Title:
Paint ball reservoir with stiffener insert
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A paint ball gun having a paint ball reservoir. The paint ball gun has a reservoir connector including a connector nipple with a clamp disposed at the upper end of the connector nipple. The lower end of the connector nipple is attached to the upper portion of the paint ball gun, immediately above the breach portion of the paint ball gun. The paint ball reservoir has a downwardly directed reservoir nipple which is securely clamped to the upper end of the connector nipple by the clamp. A stiffener insert is disposed within the reservoir nipple to reinforce the reservoir nipple so as to prevent the clamp from flattening out the reservoir nipple.



Inventors:
Dennis Jr., Sullivan J. (San Dimas, CA, US)
Wood, Michael (Santa Ana, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/808087
Publication Date:
09/19/2002
Filing Date:
03/14/2001
Assignee:
SULLIVAN DENNIS J.
WOOD MICHAEL
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41B11/02; (IPC1-7): F41B11/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060201490Method of converting baseball pitching machine to pitch lacrosse ballsSeptember, 2006Villar
20060086348Indoor means for preventing a crime and catching a criminalApril, 2006Song et al.
20060070608Receiving, feeding and oscillating apparatus for a baseball throwing machineApril, 2006Haas
20060225716Rocket Launcher ToyOctober, 2006Lapointe
20090283085PERCUSSION CONTROLLING MECHANISM OF PAINTBALL GUNSNovember, 2009Liao
20070062510Multiple cannister supply paintball markerMarch, 2007Broersma
20060032487Apparatus and method for firing a projectileFebruary, 2006Tippmann Sr. et al.
20060185657Paintball gun with power assisted triggerAugust, 2006Gabrel
20090071460Grip for a paintball marker having a replaceable insertMarch, 2009Anderson
20090145414PNEUMATIC LAUNCHERJune, 2009Russell et al.
20050284458Retainer plates for throwing machineDecember, 2005Englert et al.



Primary Examiner:
RICCI, JOHN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SHELDON & MAK (Pasadena, CA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A paint ball gun comprising: (a) a breach chamber; (b) a reservoir connector disposed above, and in communication with, the breach chamber; (c) a clamp disposed on the reservoir connector; (d) a paint ball reservoir having a downwardly directed reservoir nipple, the reservoir nipple being attached to the reservoir connector by the clamp, and being disposed above, and in communication with, the reservoir connector; wherein a stiffener insert is disposed within the reservoir nipple to reenforce the reservoir nipple from being flattened out by the clamp.

2. A kit comprising: (a) a paint ball reservoir having a downwardly directed reservoir nipple, the reservoir nipple having an open end with an internal reservoir nipple configuration; and (b) a stiffener insert having an external configuration which substantially matches the reservoir nipple internal configuration, the stiffener insert being insertable into the open end of the reservoir nipple to reenforce the reservoir nipple from being flattened by a clamp.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] Competitive games using gas-propelled paint ball guns have become extremely popular.

[0002] A continuing problem with such paint ball guns has to do with the connection between the paint ball gun and the paint ball ammunition reservoir.

[0003] Typically, the paint ball reservoir is a large lightweight plastic container disposed above the breach portion of the paint ball gun. The paint ball reservoir is typically connected to the paint ball gun by clamping it to a connection nipple which projects upwardly from the breach portion of the gun. This connection method has several disadvantages.

[0004] First of all, tightening down on the clamp frequently “flattens out” the downwardly projecting nipple at the base of the paint ball reservoir. The term “flattens out” refers to the lateral distressing of the downwardly projecting nipple so that the cross-section of the downwardly projecting nipple is no longer circular, but is instead oval in shape. Flattening out this nipple narrows the outlet opening of the paint ball reservoir and may inhibit the free downward gravitation of paint balls from the paint ball reservoir into the breach.

[0005] Secondly, if the paint ball reservoir outlet nipple is not rigidly clamped (so as to minimize problems with the “flattening out” of the nipple opening), the paint ball reservoir may not be rigidly retained on the paint ball gun.

[0006] It is therefore typical for users of paint ball guns to retain paint ball reservoirs on the connection nipple using duct tape or other artificial means. The use of duct tape, however, makes it difficult and awkward to replace paint ball reservoirs in the field under competitive conditions.

[0007] Accordingly, there is a need for an improved paint ball reservoir connection system which is relatively inexpensive and easy to use, but which avoids the aforementioned problems in the prior art.

SUMMARY

[0008] The invention satisfies this need. The invention is a paint ball gun having a reservoir connector for connecting a paint ball reservoir to a paint ball gun, wherein the paint ball reservoir has a downwardly directed reservoir nipple. The reservoir connector comprises (a) a connector nipple having a sufficient interior diameter to allow the serial passage of paint balls through the connector nipple one at a time, and (b) a clamp disposed on the upper end of the connector nipple. A stiffener insert is inserted into the reservoir nipple. The paint ball reservoir is attached to the paint ball gun using the clamp to attach to the reservoir nipple.

[0009] The use of the stiffener insert within the connector nipple has been found to effectively prevent the “flattening out” the reservoir nipple when the paint ball reservoir is clamped to the paint ball gun.

DRAWINGS

[0010] These features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following description, appended claims and accompanying figures where:

[0011] FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a paint ball gun having features of the invention.

[0012] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the paint ball gun from FIG. 1, this view showing each of the elements fully assembled;

[0013] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional end view of the paint ball gun illustrated in FIG. 2, taken along line 3-3;

[0014] FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of a second paint ball gun having features of the invention;

[0015] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the paint ball gun from FIG. 4, this view showing each of the elements fully assembled; and

[0016] FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional end view of the paint ball gun illustrated in FIG. 5, taken along line 6-6.;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0017] The following discussion describes in detail one embodiment of the invention and several variations of that embodiment. This discussion should not be construed, however, as limiting the invention to those particular embodiments. Practitioners skilled in the art will recognize numerous other embodiments as well.

[0018] The invention is a paint ball gun 10. The paint ball gun 10 comprises a reservoir connector 12 for connecting a paint ball reservoir 14 to the paint ball gun barrel 16. The paint ball reservoir 14 comprises a downwardly directed reservoir nipple 18. The reservoir nipple 18 has an outside diameter between about ¾ inches and about 2 inches, most typically between about ⅞ inches and about 1⅛ inches. In the invention, a stiffener insert 20 is disposed within the reservoir nipple 18.

[0019] The reservoir connector 12 comprises a connector nipple 22 having a lower end 24 and an upper end 26. The lower end 24 is adapted for attachment to the upper portion 28 of a paint ball gun barrel 16, such that the lower end 24 of the connector nipple 22 is in communication with the breach chamber 30 of the paint ball gun 10. The lower end 24 of the connector nipple 22 can be attached to the upper portion 28 of the paint ball gun barrel 16 by any suitable connection method, such as by welded, threaded, snap-on or press-fit connection.

[0020] The connector nipple 22 typically has an inside diameter which is between about {fraction (11/16)} inches and about ¾ inches, so as to be suitable for allowing the gravitation of paint balls from the paint ball reservoir 14 into the breach chamber 30.

[0021] The connector nipple 22 is typically made from a metal, such as from an aluminum alloy or steel. The connector nipple 22 can also be made from other suitable materials, such as from a suitable rigid plastic material.

[0022] At the upper end 26 of the connector nipple 22 has a clamp for reversibly attaching and deattaching the paint ball reservoir 14 to the paint ball gun barrel 16. In FIGS. 4-6, the clamp 32 comprises an intermediate section 34 having opposed attachment ends 36. The upper attachment end 36a clamps around the reservoir nipple 18 and the lower attachment end clamps 36b around the connector nipple 22.

[0023] In FIGS. 1-3, the clamp 32 is provided by a collet 38 attached to the upper end 26 of the connector nipple 22. The collet 38 has a base 40 which is externally threaded. The base 40 has a plurality of radially spaced-apart longitudinally slits 42 which allow the uppermost portion 44 of the base 40 to be squeezed inwardly.

[0024] The collet 38 also comprises a nut 46 internally threaded with tapered threads. The internal structure of the nut 46 is adapted to cooperate with the external structure of the base 40, so that, when the nut 46 is threadedly disposed on the base 40 and the nut 46 is tightened down onto the base 40, the nut 46 acts to compress the uppermost portion 44 of the base 40 inwardly. By this action, the uppermost portion 44 of the base 40 is uniformly reduced in internal diameter.

[0025] The internal diameter of the base 40 is typically between about 1 inch and about 1⅛ inches when the nut 46 is not attached to the base 40. After the nut 46 is attached to the base 40 and the nut 46 is tightened down on the base 40, the internal diameter of the upper portion 44 of the base 40 can be reduced by between about {fraction (1/16)} inches and about ⅛ inches.

[0026] This embodiment of the invention can be conveniently used to attach a paint ball gun reservoir 14 to a paint ball gun barrel 16 as follows. The reservoir nipple 18 is first placed into the base 40 of the collet 38 while the nut 46 is loosely disposed about the base 40. After the reservoir nipple 18 is disposed within the base 40, the nut 46 is tightened down onto the base 40. By this action, the internal diameter of the upper portion 44 of the base 40 is reduced, thereby uniformly clamping down around the reservoir nipple 18. The reservoir nipple 18 is rigidly retained by the collet 38 with minimum tendency for the reservoir nipple 18 to “flatten out.”

[0027] The tendency of the reservoir nipple 18 to “flatten out” is further reduced by the use of the stiffener insert 20. The stiffener insert 20 is made of a material having greater stiffness than the lowermost portion of the reservoir nipple 18. The stiffener insert 20 typically comprises an elongate tubular portion 48 and an end flange 50. The tubular portion 48 typically has a circular cross-section with an outside diameter chosen to substantially match the inside diameter of the reservoir nipple 18. The end flange 50, on the other hand, has an outside diameter which is greater than the inside diameter of the reservoir nipple 18. By this design, the stiffener insert 20 nests within the distal-most portion 52 of the reservoir nipple 18, with the end flange 50 preventing the stiffener insert 20 from sliding up into the paint ball reservoir 14.

[0028] The stiffener insert 20 is typically press-fit into the reservoir nipple 18 before the reservoir nipple 18 is disposed within the clamp 32.

[0029] The stiffener insert 20 is typically made from a lightweight metal, such as an aluminum alloy. Other metals, such as steel, can also be used. Also, other suitably stiff materials, such as a stiff plastic material, can be used.

[0030] Having thus described the invention, it should be apparent that numerous structural modifications and adaptations may be resorted to without departing from the scope and fair meaning of the instant invention as set forth hereinabove and as described hereinbelow by the claims.