Title:
Portable firearm stand
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable firearm rack can accommodate modern firearms via the alignment of slots with other elements. An attachable lower stiffener can support a firearm butt while an attachable upper stiffener can support the barrel or fore stick. Rifle parts, such as scopes, pistol grips, handles, or rear sights can pass through the slot and thereby not interfere with securely supporting the firearm. A firearm stand can be produced by supporting a firearm rack with a support or with another firearm rack. Two identical firearm racks can be used to produce a firearm stand.



Inventors:
Carlson, Dan S. (Bellevue, CO, US)
Roberts, Thomas J. (Santa Fe, NM, US)
Application Number:
11/197157
Publication Date:
02/09/2006
Filing Date:
08/03/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/64
International Classes:
A47G29/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NOVOSAD, JENNIFER ELEANORE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ortiz & Lopez, PLLC (P.O. BOX 4484, ALBUQUERQUE, NM, 87196-4484, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A system comprising: a first sheet and a second sheet wherein each sheet has a front side, a back side, a top edge, a bottom edge, a left edge and a right edge; a first lower stiffener horizontally attached to or formed into first sheet on the front side near or on the lower edge such that the first lower stiffener can support a rifle butt or similar object and a second lower stiffener horizontally attached to or formed into second sheet on the front side near or on the lower edge such that the second lower stiffener can support a rifle butt or similar object; a first upper stiffener horizontally attached to or formed into the first sheet on the front side near or on the upper edge such that the first upper fastener can support a rifle barrel, rifle fore stock, or similar object and a second upper stiffener horizontally attached to or formed into the second sheet on the front side near or on the upper edge such that the second upper fastener can support a rifle barrel, rifle fore stock, or similar object; at least one first sheet slot in the first sheet wherein a rifle rear sight, a rifle scope, a rifle grip, or similar object can fit through the at least one first sheet slot, at least one second sheet slot in the second sheet wherein a rifle rear sight, a rifle scope, a rifle grip, or similar object can fit through the slot, and such that the at least one first sheet slot is offset from the at least one second sheet slot when the first sheet and the second sheet are placed back to back; and at least one first hinge section attached to or formed into the top of the first sheet, at least one second hinge section attached to or formed into the top of the second sheet wherein the at least one first hinge section aligns with the at least one second hinge section when the first sheet and the second sheet are placed back to back such that at least one complete hinge can be formed from the at least one first hinge section and the at least one second hinge section.

2. The system of claim 1 further comprising at least one barrel clip attached to the first upper stiffener, to the second upper stiffener, to the first sheet near the top edge, or to the second sheet near the top edge and in alignment with the at least one first sheet slot or with the at least one second sheet slot for securing a rifle barrel.

3. The system of claim 1 further comprising at least one top strap attached to the first upper stiffener, to the second upper stiffener, to the first sheet, or to the second sheet for securing a rifle barrel.

4. The system of claim 1 further comprising at least one tree strap attached to the first sheet or to the second sheet for securing the first sheet or the second sheet to a supporting object such as a tree, a pole, or a car bumper.

5. The system of claim 1 further comprising at least one suction cup attached to the first sheet or to the second sheet for securing the first sheet or the second sheet to a supporting object such as a car door or window.

6. The system of claim 1 further comprising: at least one right connection point attached to or formed into the first sheet, the second sheet, or a third sheet on the right edge; and at least one left connection point attached to or formed into the first sheet, the second sheet, or a third sheet on the left edge such that the at least one right connection point can be joined to the at least one left connection point to create an extended sheet.

7. The system of claim 1 further comprising at least one rifle attachment attached to the first sheet and aligned with the at least one first sheet slot or to the second sheet and aligned with the at least one second sheet slot such that a firearm can be attached in a muzzle down position.

8. The system of claim 1 further comprising a flexible weather resistant covering attached to the first sheet or to the second sheet such that the weather resistant covering can protect a firearm supported by the first sheet or the second sheet.

9. The system of claim 1 further comprising at least one moveable support attached to the first sheet that deploys to support the first sheet in a nearly vertical position or attached to the second sheet that deploys to support the second sheet in a nearly vertical position.

10. The system of claim 1 further comprising at least one hinge comprising the at least one first hinge section and the at least one second hinge section wherein the first plastic sheet and the second plastic sheet can be placed back to back to cause the at least one first hinge section and the at least one second hinge section to align for forming the at least one hinge.

11. The system of claim 10 further comprising a shelf horizontally attachable near the bottom edge of the first sheet and also attached near the bottom edge of the second sheet.

12. The system of claim 10 further comprising one or more travel stops that control the distance between the bottom edge of the first sheet and the bottom edge of the second sheet.

13. A system comprising: a first rack comprising: a first sheet having a front side, a back side, a top edge, a bottom edge, a left edge and a right edge; a first lower stiffener horizontally attached to or formed into first sheet on the front side near or on the lower edge such that the first lower stiffener can support a rifle butt or similar object; a first upper stiffener horizontally attached to or formed into the first sheet on the front side near or on the upper edge such that the first upper fastener can support a rifle barrel, rifle fore stock, or similar object; at least one first sheet slot in the first sheet wherein a rifle rear sight, a rifle scope, a rifle grip, or similar object can fit through the at least one first sheet slot; at least one first hinge section attached to or formed into the top of the first sheet; and a second rack comprising: a second sheet identical to the first sheet, a second lower stiffener identical to the first lower stiffener, a second upper stiffener identical to the first upper stiffener, at least one second sheet slot identical to the at least one first sheet slot, and at least one second hinge section identical to the at least one first hinge section wherein the second rack is identical to the first rack, wherein the at least one first sheet slot is offset from the at least one second sheet slot when the first rack and the second rack are placed back to back, and wherein the at least one first hinge section aligns with the at least one second hinge section when the first sheet and the second sheet are placed back to back such that at least one complete hinge can be formed from the at least one first hinge section and the at least one second hinge section.

14. The system of claim 13 further comprising at least one hinge comprising the at least one first hinge section and the at least one second hinge section wherein the first rack and the second rack can be placed back to back to cause the at least one first hinge section and the at least one second hinge section to align for forming the at least one hinge.

15. The system of claim 14 further comprising a shelf horizontally attachable near the bottom edge of the first sheet and also attached near the bottom edge of the second sheet.

16. The system of claim 14 further comprising one or more travel stops that control the distance between the bottom edge of the first sheet and the bottom edge of the second sheet.

17. A method comprising: obtaining a sheet having a front side, a back side, a top edge, a bottom edge, a left edge, and a right edge; stiffening the sheet by horizontally attaching a lower stiffener to, or horizontally forming a lower stiffener into, the sheet on the front side near the bottom edge such that a rifle butt can be supported by the lower stiffener; stiffening the sheet by horizontally attaching an upper stiffener to, or horizontally forming an upper stiffener into, the sheet on the front side near the top edge such that a rifle barrel or rifle fore stock can be supported by the upper stiffener; cutting at least one slot into the sheet such that the at least one slot is offset from those of an identically processed sheet placed back to back with the sheet and such that a rifle can be supported by the upper and lower stiffeners wherein the rifle can have a scope, rear sight, or pistol grip extending into the slot; and attaching a hinge section to or forming a hinge section into the top edge of the sheet such that a hinge is formed when an identically processed sheet is placed back to back with the sheet, thereby producing a firearm rack.

18. The method of claim 17 further comprising: producing a second firearm rack such that two identical firearm racks are available; placing the two firearm racks back to back to form a hinge; and completing the hinge, thereby producing a firearm stand.

19. The method of claim 18 further comprising: horizontally attaching a shelf near the bottom edge of the sheet of the firearm rack horizontally attaching the shelf near the bottom edge of the sheet of the second firearm rack, and thereby creating a shelf within the firearm rack.

20. The system of claim 17 further comprising: at least one right connection point attached to or formed into the sheet on the right edge; and at least one left connection point attached to or formed into the sheet on the left edge such that the right edge of the firearm rack can be connected to the left edge of an identical firearm rack.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO PROVISIONAL APPLICATION

The embodiments claimed herein claim the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application 60/599,730, entitled “Portable Firearm Stand”, which was filed Aug. 7, 2004.

TECHNICAL FIELD

Embodiments relate to the fields of firearms, firearm racks, and firearm stands. Embodiments also relate to the fields of portable firearm racks and firearm stands where light weight materials are used to produce racks and stands that fold up for transports and storage and unfold for deployment.

BACKGROUND

Equipment racks and stands have been used throughout recorded history. Certain kinds of equipment, such as firearms, are of a more recent origin and impose different requirements on historical racks and stands. Gun racks commonly hold guns in a horizontal or vertical position with varying degrees of security. Current implementations are similar to their predecessors that hold spears and agricultural implements.

The typical gun rack is a metal, wood, or plastic structure that is mounted to a larger object, such as a building wall. The rack has a lower support and an upper support. The lower support supports a gun butt while the upper end supports the barrel or fore stock. The gun itself is simply leaned into the rack where it is relatively secure from falling. Some gun racks have attachments for securing or locking guns. A barrel clip is a small rigid device usually attached near the top of the gun rack. In the open position, a gun barrel can be placed into the clip while in the closed position it holds the barrel. Some gun racks use straps. A few gun racks use straps or other kinds of attachments to hold guns with their muzzles down. Those skilled in the arts of gun storage, tool storage, or item storage know of many different clips, straps, or other attachments that hold guns to gun racks.

A gun stand is a gun rack with a support. In other words, a gun rack is supported by another object while a gun stand supports itself. Those skilled in the arts of storage or furniture know of many different stands and types of stands that can securely support a firearm or other item.

Historical firearm racks and stands have been successfully employed for centuries. As long as they can remain in position, they work well. One of the problems often encountered with historical racks and stands is that they are mobility impaired. Firearms on display or in long term storage rarely move. Historical racks are sufficient. Most firearm owners, however, occasionally want to use their firearm, such as for hunting or target practice. They take their gun off the rack and into the field. Firearm racks are present in the field.

One solution to keeping firearms in the field is to use mobile firearm racks. A mobile rack is a rack mounted to a vehicle. Another solution is to transport a standard firearm rack or stand. Neither solution is ideal because vehicles can move and thereby take the gun rack and any firearms on it. Those lucky enough to retain their firearms no longer have a gun rack. On the other hand, transporting a standard rack or stand entails the same effort as transporting any other furniture.

A further problem encountered with most common firearm racks and stands is that they do not accommodate rifle scopes or pistol grips very well. A rifle scope or a large rear sight can be unwieldy to store. A prime example of such a firearm is a military issue M16. The M16 in a barest configuration has a pistol grip extending down, and a rear sight/handle assembly extending up. These guns can easily take up two spaces in a standard gun rack.

Problems with mobility and the secure support of certain firearms such as scoped rifles and M16s point up the shortcomings of conventional methods and systems. A need exists for improved methods and systems for conveniently transporting and deploying firearm racks and firearm stands that can accommodate modern weapons.

BRIEF SUMMARY

The following summary is provided to facilitate an understanding of some of the innovative features unique to the embodiments and is not intended to be a full description. A full appreciation of the various aspects of the embodiments can be gained by taking the entire specification, claims, drawings, and abstract as a whole.

It is therefore one aspect of the embodiments to overcome the shortcomings in current technology with a first rack made from a sheet, a lower stiffener, an upper stiffener, slots, and hinge sections. The sheet is a sheet of material stiff enough for use in a firearm rack, such as a sheet of eighth inch plywood. The upper and lower stiffeners are horizontally attachable to the sheet. The lower stiffener, attachable near the bottom of the sheet, also serves as a shelf that can support the butt end of a firearm. The upper stiffener, attachable near the top of the sheet, also serves as rest for the barrel or fore stock. There are slots in the sheet to accommodate a rifle scope, rear sight, hand grip, or pistol grip because, for example, the scope of scoped rifle with its butt on the lower stiffener can impact the sheet and prevent the upper stiffener from supporting the barrel. A slot on the sheet supplies a place for the scope such that the butt can rest on the lower stiffener and the barrel can rest on the upper stiffener. Hinge sections are attached to the top of the sheet.

Another aspect of the embodiments is that the lower stiffener, upper stiffener, and hinge sections are formed into the sheet. A plastic firearm rack can be molded as a single piece that incorporates the sheet, stiffeners, slots, and hinge sections.

A further aspect of the embodiments is a second rack that also has an upper stiffener, lower stiffener, slots and hinge sections. When placed back-to back with the first rack, the slots in the second rack do not overlap while the hinge sections align. Each rack has a back because each sheet has a back. The front of the rack and the sheet is the side with the stiffeners. The hinge sections align so that they can be used to form hinges. Some hinges can be formed by aligning the hinge sections and snapping them together while others require additional parts, such as a hinge pin, to hold the hinge together. Those skilled in the arts of cases, furniture, and mechanical devices know of many different hinge solutions that can be used to movably join two sheets.

An aspect of certain embodiments is a firearm stand that is formed by placing two firearm racks back to back, hinging them together at the top, and separating them at the base. A travel stop can be used to control the separation between the bottom edges of the first and second racks. Ropes, strings, or straps are often used as travel stops. Another common travel stop is the hinged piece that locks the legs of a ladder apart. The firearm stand is the motivation for aligning the slots in the sheets so as not to overlap because a firearm part sticking through a slot on one side of the rack should not impede a firearm part sticking through a slot on the other side of the stand. Furthermore, a shelf can be attached between the bottom edges of the racks. The shelf can hold items off the ground below while the sheets protect them from the environment above. A further refinement that leads to less expensive manufacture is to form the stand from two identical firearm racks.

Another aspect of certain embodiments is that the lower stiffener can be detached from the rack or rotated out of the way. The upper stiffener can be similarly detachable or rotated. In this manner, the firearm racks or stand consume a much smaller volume for storage or shipment.

Yet another aspect of certain embodiments is to use attachable supports to hold the firearm rack in a near vertical position. A firearm stand is described above where two racks are used to support one another. Here, a simple support is used instead such that a single rack can be deployed as a firearm stand. Instead of using an attachable support, an attachable tree strap can be used to secure the rack to an object such as a tree, vehicle bumper, or wall. An attachable suction cup can be used to secure the rack to a smooth surface such as a vehicle door or window.

Further aspects of certain embodiments are to use various devices to secure or protect a firearm within the rack or stand. Barrel clips, straps, and firearm attachments are discussed above. A flexible sheet can be attached to and cover the rack or stand for protection from the elements.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying figures, in which like reference numerals refer to identical or functionally similar elements throughout the separate views and which are incorporated in and form a part of the specification, further illustrate the present invention and, together with the background of the invention, brief summary of the invention, and detailed description of the invention, serve to explain the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 1 illustrates a firearm rack in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 2 illustrates non-overlapping slots in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 3 illustrates a firearm stand with a cover in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 4 illustrates a barrel strap and a barrel clip in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 5 illustrates a firearm rack with an attachable tree strap and attachable suction cups in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 6 illustrates a firearm rack with an attachable support deployed in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 7 illustrates firearm racks attached via attachment points in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 8 illustrates a firearm attachment in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 9 illustrates a detachable or hinged lower stiffener in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 10 illustrates a firearm rack with folded in upper stiffener and folded in lower stiffener in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 11 illustrates a high level flow diagram of producing a firearm rack in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 12 illustrates a high level flow diagram of producing a firearm stand in accordance with an embodiment; and

FIG. 13 illustrates an upper stiffener with notches in accordance with an embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The particular values and configurations discussed in these non-limiting examples can be varied and are cited merely to illustrate one or more embodiments and are not intended to limit the scope thereof.

FIG. 1 illustrates a firearm rack 100 in accordance with an embodiment. A sheet 101 has an attachable upper stiffener 102 attached near the top edge and a lower stiffener 103 attached near the bottom edge. The lower stiffener 103 is held in place with braces 104. Slots 105 in the sheet provide clearance for rifle parts, such as a rifle scope, such that a rifle can be properly supported when the rifle butt is on the lower stiffener 102 and the barrel is on the upper stiffener 102. Hinge sections 106 are attached to or formed into the top of the sheet 101.

FIG. 2 illustrates non-overlapping slots in accordance with an embodiment. A sheet 101 has two slots 201. An identical sheet with identically positioned slots can be placed back to back with the sheet 101. The slots in the identical sheet would be in offset positions 202 on the first sheet.

FIG. 3 illustrates a firearm stand 300 with a cover 301 in accordance with an embodiment. The firearm stand 300 is made from two firearm racks 100. The firearm racks 100 are joined at the top by a hinge 303 that is formed using the hinge sections that are already part of each firearm stand 100. An attachable shelf 302 is shown attached between the firearm racks 100. The shelf 302 illustrated in FIG. 3 is attached to each firearm rack 100 with a hinged assembly, although other attachment types can be used. Furthermore, the shelf 302 is shown attached near the ground whereas a shelf 302 can instead be attached at any height above the ground that is supportable by the firearm racks 100. A single shelf 302 is illustrated attached within the firearm stand 300 whereas multiple shelves can also be advantageously attached within the firearm stand 300.

FIG. 4 illustrates a barrel strap 402 and a barrel clip 401 in accordance with an embodiment. Barrel straps 402 and barrel clips 401 are discussed above. Here, a barrel strap 402 is shown attached to an upper stiffener 102 that is attached to a sheet 101. A firearm can be secured by putting it in place and then attaching the barrel strap 402 to a barrel strap attachment 403. A gun clip 401 is also shown attached to the upper stiffener 102. The barrel strap 402 and the barrel clip 401 are both aligned with slots 105.

FIG. 5 illustrates a firearm rack 100 with an attachable tree strap 502 and attachable suction cups 501 in accordance with an embodiment. The tree strap 502 and suction cups 501 are as discussed above. A tree strap attachment 503 is shown attached to the firearm rack 100. The tree strap attachment 503 can be used to secure the free end of the tree strap 502.

FIG. 6 illustrates a firearm rack 100 with an attachable support 601 deployed in accordance with an embodiment. The attachable support 601 is deployed by attaching it to the firearm stand 100 such that the firearm stand 100 is supported in a nearly vertical position. A travel stop 602 locks the attachable support in position. As illustrated, the travel stop 602 is of the hinged variety often used on ladders. It is also possible for a support to be rotationally attached to the firearm stand 100 such that it is rotated into the firearm stand 100 for storage instead of being detached.

FIG. 7 illustrates firearm racks 100 attached via attachment points in accordance with an embodiment. Here, the stiffeners and slots of the firearms racks 100 are not shown for illustrative purposes. Each firearms rack 100 has left attachment points 701 and right attachment points 702 that line up when two firearm racks 100 are placed side by side. The firearm racks 100 can be attached via the left attachment points 701 and the right attachment points 702. If necessary, clips or similar fasteners can be used to ensure that the firearm racks 100 are attached securely.

FIG. 8 illustrates a firearm attachment 801 in accordance with an embodiment. The firearm attachment 801 is shown attached to the sheet 101 above the upper stiffener 102. In actuality, the firearm attachment 801 can be attached to the firearm rack 100 in any position as long as it is aligned with a slot 105. Here, the firearm attachment 801 is shown as a strap. Those skilled in the art of firearm storage are aware of many other types of firearm attachments that can also be used to secure a firearm to a firearm rack. Ideally, a firearm can be attached in a muzzle down or muzzle up orientation.

FIG. 9 illustrates a detachable or hinged lower stiffener 901 in accordance with an embodiment. A detachable lower stiffener 901 is the same as an attachable lower stiffener because it can be attached and detached. The reason for using a detachable lower stiffener is that the firearm rack can then be stored into a smaller volume. A rotating lower stiffener 901 can remain attached to the sheet 101, but can be folded out of the way as shown in FIG. 10. FIG. 10 illustrates a firearm rack 100 with folded in upper stiffener 1001 and folded in lower stiffener 901 in accordance with an embodiment. The upper stiffener 1001 and lower stiffener 901 are shown folded against the sheet 101.

FIG. 11 illustrates a high level flow diagram of producing a firearm rack in accordance with an embodiment. After the start 1101, a sheet is obtained 1102 and the slots are created 1105. The upper stiffener and the lower stiffener are attached 1103, the hinge sections are attached 1104 and the process is done 1106.

FIG. 12 illustrates a high level flow diagram of producing a firearm stand in accordance with an embodiment. After the start 1201 a first firearm rack is produced 1202 and then a second firearm rack is produced 1203. The two firearm racks are placed back to back to align the hinge sections 1204 and then the hinges are formed 1205 by snapping together the hinge sections, pushing in a hinge pin, or some other method. Finally, the shelf is attached 1206 before the process is done.

FIG. 13 illustrates an upper stiffener 102 with notches 1301 in accordance with an embodiment. Placing a notch 1301 in the upper stiffener 102 creates a place where a firearm barrel can rest. A notch 1301 can restrict the side to side motion of a firearm barrel and thereby provide a more stable firearm rest.

It will be appreciated that variations of the above-disclosed and other features, aspects and functions, or alternatives thereof, may be desirably combined into many other different systems or applications. Also that various presently unforeseen or unanticipated alternatives, modifications, variations or improvements therein may be subsequently made by those skilled in the art which are also intended to be encompassed by the following claims.