Title:
Sequential target apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A configurable target apparatus comprises a support having a pair of spaced uprights and a pair of vertically spaced cross rails spanning the uprights to present a target area that includes front and rear spaced panels mounted on the support. The front panel has a target window and the rear panel provides an impact surface. A target is positioned within the target window between the panels. The support includes elements that engage the front and rear panels to provide for movement of each panel to and from an operative position in the target area.



Inventors:
Smith, John A. (Camdenton, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/713438
Publication Date:
09/04/2008
Filing Date:
03/02/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41J1/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Chase, Law Firm L. C. (4400 COLLEGE BOULEVARD, SUITE 130, OVERLAND PARK, KS, 66211, US)
Claims:
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is as follows:

1. A configurable target apparatus comprising: a support having a pair of spaced uprights and a pair of vertically spaced cross rails spanning said uprights, the cross rails and the uprights defining a target area, said target area including front and rear spaced panels mounted on the support, the front panel having a target window and the rear panel presenting an impact surface, a target positioned within the target window and between said panels, and said support including supporting elements engaging said front and rear panels and providing for movement of each panel to and from an operative position covering the target area.

2. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said supporting elements include corner supports for aligning said panels with the target area.

3. The apparatus as set forth in claim 2, wherein said corner supports are fixed to said uprights for supporting said front and rear panels for horizontal sliding movement to and from the operative position of each panel.

4. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1, further comprising a sequential target roll on said support presenting said target and containing additional, spaced targets moveable through the target area from said roll to a take-up device.

5. The apparatus as set forth in claim 4, wherein a motor is connected to said take-up bar for rotatably feeding the targets through the target area.

6. The apparatus as set forth in claim 4, wherein said targets are moveable in register with the target area from said roll to said take-up device.

7. The apparatus as set forth in claim 4, wherein said take-up device includes a bar having a continuous longitudinal slot that is open on one end thereof to permit said sequential roll to be axially shifted along said bar, whereby to permit removal of a roll of used targets.

8. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said front panel is moveable from its operative position to remove the front panel from the target area for replacement by another panel having an alternatively configured target window.

9. The apparatus as set forth in claim 8, wherein said alternatively configured front panel has a B-27 target window.

10. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said support presents a frame defining the target area, and includes anchoring structure on the frame for supporting an alternative target.

11. The apparatus as set forth in claim 10, wherein said alternative target is an archery target adapted for use with an archery weapon.

12. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said support includes an adjustable clamping means for securing an alternative target within the target area.

13. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said front panel includes visual indicia thereon at the target window for alignment with said target therein.

14. The apparatus as set forth in claim 13, further including a scoring guide for alignment with said visual indicia for scoring a target in said window.

15. The apparatus as set forth in claim 14, wherein said scoring guide includes scoring rings.

16. A configurable target apparatus comprising: a support having a pair of spaced uprights and a pair of vertically spaced cross rails spanning said uprights, the cross rails and the uprights defining a target area, said target area including front and rear spaced panels mounted on the uprights, the front panel having a target window and the rear panel presenting an impact surface, a sequential target roll on said support containing spaced targets, a take-up bar for receiving said targets and moving the targets-sequentially through the target area between said panels to said take-up bar, said take-up bar having a continuous longitudinal slot open on one end thereof to permit said sequential roll to be axially shifted along said bar to remove the roll after use, said front panel being removably replaceable with an alternatively configured front panel presenting a different target window, said support having anchoring structure thereon for supporting an archery target upon removal of said panels, and said support further including corner supports fixed to the uprights to retain said front and rear panels and provide for movement of each panel to and from an operative position covering the target area to permit removal and replacement thereof.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an apparatus for supporting a target of a selected configuration, the configuration being modifiable to accommodate a particular firearm or an archery bow.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Target shooting on firing ranges and firearm and bow hunting are activities which are enjoyed by sports enthusiasts and hunters. However, firing ranges may be dangerous especially if a shooter desires to change the target with other participants nearby or while the range is still in use. Therefore, it would be beneficial to have a target apparatus which allows for the changing of the target remotely, with the apparatus being adapted to accommodate a variety of weapons at various distances.

Although a number of different types of targets and accompanying supporting structure have been proposed in the past, including the use of a sequential target roll, they typically do not accommodate both firearm and archery interests. In addition the type of weapon fired at a particular target apparatus may be limited. Some targets are particularly for handguns, whereas others accommodate rifles or an archery weapon. Because some shooters may desire to practice with both a bow and a firearm, it would be beneficial to have a targeting structure adapted for different types of weapons.

Furthermore, targets may have a number of different preferred shapes or configurations depending on the skill level or the goal of the shooter. For example, some targets are more challenging, while others define specific target areas depending on use, such as an animal silhouette or a B-27 anatomical handgun silhouette for law enforcement personnel. Also, shooters use different weapons which may require a different target to help improve and measure the shooter's skill. Therefore, it would be advantageous to provide a target with a configurable target window, allowing shooters to readily change the target shape, style or profile, and to provide a target support which readily and quickly accepts alternative target sizes, silhouettees or shapes, and is self supporting.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In an embodiment of the present invention, the foregoing is addressed by providing a configurable target apparatus comprising a support having a pair of spaced uprights and a pair of vertically spaced cross rails spanning the uprights to present a target area that includes front and rear spaced panels mounted on the support. The front panel has a target window and the rear panel provides an impact surface. A target is positioned within the target window between the panels. The support includes elements that engage the front and rear panels to provide for movement of each panel to and from an operative position in the target area.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of an embodiment of the target apparatus.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a partial front view showing the target apparatus accomodating a B-27 silhouette.

FIG. 4 shows an elevational view of a scoring guide for use with the target apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the guide shown in FIG. 4 positioned on the front panel of the target apparatus.

FIG. 6 is a simplified, partial front view of the target apparatus showing a first alternative archery target configuration.

FIG. 7 is a detail of a clamp used with a second alternative archery target configuration shown in FIG. 8.

FIG. 8 is a simplified, partial front view of the target apparatus showing the second alternative archery target configuration.

FIG. 9 in an enlarged detail view of the target roll take-up shaft.

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary, enlarged view of the take-up shaft of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a simplified, front view of a modified form of the target apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary, enlarged, detail view taken along line 12-12 in FIG. 1 looking in the direction of the arrows, the upright in the foreground being shown in phantom lines, the corner supports and panels in full lines, and the cross rails in cross section.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Certain terminology will be used in the following description for convenience in reference only and will not be limiting. For example, up, down, front, back, right and left refer to the illustrated embodiment as oriented in the view being referred to. The words “upwardly” and “downwardly” refer to directions up or down and away from, respectively, the geometric center of the embodiment being described and designated parts thereof. Such terminology will include the words specifically mentioned, derivatives thereof and words of similar meaning.

Referring to FIG. 1, a target apparatus including a support is generally indicated by reference numeral 20. Apparatus 20 includes a pair of spaced apart uprights 22 fabricated from a rigid supporting material such as tubular metal stock or rigid plastic. The uprights 22 shown in FIG. 1 are square tubular steel stock. A pair of lower cross rails 24 are perpendicular to and horizontally span the uprights 22. As may be seen in FIG. 12, the lower cross rails comprise spaced, front and rear, parallel rail elements 24a and 24b. The rear element 24b is an angle member presenting a rearwardly projecting flange 23 which provides a ledge along the rear of the apparatus (see FIG. 2). Similarly, a pair of spaced upper cross rails 25 span the upper ends of the uprights 22. This arrangement braces the uprights 22 and provides support for the apparatus 20, which presents a supported target area 40 generally defined by the uprights 22 and cross rails 24 and 25, having front and rear bullet resistant panels 42, 44 spaced apart from each other and held on the uprights 22. Transparent Lexan is a suitable material for the panels 42 and 44. Although shown transparent, the back side of the front panel 42 may be painted if desired. While in use, one target 64 of a series thereof may be positioned within the target area 40.

The front panel 42 has a target window or opening 46 which is depicted as being essentially square. Although the target window 46 is square to accommodate the target 64, it may optionally be configured to accommodate a circular target, an irregular, B-27 anatomical handgun silhouette (see FIG. 3), or any of a number of different animal shapes. In addition, the front panel 42 is shown in FIG. 1 with visual alignment indicia 52 thereon which may assist in the identification or alignment of the target 64 and provide supporting grooves for a scoring guide 54 (FIGS. 4 and 5). The rear panel 44 provides an impact surface for at least partially absorbing the impact of a projectile.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, the scoring guide 54 has four horizontal and vertical extensions 84 at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock which may be received by the complementary grooves 52 associated with the front panel 42. The scoring guide 54 is illustrated with scoring rings 86 which assist in scoring the shots. FIG. 5 illustrates the front panel 42 in receipt of and supporting the scoring guide 54 with the target window 46 receiving the associated scoring rings 86.

In FIG. 2 the side profile of the apparatus 20 is shown. The target 64 is located between the front and rear panels 42, 44 with the target 64 in register with the target window 46 (FIG. 1). In FIG. 2 the target 64 is hidden from view by the upright 22. When the shooter fires at the target 64, the projectile passes through the target window 46 and through the target 64 and at least partially through the rear Lexan panel 44, which serves as a backstop.

The apparatus 20 includes a target roll arrangement which supports the target 64 within the target area 40. A sequential supply roll 62 on an axle 66 is enclosed within a transparent housing 74 mounted on upper cross rails 25 atop the target frame, and delivers a continuous paper sheet 62a. A take-up bar 68 is below the panel 42 and spans the uprights 22. The sequential roll 62 is vertically aligned with the take-up bar 68 and provides spaced targets 64. Within the sequential supply roll 62, the targets 64 are spaced along the long strip of rolled paper at regular intervals. Although the targets 64 could have a number of different configurations, they are shown in FIG. 1 as being identical and spaced about eight inches apart. They are fed from a position located near the feed bar or axle 66, on the top of the apparatus 20, downwardly between the spaced upper cross rails 25 and the lower rail elements 24a and 24b (FIG. 12), behind the target window 46 to the take-up bar 68 which is provided with a hand crank 76 to assist in feeding the targets 64 through the apparatus 20. As the targets 64 travel longitudinally downward from the feed bar 66 through the target area 40 to the take-up bar 68, the targets 64 sequentially register with the window 46.

Although the take-up bar 68 is illustrated in FIG. 1 with the manual crank 76 for feeding the targets 64 through the target area 40, as shown in FIG. 11 the take-up bar 68′ may alternatively be driven by an electric motor 470 via a drive 476. In addition, the motor 470 may be remotely operated at a location away from the target apparatus 20′. If operated remotely, a control switch (not shown) may be located near the firing line, allowing the shooter to feed the targets 64 without having to leave the firing line or without causing other participants to interrupt the firing of their weapons. In addition, casters 434 on the bottom of the frame allow the apparatus 20′ to be readily repositioned.

Referring to FIG. 1, as a target is used the take-up bar 68 is rotatably operated to bring a fresh target 64 down from the overhead feed bar 66 and into proper position within the target window 46 which, as illustrated, is a square opening in the front panel 42. However, a front panel with a target window of a different size, shape or style (not shown) is easily substituted. Furthermore, it may be appreciated that a variety of targets 64 can be sequentially moved into register with the window 46. FIGS. 1 and 2 also illustrate four spaced apart casters or wheels 34 located on the base support structure 38 for ease in relocating and positioning the apparatus 20.

FIG. 12 is a detailed close-up showing a portion of the paper sheet 62a from roll 62 fed downwardly between the front and rear panels 42, 44 which are supported on the uprights 22 by a pair of angle-shaped corner supports 28 at the illustrated lower corner. As may be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, a pair of corner supports 28 are employed at each of the four corners of the target area 40. The corner supports 28 allow for the quick and ready replacement of the panels 42, 44. Each of the lower corner supports 28 includes a ledge 30 and an upstanding lip 32. The ledges 30 of the corners 28 slidably receive and support the panels 42, 44 while the lips 32 of the corners 28 retain the panels 42, 44 on the ledges 30. The upper pair of corner supports are similar except they are inverted to provide a depending lip 32′ (FIG. 1). The panels slide in place from the right as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 3, each of the left corner supports including a vertically extending stop 33 which is engaged by the fully installed panels.

The take-up bar 68 is illustrated in FIG. 9 with a continuous longitudinal slot 70 into which the end of an unused roll of targets is inserted. As the targets are used, they are coiled around the bar 68. An enlarged view of the end of the take-up bar 68, opposite offset section 80, is shown in FIG. 10. It may be appreciated that the slot 70 extends longitudinally continuously along the bar 68 creating an open end 70a. The open end 70a permits a coiled sequential roll of spent targets to be removed by releasing the bar 68 and withdrawing the roll axially from end 70a, thereby eliminating the inconvenience of uncoiling the spent targets from the bar 68.

FIG. 3 shows a removable front panel 142 illustrating an alternative B-27 target window 146a which may be used with visually plain paper with or without printing (not shown). The front panel 142 is illustrated partially installed, supported by corner supports 28 for sliding movement to a fully installed position against stops 33. As is apparent, the target apparatus 20 permits the front panel to be removed and replaced with differently configured target windows such as an animal profile or a competition target window.

FIG. 6 illustrates another alternative. The front and rear panels 42, 44 are removed and an archery bag 200 is suspended by ties 90 from a pair of anchoring devices presented by eyelets 92 located at respective upper inside corners of the frame. A pair of lower eyelets 94 are also provided to facilitate the mounting of other types of targets as desired. For simplicity the corner supports 28 and supply roll housing 74 are not shown.

FIG. 8 shows another configuration for the archer. The uprights 22 above the lower cross rails 24 are provided with horizontally aligned through holes (not visible) which allow two of the clamps 96 (FIG. 7) to be installed thereon and clamped against opposite sides of an archery cube 202 to secure it in the target area. Accordingly, it may be appreciated that various target configuration may be accommodated.

It should be understood that while certain forms of this invention have been illustrated and described, it is not limited thereto except insofar as such limitations are included in the following claims.