Title:
Grip for firearm and method of manufacture therefor
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A grip for a weapon accessory rail, in which the grip is latched into any position on the accessory rail by a plastic compression latch which is inserted through the side of the grip, and is designed to be removed with the aid of a cartridge, or alternatively by a user depressing a button on the latch through a hole in the grip. The grip is manufactured by overmolding, allowing a variety of textures to be formed thereon, and allowing the material of the overmolded part to be selected for maximum grip, whilst the material of the core of the grip can be selected for maximum strength.



Inventors:
Luke, David E. (Fort Pierce, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/262979
Publication Date:
04/08/2004
Filing Date:
10/03/2002
Assignee:
LUKE DAVID E.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
42/90
International Classes:
F41C23/16; (IPC1-7): F41C23/00; F41C23/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20100011649Stabilizing device mount and methodJanuary, 2010Holmberg
20090241400SIGHT APPARATUS FOR USE WITH FIREARMSOctober, 2009Stumpp
20060137234Sighting system and method of using thereofJune, 2006Castagnozzi
20100000138FIREARM HAVING AN EXPULSION DEVICEJanuary, 2010Brown
20080047459Electric dissuaderFebruary, 2008Novelli
20030051597Area denialMarch, 2003O'dwyer
20080010891MULTIPLE NOMOGRAPH SYSTEMS FOR USE IN SOLVING RANGING & BALLISTIC PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH FIREARMSJanuary, 2008Cole
20060168868GunstockAugust, 2006Phillips



Primary Examiner:
CLEMENT, MICHELLE RENEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALUN L. PALMER, PATENT AGENT (WALDORF, MD, US)
Claims:

What is desired to be claimed in Letters Patent is:



1. A latch bar for retaining an accessory on an accessory rail of a firearm, comprising: a proximal end, a central portion and a distal end; said latch bar configured to be inserted in a lateral aperture in said accessory; wherein: said central portion is compressed against said rail when said accessory is mounted on said rail and said latch bar is inserted in said lateral aperture in said accessory.

2. The latch bar according to claim 1, wherein: said latch bar comprises thermoplastic material.

3. The latch bar according to claim 1, wherein: said proximal end is provided with a detent; whereby said latch bar is withdrawn from said lateral aperture in said accessory by applying a force to said detent.

4. The latch bar according to claim 3, wherein: said detent is a resiliently biased button; and said accessory is provided with a vertical aperture; said latch bar disengaged from said lateral aperture in said accessory by applying said force to said detent through said vertical aperture in said accessory.

5. The latch bar according to claim 3, wherein: said detent is a resiliently biased stop; said accessory is provided with at least one slot; and said stop in said latch bar engaging said slot in said accessory to retain said latch bar in said accessory.

6. The latch bar according to claim 1, wherein: said accessory is a grip for supporting said firearm.

7. The latch bar according to claim 6, wherein: said latch bar comprises thermoplastic material.

8. The latch bar according to claim 7, wherein: said proximal end is provided with a detent; whereby said latch bar is withdrawn from said lateral aperture in said accessory by applying a force to said detent.

9. The latch bar according to claim 8, wherein: said detent is a resiliently biased button; and said accessory is provided with a vertical aperture; said latch bar disengaged from said lateral aperture in said accessory by applying said force to said detent through said vertical aperture in said accessory.

10. The latch bar according to claim 8, wherein: said detent is a resiliently biased stop; said accessory is provided with at least one slot; and said stop in said latch bar engaging said slot in said accessory to retain said latch bar in said accessory.

11. A grip for mounting on an accessory rail of a firearm, comprising: a core configured to engage said accessory rail; and an overmolding formed upon said core.

12. The grip according to claim 11, wherein: said core comprises a glass-filled polymer; and said overmolding comprises a thermoplastic that is softer than said glass-filled polymer.

13. The grip according to claim 12, wherein: said glass-filled polymer comprises a material selected from the group consisting of: nylon 66, nylon 666, polystyrene, and polypropylene.

14. The grip according to claim 12, wherein: said overmolding comprises a textured pattern comprising raised portions.

15. The grip according to claim 14, wherein: said raised portions comprise shapes of the letter L and the number 7; said letter L and said number 7 being arranged as inverted mirror images of each other.

16. The grip according to claim 11, further comprising: a lateral aperture provided in said grip for receiving a latch bar.

17. The grip according to claim 16, further comprising: a vertical aperture provided in said grip for receiving a release button.

18. The grip according to claim 16, wherein: said grip comprises two ends; and a center of said lateral aperture is located at least 0.25 inches from a nearest end of said grip.

19. The grip according to claim 18, wherein: said center of said lateral aperture is located 0.9 to 1.0 inches from said nearest end of said grip.

20. A method of making a grip for mounting on an accessory rail of a firearm, comprising the steps of: forming a core of a first material, configured to engage said accessory rail; and forming an overmolding of a second material upon an upper surface of said core.

21. The method according to claim 20, wherein: said first material comprises a glass-filed polymer; and said second material is softer than said first material.

22. The method according to claim 21, wherein: said glass-filled polymer comprises a material selected from the group consisting of: nylon 66, nylon 666, polystyrene, and polypropylene.

23. The method according to claim 20, wherein: said overmolding comprises a textured pattern comprising raised portions.

24. The method according to claim 23, wherein: said raised portions comprise shapes of the letter L and the number 7; said letter L and said number 7 being arranged as inverted mirror images of each other.

25. The method according to claim 20, further comprising the step of: before forming said overmolding of said second material upon said upper surface of said core, forming at least one indentation in said upper surface of said core; whereby said at least one indentation becomes filled with said second material and provides increased strength in a joint between said overmolding and said core.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to grips for firearms and a method of manufacture therefor. More particularly: the invention relates to grips mounting on a standard rail system on a firearm, to a latch therefor, and to a method of manufacture using overmolding.

[0003] 2. Discussion of the Background

[0004] It is well known in the art to mount accessories such as sights, scopes, bayonets or grenade launchers on to an accessory rail on a firearm. Grips for mounting on accessory rails are also known in the art. However, the known grips exhibit several difficulties or problems therein.

[0005] One such problem is that the latch that is used to retain the grips onto the weapon rail tends to rattle. This occurs due to the wide variation in tolerances between the grip and the rail, and because both the common type of latch and the rail are made of metal. This can be a serious problem in combat situations where stealth may be required. It is important not to underestimate the great importance of the advantage of surprise in many such situations.

[0006] A further disadvantage of the latch as used in the background art is that a great deal of force has to be exerted in a direction towards the barrel or stock of the weapon in order to disengage the latch. Given that time is of the essence in combat situations, and that combat is likely to give rise to fatigue, this can render it difficult or impossible, or at least too slow, to change accessories in combat situations.

[0007] A further disadvantage of currently available grips is that they can only be mounted at an end of the accessory rail, and not at another desired position. This further complicates the task of changing accessories, and restricts the choice of where the accessories may be mounted.

[0008] Further, grips known in the background art may only being mounted on an accessory rail that has an undercut in an end of the rail. Not all accessory rails known in the art are provided with a suitable undercut, even if the rails comply with the accepted standard.

[0009] A further disadvantage of existing grips is that the surface tends to be slippery and lacks sufficient grip. This arises due to the need to compromise in the composition of the grip between the need for sufficient strength to resist breakage and suitable surface properties for maximum grip that could be obtained with a softer material.

[0010] Further, existing grips known in the background art have the latch mounted too close to the end of the grip, thereby weakening the structure of the grip. This is related to the need to mount the grip at an end of the rail.

[0011] These and other difficulties of the background art are believed to be overcome by the present invention, as will be further discussed below.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0012] The present invention provides for a grip for a weapon accessory rail, in which the grip is latched into any position on the rail by a plastic compression latch which may be inserted through the side of the grip, and is designed to be removed with the aid of a cartridge.

[0013] Further, the grip of the present invention is manufactured by overmolding, allowing a variety of textures to be formed thereon, and allowing the material of the overmolded part to be selected for maximum grip, whilst the material of the core of the grip can be selected for maximum strength.

[0014] Further, use of glass filled materials including nylon 66, nylon 666, polystyrene, polypropylene or the like provides enhanced strength in the grip.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] The invention will now be further described with reference to the drawings, in which like numerals designate like elements.

[0016] FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a grip according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, when viewed from above.

[0017] FIG. 2 is a plan view of a grip according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0018] FIG. 3 is an isometric view of a grip according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, when viewed from below.

[0019] FIG. 4 is an end view of a grip according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0020] FIG. 5 is an isometric view of an overmolding of a grip according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0021] FIG. 6 is an isometric view of a latch bar according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0022] FIG. 7 is an end view of an accessory rail according to the background art.

[0023] FIG. 8 is a side view of an accessory rail according to the background art.

[0024] FIG. 9 is a side view of a firearm having a multiple accessory rail system according to the background art.

[0025] FIG. 10 is a view of a grip according to the background art mounted on a multiple accessory rail system similar to that of FIG. 9.

[0026] FIG. 11(A) is a plan view of a grip according to the background art, shown in greater detail.

[0027] FIG. 11(B) is a side view of a latch clip according to the background art.

[0028] FIG. 12 is an end view of a grip according to the background art.

[0029] FIG. 13 is an isometric view of a latch bar according to another preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0030] FIG. 14 is an isometric view of a latch bar according to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0031] FIG. 15 is an isometric view of a grip according to the embodiment of FIG. 14.

[0032] FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view of the grip of FIG. 15 with the latch bar of FIG. 14 inserted therein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0033] An accessory rail system for firearms is defined by the 1913 Piccatinny Rail standard FIGS. 7 and 8 show an accessory rail 700 according to this standard, with various dimensions shown thereon. The dimension ‘a’ in FIG. 8 is defined as 0.394 inches, and is equal to the pitch between any two adjacent slots 725 or between any two adjacent teeth 750 of the 1913 rail 700.

[0034] FIG. 9 shows a partial view of a firearm 900, upon which is mounted a multiple accessory rail system 950 including a number of accessory rails 700. FIG. 10 shows a similar view, in which a grip 1000 having a latch clip 1010 is mounted upon one of the accessory rails 700. FIGS. 11(A), and 12 show the grip 1000 of the background art in more detail, and FIG. 11(B) shows the latch clip of the background art.

[0035] The grip 1000 is retained in a slot 725 between teeth 750 on the accessory rail 700 by means of the latch 1010. In the background art grip 1000 the latch clip 1010 is in the form of a C-shaped metal clip inserted through holes 1030 in the grip 1000. To disengage the latch clip 1010 from the rail 700, the user must push in the center of the latch clip 1010. This requires considerable force. In addition, due to manufacturing tolerances both in the accessory rail 700 and the latch clip 1010, which are both made of metal, movement occurs between the rail 700 and the latch clip 1010, leading to a rattling noise as previously discussed.

[0036] The background art grip 1000 is conventionally formed in a single molding step. The composition of material from which the grip 1000 is molded must therefore be a compromise between strength and surface properties. Typically, in order to achieve sufficient strength, the surface of the grip 1000 is normally hard and relatively shiny, leading to insufficient gripping properties. In addition, the typical arrangement of ribs 1020 is not optimized for maximum gripping properties.

[0037] A grip 100 according to a preferred embodiment of the invention is shown in several views in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4. The grip 100 includes a core 120 and a molding 110 thereon. A texture 130 is formed on overmolding 110. The latch includes a proximal end 150, a central portion 160 and a distal end 140, and is inserted through the side of the grip 100 and the latch bar grips in place between teeth 750 of accessory rail 700 by compression.

[0038] The grip 100 is constructed from a core 120 and an overmolding 110, thereby allowing the optimum selection of materials. In other words, the core 120 can be selected from materials having a high degree of strength, such as glass-filled thermoplastics, for example nylon 66, nylon 666, polystyrene, polypropylene, etc. The overmolding 110, on the other hand, can be formed from a softer thermoplastic, which is not glass-filled, and is therefore more malleable and provides better grip. In the case where the material used for the overmolding 110 is incompatible with that used for the core 120, i.e. where they do not adhere to one another, the two parts may be retained together by additional mechanical means. The additional mechanical means may take the form of holes (not shown) formed part way through the core. These holes then automatically become filled with the overmolding material when the overmolding 110 is formed on the core 120. It will be appreciated by one skilled in the art that other mechanical means for joining the core 120 and the overmolding 110 may be employed without departing from the scope of the invention.

[0039] The strength of the grip 100 of the preferred embodiment is also enhanced by locating the aperture 170 for the latch bar 600 further away from the nearest end of the grip 100 by an amount substantially equal to twice the pitch ‘a’, or 2×0.394 inches, relative to the distance that the latch clip 1010 is located from the end of the grip 1000 in the background art. The latch clip 1010 in the background art as discussed herein is spaced about 0.1 inches from one end of the grip 1000, and is about 0.1 inches wide, i.e. the clip 1010 is centered about 0.15 inches from the nearest end of the grip 1000. In other words, the latch bar 600, and therefore the aperture 170 into which it fits, should be centered around 0.95 inches from the nearest end of the grip 100 in the present invention. It will be appreciated by one skilled in the art that the benefits of increasing this distance may be at least partly realized provided that the aperture 170 is centered at least 0.25 inches from the nearest end of grip 100, although a value of 0.9-1.0 inches may be preferred.

[0040] Forming the grip 100 from a core 120 and an overmolding 110 also enables the shape of the texture 130 to be selectively changed by changing only the overmolding 110 without changing the mold used to produce the core 120. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the texture 130 is as shown in the drawings, having the form of a so-called ‘L7’ pattern. Applicant has observed that the ‘L7’ pattern provides better gripping properties than, for example, the ribs 1020 on the grip 1000 of the background art. FIG. 5 shows the overmolding 110 by itself, showing the texture 130 and an aperture 170 through which the latch bar would be inserted.

[0041] FIG. 6 shows a latch bar 600 according to a preferred embodiment of the invention. The latch bar is configured to be inserted through the side of the grip 100, as can most clearly be seen with reference to FIG. 3. In use, the central portion 160 of the latch bar is a compression fit on the accessory rail 700. The proximal end 150 of the latch bar is provided with a detent 180 so that the user of the firearm can remove the latch bar from grip 100 by using an ammunition cartridge (not shown).

[0042] The latch bar 600 disclosed in the above embodiment of the invention overcomes the difficulties of the latch clip 1010 of the background art in that the latch bar 600 of the invention provides compression rather than tension latching and employs no metal parts that can give rise to rattling or other noises that can impede stealth attacks.

[0043] The detent on the latch bar may be in the form of a catch barb or hook as in the above embodiment, or in an alternative embodiment the latch bar may be retained in the grip 100 by a button and hole combination. That is, the latch bar may be provided with a button that passes through a vertical aperture (not shown) provided in the grip 100, so that when a user depresses the button the latch bar is released from the grip 100. A latch bar 1300 according to this alternative embodiment is shown in FIG. 13, and is provided with a button 1380 and a spring means (not shown) for biasing the button 1380. The button 1380 may be dome-shaped, generally as shown, but this is not critical to it's operation. The latch bar 1300 is also provided with an enlarged step portion 1350 at the proximal end thereof to prevent the latch bar 1300 from being pushed too far into the grip 100.

[0044] In another alternative embodiment of the invention, as shown in FIGS. 14, 15 and 16, the latch bar 1400 is provided with an enlarged step portion 1450 at the proximal end thereof, and a resilient stop 1480. The resilient stop 1480 cooperates with slot 1575 on grip 1500 to retain the latch bar 1400 in place in grip 1500 unless sufficient lateral force is exerted to overcome it, and step portion 1450 prevents the latch bar 1400 from being pushed too far into the grip 1500.

[0045] It will be appreciated by one skilled in the art that numerous variations and modifications are possible, and that the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically disclosed herein, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.