Title:
Rifle platform
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rifle platform includes a single body apparatus with upper and lower components mounted to the single body, to reduce mechanical stresses associated with firing a rifle from a platform. A return to battery arrangement allows the rifle to freely move on firing, but to be replaced in the exact same position for successive shots. A sport rifle converter allows mounting of a sport rifle to the rifle platform.



Inventors:
Sween, Maurice (Nemo, SD, US)
Hancock, Larry (Mankato, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/506100
Publication Date:
03/29/2007
Filing Date:
08/17/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
73/167, 42/94
International Classes:
F41A23/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
DAVID, MICHAEL D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Leffert Jay & Polglaze, P.A. (P.O. Box 581009, Minneapolis, MN, 55458-1009, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A rifle platform, comprising: a base comprising an upper component and a lower component, the upper component pivotally mounted to the lower component, the lower component comprising a windage control and a plurality of levelers, the upper component comprising rough height adjustment, mid-range elevation adjustment, fine elevation adjustment, a rear stock rest, and a forward stock rest.

2. The platform of claim 1, wherein the forward stock rest comprises: a battery stop; and a stock capture element, the stock capture element to capture a rifle stock, and comprising: a first, fixed stock pad on a first, substantially vertical arm; and a second, spring tensioned stock pad on a second, substantially vertical arm, the first and second stock pads aligned on a substantially horizontal axis facing each other, the second stock pad biased toward the first stock pad.

3. The platform of claim 1, wherein the rear stock rest comprises: a body having a groove at its top, the groove to fit a rear rifle stock, the body being slidably and reversibly mounted to the upper component.

4. The platform of claim 1, and further comprising: a converter for mounting to a sport rifle, the converter mountable to the forward stock rest and comprising a converter plate.

5. The platform of claim 4, wherein the converter further comprises: a mounting stud connectable to a sling nut of a rifle; and a plurality of openings, the mounting stud affixed to the converter using one of the openings.

6. The platform of claim 5, and further comprising: a set screw threaded into the mounting stud to assist in securing the mounting stud to the sling nut.

7. A converter for mounting a sport rifle to a rifle platform, the converter mountable to the forward stock rest.

8. The converter of claim 7, and further comprising: a mounting stud connectable to a sling nut of a rifle; and a plurality of openings, the mounting stud threaded attached through one of the openings with a knurled nut.

9. The converter of claim 8, and further comprising: a set screw threaded into the mounting stud to assist in securing the mounting stud to the sling nut.

10. A method of firing a rifle, comprising: aligning a rifle to an exact position on a platform using a plurality of settings; firing a shot; and re-aligning the rifle to the exact position using the original settings.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/708,997, filed on Aug. 17, 2005, hereby incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.

FIELD

The present invention relates generally to firearm stands and in particular the present invention relates to rifle platforms.

BACKGROUND

In the testing of rifles and ammunition for accuracy and repeatability, it is important to remove as many controllable sources of inconsistency as possible, so that only the characteristics of the rifle or ammunition are taken into account in the testing. This is accomplished, for example, by removing as much of the movement of the rifle during shooting, so that any differences in the placement or position of the rifle are substantially eliminated.

Numerous previous devices have purported to provide a mount for a rifle, but they have several problems. Any mechanical stresses on the rifle during shooting can create unnatural motion of the bullet being fired from the rifle. These stresses can be introduced in a number of ways, and include by way of example only and not by way of limitation, contacting the barrel of the rifle, by using a multiple piece platform that is not on a single base, or by restricting recoil motion.

Still further, in many instances, the rifle cannot be properly returned to the same shooting position for each successive shot. This also introduces error. When the rifle is not returned to the exact spot of firing, that is to the exact position, incline, etc., the trajectory of any bullet fired from the rifle will be different not only because of any differences in the ammunition itself, but also due to the different position of the rifle.

Examples of the types of rifle mounts and stands that have been used in the past include sandbags, rifle rests, and the like. Each of these has certain problems or issues that arise in shooting. Sandbags contain sand, and can provide a more stable base than simple hand-balancing. However, with each shot or movement, the sane in the bag can shift, making it nearly impossible to return the rifle to its initial position for each successive shot. Another type of rifle platform has a rounded rest into which a rifle fore stock can rest. However, such a system allows for movement of the rifle and does not allow the rifle to be returned to the same position for each shot.

Other rifle stands have two-piece mounts. While they are more amenable to reducing certain stresses in rifles, they can introduce other stresses. A two-piece stand easily introduces side-to-side stresses in rifles from movement of either the forward or the back element. Whenever any adjustment is made with a rifle platform that is not on one solid base, any movement of one of the base pieces introduces stress due to its movement and the stationary position of the other piece.

Still other rifle stands restrict recoil motion of a rifle mounted therein. These stands or mounts, by restricting recoil, introduce motion to the barrel of the rifle that is not normal for firing. If there is recoil, for example, and the butt of the rifle cannot move backward, the rifle itself must necessarily impart the recoil energy to some other outlet. This is most often the rifle itself. When a recoil is restricted, it often results in the barrel of the rifle moving vertically instead of a normal backward recoil of the butt stock of the rifle.

For the reasons stated above, and for other reasons stated below which will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading and understanding the present specification, there is a need in the art for an improved rifle stand that allows for repeatability of shots without introducing unnecessary stress on a rifle.

SUMMARY

The above-mentioned problems with rifle platforms and other problems are addressed by the present invention and will be understood by reading and studying the following specification.

In one embodiment, a rifle platform comprises a single platform on which all adjustment and motion guiding devices are mounted. The changing of one adjustment mechanism does not introduce other stresses to the rifle. Instead, platform is designed to allow a return-to-battery (RTB) operation, in which the rifle can be consistently returned to the same position for each successive round that is being fired.

Other embodiments are described and claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a rifle platform according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 on which a rifle has been mounted;

FIG. 4A is an isometric view of an upper component of a rifle platform according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4B is a top view of the upper component of the embodiment of FIG. 4A;

FIG. 5A is an isometric view of a sport rifle converter according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5B is a side elevation view of the embodiment of FIG. 5A;

FIG. 5C is a top view of the embodiment of FIG. 5A; and

FIG. 5D is a partial front elevation view of a sport rifle converter mounted on a rifle platform.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following detailed description of the invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which is shown, by way of illustration, specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. In the drawings, like numerals describe substantially similar components throughout the several views. These embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. Other embodiments may be utilized and structural, logical, and electrical changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.

The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of the present invention is defined only by the appended claims, along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled.

In one embodiment shown in FIG. 1, a rifle platform 100 includes a base 102 on which all the components of the platform 100 are mounted. The base 102 has a lower component 101 and an upper component 103. The single platform provides a stable base for movement of the components without the introduction of mechanical stresses. Base 102 lower component 101 includes levelers 104, windage adjustment 120, and a pivot point 107.

Levelers 104 are used to level the platform 100 on a surface. A lower component 101 leveling bubble 105 is used in one embodiment. Leveling bubble 105 can be a side to side leveling bubble

Windage control 120 allows for side-to-side adjustment for wind conditions. Since windage control 120 is mounted to the platform base 102 lower component 101, the components all move together without introducing additional stresses to a rifle being used with the platform 100. Windage control 120 in one embodiment uses a threaded rod 121 to move the upper component 103 from side to side. The entire upper component 103 moves, so that no additional stresses are placed on a rifle mounted to the upper component 103. Base 102 lower component 101 is shown in greater detail in FIGS. 4A and 4B.

Base 102 upper component 103 includes rough height adjustment 106, mid range elevation adjustment 108, fine elevation adjustment 110, rear stock rest 112, and front stock rest 114 having a battery stop 116 and a stock grip 118. The upper component 103 pivots about pivot point 107 for adjusting elevation of the upper component 103.

Height and elevation adjustments 106, 108, and 110 are used to adjust the height and elevation of the upper platform 103, which holds a rifle as shown in FIG. 3. Rough height adjustment 106 is used to approximately aim the rifle to a target. Mid range elevation adjustment 108 is used to move the rifle in smaller increments to allow for finer adjustment. Fine elevation adjustment 110 is used to finely adjust the height to its desired position. Fine elevation 110 in one embodiment pivots the upper component 103 about pivot point 107 for elevation adjustment.

Rear stock rest or support 112 is shown in greater detail in FIG. 1. Support 112 has a groove 122 in the center in which the rear stock of a rifle rests (shown in FIG. 3). The rifle is free to move, as in a recoil motion, when slidably mounted in the rear stock support 112. Rear stock mount 112 is reversible, that is it can be positioned on the platform base 102 upper platform 103 so that its sloped face 124 is facing the front end 128 of the platform 100 or that its substantially vertical face 126 is facing front end 128 of the platform 100. Rear stock support is positionable along stock support base 130.

Front stock rest 114 comprises a battery stop 116 that is used to position a rifle such as rifle 150 shown in FIG. 3 in the same position for each successive shot.

Front stock rest grip (or rifle capture) 118 is in one embodiment spring loaded. The spring loading is fixed on one side and spring tensioned on the other side, as is shown in FIG. 1. The rifle capture 118 has two stock pads, 132 and 134. In one embodiment, stock pad 132 is fixed and stock pad 134 is spring tensioned. The fixed position of stock rest pad 132 is sufficient so that the horizontal position of the rifle is always maintained. That is, one edge of the rifle stock rests against the fixed position rest 132, while the spring tensioned pad 134 holds the rifle stock under tension to the fixed rest 132. A pair of bearing surfaces 135, in one embodiment nylon tipped, provide further stability for the bottom of a rifle or a rifle converter such as that described in more detail below. This configuration, in conjunction with other features of the rifle platform, allows the position of the rifle to be the same for each successive shot, even if the rifle moves during shooting. The rifle can be easily and accurately returned to the same position as the previous shot, since the fixed rest pad 132 is in the same position for every shot.

In operation, the fore stock or forearm of a target rifle (not shown) is butted against battery stop 116 to place the rifle in position. In this position, the fore stock is held in place by rifle capture 118, and by rear stock rest 112. Height and elevation adjustments can be made, windage adjustment can be made, and with the rifle forearm or fore stock butted against the battery stop, the rifle is ready for firing. In shooting, the rifle mat recoil naturally, and is allowed to do so. Once the shot is completed, however, for repeatability and testing, the rifle needs to be placed back in the same position for firing the next shot. This is accomplished with the platform 100 by resting the rifle back in the rests 112 and 114, by capturing the rifle forearm or fore stock with rifle capture 118, and butting the forearm or fore stock against battery stop 116. The rifle capture places the rifle in the same lateral position as it was for the previous shot, and since height adjustments and windage have already been adjusted, when the rifle is butted against the battery stop 116, it is in the same position as it was for the previous shot.

Target rifles typically have flat bottom forearms or fore stocks. When using a target rifle with the rifle platform 100 the stock bottom fits into the stock grip (or rifle capture) 118, and is movably secured there by the spring tension on the stock from the tensioned rest as described above. Typical sport rifles have a rounded bottom of the forearm or fore stock. As such, it is difficult to properly and consistently align the sport rifle in a rifle platform. Because of this, one embodiment of the present invention for use on sport rifles includes a sport rifle converter 150. This converter 150 attaches to the forearm or fore stock of a sport rifle to create a profile more similar to that of a target rifle. The sport rifle converter 150 is shown in greater detail in FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C. The sport rifle converter is in one embodiment mounted to a sport rifle using an existing sling connector opening 152 and sling stud 154. Many sport rifles use a sling stud 154 to connect a sling to a rifle. The sling stud 154 has a hole 156 bored therethrough allowing connection of the rifle to a sling. In one embodiment of the present invention, a mounting stud 158 for the sport rifle converter 150 has a roll pin 160 to engage the hole in a conventional sling stud such as stud 156 and a hole 161 in mounting stud 158 to hold mounting stud 158 and sling stud 154 together. In one embodiment, the mounting stud 158 is threaded to engage an opening (such as openings 162) in the sport rifle converter plate 151, and fastens thereto using knurled nut 163 to affix and hold the mounting stud to the mounting plate using one of the openings 162 in converter 150. In another embodiment, a set screw 164 is used to hold the mounting stud 158 to the sling stud 154 on the rifle.

FIG. 5D is a partial front elevation view of a front stock rest grip (rifle capture) 118 and a sport rifle converter 150 mounted thereto. Converter 150 rests on nylon bearing surfaces 135 of rifle capture 118, and is held in a consistent side to side alignment by two stock pads, 132 and 134. In one embodiment, stock pad 132 is fixed so that an edge of the rifle converter 150 rests against pad 132. Stock pad 134 is spring tensioned with spring 133, which biases stock pad 134 in the direction shown by arrow 137. The fixed position of stock rest pad 132 is sufficient so that the horizontal position of the rifle is always maintained. That is, one edge of the rifle stock rests against the fixed position rest 132, while the spring tensioned pad 134 holds the rifle stock under tension to the fixed rest 132.

In operation, the rifle is free to move naturally before, during, and after a shot. However, it is an easy matter to place the rifle in the same starting position for each shot due to the configuration of the components of the platform 100. Once initial adjustments are made, the rifle can be returned to the exact same position for firing each successive shot simply by butting the forearm/fore stock or a target rifle, or the front of a sport converter such as converter 150, against battery stop 116.

In one embodiment, all of the various controls for adjustment, including windage control 120, height and elevation adjustments 106, 108, and 110, and rifle capture 118, are reversible so that the platform 100 can be used for right-handed or left-handed shooting as desired.

It should be understood that windage control, and rough to fine height adjustment mechanisms 120 and 106, 108, and 110 have been shown, but that other windage controls and height and elevation adjustment mechanisms will be evident to those of skill in the art, and can be used equally well with the embodiments of the present invention, provided that the elements of height and elevation adjustment operate on the same platform and therefore do not introduce additional stress to the rifle.

CONCLUSION

A rifle platform has been described that includes a single platform on which all components are mounted. The platform has rough, medium, and fine height and elevation adjustments, windage control, and allows a return to battery so that each successive shot from a target rifle mounted on the platform is taken from the exact same starting position. The rifle is free to move with the shot, and is not restricted. A sport rifle converter allows for the mounting of sport rifles on the platform with the same degree of accuracy and return to battery conditions as those of a target rifle mounted on the platform.

Although specific embodiments have been illustrated and described herein, it will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that any arrangement, which is calculated to achieve the same purpose, may be substituted for the specific embodiment shown. This application is intended to cover any adaptations or variations of the present invention. Therefore, it is manifestly intended that this invention be limited only by the claims and the equivalents thereof.