Title:
Top Lock Security Holster
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The Invention is a security holster for securing a hand gun from unauthorized access from the holster. The holster of the invention has a locking tab which moves vertically into engagement with the ejection port of a semi-automatic hand gun, and is configured for activation from either a left or a right handed user, by use of a finger or thumb release positioned on either the right or the left side. The hand gun may also be configured to contain both a thumb and a finger release tab, and may be so configured for either a left or a right handed user without changing the basic configuration of the device.



Inventors:
Aberle, Gregory (Emmett, ID, US)
Jenkins, Taylor (Nampa, ID, US)
Senn, Anthony (Garden City, ID, US)
Lowe, Michael V. (Garden City, ID, US)
Application Number:
11/843426
Publication Date:
07/31/2008
Filing Date:
08/22/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41C33/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LARSON, JUSTIN MATTHEW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SHAVER & SWANSON, LLP (P.O. BOX 877, BOISE, ID, 83701-0877, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A security holster for a semi-automatic handgun, said handgun having an ejection port, a handle, a barrel, a top side of said barrel, with said security holster comprising; a holster body for enclosing said handgun configured for multiple mounting positions of a release tab, a handgun lock for securing said handgun, said handgun lock, a locking tab attached to said holster body, configured for engagement with said ejection port by moving toward said top side of said barrel into engagement with said ejection port, said locking tab comprising at least one locking tab lifting point, with said lifting point configurable to interact with said release tab, to lift said locking tab from said ejection port, and a bias device connected to said locking tab, for urging said locking tab into engagement with said ejection port, with locking tab including a deflection surface configured to contact said handgun as said handgun is inserted into said holster, and deflect said locking tab out of the path of the handgun; said release tab mounted on either a left side or a right side of said holster and positioned for activation by contact with a users digit while said user's hand is in a gripping position on said handgun handle during insertion or withdrawal of said handgun, with said release tab functionally connected to said lifting point for lifting said locking tab away from said handgun ejection port in a direction away from said top side of said barrel; wherein when said handgun is inserted into said holster body said holster body presents an unobstructed entry path to handgun insertion by said deflection surface moving said locking tab away from said handgun, with said locking tab dropping into engagement with said handgun from above when said ejection port is below said locking tab, and with said locking tab disengageable from said ejection port by said release tab, with said handgun lock configurable for use of either left or right hand use, by selection of said mounting position of said release tab for operation on either a left or right side of said holster.

2. The security holster of claim 1, in which said locking tab is further attached to a bar, with said bar attached by a hinge to a position on said holster forward of said ejection port.

3. The security holster of claim 1 in which said release tab is positioned to contact said lifting point on said locking tab, and is positioned to be activated by contact with a user's right index finger upon insertion or withdrawal of said handgun from said holster.

4. The security holster of claim 1 in which said release tab is positioned to contact said lifting point on said locking tab, and is positioned to be activated by contact with a user's left thumb upon insertion or withdrawal of said handgun from said holster.

5. The security holster of claim 1 in which said release tab is positioned to contact said lifting point on said locking tab, and is positioned to be activated by contact with a user's left index finger upon insertion or withdrawal of said handgun from said holster.

6. The security holster of claim 1 in which said release tab is positioned to contact said lifting point on said locking tab, and is positioned to be activated by contact with a user's right thumb upon insertion or withdrawal of said handgun from said holster.

7. The security holster of claim 1, in which said locking tab is attached to an interior surface of said holster body, and depends from said interior of said holster toward said handgun top side, and is configured to be moved away from said handgun by said deflection surface, and is urged into engagement with said ejection port when said ejection port is adjacent said locking tab.

8. The security holster of claim 7 in which said release tab is positioned to contact said lifting point on said locking tab, and is positioned to be activated by contact with a user's right index finger upon insertion or withdrawal of said handgun from said holster.

9. The security holster of claim 7 in which said release tab is positioned to contact said lifting point on said locking tab, and is positioned to be activated by contact with a user's left thumb upon insertion or withdrawal of said handgun from said holster.

10. The security holster of claim 8 in which said release tab is positioned to contact said lifting point on said locking tab, and is positioned to be activated by contact with a user's left index finger upon insertion or withdrawal of said handgun from said holster.

11. The security holster of claim 7 in which said release tab is positioned to contact said lifting point on said locking tab, and is positioned to be activated by contact with a user's right thumb upon insertion or withdrawal of said handgun from said holster.

12. The security holster of claim 1 which further comprises a left and a right lifting point, with said left lifting point being accessible from a left side of said handgun, and said right lifting point being accessible from a right side of said handgun.

13. The security holster of claim 7 which further comprises a left and a right lifting point, with said left lifting point being accessible from a left side of said handgun, and said right lifting point being accessible from a right side of said handgun.

14. The security holster of claim 1 in which said locking tab is configured to move into engagement with said ejection port through a passage in said holster body.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to handgun holsters, and more particularly relates to holsters which provide security against unauthorized withdrawal of a handgun.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Police and security officers and military personnel in a number of situations must be ready to withdraw and use a handgun in the line of duty at a moment's notice. In an emergency situation, withdrawing the handgun must be done in a completely natural and unobstructed manner, so that it can be withdrawn as quickly as possible. The officer's life may depend on the speed with which they can withdraw the handgun. However, after the handgun is withdrawn, the situation may dictate other options or needs, requiring the officer to reholster the handgun just as quickly. Current holsters do not meet this demand without some continued manipulation of security straps, before the officer knows or has confidence that the weapon is secure.

In this type of situation, the officer needs to be able to holster his handgun with one hand, without looking at the holster and while maintaining eye contact with the suspect. During holstering, an audible click and a tactile sensation indicating that the handgun is secured in the holster would be preferable.

The problem comes when the suspect becomes an assailant, and attacks the officer and tries to gain access to his weapon. When this situation develops, it is of utmost importance for the officer to maintain control of his handgun, and that the assailant does not get access to the handgun. Many holsters have been designed to accomplish this purpose, in a number of different manners. However, they all suffer a number of drawbacks. Some require two hands to release and secure the handgun. This is unacceptable. Some of them secure the handgun with a device which can be difficult to release in a fast draw situation, and therefore is a dangerous security mechanism. Some holsters secure the weapon in place from bouncing out of the holster, but are not designed to withstand the attack of an assailant, and would allow the gun to be taken from the officer by an assailant. Some holsters use electronic devices for fingerprint recognition, and run the risk of malfunctioning or having a dead battery. Some holsters require the user to tilt or rock the handgun, or twist it before it can be released from the holster. Such a maneuver must be practiced frequently in order to ensure that the wearer can perform it without mistake in an emergency situation. All of these methods of securing a handgun are problematic, and an improved security holster is needed to solve these problems.

For these reasons, it is an object of the invention to provide a security holster for a handgun which allows a handgun to be quickly inserted or withdrawn with one hand, without looking at the holster, and which secures the holster to the officer without undue manipulation of straps or the handgun. It is a further goal of the invention that the security holster not allow an assailant to withdraw the handgun against the will of the officer. It is a further object of the invention to provide a handgun securing holster which is easily released by a natural and fluid motion of the officer. It is a further object of the invention to provide a security holster which has an audible click or sound which indicates to the user that the handgun is secured in the holster. Another object of the invention is to provide a security holster with a mechanism that allows the holster to withstand severe force without releasing the handgun, until the releasing mechanism is activated.

A further object of the invention is to provide a security holster which is designed to be used by either a left or a right handed user with minimal modifications.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The security holster of the invention utilizes a locking tab which drops into place into the ejection port of a semi automatic pistol. In its broadest concept, this security holster utilizes a locking tab which is actively moved from an open position to a closed position, and while in the closed position, engages the ejection port of the hand gun. The locking tab is moved out of engagement with the ejection port of the handgun by use of several different methods. For a left handed user, a release mechanism which engages the index finger of the left hand on the left hand side of the gun would lift the locking tab out of engagement with the ejection port. Alternately, the left handed user could utilize the thumb of his left hand on the right hand side of the hand gun to activate a simple lever which lifts the locking tab out of engagement with the ejection port.

The options for lifting the locking tab out of the ejection port for a right handed user are similar. The right handed user could use the index finger of his right hand on the right side of the hand gun which would lift a lock release block as the finger was inserted into a finger tray or finger channel. The lock release could be lifted by insertion of the finger, or it could require a lateral movement of the finger in order to lift the lock release. The right handed user could also utilize the holster in a configuration so that the thumb of his right hand, on the left hand side of the handgun activated a lever which, either by pushing down or pushing up on the lever would lift the locking tab out of the ejection port.

The security holster of the invention is designed for semi-automatic hand guns. Such hand guns have an ejection port, a handle, a barrel, a top-side of the barrel an opposite top-side of the barrel, a trigger and trigger guard. The holster includes a holster body which is generally configured with a left and right side and provides an enclosure which basically surrounds a hand gun.

The security holster of the invention includes a hand gun lock for securing the hand gun within the security holster. The hand gun lock is comprised of a locking tab which is attached to the holster body. The locking tab is configured for engagement with the ejection port of the hand gun by moving toward the topside of the barrel and dropping down into the ejection port, rather than other versions of security holsters in which the locking tab moves to the side into engagement with the ejection port. The locking tab includes at least one locking tab lifting point. The lifting point is functionally connected to a release tab, and when the release tab is activated force is delivered to the lifting point and the locking tab is lifted in a direction away from the trigger guard, and away from the top side of the barrel. The lifting point can be one point more or less centrally located, or at least the single point would be accessible from either side of the hand gun.

The locking point can also be configured to be a left and a right locking point, built into a bracket which is positioned on the topside of the barrel and straddles the barrel with the left and right lifting point accessible to either the right of the left hand side of the hand gun. The locking tab can also be configured so that the user's choice of lifting point is attached to the locking tab after manufacture. Thus, when the security holster is assembled, the choice can be made of whether to provide a centrally located, a left or a right side accessible lifting point.

The lifting point or points of the security holster is configured to interact with a release tab. When the release tab is activated the locking tab is lifted from the engagement with the ejection port, and the hand gun may be removed from the security holster.

Also associated with the locking tab is a bias device, such as a spring, for urging the locking tab into engagement with the ejection port. The hand gun lock also includes a deflection surface which is configured for contact with the hand gun as the hand gun is inserted into the holster. The deflecting surface can be the leading edge of the locking tab or it can be a separate part which is connected to the locking tab. As the hand gun is inserted into the security holster, part of the hand gun contacts the deflection surface, and pushes the locking tab out of the way so that the hand gun may be inserted unobstructed into the holster. When the hand gun has been inserted into the holder a sufficient distance so that the ejection port is adjacent to the locking tab, the locking tab is pressed into the ejection port by the bias member.

The security holster also includes a release tab which is activated by contact with the user's thumb or index finger. When the user inserts a hand gun into the security holster, his hand is in a gripping position around the hand gun handle, and when the handgun is sufficiently inserted into the security holster, the locking tab will engage the ejection port and prevent the removal of the hand gun without first releasing the locking tab from the ejection port. The release tab is positioned so that when the user wishes to release the hand gun, he can place his hand in a gripping position around the handle of the hand gun, and activate the release tab either by pressing on the release tab with his index finger or pressing on a release tab position for contact by his thumb. Typically the security holster would be assembled with only one release tab such as for the thumb or the finger. However the security holster could also be configured to have two release tabs, one for the index finger and one for the thumb.

The release tabs can be configured for a right handed user or for a left handed user. In the case of a right handed user, a release tab for the index finger would be on the right side of the hand gun and will be activated by the user's right index finger. For a right handed user the release tab for activation by the right user's thumb would be located on the left hand side of the hand gun, and would be activated by the user's right thumb.

For a left handed user, the release tab for the user's index finger would be on the left side, and the release tab for the user's thumb would be on the right side of the hand gun. With any of these configurations of release tabs, the release tab is functionally connected to one or more lifting points, which is connected to part of the release tab, and lifts the release tab out of engagement with the ejection port.

In one configuration of the security holster, the release tab is attached to a bar, with the bar attached to a hinge which is attached to the holster body. Shown is a version with the hinge attached forward of the ejection port and the locking tab, but it could also be configured with the hinge attached to the holster body to the rear of the ejection port. With the locking tab attached to the bar, the bar and locking tab move out of the way by rotating around the hinge as the hand gun is inserted into the holster.

Another preferred embodiment of the security holster of the invention is a security holster in which the locking tab is attached to the inside surface of the holster body. The locking tab is urged by the biasing member towards the top side of the hand gun, and then drops into place in the ejection port when the ejection port is adjacent to the locking tab. In an analogues manner to the embodiment described above, the locking tab is lifted out of engagement with the ejection port by pressure applied to one or more lifting points, with the pressure originating in a release tab which may be configured for left or right handed users, for use by the index finger or thumb.

The purpose of the foregoing Abstract is to enable the public, and especially the scientists, engineers, and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection, the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The Abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the application, which is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

Still other features and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in this art from the following detailed description describing preferred embodiments of the invention, simply by way of illustration of the best mode contemplated by carrying out my invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of modification in various obvious respects all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and description of the preferred embodiments are to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as restrictive in nature.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of the security holster of the invention.

FIG. 1a is a top view of the security holster of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective of the security holster of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a front view of a hand gun in the security holster of the invention.

FIG. 4 side cross-sectional view of one embodiment of the security holster of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a top cut away view of one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 a side view of one embodiment of the security holster of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the moving parts of the invention showing a finger release on the left hand side of the hand gun.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the security holster of the invention showing a finger release on the left hand side of the hand gun.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the security holster of the invention showing a thumb release on the right side of the hand gun.

FIG. 10 is a view of the security holster of the invention showing the outer body.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the thumb release on the left side of the hand gun.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

While the invention is susceptible of various modifications and alternative constructions, certain illustrated embodiments thereof have been shown in the drawings and will be described below in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific form disclosed, but, on the contrary, the invention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims.

FIG. 1 shows one version of the top lock security holster 10 of the invention in which the locking tab is attached to a bar on the top of the holster body 12. The front of the bar is attached to a holster body 12 at a hinge 18, and thus the end of the bar with the locking tab 14 attached can be raised and lowered from the hinge 18. FIG. 1a is a top view of the security holster 10 (includes a holster body 12, a locking tab 14, an arm 16, a hinge 18, lifting points 20 and a release tab 22) of the invention which shows projections extending out from the locking tab 14 on both the right and the left sides. These form the lifting points of the security holster 10, and can be utilized for engagement with a release tab. The locking tab 14 can take the form of release lever or a finger lock release 32. An advantage of this design is that a single mold could be used to make an injection molded holster of this design, and after molding, the holster can be configured for either left or right handed users. This eliminates the need to make a separate mold for left and right handed users.

In addition to the projection shown in FIGS. 1a and 1b, the lifting points 20 can be in the form of a lifting point located centrally to the bar.

FIG. 2 is another view of the security holster of the invention and FIG. 3 shows the concept of lifting the release tab from the left hand side of the gun either by a left hand user's index finger or by right hand thumb, and 2a are other views of the security holster of the invention, with FIG. 2a showing the concept of lifting the release tab 22 from the left hand side of the gun either by a left hander's index finger or by a right hander's thumb. The finger lock release can be configured so that it is generally over the region of the trigger guard, or could also be configured so that it is positioned closer to the ejection port 26, depending upon the preference of the user.

FIG. 4 and FIG. 4a are views of a different version of a top lock security holster. In this version, the locking tab drops vertically in place into the ejection port of the hand gun. Its hinging and hinge and spring mechanism are different in this version however, as the spring and hinge are attached to the inside surface of the holster body 12 generally above the ejection port 26 rather than being hinged from outside of the holster body 12. In this version the locking tab is attached to a generally v-shaped spring 24, with one arm of the spring attached to the holster body 12 and one arm of the spring attached to the locking tab 14. As the hand gun 30 is inserted into the holster, the locking tab 14 is pushed upward until the depression formed by the ejection port 26 is directly below the locking tab 14, at which time the locking tab 14 drops in place into the ejection port 26 as shown in FIG. 4. As with the embodiment shown above, the locking tab 14 can be lifted by the thumb or finger of either the left or right hand, depending on the configuration chosen by the user.

FIG. 4 shows a user's index finger 28 approaching the release tab 22. Insertion of the index finger 28 would cause the release tab 22 to move the locking tab 14 out of the ejection port 26, thus releasing the hand gun 30 for withdraw.

FIG. 5 shows this version of the security holster 10 from another view.

FIG. 6 shows another view of this alternative version of the top lock security holster 10. A commonality with all of these versions is that the ejection port 26 is engaged by an actively moving locking tab 14, and the locking tab 14 moves vertically in and out of the ejection port 26. The locking tab 14 can operate with a rebounding device, or without a rebounding device.

FIG. 7 shows a different embodiment of the invention which more clearly illustrates the hand gun lock configured for release from the left side of the hand gun 30, utilizing a finger release 32. In this configuration the arm 16 is shown with a hinge 18 which encloses a biasing member 34. Attached to the arm 16 is the locking tab 14, and a finger release 32. When a left handed user presses on the finger release 32, the locking tab 14 is lifted out of the ejection port 26 to enable the hand gun 30 to be pulled out of the security holster 10.

The security holster 10 of the invention can also be constructed so that the arm 16 is positioned on the inner surface of the holster body 12, and attaches to the locking tab 14. The release tab 22 in that configuration would attach to the locking tab 14 and when biased, would lift the locking tab 14 out of engagement with the ejection port 26.

FIG. 8 shows the hand gun lock of the security holster 10 configured for activation on the right side of the hand gun 30 utilizing a finger release 32. The finger release 32 is attached to the arm 16, and when depressed causes lifting of the locking tab 14 from the ejection port 26.

FIG. 9 shows the hand gun lock of the security holster 10 of the invention configured for release from the right side using a thumb release 36. The thumb release 36 in this configuration would be utilized by a left handed user, it should be noted that the view shown in most of the figures show only the working mechanism of the security holster 10. FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 show a holster inner body 38 which encloses the mechanism described above and protects these moving parts from damage. Pivot points are provided in the inner body 38 to allow mounting of the release tab 22 in any of its configurations on the right or the left side of the hand gun 30. In this way the holster body 12 serves as a frame for constructing either a right or left handed security holster 10, which utilizes either thumb release or finger release 32 or both, configured for either a right or a left handed user.

An outer body 40 would typically be placed over the inner body 38, to provide further protection. FIG. 10 shows the security holster 10 with the outer body 40 in place and covering the inner body 38 and moving parts described above.

FIG. 10 also shows a feature of the invention which is a holster body 12 (includes a belt attachment 42 as well as bolt holes 44 on the right hand side of the holster which are available to mount a belt attachment 42 on the right hand side of the holster). Thus the belt attachment 42 can be mounted either on the left or the right side of the holster.

FIG. 11 shows a hand gun 30 with only those moving parts which are necessary to illustrate operation of a thumb release 36 on the left hand side of the hand gun 30. As shown, the thumb release 36 is positioned on the left hand side of the hand gun 30, and is activated by a right handed user pressing his thumb against the thumb release 36. In response to this activation, the thumb release 36 lifts one end of the arm 16 which lifts the locking tab 14 away from engagement with ejection port 26 of the hand gun 30. Not shown in FIG. 11 is the inner body 38 and the outer body 40 which would cover the working parts of the hand gun 30. The thumb release 36 can also be mounted on the right hand side of the hand gun 30, and would lift the locking tab 14 and the arm 16 up and out of engagement with the ejection port 26 in the same manner.

In the following description and in the figures, like elements are identified with like reference numerals. The use of “or” indicates a non-exclusive alternative without limitation unless otherwise noted. The use of “including” means “including, but not limited to,” unless otherwise noted.

While there is shown and described the present preferred embodiment of the invention, it is to be distinctly understood that this invention is not limited thereto but may be variously embodied to practice within the scope of the following claims. From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the following claims