the level of precision that is required for the connection. As used herein, the term “mounting guide,” thus, comprises every type of connecting element, such as mounts, guide units, or bracing supports. Additional examples for this are profile rails, connecting elements for fitting-, snapping-, or clamping connections, or even simple attachment borings. In this, it is not necessary for the mounting guide to support the specific module alone. Rather, the module in question can additionally be supported on another part of the firearm system.
  • [0034]
    The illustrated anchoring element (1) is connected with the first barrel by way of the connecting part (1-[b]). This does not necessarily mean that the relative positions of the anchoring element (1) and the first barrel are completely fixed. Rather, it is sufficient if the position of the anchoring element (1) is fixed at least in relation to one axis of the first barrel, which is generally, for example, the axis of the bore.
  • [0035]
    In one preferred configuration, the anchoring element (1) is connected by way of its connecting part with a mounting cylinder (7) (such as, for example, the weapon casing), supporting the first barrel or another part of the firearm system. The anchoring element (1) and the mounting cylinder (7) can thereby also be combined into an integral component. Such an arrangement is, in particular, sensible in those cases in which the first barrel should be partially movable relative to the anchoring element (1), such as, for example, for the purpose of damping a recoil. The first barrel is, in that case, supported in a movable manner inside the mounting cylinder (7) in the direction of its axis of the bore.
  • [0036]
    In another preferred configuration, the anchoring element (1) is directly connected with the first barrel by way of its connecting part (1-[b]). A relative movement between the barrel and the anchoring element (1) is also possible in this arrangement by means of corresponding constructive measures. The advantage here is that, because of the direct connection, intermediate parts (such as the mounting cylinder (7)) are excluded, as the result of which the chain of tolerances between the anchoring element (1) and the barrel is shortened, and the precision of the connection can be increased still further.
  • [0037]
    In another configuration, the anchoring element (1) is configured in such a manner that it can be positioned on the forward part of the barrel. Locating the anchoring element (1) in this area is frequently advantageous for constructive reasons, particularly if parts of the weapon casing or movable breech parts make an attaching of the anchoring element (1) to the rear part of the barrel difficult. In order to attach an optical aiming device, the mounting guide concerned should, if applicable (in the event of the anchoring element (1) being positioned too far forward), be extended to the rear, such as, for example, by means of an extension bar proceeding to the rear. When the weapon is assembled in an orderly manner, this aiming device is located in the correct position. Another possibility includes attaching the optical aiming device with its forward end on the anchoring element (1) and attaching the rear end to the anchoring element (1) only in the event of need, that is to say, in the event that the attachment to the front does not suffice to additionally connect with the weapon casing or another part of the firearm system.
  • [0038]
    In a firearm system in the bull pup method of construction, the magazine, and thereby the closing position of the breech, are placed behind the trigger, instead of in front of the same. The central installation is, thus, for the reasons stated above, generally simpler in such a “bull pup”. Thus, the firearm system is preferably formed as a bull pup.
  • [0039]
    From what has been said above, it is evident to a person of ordinary skill in the art that the illustrated anchoring element (1) is connected with modules that are positioned outside of the weapon casing, or which at least project out from this casing. During use of the weapon, particularly during use in combat, these modules are frequently subjected to impacts and other high forces which are caused, for example, by the maneuvering of the gun in open country. The anchoring element (1) is, thus, preferably configured in such a manner that it can absorb such forces. The forces that appear are transferred by the anchoring element (1), through its connection with the first barrel into the interior of the weapon, preferably on supporting parts, that is to say, parts which are correspondingly stressable. In this manner, the force introduced is distributed in the interior of the weapon. On the one hand, the weapon casing is balanced by that means, so that it can be designed to be correspondingly lighter and more favorable in terms of cost. On the other hand, damaging of less sturdy parts in the interior of the weapon is avoided.
  • [0040]
    In another configuration, the anchoring element (1) is produced from a one-part block of material and is preferably milled out from this block. The advantage of this configuration particularly lies, in addition to technical manufacturing reasons, in an increased sturdiness relative to the forces arising during the use of the weapon which have already been discussed. For the same reasons, the anchoring element (1) is in an additional configuration produced from a metallic alloy, preferably from an aluminum alloy, in order to save weight. Alternatively, the anchoring element (1) can also be manufactured by means of other processes, such as injection molding or casting, and/or from other materials, such as from plastic.
  • [0041]
    In another configuration, the firearm system is developed as a semi- or fully-automatic hand-held firearm. The firearm system can, alternatively, also be developed as a single-loader.
  • [0042]
    The above statements for the anchoring element (1) are also applicable, in regard to their entire content, to a firearm system with a first barrel and a second barrel as a module (structural- and/or add-on element), optionally a weapon casing, and an anchoring element.
  • [0043]
    Although certain apparatus constructed in accordance with the teachings of the invention have been described herein, the scope of coverage of this patent is not limed thereto. On the contrary, this patent covers all embodiments of the teachings of the invention fairly falling within the scope of the appended claims either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification42/75.01
International ClassificationF41A21/06, F41G1/16
Cooperative ClassificationF41G1/16, F41A21/06
European ClassificationF41A21/06, F41G1/16
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
26 Jun 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: HECKLER & KOCH GMBH, GERMANY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MURELLO, JOHANNES;REEL/FRAME:013028/0941
Effective date: 20020416