Title:
PORTABLE FIRING BERM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable firing berm adapted to capture bullet fragments from rounds fired at the berm. The portable firing berm has a funnel portion and a dry tank portion connected to the funnel portion. The funnel portion is configured to funnel and deflect rounds into the dry tank portion. The dry tank portion has absorbing media fill therein, the absorbing media being arranged to absorb energy from the fired rounds and to capture and contain the bullet fragments.



Inventors:
Bavaro, Frank (Plantsville, CT, US)
Bavaro, Scott (Plantsville, CT, US)
Application Number:
12/238965
Publication Date:
04/23/2009
Filing Date:
09/26/2008
Assignee:
Colt Defense, LLC (Hartford, CT, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41J13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PERMAN & GREEN (425 POST ROAD, FAIRFIELD, CT, 06824, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A portable firing berm adapted to capture bullet: fragments from rounds fired at the berm, the portable firing berm comprising: a funnel portion; a dry tank portion connected to the funnel portion, the funnel portion being configured to funnel and deflect rounds into the dry tank portion, and the dry tank portion having absorbing media fill therein, the absorbing media being arranged to absorb energy from the fired rounds and to capture and contain the bullet fragments

2. The portable firing berm of claim 1 wherein the dry tank portion and absorbing media fill are arranged to absorb the bullets without the bullets or bullet fragments impacting structure of the dry tank portion.

3. The portable firing berm of claim 1 wherein the berm is movable as a unit without disassembly or re-assembly.

4. A modular firing berm comprising a number of firing berm modules, wherein the portable firing berm of claim 1 forms at least one of the firing berm modules.

5. The portable firing berm of claim 1 wherein the dry tank portion comprises a forward chamber and a rear chamber separated by a partition, and wherein the absorbing media fill is held within the rear chamber.

6. The portable firing berm of claim 1 further comprising a ventilation portion adapted to ventilate and filter air from within at least one of the funnel portion or the dry tank portion.

7. The portable firing berm of claim 1 further comprising lifting points coupled to the dry tank portion.

8. A portable firing berm for capturing bullet fragments from bullets fired at the berm, the berm comprising: a frame; a dry tank connected to the frame; the dry tank being configured to define an opening through which the bullets enter the dry tank, the dry tank being configured to define a dry bullet absorption section communicating with the opening; wherein the dry bullet absorption section is arranged to absorb and stop bullets, fired at the berm and entering unspent into the dry bullet absorption section, substantially without the bullets or bullet fragments impacting structure of the dry tank, and to capture and contain the bullet fragments.

9. The portable firing berm of claim 8 further comprising a funnel portion coupled to the opening of the dry tank portion.

10. The portable firing berm of claim 8 wherein the berm is movable as a unit without disassembly or re-assembly.

11. A modular firing berm comprising a number of firing berm modules, wherein the portable firing berm of claim 8 forms at least one of the firing berm modules.

12. The portable firing berm of claim 8 wherein the dry tank comprises a forward chamber and a rear chamber separated by a partition, the forward chamber and rear chamber forming the dry bullet absorption section at least in part, and wherein at least one of the forward chamber and rear chamber holds absorbing media fill.

13. The portable firing berm of claim 8 further comprising a ventilation portion adapted to ventilate and filter air from within at least one of the funnel portion or the dry tank portion.

14. The portable firing berm of claim 8 further comprising lifting points coupled to the frame and arranged so that the berm is capable of lifting and moving as a unit when supported from the lifting points.

15. A portable firing berm for capturing bullet fragments from bullets fired at the berm, the berm comprising: a funnel portion; a dry tank portion connected to the funnel portion; the funnel portion being configured to funnel and deflect rounds into the dry tank portion, the dry tank portion having absorbing media fill therein, the absorbing media fill being arranged to absorb energy from the fired rounds and to capture and contain the bullet fragments such that inspection of interior tank structure is substantially eliminated.

16. The portable firing berm of claim 15 wherein, the dry tank portion is arranged so that unspent bullets and bullet fragments are absorbed in the absorbing media fill without impacting structure of the dry tank portion.

17. The portable firing berm of claim 15 wherein the berm is movable as a unit without disassembly or re-assembly.

18. A modular firing berm comprising a number of firing berm modules, wherein the portable firing berm of claim forms at least one of the firing berm modules.

19. The portable firing berm of claim 15 wherein the dry tank portion comprises a forward chamber and a rear chamber separated by a partition, and wherein the absorbing media fill is contained within the rear chamber.

20. The portable firing berm of claim 15 further comprising a ventilation portion adapted to ventilate and filter air from within at least one of the funnel portion or the dry tank portion.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/975,290, filed Sep. 26, 2007.

BACKGROUND

1. Field

The present invention relates to a firing berm, and more particularly, to a portable firing berm that acts as a bullet trap.

2. Description of Earlier Related Developments

Firing berms are used at shooting ranges as a backstop to capture fragments from cartridges fired at targets and to prevent excessive travel of fired bullets for safety purposes. Lead has become both a safety and environmental concern leading to the use of bullet traps instead of soil based berms. An example of such a trap is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,486,008 which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. Here, the bullet trap has a spiral deceleration chamber with a lead collection vessel.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing aspects and other features of the exemplary embodiments are explained in the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a portable firing berm incorporating features in accordance with an exemplary embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a right side elevation view of a firing berm incorporating features in accordance with the exemplary embodiment;

FIG. 3 is a left side elevation view of a firing berm incorporating features in accordance with the exemplary embodiment;

FIG. 4 is a front elevation view of a firing berm incorporating features in accordance with the exemplary embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a rear elevation view of a firing berm incorporating features in accordance with the exemplary embodiment; and

FIG. 6 is another elevation view of another firing berm in accordance with another exemplary embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT(S)

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a plan view of a portable firing berm 10 incorporating features in accordance with an exemplary embodiment. Although the present invention will be described with reference to the embodiment shown in the drawings, it should be understood that the present invention can be embodied in many alternate forms of embodiments. In addition, any suitable size, shape or type of elements or materials could be used.

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a plan view of a portable firing berm 10 incorporating features in accordance with an exemplary embodiment. Referring also to FIG. 2, there is shown a right side elevation view of firing berm 10. Referring also to FIG. 3, there is shown a left side elevation view of firing berm 10. Referring also to FIG. 4, there is shown a front elevation view of firing berm 10. Referring also to FIG. 5, there is shown a rear elevation view of firing berm 10. Portable firing berm 10 is movable or capable of being ported between and positioned at different desired locations indoors (e.g. within a building) or outdoors to provide for the capture of bullet fragments from rounds 12, including armor piercing (AP) rounds, (such as and not limited to 0.223 CAL AP or 5.56 mm AP rounds) fired at berm 10, for example in direction 14. Portable berm 10 is shown as a complete assembly movable as a unit without breaking down into sub assemblies and without disassembly and reassembly.

Portable firing berm 10 may have a funnel portion 16 adapted to funnel and deflect stray rounds into a dry tank portion 18. In alternate embodiments, a funnel portion may not be provided. Dry tank 18 is configured to define an opening through which the bullets enter the dry tank 18 and is configured to define a dry absorption region or section communicating with the opening. The dry absorption region of dry tank 18 has absorbing media fill 20 contained therein. In the exemplary embodiment, the absorbing media 20 is adapted to absorb energy from the fired rounds, including AP rounds, and is further adapted to capture and contain the bullet fragments. The dry absorption region and absorbing media fill are arranged to absorb the bullets without the bullets or bullet fragments impacting structure of the dry tank. Here, the absorbing media 20 acts to absorb the energy of fired bullets and prevents rounds or fragments from coming in contact with tank portion 18. As such, portable berm 10 captures bullets and bullet fragments in medium 20 of berm 10 substantially eliminating inspection and/or replacement of discrete interior of the portable berm parts as the energy is absorbed by media 20. Thus, the entire unit 10 may operate substantially without continuous periodic or routine inspection or replacement parts after relatively small number of firings.

Ventilation portion 22 is provided and adapted to ventilate and filter air from within funnel portion 16 and dry tank portion 18. Rounds 12 are fired toward portable berm 10, generally in direction 14 and captured within the dry tank portion 18 and absorbing media 20. Funnel portion 16 is shown having four partitions 24, 26, 28 and 30 angled relative to the line of fire 14 such that rounds hitting funnel portion 16 are directed through opening 32 on the inner portion of funnel 16. Although funnel 16 and opening 32 are shown rectangular in shape, any suitable shape may be used. Funnel 16 is shown fabricated from steel plate where partitions 24, 26, 28, 30 are welded to each other. In alternate embodiments, any suitable material or fabrication technique may be used. In alternate embodiments, the funnel 10R structural similar to the funnel may be positioned within the dry tank. Extensions 34, 36 are provided on partitions 26, 30. Funnel 16 and tank 18 are shown generally in a square shape, however in alternate embodiments, any suitable shape may be provided. For example, the width may be scalable to a much larger width. Dry tank portion 18 is shown fabricated of welded and formed steel. In alternate embodiments, any suitable material or fabrication technique may be used.

Dry tank portion 18 has forward chamber 38 and rear chamber 40 (two chambers are shown in FIGS. 1-4, though in alternate embodiments more or fewer chambers may be provided) separated by first wall or partition 42. Partitions 42 may be formed to allow round penetration between chambers 38, 40. The first partition 42 may have any suitable arrangement, such as a screen, and/or may be made from any suitable material allowing the rounds fired at the portable berm to penetrate the partition and pass from chamber 38 into the absorbing media 20. Partition 42 may be removable through the front of berm 10 or through hatch 42. Partition 42 may be located within tank 18 with mounting features in tank 18 that allow partition 42 to be held in place. First partition 42 is shown approximately splitting tank portion 18 in half. In alternate embodiments, partition 42 may be in any suitable position. As will be described, absorbing media 20 is placed in the rear chamber 40 through access hatch 43 where first partition 42 prevents absorbing media 20 from migrating to forward chamber 38. The access hatch shown for example as a formed and welded metal cover, may have a handle allowing easy removal. The hatch may be hinged or loose and may have latching features to keep it in position during transport. As seen best in FIG. 3, in the exemplary embodiment, a second wall 44 or partition (which may be otherwise similar to first partition) may be provided for example, where it is desired that absorbing media 20 have more than one media type, where second wall/screen 44 separates the different media type. In alternate embodiments the second wall 44 may separate similar media types (for example additional media mass is desired inside the chamber 40.) In the exemplary embodiment, rear chamber 40 may be separated by partition 44 into chambers 46, 48 holding the different media. Partitions 42, 44 for example may be made from ⅛″ expanded steel partition or any other suitable material, such as a welded steel array. Partitions 42, 44 are shown at an angle, for example, and 80 degree angle to prevent excessive pressure on partitions 42, 44 from aggregate 20. In alternate embodiments, any suitable angle could be provided. In alternate embodiments, the second partition may be impenetrable to rounds fired into berm 10 and impacting the second partition. For example, the second partition may be formed from plate steel or any other suitable material such as ceramics or composites of sufficient strength to stop impacting bullets/fragments. In alternate embodiments more or fewer partitions or walls (similar to partitions 42, 44) may be provided and defining more or fewer chambers that may be filled with the same or different media. In other alternate embodiments one or more of the chambers may hold no media.

Collection tray or cleanout box 50 may be provided in communication with forward chamber 38 to allow removal of fragments that may collect in forward chamber 38. Tray 50 may be stationary and fixed. In alternate embodiments, tray 50 may be removable, for example by sliding relative to tank 18. Absorbing media 20 is provided to absorb the energy of rounds fired at portable berm 10 and to capture fragments from the rounds. Absorbing media 20 may be crushed stone or gravel. In alternate embodiments, absorbing media 20 may be any suitable material that may be suitable to absorb the energy of rounds fired and capture fragments. Absorbing media 20 may comprise more than one media; either mixed or separated. In the event they are separated, second partition 44 (e.g. screen) may separate the different media, for example as noted before, where rear chamber 40 may be separated by partition 44 into chambers 46, 48 holding the different media. Here, front chamber 46 may contain a first berm adapted to absorb the initial energy and may be made up of a suitable material, such as iron oxide pellets and rear chamber 48 may contain a suitable material, such as gravel or crushed stone. In alternate embodiments, any suitable combination or mix of media may be used. In alternate embodiments, more or less partitions may be provided with more layers of berm.

Ventilation portion 22 is adapted to force ventilate and filter air from within the funnel portion or the dry tank portion. In alternate embodiments the ventilation portion may employ natural or convective ventilation. In the exemplary embodiment, ventilation portion 22 has an exhaust fan 52, fan plenum 54, HEPA filter portion 56, forward plenum 58 and left and right ducts 60, 62. Left and right ducts 60, 62 are in communication with forward chamber 38 through duct slots 64, 66 in the side partitions of forward chamber 38. In alternate embodiments ventilation ducts may be located in any desired position and more and fewer ducts may be used. In the embodiment shown, an air curtain 68 is formed at the opening 32 whereby air is ducted through the HEPA filter 56 and exhausted through fan 52 in direction 70. Forward plenum 58 may also be in communication with rear chamber 40 of dry tank portion 18 where air is ventilated through the media 20. Plenum 58 in combination with exhaust fan 52 provide negative pressure between the tank portion 18 and ambient surrounding the berm 10 forcing contaminated air through HEPA filter 56. Fan 52 may be suitably sized, for example, sized to provide 30 cubic feet per minute flow for a 4′×8′×4′ tank portion 18. In alternate embodiments, any suitable fan or duct configuration may be used.

In the exemplary embodiment, portable berm 10 has suitable lift or carry points, such as eyes 72, 74, 76, 78 allowing for example a crane or other implement to lift berm 10 with a sling. Eyes 72, 74, 76, 78 are shown welded to chamber 18. In alternate embodiments, any suitable combination of features may be provided. Handles 80 are also provided, for example to allow fork lifting of berm 10. Supporting frames 82, 84 are also provided to support berm 10 and allow berm 10 to be pulled from one location to another. The berm 10 may have a transport system, such as wheels, or may be placed on a transport, so that the berm may be transported and repositioned at different locations as desired. Berm 10 is shown provided with a desired finish such as with camouflage paint. In alternate embodiments, any suitable finish may be used.

As noted before, the berm 10 is suitable for use singly (or in combination with other berms, as will be described further below) as a firing berm (to stop and absorb fired rounds) indoors, within the confines of a building or facility, or outdoors. As may be realized, the portable berm may be ported, substantially as a unit without disassembly and reassembly, to any desired location, indoors and outdoors in order to provide a firing berm at the location. Also, in the exemplary embodiment the portable berm 10 may be moved to and between any number of different locations so that the firing berm positioned at one location may be subsequently repositioned, substantially as a unit, at any other desired location. As noted above, the portable berm may be used singly, and in combination with other berms in order to define a berm having different selectably variable configurations. Referring now to FIG. 6, there is shown a front elevation view of a firing berm 100 in accordance with another exemplary embodiment. In the exemplary embodiment, firing berm 100 may be modular and include one or more berm modules 10, 10A-10N that may be positioned as desired in order to form a firing berm of desired shape and size. In the exemplary embodiment, the portable berm modules of firing berm 100 may be substantially similar to each other and to portable berm 10 described before (similar features are similarly numbered). In alternate embodiments, the modular firing berm may be formed of different modules. In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 6, the berm modules 10, 10A-10N are shown arrayed serially, for example purposes. As may be realized berm modules 10, 10A-10N may be added or removed to vary the length of the firing berm 100 as desired. Modules may be positioned side by side as shown in FIG. 6 to form for example a substantially continuous wall berm. In the exemplary embodiment the modules may be positioned with the rim edges of the funnel portion 16 substantially in contact with each other, or somewhat overlapped to prevent fired rounds from escaping between the adjoining funnel portions 16. As may be realized, modules may also be positioned to form a sectioned firing berm configuration. Firing berm sections may be aligned with each other or angled relative to each other. In the exemplary embodiment, the modular firing berm 100 is shown within a facility or building FAC (shown in phantom), though and as may be realized, the firing berm (or a desired portion thereof) may be repositioned outside the building. In other alternate embodiments, the berm modules may be positioned one over the other, for example to vary the height of the firing berm. Then a firing berm of any size, or shape may be erected at any location and may then be readily modified or moved to another location by transport and placement of the portable berm modules 10, 10A-10N.

Thus, in accordance with one exemplary embodiment, a portable firing berm is provided. The portable firing berm is adapted to capture bullet fragments from rounds fired at the berm. The portable firing berm has a funnel portion and a dry tank portion connected to the funnel portion. The funnel portion is configured to funnel and deflect rounds into the dry tank portion. The dry tank portion has absorbing media fill therein, the absorbing media being arranged to absorb energy from the fired rounds and to capture and contain the bullet fragments.

In accordance with another exemplary embodiment, a portable firing berm for capturing bullet fragments from bullets fired at the berm is provided. The berm has a frame and a dry tank connected to the frame. The dry tank is configured to define an opening through which the bullets enter the dry tank. The dry tank is configured to define a dry bullet absorption section communicating with the opening. The dry bullet absorption section is arranged to absorb and stop bullets, fired at the berm and entering unspent through the opening into the dry bullet absorption section, substantially without the bullets or bullet fragments impacting structure of the dry tank, and to capture and contain the bullet fragments.

In accordance with another exemplary embodiment, a portable firing berm for capturing bullet fragments from bullets fired at the berm is provided. The berm has a funnel portion; and a dry tank portion connected to the funnel portion. The funnel portion is configured to funnel and deflect rounds into the dry tank portion. The dry tank portion has absorbing media fill therein, the absorbing media fill being arranged to absorb energy from the fired rounds and to capture and contain the bullet fragments such that inspection of interior tank structure is substantially eliminated. The unspent bullets and fill bullet fragments are absorbed in the absorbing media fill without impacting structure of the dry tank portion.

It should be understood that the foregoing description is only illustrative of the invention. Various alternatives and modifications can be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the present invention is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variances.