Title:
Hunting Belt and Shoulder Sling
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A convertible hunting belt and shoulder sling is provided with an elongated tongue section and elongated tongue joiner section that are adjustably attached along the length of the opposing ends of a central band section so that the overall closed, or fastened, diameter of the belt and shoulder sling has a wide range of adjustability for convertible use as a waist belt or shoulder sling. Various type of equipment can be attached to the elongated central band.



Inventors:
Holtzclaw Jr., James O. (Broomfield, CO, US)
Application Number:
12/271923
Publication Date:
05/21/2009
Filing Date:
11/16/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/150, 224/577, 2/301
International Classes:
A41F19/00; A41F9/00; F41C33/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VANATTA, AMY B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PHILIP O. POST (INDEL, INC. PO BOX 157, RANCOCAS, NJ, 08073, US)
Claims:
1. A convertible belt and shoulder sling for storage and transport of hunting equipment, the convertible belt and should sling comprising: an elongated central band having a first and second longitudinal end; a series of longitudinally spaced apart fastening elements located along each of the first and second longitudinal ends of the elongated central band; an elongated tongue band having a first and second longitudinal end, the first longitudinal end of the elongated tongue band having at least one elongated central band fastening element for adjustable attachment to at least one of the series of longitudinally spaced apart fastening elements located along the first longitudinal end of the elongated central band; an elongated tongue joiner band having a first and second longitudinal end, the first longitudinal end of the tongue joiner band having at least one elongated central band fastening element for adjustable attachment to at least one of the series of longitudinally spaced apart fastening elements located along the second longitudinal end of the elongated central band, the second longitudinal end of the elongated tongue joiner band having a tongue joiner element for selectively connecting with at least one tongue joiner band fastening element in a series of longitudinally spaced apart tongue joiner band fastening elements located along the second longitudinal end of the elongated tongue band; and at least one equipment retaining element attached to the elongated central band.

2. The convertible belt and shoulder sling of claim 1 wherein each of the series of longitudinally spaced apart tongue joiner band fastening elements located along the second longitudinal end of the elongated tongue band comprises an opening or hole, and the tongue joiner element comprises a single prong buckle.

3. The convertible belt and shoulder sling of claim 1 wherein the series of longitudinally spaced apart fastening elements located along each of the first and second longitudinal ends of the elongated central band, the at least one elongated central band fastening element at the first longitudinal end of the elongated tongue band, and the at least one elongated central band fastening element at the first longitudinal end of the elongated tongue joiner band are openings or holes, the convertible belt and shoulder sling further comprising at least one first fastener passing through the combination of at least one of the openings or holes in the first longitudinal end of the elongated central band and at least one of the openings or holes in the first longitudinal end of the elongated tongue band, and at least one second fastener passing through the combination of at least one of the openings or holes in the second longitudinal end of the elongated band and at least one of the openings or holes in the first longitudinal end of the elongated tongue joiner band.

4. The convertible belt and shoulder sling of claim 3 wherein each of the series of longitudinally spaced apart tongue joiner band fastening elements located along the second longitudinal end of the elongated tongue band comprises an opening or hole, and the tongue joiner element comprises a buckle.

5. The convertible belt and shoulder sling of claim 1 wherein the series of longitudinally spaced apart fastening elements in the elongated central band and tongue band are arranged so that connection of the tongue joiner element to different tongue joiner band fastening elements located at along the second longitudinal end of the elongated tongue band forms a closed loop having a length ranging from less than the length of the elongated central band to greater than the length of the elongated band.

6. The convertible belt and shoulder sling of claim 1 wherein the at least one equipment retaining element comprises a plurality of loops at least partially along the length of the elongated central band, at least some of the plurality of loops formed to hold a round of ammunition.

7. The convertible belt and shoulder sling of claim 1 wherein the at least one equipment retaining element is selected from the group of loops, D-rings, pouches, holes and grommets.

8. The convertible belt and shoulder sling of claim 1 wherein each of the series of longitudinally spaced apart fastening elements located along the first and second longitudinal ends of the elongated central band is the male disc of a snap fastener and each of the at least one elongated central band fastening elements on the elongated tongue band and tongue joiner band is the female disc of a snap fastener.

9. The convertible belt and shoulder sling of claim 1 wherein each of the series of longitudinally spaced apart fastening elements located along the first and second longitudinal ends of the elongated central band is the loop of a hook and loop fastener and each of the at least one elongated central band fastening elements on the elongated tongue band and tongue joiner band is the hook of a hook and loop fastener.

10. A convertible belt and shoulder sling for storage and transport of hunting equipment, the convertible belt and shoulder sling comprising: an elongated central band having a first and second longitudinal end; a series of longitudinally spaced apart holes located along each of the first and second longitudinal ends of the elongated central band; an elongated tongue band narrower in width than the width of the elongated central band, the tongue band having a first and second longitudinal end, the first longitudinal end of the tongue band having two elongated central band holes for selectable attachment to two adjacent holes in the series of the longitudinally spaced apart holes located along the first longitudinal end of the elongated central band; a separate tongue fastener passing through the combination of each of the two elongated central band holes in the tongue band and each of the two adjacent holes located in the series of longitudinally spaced apart holes along the first longitudinal end of the central band; an elongated tongue joiner band narrower in width than the width of the elongated central band, the tongue joiner band having a first and second longitudinal end, the first longitudinal end of the tongue joiner band having two elongated central band holes for selectable attachment to two adjacent holes in the series of longitudinally space apart holes located along the second longitudinal end of the elongated central band, the second longitudinal end of the tongue joiner band having a tongue joiner element for selectively connecting with at least one tongue joiner band hole in a series of longitudinally spaced apart tongue joiner band holes located along the second longitudinal end of the elongated tongue band; a separate tongue joiner fastener passing through the combination of each of the two elongated central band holes in the tongue joiner band and each of the two adjacent holes located in the series of longitudinally spaced apart holes along the second longitudinal end of the central band; and at least one equipment retaining element attached to the elongated central band.

11. The convertible belt and shoulder sling of claim 10 wherein the tongue joiner element comprises a single prong buckle.

12. The convertible belt and shoulder sling of claim 10 wherein the series of longitudinally spaced apart holes in the elongated central band and tongue band are arranged so that connection of the tongue joiner element to different tongue joiner band holes located along the second longitudinal end of the elongate tongue band forms a closed loop having a length ranging from less than the length of the elongated central band to greater than the length of the elongated band.

13. The convertible belt and shoulder sling of claim 10 wherein the at least one equipment retaining element comprises a plurality of loops at least partially along the length of the elongated central band, at least some of the plurality of loops formed to hold a round of ammunition.

14. The convertible belt and shoulder sling of claim 10 further comprising an indicia adjacent to one or more holes in the series of longitudinally spaced apart holes in the elongated central band to indicate the length of the closed loop formed when the tongue band and tongue joiner band are fastened to the central band to the one or more holes adjacent to the indicia.

15. A convertible belt and shoulder sling for storage and transport of hunting equipment, the convertible belt and shoulder sling comprising: an elongated central band having a first and second longitudinal end; a series of longitudinally spaced apart fastening elements located along each of the first and second longitudinal ends of the elongated central band; an elongated tongue band having a first and second longitudinal end, the first longitudinal end of the elongated tongue band having at least one elongated central band fastening element for adjustable attachment to at least one of the series of longitudinally spaced apart fastening elements located along the first longitudinal end of the elongated central band; an elongated tongue joiner band having a first and second longitudinal end, the first longitudinal end of the tongue joiner band having at least one elongated central band fastening element for adjustable attachment to least one of the series of longitudinally spaced apart fastening elements located along the second longitudinal end of the elongated central band, the second longitudinal end of the elongated tongue joiner band having a tongue joiner element for selectively connecting with a tongue joiner connecting element located along the second longitudinal end of the elongated tongue band; and at least one equipment retaining element attached to the elongated central band.

16. The convertible belt and shoulder sling of claim 15 wherein the tongue joiner connecting element is the female piece of a release buckle and the tongue joiner element is the male piece of a release buckle.

17. The convertible belt and shoulder sling of claim 16 wherein the series of longitudinally spaced apart fastening elements located along each of the first and second longitudinal ends of the elongated central band, the at least one elongated band fastening element at the first longitudinal end of the elongated tongue band, and the at least one elongated central band fastening element at the first longitudinal end of the elongated tongue joiner band are openings or holes, the convertible belt and shoulder sling further comprising at least one first fastener passing through the combination of at least one of the openings or holes in the first longitudinal end of the elongated central band and at least one of the openings or holes in the first longitudinal end of the elongated tongue band, and at least one second fastener passing through the combination of at least one of the openings or holes in the second longitudinal end of the elongated band and at least one of the openings or holes in the first longitudinal end of the elongated tongue joiner band.

18. The convertible belt and shoulder sling of claim 17 wherein the at least one equipment retaining element comprises a plurality of loops at least partially along the length of the elongated central band, at least some of the plurality of loops formed to hold a round of ammunition.

19. The convertible belt and shoulder sling of claim 17 wherein the at least one equipment retaining element is selected from the group of loops, D-rings, pouches, holes and grommets.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/988,516, filed Nov. 16, 2007, hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a hunting accessory that may function as a hunting belt or shoulder sling, or bandolier.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A hunter may use a belt or bandolier to carry rounds of ammunition or other equipment. Typically the belt or bandolier has attached to it one or more pouches and/or a plurality of loops for storing rounds of ammunition. A disadvantage of existing hunting belts and bandoliers is an inability to rapidly adjust the overall closed diameter of the belt or bandolier, or to convert a waist belt to a large closed diameter appropriate for use as a bandolier.

One object of the present invention is to provide a hunting belt and shoulder sling for carrying ammunition and/or other equipment with a sufficiently wide range of closed diameter adjustability so that the hunting belt and shoulder sling can be easily reconfigured to serve as a hunting belt, shoulder sling or bandolier.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect the present invention is an adjustable and convertible belt and shoulder sling for storage and transport of hunting ammunition and equipment. The belt and shoulder sling comprises an elongated central band, an elongated tongue band, and an elongated tongue joiner band. The elongated central band has first and second ends with a plurality of longitudinally spaced apart, alternative tongue band connecting elements near the first end of the central band, and a plurality of longitudinally spaced apart, alternative tongue joiner band connecting elements near the second end of the central band. The elongated tongue band has first and second tongue band ends with at least one central band connecting element near its first end, and, in some examples of the invention, a plurality of longitudinally spaced apart alternative tongue joiner band connecting elements near its second end. The elongated tongue joiner band has first and second tongue joiner band ends with at least one central band connecting element near its first end, and a tongue joiner element at its second end.

In some examples of the invention the plurality of longitudinally spaced apart, alternative tongue band and tongue joiner band connecting elements on the central band, the at least one central band connecting element on the tongue band, and the at least one central band connecting element on the tongue joiner band are holes. At suitable fastener is selectively passed through the combination of at least one hole in the alternative tongue band connecting holes in the central band and the at least one central band connecting hole in the tongue band, and a suitable fastener is selectively passed through the combination of at least one hole in the alternative tongue joiner band connecting holes in the central band and the at least one central band connecting hole in the tongue joiner band to form a belt or shoulder sling of a selectable length. In some examples of the invention the plurality of longitudinally spaced apart, alternative tongue joiner band connecting elements are holes and the tongue joiner element is a buckle that engages at least one of the plurality of longitudinally spaced apart, alternative tongue joiner band connecting elements to form a closed belt or shoulder sling, depending primarily upon the at least one alternative tongue band connecting hole and the at least one alternative tongue joiner band connecting hole on the elongated central band that were selected for fastening with the tongue band and the tongue joiner band. At least one hunting equipment retaining element is attached to the elongated central band.

The above and other aspects of the invention are set forth in this specification and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The appended drawings, as briefly summarized below, are provided for exemplary understanding of the invention, and do not limit the invention as further set forth in this specification and the appended claims:

FIG. 1 illustrates in plan views one example of the elongated central band, elongated tongue band, and elongated tongue joiner band used with the hunting belt and shoulder sling of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates in plan view one example of a hunting belt and shoulder sling of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a prospective view of another example of a hunting belt and shoulder sling of the present invention in an unfastened position.

FIG. 4 is a prospective view of the hunting belt and shoulder sling shown in FIG. 3 in the fastened position.

FIG. 5 is a front elevation view of the hunting belt and shoulder sling shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a top view of one example of the hunting belt and shoulder sling of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a rear elevation view of the hunting belt and shoulder sling shown in FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 and FIG. 9 are left and right side elevation views, respectively, of the hunting belt and shoulder sling shown in FIG. 6 and FIG. 7.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

There is shown in the drawings non-limiting examples of the hunting belt and shoulder of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 1 the belt and shoulder sling comprises elongated central band 12, elongated tongue band 14 and elongated tongue joiner band 16. Elongation of the tongue and tongue joiner band provides for adjustable attachment of these two bands to the elongated central band so that combination can function as a waist hunting belt or an over-the-shoulder sling or bandolier as further described below. FIG. 2 illustrates a typical assembly of the central, tongue and tongue joiner band. The elongated central, tongue and tongue joiner band may be formed from any suitable material such as leather. Other non-limiting examples of suitable materials include woven webbing of natural or man-made fiber; canvas; or plastic coated natural or man-made materials.

Referring primarily to the non-limiting example of the invention shown in FIG. 3 through FIG. 9, elongated central band 12 has first 12a and second 12b central band ends. A plurality of elongated tongue connecting or fastening elements, which in this example of the invention are openings or holes, 22a through 22j (22f through 22i visible in FIG. 3), are longitudinally spaced apart along the length of the central band near first end 12a of the central band. A plurality of tongue joiner connecting or fastening elements, which in this non-limiting example of the invention are openings or holes, 24a through 24j (24a through 24c, and 24f through 24i visible in FIG. 3) are spaced apart along the length of the central band near second end 12b of the central band. As further described below, at least one of the plurality of elongated tongue connecting elements is selectively used to fasten an end of the elongated tongue band to the central band, and at least one of the plurality of tongue joiner connecting elements is selectively used to fasten an end of the elongated tongue band to the central band. While a single row of tongue and tongue joiner connecting elements are shown in the figures, other configurations, such as but not limited to an inline, or offset double row of the plurality of connecting elements may be longitudinally spaced apart near the opposing ends of the elongated central band.

Elongated tongue band 14 has first 14a and second 14b tongue ends. First tongue end 14a has at least one central band connecting or fastening element located near first tongue end 14a. In the example shown in FIG. 3 through FIG. 9, the at least one central band connecting element comprises openings 26a and 26b in the elongated tongue band. Elongated tongue band 14 is adjustably attached at first tongue end 14a to first central band end 12a in this example by passing a suitable fastener through each one of the two central band connecting openings and one of the plurality of openings at the first central band end 12a. For the example shown in FIG. 3 to FIG. 9, one fastener 32a passes through openings 26a and 22e, and another fastener 32b passes through openings 26b and 22d. One non-limiting type of fastener that can be used comprises a Chicago screw post and screw so that the post's flat head and the screw's flat head hold the central band and tongue band together when the screw is screwed into the screw post. A plurality of tongue joiner connecting elements, which in this non-limiting example of the invention are openings, 28a through 28e (28a through 28c, and 28e visible in FIG. 3) are longitudinally spaced apart along the length of the elongated tongue near second tongue end 14b. While two inline row central band connecting elements and a single row of tongue joiner connecting elements are shown in the figures, other configurations, such as but not limited to an inline, or offset double row of the central band or tongue joiner connecting elements may be longitudinally spaced apart near the second end of the elongated tongue band.

Elongated tongue joiner band 16 has first 16a and second 16b tongue joiner ends. First tongue joiner end 16a has at least one central band connecting or fastening element located near first tongue joiner end 16a. In the example shown in FIG. 3 through FIG. 9, the at least one central band connecting element comprises openings 42a and 42b in the tongue joiner band. Elongated tongue joiner 16 is adjustably attached at first tongue joiner end 16a to second central band end 12b in this example by passing a suitable fastener through each one of the two central band connecting openings and one of the plurality of openings at the second central band end 12b. For the example shown in FIG. 3 to FIG. 9, one fastener 32c passes through openings 42a and 24e, and another fastener 32d passes through openings 42b and 24d. One non-limiting type of fastener that can be used comprises a Chicago screw post and screw so that the post's flat head and the screw's flat head hold the central band and tongue joiner band together when the screw is screwed into the screw post. A tongue joiner element, which in this example of the invention is conventional single prong belt buckle 44 has second tongue joiner end 16b wrapped around prong 44a retaining central post of the buckle and fastened near to the second end of the elongated tongue fastener with fasteners 32e and 32f to hold the buckle in place at the second end of the tongue joiner band. In other examples of the invention a two piece connecting element may be used, such as a release buckle, for example, a two-piece plastic release buckle comprising a female piece fitted on second end 14b of the tongue band 14 that locks into a male piece fitted on second end 16b of tongue joiner band 16, or a cam lock release buckle where second end 14b of tongue band 14 can be cam locked in a cam attached to second end 16b of tongue joiner band 16.

For the non-limiting example of the invention shown in FIG. 3 through FIG. 9, maximum fastened closed diameter, d, of the hunting belt and shoulder sling of the present invention is achieved when fastener 32a passes through openings 26a and 22b; fastener 32b passes through openings 26b and 22a; fastener 32c passes through openings 42a and 24b; and fastener 32d passes through opening 42b and 24a. Minimum fastened closed diameter is achieved when fastener 32a passes through openings 26a and 22j; fastener 32b passes through openings 26b and 22i; fastener 32c passes through openings 42a and 24j; and fastener 32d passes through opening 42b and 24i. When fastened (closed), first end 12a of the elongated central band can overlap second end 12b of the central band, as shown in FIG. 4, or vice versa. The larger closed diameters favor use as a shoulder sling or bandolier, and the smaller closed diameters favor use as a waist belt. Preferably but not by way of limitation, in this example of the invention the widths, w, of the elongated tongue band and tongue joiner band are short than the width of the elongated central band.

In the above examples of the invention while the element for adjustably fastening elongated tongue band 14 and elongated tongue joiner band 16 near to the opposing ends of elongated central band 12 comprise a fastener through holes in the elongated central, tongue and tongue joiner bands, other methods of adjustable attachment may be used, for example, snap fasteners, hook and eyelet (or grommet) closures, self closing buckles, or other fastener assemblies that are capable of establishing a holding force between the central band and the adjustably attached elongated tongue and tongue fastener. By way of example and not limitation, in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 the plurality of tongue and tongue joiner connecting or fastening elements 22a through 22j and 24a through 24j, respectively, may each be a female/male disc of a snap fastener and each central band connecting or fastening elements 26a and 26b on tongue band 14, and connecting or fastening elements 42a and 42b on tongue joiner band 16, may be a male/female disc of a snap fastener; or the plurality of tongue and tongue joiner connecting or fastening elements on the central band may each be a hook/loop of a hook and loop fastener, and the central band connecting or fastening elements on the tongue band and tongue joiner band, may each be the loop/hook of a hook and loop fastener.

The non-limiting example of hunting belt and shoulder sling of the present invention is shown in some of the drawings with a plurality of bullet cartridge loops 18 for holding bullet cartridges. In other examples of the invention the belt and shoulder sling of the present invention may be configured with other retaining elements such as one or more D-rings fastened to the hunting belt and shoulder sling by a strap. In other examples of the invention the belt and shoulder sling of the present invention may be configured with other retaining elements, such as one or more loops and/or pouches of varying sizes fastened to the belt and shoulder sling. In other examples of the invention the belt and shoulder sling of the present invention may be configured with a combination of bullet cartridge loops, loops of varying sizes, D-rings, and/or pouches, holes or grommets.

In one non-limiting example of the hunting belt and shoulder sling of the present invention, the central band has an overall length of 49 inches and a width of approximately 2.5 inches. Plurality of openings 22a through 22j are centered on the width of the central band, with the first opening 22a nearest the first end 12a of the central band having its center spaced approximately 1.0 inch from first end 12a. Adjacent first openings are spaced apart on center 1.5 inches from each other. Plurality of openings 24a through 24j are centered on the width of the central band, with the first opening 24a nearest the second end 12b of the central band having its center spaced approximately 1.0 inch from second end 12b. Adjacent second openings are spaced apart on center 1.5 inches from each other. The elongated tongue band has an overall length of approximately 11.5 inches and a width of approximately 1.375 inches. Central band connecting openings 26a and 26b on the tongue band are centered on the width of the elongated tongue band, with opening 26a nearest the first end 14a of the elongated tongue band having its center spaced approximately 0.5 inch from first end 14a, and opening 26b spaced apart on center 1.25 inches from opening 26a. Plurality of openings 28a through 28e are centered on the width of the elongated tongue band, with the first opening 28a nearest the second end 14b of the elongated tongue band having its center spaced approximately 2.75 inch from second end 14b. Adjacent second openings are spaced apart on center 1.0 inches from each other. The elongated tongue joiner band has an overall length of approximately 6.25 inches and a width of approximately 1.5 inches. Central band connecting openings 42a and 42b on the tongue joiner band are centered on the width of the elongated tongue joiner band, with the opening 42a nearest first end 16a of the elongated tongue joiner band having its center spaced approximately 0.625 inch from first end 16a, and opening 42b spaced apart on centers 1.25 inches from opening 42a. In this non-limiting example when fastener 32a passes through openings 26a and 22b; fastener 32b passes through openings 26b and 22a; fastener 32c passes through openings 42a and 24b; and fastener 32d passes through opening 42b and 24a the maximum fastened (closed) diameter of the belt and shoulder sling of the present invention is approximately 58 inches; when fastener 32a passes through openings 26a and 22j; fastener 32b passes through openings 26b and 22i; fastener 32c passes through openings 42a and 24j; and fastener 32d passes through opening 42b and 24i the minimum fastened (closed) diameter of the belt and shoulder sling of the present invention would is approximately 34 inches.

In other examples of the invention there may be two or more rows of a plurality of tongue band elements and/or tongue joiner band connecting elements at opposing ends of the elongated central band. The hole in buckle prong fastening of the tongue band to the tongue joiner band may be accomplished in any other suitable manner.

In some examples of the invention, indicia may be provided adjacent to one or more of the plurality of elongated tongue connecting or fastening elements, or adjacent to one or more of the plurality of elongated tongue joiner connecting or fastening elements on the central band to provide an indication of the closed diameter of the belt and shoulder sling if the indicated connecting element is used to connect the tongue band or tongue joiner band to the elongated central band.

The above examples of the invention have been provided merely for the purpose of explanation and are in no way to be construed as limiting of the present invention. While the invention has been described with reference to various embodiments, the words used herein are words of description and illustration, rather than words of limitations. Although the invention has been described herein with reference to particular means, materials and embodiments, the invention is not intended to be limited to the particulars disclosed herein; rather, the invention extends to all functionally equivalent structures, methods and uses. Those skilled in the art, having the benefit of the teachings of this specification, may effect numerous modifications thereto, and changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention in its aspects.





 
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