Title:
Enclosure for gun cleaning tools and materials
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An enclosure for gun cleaning tools, accessories and parts is formed from a lower box that supports a hinged lid that can be opened to expose the box interior. A removable storage tray with separate compartments is disposed at the top, beneath the lid. The interior of the box has a lower floor upon which a pair of rifle cradles can be stored. When deployed, the cradles are removably coupled to receptacles disposed on opposite ends of the floor. Each cradle has a pair of spaced-apart ears separated by a V-shaped notch into which a rifle (or other long gun) may be pressed. A rifle to be serviced is temporarily mounted by the cradles above the box in a secure, easy-to-reach position. Gun cleaning items may be accessed conveniently from the removed tray, or from an optional drawer slidably mounted in a compartment at the box bottom.



Inventors:
Buie II, James H. (Little Rock, AR, US)
Application Number:
11/497957
Publication Date:
03/29/2007
Filing Date:
08/02/2006
Assignee:
DAC Technologies Group International, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/28
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
POON, ROBERT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Stephen D. Carver (Suite 800 2024 Arkansas Valley Drive, Little Rock, AR, 72212-4147, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An enclosure for containing diverse items including gun cleaning materials and tools, the enclosure comprising: a box having a top, a pair of spaced apart ends, and an interior; a selectively deployable lid that can be opened to expose the box interior; a pair of selectively deployable rifle cradles for holding a long gun to facilitate servicing, each cradle comprising a notch for receiving at least part of said gun; a pair of spaced apart receptacles disposed within the box interior at opposite box ends for selectively receiving and captivating the cradles; and, wherein the cradles comprise a generally rectangular base adapted to slide into a receptacle.

2. The enclosure as defined in claim 1 wherein: each cradle comprises a cradle top that is integral with the cradle base and thicker than the cradle base; a ledge is formed between the cradle base and the cradle top; the receptacles comprise tops; and, the cradle ledge contacts the receptacle tops when the cradles are deployed.

3. The enclosure as defined in claim 2 wherein the receptacles comprise jaws and notches for captivating the cradle bases.

4. The enclosure as defined in claim 3 further comprising a generally rectangular storage tray removably disposed at the top of the box within the box interior, the tray comprising a divider defining a plurality of spaced-apart compartments.

5. The enclosure as defined in claim 3 further comprising a storage drawer slidably associated with the box for containing diverse gun cleaning parts, supplies, or materials, and wherein the enclosure has a drawer volume section in which the drawer slides.

6. The enclosure as defined in claim 5 further comprising a magnet for urging the drawer to a closed position.

7. The enclosure as defined in claim 3 further comprising cloth gloves attached to the cradles for preventing marring or scratching of the long gun being serviced.

8. The enclosure as defined in claim 3 further comprising a separate cradle storage volume for storing the cradles when the lid is closed

9. An enclosure for containing diverse items including gun cleaning materials and tools, the enclosure comprising: a box in the general form of a parallelepiped, the box having a top, a pair of spaced apart ends, and an interior; a selectively deployable lid that can be opened to expose the box interior; a generally rectangular storage tray removably disposed at the top of the box within the box interior, the tray comprising a removable divider defining a plurality of spaced-apart compartments; a pair of selectively deployable rifle cradles for holding a long gun to facilitate servicing, each cradle comprising a notch for receiving at least part of said gun; and, a pair of spaced apart receptacles disposed within the box interior at opposite box ends for selectively receiving and captivating the cradles, the receptacles comprising tops that support the tray.

10. The enclosure as defined in claim 9 wherein the cradles comprise a top that is integral with the base and thicker than the base, and wherein a ledge is formed between the cradle base and the cradle top, the cradle ledge contacting the receptacle tops when the cradles are deployed.

11. The enclosure as defined in claim 10 wherein the receptacles comprise jaws and notches for captivating the cradle base.

12. The enclosure as defined in claim 11 further comprising cloth gloves attached to the cradles for preventing marring or scratching of the long gun being serviced.

13. The enclosure as defined in claim 11 wherein the enclosure comprises: a storage drawer slidably associated with the box; a front; an internal divider wall; a floor; a shelf; and, a drawer volume section in which the drawer slides, the drawer volume section defined between the front of the box, the floor, the shelf and the internal dividing wall.

14. The enclosure as defined in claim 13 further comprising a separate cradle storage volume for storing the cradles when the lid is closed, the cradle storage volume defined between the rear of the box, the floor, and the internal dividing wall.

15. The enclosure as defined in claim 14 including a magnet for urging the drawer to a closed position.

16. An enclosure for containing diverse items including gun cleaning materials and tools, the enclosure comprising: a box having a top, a pair of spaced apart ends, and an interior; a lid hinged to the box that can be opened to expose the box interior; a pair of selectively deployable rifle cradles for holding a long gun to facilitate servicing, each cradle comprising a notch for receiving at least part of said gun; a pair of spaced apart receptacles disposed within the box interior at opposite box ends for selectively receiving and captivating the cradles; wherein the cradles are adapted to slide into the receptacles and the receptacles comprise jaws and notches for captivating the cradles; a storage tray removably disposed at the top of the box upon the receptacles, the tray comprising a plurality of spaced-apart compartments; a storage drawer slidably associated with the box; and, wherein the enclosure has a drawer volume section in which the drawer slides.

17. The enclosure as defined in claim 16 further comprising a magnet for urging the drawer to a closed position.

18. The enclosure as defined in claim 16 further comprising cloth gloves attached to the cradles for preventing marring or scratching of the long gun being serviced.

19. The enclosure as defined in claim 16 further comprising a separate cradle storage volume for storing the cradles when the lid is closed

20. The enclosure as defined in claim 16 wherein the enclosure comprises: a front and a rear; an internal divider wall; a floor; a shelf; a storage volume for storing the cradles when the lid is closed, the cradle storage volume defined between the rear of the box, the floor, and the internal dividing wall; and, wherein the drawer volume section is defined between the front of the box, the floor, the shelf and the internal dividing wall.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is based upon and claims the benefit of the filing date of previously filed, co-pending United States Provisional Patent Application, entitled Enclosure For Gun Cleaning Tools And Materials, Ser. No. 60/721,391, Filed Sep. 28, 2005, by inventor James H. Buie II.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

I. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to receptacles or enclosures for neatly and protectively housing diverse items including gun-cleaning supplies. More particularly, this invention relates to a compact enclosure for storing gun cleaning materials and tools, which can be transformed into a rifle-cleaning stand.

II. Description of the Prior Art

It has long been recognized by those skilled in the art that periodic firearm cleaning and maintence is vital. As firearms are used, various substances such as gunpowder residue, copper, and lead accumulate within the gun, particularly on the barrel interior. Shooting accuracy is encouraged by regular, proper cleaning of the gun barrel. Periodic cleaning not only insures reliable action, but also preserves the aesthetic appearance of the firearm. Frequent cleaning is thus recognized as a desirable attribute.

A typical firearm cleaning kit usually has an elongated cleaning rod, one or more brushes that are rammed through the barrel, one or more pre-cut patches, various jag attachments that drag the patches through the barrel, and a supply of a cleaning solvent that is spread over metal surfaces by the cloth patches. Cleaning solvents loosen residue, help remove deposits, and speed up cleaning. Treated patches and brushes can be drawn through the bore to vigorously spread the solvent upon the exposed, internal rifling. The various cleaning parts in the kit must fit the size of the barrel to be cleaned. Since there are so many different calibers of firearms, a relatively large number of cleaning parts must be inventoried to be able to clean many different types of guns. Where a gun owner, for example, already has a cleaning kit for one or more typical firearms, the parts and tools included therewith are likely to be adequate for proper cleaning of that gun, but most cleaning kits lack enough parts to properly clean less common guns. For example, 17 and 20 caliber varmint rifles are increasing in popularity relatively recently, but older gun cleaning kits typically lack parts for these bores. While it is popular to force 22 caliber brushes through such guns when attempting to clean them, a better approach is to use the properly sized parts.

As a result of the foregoing, a typical gun owner may acquire a relatively large number of differently sized cleaning tools, garnered from one or more or several older cleaning kits that he or she may have accumulated and used over the years. Except for my recent gun cleaning kit, there have been few if any truly “universal” cleaning kits that can handle rifles, muzzle-loaders, pistols or shotguns, especially where calibers such as 17 and 20 are concerned.

Recently I have proposed a universal gun cleaning kit that can handle the foregoing. The kit is the subject of U. S. Pat. No. 7,020,994, issued Apr. 4, 2006, and entitled “Gun Cleaning Kit,” which is owned by the same assignee as in this case.

It is important that an appropriate protective case be used to store firearm tools and cleaning equipment. It is also important that the case be transformable to function as a cleaning rest or support, easing the job of working on large rifles or shotguns.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention provides a case for safely storing firearm-cleaning parts, tools and accessories. It stores a variety of components and doubles as a rifle support.

An enclosure is formed from a lower box that supports a hinged lid that can be opened to expose the box interior. A removable storage tray with several separate compartments is normally disposed at the top of the box, beneath the lid. The interior of the box has a lower interior region housing a slidable tray that stored various tools and parts. Preferably a pair of rifle cradles are stored within the interior adjacent the tray.

When deployed, the cradles are removably coupled to cradle receptacles formed on opposite ends of the floor. Each cradle has a pair of spaced-apart ears separated by a generally V-shaped notch into which a rifle (or other long gun) may be pressed. One cradle is configured to receive the barrel of the long gun being serviced, and the companion cradle is configured to receive the stock. A rifle or other long gun to be cleaned, for example, is temporarily mounted by the cradles above the box in a secure, easy-to-reach orientation. Gun cleaning tools or parts or supplies may be accessed conveniently from the removed tray, or from the slidable drawer mounted in the bottom of the box.

Thus a basic object is to provide a safe and reliable container for storing firearm tools, cleaning accessories, and the like.

A related object is to provide a storage receptacle of the character described that doubles as a support for long-gun maintenance.

Another important object is to provide a cleaning kit that is universal.

A basic object is to simplify the process of firearm cleaning.

A still further object is to provide a storage receptacle for gun cleaning parts.

Another object is to provide a configurable and transformable storage receptacle that is ideal for gun maintenance and cleaning.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention, along with features of novelty appurtenant thereto, will appear or become apparent in the course of the following descriptive sections.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following drawings, which form a part of the specification and which are to be construed in conjunction therewith, and in which like reference numerals have been employed throughout wherever possible to indicate like parts in the various views:

FIG. 1 is a frontal isometric view of the preferred enclosure, illustrating it closed;

FIG. 2 is a rear isometric view thereof;

FIG. 3 is a left end elevational view thereof, taken from a position generally to the left of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an isometric view illustrating enclosure with the hinged top opened, showing the upper accessory tray, with portions broken away for brevity;

FIG. 5 is an exploded isometric view of the enclosure with the optional, slidable drawer removed, and with portions thereof broken away for clarity;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary, isometric view of the opened enclosure with the tray removed, showing portions of the drawer and stored and deployed cradles, with portions thereof broken away for clarity;

FIG. 7 is an exploded isometric view of the preferred tray;

FIG. 8 is an exploded isometric view of the preferred tray divider;

FIG. 9 is a partially exploded isometric view illustrating cradle deployment;

FIG. 10 is an isometric view of the enclosure showing both cradles deployed, with portions thereof broken away for clarity;

FIG. 11 is an isometric view of the enclosure showing a rifle supported between deployed cradles, with the opened drawer containing a gun cleaning kit;

FIG. 12 is a partially exploded, isometric and diagrammatic view showing the preferred gun cradle construction;

FIG. 13 is a partially exploded, isometric and diagrammatic view similar to FIG. 12 that shows an alternative gun cradle construction;

FIG. 14 is an enlarged, fragmentary sectional view taken generally along line 14-14 in FIG. 6; and,

FIG. 15 is an enlarged, fragmentary sectional view taken generally along line 15-15 in FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

With initial reference directed now to FIGS. 1-5 of the drawings, my new enclosure for gun cleaning materials and tools has been generally designated by the reference numeral 10. The enclosure 10 comprises a lower box 12 that supports a deployable lid 14, both of which are preferably made of wood. Box 12 is generally in the form of a parallelepiped, and it forms a convenient container for holding and securing miscellaneous items as will hereinafter be described. Lid 14 disposed at the top 11 of the box 12 can be opened to expose the box interior 15 (FIG. 5). Box 12 has a front 9 (FIG. 5), a pair of opposite ends 8 (FIGS. 5, 6), and a rear 7 (FIG. 14).

The flat, generally rectangular lid 14 includes a foldable handle 16 that nests within an upper recess 18 defined between lid end panels 19. The front of the lid 14 is selectively secured by a conventional clasp 20, and the lid rear is operatively attached to box 12 by a pair of conventional, spaced apart hinges 22. The flat, recessed underside 17 (FIG. 10) of lid 14 defined between lid ends 21 and lid sides 23 is preferably covered by decorative, felt liner 13 (FIG. 4).

As best seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, in the best mode there is a generally rectangular storage tray 24 removably disposed at the top of box 12 within the box interior. Tray 24 fits neatly beneath lid 14 when the lid is in the closed position seen, for example, in FIGS. 1 or 3. Tray 24 lifts upwardly out of the box, as discerned from FIG. 5. The elongated handle 25 extending between tray ends 32 may be conveniently grasped for lifting. With additional reference directed to FIGS. 7 and 8, tray 24 has a generally rectangular bottom 26 beneath handle 25 that seats a removable divider 27. The divider 27 forms a plurality of regularly arranged and spaced-apart storage compartments 28 (FIG. 5) between its partitions 29, 30, tray sidewalls 31, and tray ends 32. In assembly, the divider major partition 29 runs the length of the tray, and mounts spaced-apart minor partitions 30. The slots 33 in partitions 30 mate with the slots 34 in partition 29 during assembly. Numerous gun-cleaning parts can be stored in the numerous spaced-apart compartments 28.

Referencing FIGS. 6, 14, and 15, rifle cradles 46, 48 can be stored on floor 45 rearwardly of vertical divider wall 50 within a small storage volume 49 (FIG. 14). Cradles 46 and 48 can be deployed to support a variety of long guns, such as rifle 52 (FIG. 11). To facilitate firearm servicing, involving such tasks as cleaning, repairs, or maintenance, the gun is simply pressed into the cradles where it is securely held above the box for easy access. There are a pair of cradle receptacles 51 disposed within box 12 at opposite internal ends. The interior 15 of box 12 has a lower floor 45 over which each cradle receptacle 51 is secured. In the best mode the cradle receptacles 51 are spaced above the wall 50. As best seen in FIG. 15, each cradle receptacle 51 has a generally C-shaped configuration. There is a flat receptive storage volume 56 defined between the center-facing jaws 54 and cradle surface 57. The top surface 60 of the receptacles 51 support the underside of the removable storage tray 24. There are captivating notches 53 (FIG. 15) formed between the ends of the receptacle jaws 54 and the surface 57.

With primary reference now directed to FIGS. 12 and 13, each cradle 46, 48 preferably comprises a generally rectangular base 62 that is integral with a thicker top 64. The cradle base 62 slidably fits into the receptacle 51, being constrained by receptacle jaws 54 and being captivated by notches 53, while abutting surface 57 (FIG. 12). The ledge 59 (i.e., FIGS. 12, 13) formed at the junction of base 62 and cradle top 64 abuts the receptacle top surface 60 (FIG. 15) when the cradles 46 or 48 are installed (i.e., FIGS. 9, 10). The different cradles 46, 48 can be installed in the positions illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10, or they can be reversed as desired.

Each cradle top 64 has a suitable notch for receiving part of a long gun for cleaning. For example, the top 64 of cradle 46 (FIG. 12) has a generally V-shaped notch 65 between a pair of spaced-apart ears 66 which is adapted to receive a portion of a long gun, such as the stock of a rifle. The notch 68 defined in the top of cradle 48 (FIG. 9) is shaped differently. Notch 68 has a pair of gentle slopes 67 that create a supporting surface for a relatively large firearm structure, such as the barrel of a double barrel shotgun. Slopes 67 begin at ears 63 and slope downwardly, converging at the center of notch 68 in a reduced width slot 69 that is configured to constrain a narrow structure, such as the barrel of a .410 shotgun.

Preferably each cradle is covered with a smooth, protective covering made of felt or similar cloth. For example, a cloth glove 61 (FIG. 12) is normally affixed atop cradle 46 by being drawn down over it. An alternative glove 55 (FIG. 13) may be formed from a pair of molded shells 55A that are glued over the cradle top. The gloves protect against marring or scratching of the firearm. Further, their mass aids in forming a wedging action that helps retain the gun with the cradles during service.

A rifle to be serviced is illustrated in FIG. 11. First, the cradles 46, 48 are deployed by inserting the cradle bases within the cradle receptacles 51. The firearm is supported and received within the cradle notches 65 or 68. Surfaces of the firearm remain unmarred because of the protection afforded by the gloves 55 and 61 discussed earlier.

A compact drawer 70 is preferably associated with the box 12 to store various additional gun cleaning parts, supplies, or materials. The flat, slidable drawer 70 (FIGS. 5, 6, 11) fits within a suitable, generally cubicle volume section 71 of the enclosure's interior volume (FIG. 5) defined within the lower recesses of box 12. Drawer 70 has a knob 72 in its front panel 73, which is spaced apart from parallel rear panel 76 (FIG. 5) by ends 74. As illustrated in FIG. 11, a gun cleaning kit 80 is disposed within drawer 70 on surface 75 (FIG. 5). Kit 80 is the subject of U.S. Pat. No. 7,020,994, issued Apr. 4, 2006, and entitled “Gun Cleaning Kit,” which, for purposes of disclosure, is hereby incorporated by reference. A variety of gun cleaning accessories and tools are included in the kit. However, various tools and supplies can be stored within different parts of the enclosure where desired.

Referring primarily to FIG. 14, the drawer volume 71 is formed between floor 45 and shelf 83 at the front of inner wall 50 (FIG. 14). As mentioned earlier, the separate, adjacent storage volume 49 can store a variety of items as well, but it is primarily intended for storing the cradles 46, 48 (i.e., FIG. 6). Volume 49 is defined between floor 45, wall 50 and enclosure rear 7 behind the drawer volume 71. Preferably there is a magnet 89 attached at the rear of the tray rear panel 76 (FIG. 14). A cooperating metal insert 88 is attached to inner wall 50 facing the rear of drawer 70. When the drawer is closed, i.e., it is pushed fully into the drawer volume 71, magnet 89 urges the drawer 70 towards stationary wall 50, to secure the drawer. At this time drawer front 73 is flush with the front outer surface of the enclosure 10, as illustrated, for example, in FIG. 6.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that this invention is one well adapted to obtain all the ends and objects herein set forth, together with other advantages which are inherent to the structure.

It will be understood that certain features and subcombinations are of utility and may be employed without reference to other features and subcombinations.

As many possible embodiments may be made of the invention without departing from the scope thereof, it is to be understood that all matter herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.