Title:
Aiming sight
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An aiming sight has a base, light gathering rod on the base and a lens on the base to the rear of the light gathering rod. Light emitted from the back end of the light gathering rod is redirected be the lens to converge near the shooting eye and is not visible to the other eye. Side walls or a lens tube on the base block direct sight of the back end of the light gathering rod by the other eye. The distance from the back end of the light gathering rod to the lens is adjustable. The lens can be round, triangular or any other shape.



Inventors:
Howe, Phillip D. (Fort Collins, CO, US)
Moore, Richard A. (Fort Collins, CO, US)
Application Number:
11/011924
Publication Date:
06/15/2006
Filing Date:
12/14/2004
Assignee:
NORTH PASS, LTD.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41G1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CLEMENT, MICHELLE RENEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ANCEL W. LEWIS, JR. P.C. (2026 Caribou Drive SUITE 102, FORT COLLINS, CO, 80525, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An aiming sight for an aimed device, comprising: a base for mounting on said device, an elongated light gathering rod, mounted on said base, having a periphery through which light is absorbed and a rearwardly facing back end through which light is emitted, and a converging lens having a selected focal length, said lens being mounted on said base in alignment with said light gathering rod and spaced a selected distance rearwardly from said back end, whereby light emitted from said back end is redirected by said lens so that said light is visible to a shooting eye and not visible to a non-shooting eye.

2. The sight as set forth in claim 1 wherein said distance is greater than said focal length.

3. The sight as set forth in claim 1 including means for adjusting said distance.

4. The sight as set forth in claim 1 wherein said lens is adjustably movable on said base for adjusting said distance.

5. The sight as set forth in claim 1 including means for blocking sight of said back end from said non-shooting eye.

6. The sight as set forth in claim 5 wherein said means for blocking includes a side wall extending forwardly from said lens.

7. The sight as set forth in claim 5 wherein said means for blocking includes a hollow tube extending along a least a portion of said distance between said lens and said back end.

8. The sight as set forth in claim 1 wherein said light gathering rod includes a relatively larger said periphery and a relatively smaller said back end, whereby said light gathering rod provides a smaller spot for aiming.

9. The sight as set forth in claim 8 wherein said light gathering rod tapers to said back end.

10. The sight as set forth in claim 9 wherein said light gathering rod necks down to said back end.

11. The sight as set forth in claim 1 wherein said light gathering rod includes a cap over said back end, said cap having a center aperture, whereby light emitted from said back end passes through said center aperture to said lens, providing a smaller spot for aiming.

12. The sight as set forth in claim 1 including a hollow lens tube mounted on said base and extending rearwardly of said light gathering rod, said lens tube having a rear end and said lens being mounted in said lens tube near said rear end.

13. The sight as set forth in claim 12 wherein said rear end of said lens tube and said lens are round.

14. The sight as set forth in claim 12 wherein said rear end of said lens tube and said lens are triangular.

15. An aiming sight for an aimed device, comprising: a base for mounting on said device, an elongated light gathering rod, mounted on said base, having a periphery through which light is absorbed and a rearwardly facing back end through which light is emitted, laterally spaced first and second side walls on said base, said first and second side walls extending rearwardly of said back end of said light gathering rod on opposite sides of said light gathering rod, and a converging lens having a selected focal length, said lens being mounted on said base in alignment with said light gathering rod and adjustably spaced a selected distance rearwardly from said back end, said distance being greater than said focal length, whereby light emitted from said back end is redirected by said lens so that said light is visible to a shooting eye and not visible to a non-shooting eye, and said first and second side walls block sight of said back end from said non-shooting eye.

16. An aiming sight for an aimed device, comprising: a base for mounting on said device, an elongated light gathering rod, mounted on said base, having a periphery through which light is absorbed and a rearwardly facing back end through which light is emitted, a hollow lens tube mounted on said base and extending rearwardly of said light gathering rod, said lens tube having a rear end, and a converging lens having a selected focal length, said lens being mounted in said lens tube near said rear end of said lens tube and spaced a selected distance rearwardly from said back end of said light gathering rod, said distance being greater than said focal length, whereby light emitted from said back end is redirected by said lens so that said light is visible to a shooting eye and not visible to a non-shooting eye, and said lens tube blocks sight of said back end from said non-shooting eye.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to aiming sights and more particularly to a sight that is only visible to the shooting eye.

BACKGROUND ART

Modern firearms are inherently very accurate. The ability to shoot accurately depends on accurate pointing or aiming, and often requires rapid acquisition of the target. Known sights commonly have a front sight in the form of a small bead sight near the muzzle or front of the firearm barrel. Such sights can also have a rear sight near the breach or rear of the firearm barrel.

Conventional bead sights have several shortcomings. Bead sights are difficult to see in low light conditions and against dark backgrounds. When sighting with a bead sight, a shooter can raise the eye too high above the barrel so that the firearm points higher than intended. Many people are cross dominant, shooting right handed and having a dominant left eye, or vise versa. Such cross dominant people may unintentionally use the dominant eye instead of the correct shooting eye to align the bead sight with the target, so that the firearm points laterally away from the target. These shortcomings of the bead sight are particularly apparent when rapid target acquisition is required such as shotgun shooting of bird, trap or skeet, or pistol firing at moving targets.

One improvement to front sights relative to the bead sight is the use of a small artificial light source to replace the bead sight. The light source can be electrical or photo chemical. Front sights with artificial light sources are relatively complex and require periodic replacement of the light or power source.

Another improvement is the use of a light-gathering tube or rod, generally of a colored plastic material, to replace the bead sight. Such light-gathering rods have a length many times the cross sectional dimension, and thereby have a peripheral surface area much greater than the end area. Light is absorbed through the peripheral surface and emitted through the end of the tube. A front sight with a light-gathering tube is easily seen in low light conditions and against a dark background.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,362,074 to Luebkeman et al. discloses a front sight with a lens and a very small distinct object mounted forward of the lens at the focal point of the lens. The lens changes the direction of light from the object so that the shooting eye can see the object while the non-shooting eye cannot see the object through the lens. Luebkeman discloses the object as a small colored dot, a small electric light or a small piece of fluorescent material.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,862,618 to Brown, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,014,830 and U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2003/0079396 to Brown et al. each disclose sights with a light gathering rod and an elongated hollow tube through which the light gathering rod is viewed. In the '618 and '830 patents the light gathering rod is at the forward end of the hollow tube, whereas in the '396 publication the light gathering rod is near the firearm muzzle and the hollow tube is near the firearm breach.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,604,315 to Smith et al. discloses a sight that uses a diffraction grating. The sight changes color as the shooting eye moves up and down or side to side relative to the barrel of the firearm.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

An aiming sight includes a mounting base, and a light gathering rod and a converging lens on the base. The rod has a peripheral surface that absorbs light and a back end that emits the light. The lens is aligned with the rod and has a selected focal length. The lens is spaced rearwardly from the rod a selected distance that is slightly greater than the focal length of the lens. Lateral walls or a hollow tube on the base extend forwardly from the lens provide a means for blocking the view of the back end of the light gathering tube from the non-shooting eye. The lens redirects light rays emitted by the back end of the rod to converge near the position of the shooting eye so that the back end of the rod is only visible through the lens to the shooting eye and only visible to the shooting eye when the shooting eye is properly positioned relative to the gun barrel.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Details of this invention are described in connection with the accompanying drawings that bear similar reference numerals in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an aiming sight embodying features of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the aiming sight of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a diagramic top plan view of the operation of the aiming sight of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the aiming sight of FIG. 1 with an adjustable lens.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the aiming sight of FIG. 1 with a modified light gathering rod.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a light gathering rod for the aiming sight of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of another light gathering rod for the aiming sight of FIG. 5.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of another aiming sight embodying features of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is an exploded view of the aiming sight of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the aiming sight of FIG. 8 with a modified lens tube and lens.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of another aiming sight embodying features of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, an aiming sight 11 embodying features of the present invention includes a base 12, a light gathering rod 14 and a lens 15. The base 12 has substantially flat top surface 16 with an elongated rectangular shape. The base 12 shown is configured for replacement of a threaded bead sight on a gun barrel and includes a mounting aperture 18 that extends through the base 12 near the front of the top surface 16, for receiving a threaded fastener for attachment to a gun. The base 12 of the aiming sight 11 can be provided in other configurations for other methods of attachment on various types of guns. By way of examples, and not as limitations, the base 12 may be provided in a magnetic configuration for attachment to the rib of a shotgun or a snap-on configuration for attachment to plain barrel shotgun. The base 12 of the aiming sight 11 can also be provided in configurations for mounting on other types of aimed devices such as archery bows, crossbows, handguns or paintball guns. The base 12 of the aiming sight 11 can further be integrated into an aimed device.

Describing the specific embodiments herein chosen for illustrating the invention, certain terminology is used which will be recognized as being employed for convenience and having no limiting significance. For example, the terms “front”, “back”, “right”, “left” “vertical”, “horizontal, “lateral”, “longitudinal”, “upper” and “lower” refer to the illustrated embodiment in its normal position of use. Further, all of the terminology above-defined includes derivatives of the word specifically mentioned and words of similar import.

Spaced first and second side walls 20 and 21 project upwardly from opposite sides of the top surface 16 and extend the length of the top surface 16 of the base 12. Three spaced connecting walls 22 connect from the first side wall 20 to the second side wall 21 on the forward portion of the top surface 16. A rod aperture 23, sized and shaped to receive a light gathering rod 14, extends through each connecting wall 22, with the rod apertures 23 in the three connecting walls 22 being aligned. The first and second side walls 20 and 21 each include an elongated side opening 24 between each pair of the connecting walls 22.

A substantially flat bottomed, vertically sided lens mounting channel 26 is relieved downwardly in the top surface 16. The lens mounting channel 26 extends rearwardly from the connecting walls 22 to the rear of the base 12. The lens mounting channel 26 is spaced inwardly from the first and second side walls 21 and 22, forming channel shoulders 27. A lens mounting aperture 28 extends laterally through each of the first and second side walls 21 and 22 near the rear of the base 12. The lens mounting apertures 28 are spaced above the top surface 16 and are aligned with each other.

The light gathering rod 14 shown is an elongated cylinder and is received in the rod apertures 23 of the connecting walls 22. The light gathering rod 14 can be injection molded and therefore can made in any selected shape. The light gathering rod 14 is made of translucent plastic and is generally a bright color such as green, crimson, yellow or orange. The light gathering rod 14 has a smooth, polished periphery 30 and a textured back end 31. The back end 31 can be flat or convex. Ambient light from above the light gathering rod 14 and ambient light passing through the side openings 24 is absorb through the periphery 30 and emitted through the back end 31. The texture of the back end 31 assists the dispersion of the light waves, insuring a fully illuminated viewing end of the light gathering rod 14.

The lens 15 is mounted on the base 12, between the first and second side walls 21 and 22. The lens 15 shown is round and is integrally molded with a lens mounting portion 33. The lens mounting portion 33 has sides 34 that are spaced to fit between the first and second side walls 21 and 22 of the base 12, and notches 35 that extend inwardly and then downwardly below each side 34. The notches 35 are sized to fit around the channel shoulders 27 with the lens mounting portion 33 extending down into the lens mounting channel 26. A rounded protrusion or knob 36 projects from each side 34 of the lens mounting portion 33. The knobs 36 are sized and positioned to fit at least partially into the lens mounting apertures 28 in the first and second side walls 21 and 22 of the base 12. The first and second side walls 21 and 22 have sufficient flex or resiliency that the lens mounting portion 33 is releasably secured on the base by the knobs 36.

The lens 15 is mounted rearwardly of the back end 31 of the light gathering rod 14 so that light emitted by the back end 31 falls on the lens 15 and is redirected by the lens 15. As shown in FIG. 3, the lens 15 has a selected focal length f and is a converging lens, such that parallel light rays falling on the lens 15 are redirected by the lens to converge at the focal length f on the opposite side of the lens 15. The lens 15 is mounted a selected distance d1 from the back end 31.

The back end 31 of the light gathering rod 14 provides a bright spot of light directed rearwardly in low light conditions and the color of the light gathering rod 14 can be selected for good contrast with the expected shooting background. Light rays from the light gathering rod 14 fall on the lens 15 and are redirected rearwardly by the lens 15 to substantially converge at the shooting eye 39. The shooting eye 39, when the shooting eye 39 is properly aligned with the gun barrel, can see the bright image of the back end 31 of the light gathering rod 14 through the lens 15, while the non-shooting eye 55 cannot see the image of the back end 31 of the light gathering rod 14 through the lens 15. The shooting eye 39 cannot see the bright image of the back end 31 of the light gathering rod 14 through the lens 15 when the shooting eye 39 is not properly aligned with the gun barrel, as when the shooter lifts the shooting eye 39 above the barrel 41 of the gun.

The size and intensity of the image through the lens 15 at the shooting eye are influenced by the focal length f of the lens 15, the distance d1, from the back end 31 of the light gathering rod 14 to the lens 15, and the distance d2, from the lens 15 to the shooting eye 39. The distance d1 is slightly greater than the focal length f and is selected such that light rays from the back end 31 of the light gathering rod 14 are redirected by the lens 15 to converge at the distance d2. The first and second side walls 21 and 22 provide means for blocking direct sight of the back end 31 from the non-shooting eye.

FIG. 4 shows a modified aiming sight 11 with a plurality of longitudinally spaced lens mounting apertures 28 in each of the first and second side walls 21 and 22 of the base 12. The distance d1 can be adjusted by removing the lens mounting portion 33 from one pair of lens mounting apertures 28 and mounting the lens mounting portion 33 in another pair of lens mounting apertures 28. The distance d1 can thereby be adjusted for different length barrels when the aiming sight 11 is used on a shotgun or a rifle, or different length shooter arms when the aiming sight 11 is used on a handgun. Other structure can be used for as a means for adjusting the distance d1, including, by way of example, and not as a limitation, structure that adjusts the position of the back end 31 of the light gathering rod 14 on the base 12.

As shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7, the aiming sight 11 may be used with a light gathering rod 14 having a smaller back end 31. The aiming sight 11 includes a cap 59 that has a round end 60 with center aperture 61. A cylindrical rim 62 extends forwardly from the end 60. The rim 62 is sized to fit around the light gathering rod 14. The larger size of the periphery 30 of the light gathering rod 14 provides increased light absorption while the relatively smaller diameter of the back end 31 provides a smaller spot for aiming. Light emitted from the back end 31 passes through the center aperture 61 to the lens 15. The end 60 of the cap 59 blocks the remainder of the light gathering rod 14 from sight. The light gathering rod 14 can taper to a smaller back end 31, as shown in FIG. 6, or the light gathering rod 14 can neck down near the back end 31, as shown FIG. 7. The center aperture 61 can be sized to receive the necked down back end 31 of the light gathering rod 14. The cap 59 can also be used with a cylindrical light gathering rod 14, such as shown in FIG. 2.

FIGS. 8 and 9 show another aiming sight 50 embodying features of the present invention including a base 51, a light gathering rod 53 and a lens 54. The base 51 has substantially flat top surface 55 with an elongated rectangular shape. The base 51 shown is configured for replacement of a threaded bead sight and includes a mounting aperture 57 that extends through the base 51 near the front of the top surface 55, for receiving a threaded fastener for attachment to a gun.

Three longitudinally spaced rod mounting projections 59 project upwardly from the forward portion of the top surface 55. The rod mounting projections 59 have arch or inverted U outer shape when viewed from either end of the base 51. A rod aperture 60, sized and shaped to receive a light gathering rod 53, extends through each rod mounting projection 59, with the rod apertures 60 in the three rod mounting projections 59 being aligned. A lens tube mounting projection 62, spaced rearwardly from the rod mounting projections 59, projects upwardly from the forward portion of the top surface 55. The lens tube mounting projection 62 has a shape similar to the rod mounting projections 59, and a slightly larger size. A lens tube aperture 63, aligned with the rod apertures 60 and sized to receive a lens tube, extends through the lens tube mounting projection 62.

The light gathering rod 53 shown is an elongated cylinder and is received in the rod apertures 60 of the rod mounting projections 59. The light gathering rod 53 has a smooth, polished periphery 65 and a textured back end 66 that directs a bright spot of light rearwardly. The lens 54 is circular and mounts in a hollow lens tube 68. The lens tube 68 shown has a cylindrical rear section 69, sized to receive the lens 54 near a rear end 70, connected to a front section 71 that tapers to a front end 72 that is sized to receive the back end 66 of the light gathering rod 53. The lens tube 68 mounts in the lens tube aperture 63 with the front end 72 of the lens tube 68 around the back end 66 of the light gathering rod 53. The lens tube 68 provides means for blocking sight of the back end 66 from the non-shooting eye.

FIG. 10 shows the aiming sight 50 with an alternative lens 74 and lens tube 76. The lens tube 76 is hollow, and has a rear section 77 that tapers from a triangular rear end 78 to connect to a front section 79. The front section 79 has a circular cross section and tapers to a front end 80 that is sized to receive the back end 66 of the light gathering rod 53. The lens 74 has a triangular shape and fits into the rear end 78 of the rear section 77. The triangular shape of the lens 74 provides a more precise reference point when shooting at moving targets.

Referring to FIG. 11, another aiming sight 83 embodying features of the present invention includes a base 84, a light gathering rod 86 and a lens 87. The front portion of the base 84 has substantially flat top surface 88 with an elongated rectangular shape. The base 84 shown is configured for replacement of a threaded bead sight and includes a mounting aperture 90 that extends through the base 84 near the front of the top surface 88, for receiving a threaded fastener for attachment to a gun. Two longitudinally spaced rod mounting projections 91 project upwardly from the top surface 88. The rod mounting projections 91 have arch or inverted U outer shape when viewed from either end of the base 84. A rod aperture 92, sized and shaped to receive a light gathering rod 86, extends through each rod mounting projection 91, with the rod apertures 92 in the two rod mounting projections 59 being aligned.

A hollow lens tube 94 is integrated into the base 84, extending rearwardly from the top surface 88. The lens tube 94 has a generally circular cross section that extends below the level of the top surface 88, and the lens tube 94 tapers outwardly from front to back. A rearward portion of the lens tube 94 is upwardly open, forming a semi-circular, upwardly concave lens channel 95. A lens mounting groove 96 is extends laterally across the bottom of the lens channel 95, and is sized to receive the lens 87.

The light gathering rod 86 shown is an elongated cylinder and is received in the rod apertures 92 of the rod mounting projections 91. The light gathering rod 86 has a smooth, polished periphery 98 and a textured back end 99 that directs a bright spot of light rearwardly. The lens 87 is circular and mounts in the lens mounting groove 96.

Although the present invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made by way of example and that changes in details of structure may be made without departing from the spirit thereof.