Title:
Postural arm grip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A posture grip referring to a grip configuration to be used in arms and, more specifically, in arms of predominantly manual support and/or function, such as revolvers, pistols, carbines, rifles, etc. Such a grip incorporates known scientific knowledge of orthopedic medicine and concepts such as “functional position,” “precision grip,” “opposition,” and “awkward position,” in referring to the precise position that a user's hand and forearm assume during use.



Inventors:
Segalle, Julio Abel (Sao Paulo, BR)
Application Number:
10/421442
Publication Date:
06/10/2004
Filing Date:
04/23/2003
Assignee:
SEGALLE JULIO ABEL
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41C23/10; F41C23/16; (IPC1-7): F41C23/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, TROY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GOTTLIEB RACKMAN & REISMAN PC (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An asymmetrical grip, for use in arms comprising: Four channels in a finger configuration for supporting the index, middle, ring and pinky fingers of a right or left hand; An upper extreme; One additional channel for supporting a thumb located at or near said upper extreme of said grip, wherein said four channels are slightly divergent; and further wherein said grip has at least one lateral curve; and still further wherein said additional channel is located generally opposite said four channels.

2. The grip of claim 1 wherein said grip is constructed from rigid or elastic materials.

3. The grip of claim 2 wherein said materials comprise wood, resin, plastic or silicon.

4. The grip of claim 1 wherein said grip is textured to prevent or hinder slippage of the grip from a hand.

5. The grip of claim 1 wherein each of said four channels has an incline.

6. The grip of claim 5 wherein said incline proceeds from the rear to the front and from the top to the bottom of the grip.

7. The grip of claim 1 further comprising a posterior face wherein said four channels blend into the grip at or near said posterior face of the grip.

8. The grip of claim 1 wherein said upper extreme is adapted to be secured to the body of a arm.

9. The grip of claim 1 wherein said upper extreme forms a triangular area.

10. The grip of claim 9 wherein said upper extreme has a slope which proceeds from the back to the front and from the outside to the inside when proceeding around the periphery of the grip.

11. The grip of claim 1 further comprising a lower extreme that is adapted to be secured to the body of a arm.

12. The grip of claim 1 further comprising a lower extreme that is adapted for the placement of cartridges for use in the arm.

13. The grip of claim 1 molded in the form of a covering that is adapted for application to or over other conventional arm grips.

14. A grip, for use in arms comprising: A first and second set of four channels in a finger configuration for supporting the fingers of a right or left hand; wherein said first and second set are generally opposite one another such that a symmetrical shape is formed; further wherein the channels of said first and second set are slightly divergent.

15. The grip of claim 14 further comprising a posterior face wherein said channels blend into the grip at or near the posterior face of the grip.

16. The grip of claim 14 further comprising a posterior face, wherein the shape towards the bottom of said face possesses the shape of a cupola.

17. The grip of claim 14 further comprising an anterior face wherein said first and second set of channels correspond and continue into one another.

18. The grip of claim 14 wherein said grip is constructed from rigid or elastic materials.

19. The grip of claim 14 wherein said grip is textured to prevent or hinder slippage of the grip from a hand.

20. A grip, for use in arms comprising: An inside lateral, an outside lateral, an upper extreme, a lower extreme, an anterior face and a posterior face, wherein the inside lateral has (i) an upper portion with channel that is inclined from the top to the bottom and from the rear to the fore; (ii) a middle portion that is generally convex in every direction, blending forward in continuity with the support surfaces for the middle and ring finger; (iii) a lower portion having two concave surfaces used for supporting a thenar eminence and a hypothenar eminence of a hand and the hypothenar eminence of the complementary hand; wherein the outside lateral has (i) an anterior portion having slightly diverging concave channels with a rear to forward and top to bottom inclination, said channels are used for lodging fingers of a hand, and said channels blend in continuity with said anterior face, and have a slightly convex configuration; (ii) a posterior portion that continues from said anterior portion, having said channels ending towards the rear of said grip where it blends into said posterior face; wherein said upper extreme has (i) a triangular area with rounded sides that allow for the support of a thumb and index finger when the thumb is semi-flexed and the index finger is in slight flexion, the pulp of these thumb and index finger face each other, presenting a smooth inclination from the rear to the front and from the outside to the inside when proceeding around the periphery of the grip; and (ii) may be attached to the body of the arm when said grip is not attached to a arm at the lower extreme; wherein said lower extreme (i) is slightly convex and inclined from the front to the rear and from the bottom to the top of the grip; (ii) may be attached to the body of the arm when said grip is not attached to a arm at the upper extreme; (iii) may optionally have an opening for cartridge replacement; wherein the anterior face (i) has slightly diverging concave channels inclined from the outside to the inside proceeding around the periphery of the grip and from the top to the bottom which are used to lodge the fingers of a hand; and (ii) has an inclination, in relation to the horizon, between 10 and 30 degrees. The antero-posterior inclination is between 50 and 80 degrees; and wherein said posterior face (i) has a upper portion with two curves; convex lateral-lateral and support the thenar eminence; (ii) has an inferior portion for support of the hypothenar eminence.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

[0001] The present invention refers to a grip configuration for use in the field of arms, and, more specifically, grips of arms which predominantly function and are supported manually, such as revolvers, pistols, rifles, machine guns, etc. More particularly, this invention involves a grip design based on scientific principles within the field of orthopedics, including the following concepts: “functional position”, “precision/strength grip”, “opposition”, “double grip concept”, “hollow of the hand” or “power grip”, “transversal axis of the palm of the hand”, “carpal tunnel pressure”, “awkward position”, “palmar pads” etc.—all of them leading to an improved posture grip concept, which describes the ideal position which arms and forearms should assume during the use of arms.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Thanks to the technological progress in various fields, especially in the field of science of materials, many enhancements to mechanisms and instruments have been achieved and consequently, the performance of arms has improved.

[0003] Nevertheless, the general basis upon which the construction and arrangement of arm grips are designed have generally remained since the time when arms were the products of painstaking handcraft up until the present.

[0004] The following examples of arms have been extracted from the book Guns by Frederick Wilkinson, The Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd., 1970 (largely illustrated by Michael Shoe Bridge), and demonstrate both grip design of arms and the postures adopted by their users:

[0005] Muskets or magazine-rifles of the late 17th Century; harquebus of the late 15th Century; English blunderbuss of 1780; Pennsylvania rifles used in the United States War of Independence; the famous Winchester rifle of the late 1800s and more recent arms, such as the Russian AK47 and the United States M14/AR10. These arms are nearly equivalent both in the external shape of their grips and in the postures assumed by their users.

[0006] Smaller arms, including revolvers of the early 19th Century like the 1847 Colt Walker, the 1853 Tranter and the Smith & Wesson, have grips very similar to most products of recent generations. Additionally, Webley's British Bulldog, an English revolver, possesses a grip that may be considered a pioneer of contemporary grips, both in terms of the external shape of the grip and, as a consequence, the postures in which a user's hands and arms are forced to work and assume during use.

[0007] In pistols, the similarity both in shape and spatial positioning of the grips is quite evident in arms such as the 1908 Luger or the Browning of the 1900s, as well as the more recent and sophisticated pistols, even though the latter are clearly more powerful.

[0008] In machine guns, whether light or heavy, it is easy to notice that both a 1920's Thompson and a World War II German sub-machine gun are similar in their grips to the more recent Uzi or Taurus-Famae arms.

[0009] Generally, concepts pertaining to ergonomics are based upon the cushioning of elastic materials with the underlying intention of improving the adaptation of grips to the hand. Up until the present, there has been no shape which has demonstrated all the qualities that are desirable in a grip. Rather, all accomplishments in this field have generally been limited to the softening or smoothing of known shapes to the hand. Understandably, scientifically and orthopedically speaking, these developments have remained inadequate.

[0010] Prior art involving various shapes of arm grips, include:

[0011] a) U.S. Pat. No. D349,938: “Sleeve for a Pistol Grip” by Patrick L. Hogue, August 1994, which presents an external shape similar to that of former grips and is distinguished by the existence of “anti-slip” sides on the external sides of the sleeve;

[0012] b) U.S. Pat. No. 4,043,066: “Pistol Grip” by Pachmayr, et al., October 1977, in which sides composed of elastomeric material are added to the typical grip shape;

[0013] c) U.S. Pat. No. 4,199,887: “One Piece Hand Grip for Pistol” by Guy Hogue, April 1980, which also pertains to elastic cushioning of a common grip;

[0014] d) U.S. Pat. No. 5,621,997: “Handgun Grip Enhancer” by R. Lane Pierce, April 1997, which relates to a lateral and anterior covering and forward firing rest made from elastomeric material;

[0015] e) U.S. Pat. No. 5,857,279: “Ergonomically Deformable Grip for Special Use in Arms” by Oliveira Masina, January 1999, which presents an original constructive-structure concept when compared to former grips, having parallel projections made from elastometric material. However, the described basic shape of this grip is almost identical to that of the English Webley's British Bulldog from the early 19th Century;

[0016] f) U.S. Pat. No. D260,799: “Gun Grip” by John E. Bianchi, September 1981, which presents a slightly more accentuated digital indentations having a remaining configuration that is similar to standard grips;

[0017] g) U.S. Pat. No. D335,698: “Handgun Grip” by William F. Left, Jr., May 1993, which presents a basically quadrangular section, having slight convexities and deeper grooves to fit fingers. The remaining characteristics of the grip are generally the same; and

[0018] h) U.S. Pat. No. D410,988: “Rifle Grip” by Steve Hines, from June 1999, basically vertical, having parallel sides with indented finger grooves similar to well-known grips.

[0019] A detailed analysis of known grips shows that the same characteristics are generally present, more or less, in every grip. Therefore, we shall study separately each of the general characteristics of known grips—instead of studying each grip individually—since the results of such analyses will not vary from one to the other.

[0020] Furthermore, the study of the inventive grip will follow the same pattern in terms of its composing elements and the functional consequences of each. This will provide a more straightforward comparison of the inventive grip's differences and its benefits when compared to former prior art grips.

[0021] For a better understanding, the constituent parts of known grips will be divided into the following segments: two sides (left and right); two borders (anterior and posterior); and two ends (upper, which typically blends into the rest of the arm, and lower or base, which can also be used as a complementary support for the other hand).

[0022] These constituent parts of known grips are now analyzed individually below.

[0023] Sides

[0024] The sides of prior grips are essentially parallel or otherwise have a slight and insufficient external convexity. The consequences of these characteristics are:

[0025] a) Exaggerated separation of the thumb's pad and those of the other fingers, thus impeding the precision grip, making opposition impossible;

[0026] b) Exaggerated opening of every metacarpophalangeal angle, and destruction of the hand's anatomic transversal arches, thus destroying the power grip, which is a structure that should be preserved at all costs in adequate hand function; and

[0027] c) Destruction of the oblique arches of opposition between the thumb and the other fingers.

[0028] Generally, symmetric sides are employed in order to allow the use of either hand to grip the arm, or for greater ease in the construction of the grip. This results in anatomic support for only one half of the hand. Vertical sides force the hand, arm and forearm to be positioned vertically or 90° with respect to the horizon. Exaggerated supination of the relevant muscles forces pronator muscles to search for postural equilibrium. Since these are more powerful than the supinator muscles, a greater effort is required from a shooter in order to provide steady support of the arm and keep it on target. Criminals know this phenomena well and have learned to shoot their arms in pronation angles more similar to that of the posture grip. This allows more intensive use with much reduced or no effort in comparison to the former grip, but with lesser precision since, in this situation, one may not aim with the help of a target sight because manufacturers have not configured the sight to be used in this type of position.

[0029] Sides which are insufficiently inclined in the forward direction, such as in revolvers, sub-machine guns, and exceedingly inclined in long arms, such as carbines and rifles, have the consequence of forcing the posture of the main hand with respect to the forearm outside the limits of the functional position. Accordingly, in short arms, this suppresses the correct ulnar deviation, and in the long arms, it exaggerates the ulnar deviation to the limits of the range of joint movement, which forces the forearm, elbow and consequently the arm and shoulder, which are amazing for their exaggeration limits on their respective ranges of motion, to assume awkward positions.

[0030] Borders

[0031] The anterior and posterior borders, being excessively acute (closed) and almost vertical, produce the following consequences:

[0032] a) With respect to the anterior border, a “hook grip” is formed. This shape is inadequate for the use of tools which require an increased degree of control.

[0033] b) With respect to the posterior border, which is of primary importance in the interaction of the arm and the hand, there is a lack of adequate support for the hypothenar eminence (which is the main cushioned structure of the hand that is furnished with muscle and the enervation of highly specialized strength tasks). As a result, the hypothenar eminence is replaced in its fundamental function by the thenar eminence, which, unlike the former, is a non-cushioned muscular structure which has evolved for use with more compatible “precision” functions. Thus, in the context of known grips, the thenar eminence is required to support sudden attacks produced by the “kickback” of the arm even though the thenar eminence is not equipped either anatomically or functionally for this purpose.

[0034] Further, when finger-fitting depressions are present in these areas they are typically parallel, disposed in a rectilinear base and their general disposition is horizontal. Consequently, they:

[0035] a) Impede the hemispherical disposition of the fingers;

[0036] b) Complicate the adaptation of fingers having varying degrees of thickness; and

[0037] c) Impede the opening of the fingers in a fan-like form, which is a natural characteristic of the fingers when in function, thus diminishing their use area and the quality of support and precision.

[0038] Ends

[0039] The ends of short or light arms, being plain and in general having acute borders and/or limits, result in the lack of complementary support (i.e., wherein the non-firing hand overlaps in order to help provide stability and support). Accordingly, stability and support are accomplished with great inconvenience and the ends are subject to support impact even though they lack adequate anatomical areas.

[0040] The lack of varying anatomic-functional supports for the primary hand result in:

[0041] a) Incongruity between form and function;

[0042] b) Damaging, injurious or awkward positions; and

[0043] c) Incomplete grip contact with the palmar surface of the hand, generating insufficient sensitivity and reduced positional and sliding control.

[0044] Additionally, in arms having a double grip (sub-gun machines, rifles, carbines, etc.), there is a lack of adequate anatomic, functional, and positional support for the non-firing hand. In the vast majority of these arms, the solution has been a horizontal structure in the form of a half cylinder with an opening and having transversal corrugate to prevent slipping of the hand along or off of the arm. This has resulted in the following:

[0045] a) Extremely forced supination of the hand, wrist and forearm;

[0046] b) Extremely forced extension of the hand over the forearm;

[0047] c) Parallelism and retro position of the thumb;

[0048] d) Lack of a “precision grip”; and

[0049] f) Lack of real opposition.

[0050] The hand and forearm are versatile tools that are highly adaptable to multiple working conditions. Perhaps, this explains why, despite the considerable number of inconveniences, from an orthopedic standpoint, the use and design of arm grips have not undergone major changes over time.

[0051] The users, compensating for the aforementioned faults with unnecessary effort, and enduring premature fatigue and awkward positioning, have managed to elicit astonishing performance from arms. However, there is no doubt that these situations are undesirable. It is evident that with adequate tools, a arm's use and effects will be incomparably better.

[0052] It is also necessary to emphasize a fundamental aspect of the state of prior grips with respect to the inventive grip. From a scientific standpoint, the generally unsuitable shapes of known grips fail to offer support for the hand thereby preventing the hand from remaining in what is a recommended functional position. Consequently, active participation is required in order for the hand to support itself and the arm. However, a desirable outcome is aggravated since effort must be effectuated in positions that differ from those recommended based on the field of medical orthopedic knowledge for the use of hand tools. Accordingly, this demands anatomic and functional compensation of intervening muscles and/or joints having the burden of tolerating postural unbalance.

[0053] However, in the inventive grip, hand and forearm realize no efforts, since they are obliged by their predetermined configuration to remain in the functional position and in passive adaptation, with total muscular and joint balance.

[0054] Therefore, it is realized that in former grips the scientific norms are not fulfilled and knowledge, which defines the principles of hand and forearm function vis-à-vis the use of tools, is discarded and disregarded. These principles relating to the relevant region of the body are as follows:

[0055] A) Thumb and fingers of the hand—There is no “precision grip;” awkward positions in the interphalangeal angles; awkward positions in the metacarpophalangeal joints and absence of “real opposition”;

[0056] B) Hand and wrists—the power grip is disregarded; the metacarpophalangeal-axial angle of 75% is not respected; the angle of ulnar deviation (from 5 to 10°) is not considered; the extension angle of the wrist (from 10 to 20°) is disregarded. The support area for the hand is insufficient.

[0057] C) Forearm—the functional angle with respect to the hand (of 45°) is ignored; and

[0058] D) Elbows, arms and shoulders—these parts of the body are obliged to follow the aforementioned postural deviations, since these parts are collectively intertwined considering position, motion and function.

[0059] It also is very important here to clarify the fundamental differences between the following two concepts: ergonomics and orthopedics. The first has been previously mentioned as characteristic of some prior grips, while the latter is the scientific foundation of the present invention.

[0060] Ergonomics is “the applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort.” The American Heritage Talking Dictionary Version 4.0 (B 0921).

[0061] Some ingenious inventors have tried to improve grip use and have conceived various modifications to the conventional grip (sizes, shapes, cushioning, etc.), basically attempting to adapt the pre-existing grip to a user's hand. These products would in due course make the relevant tasks less stressful and bring about possible improvements but would not necessarily perfect these tasks from an orthopedic standpoint. Any change improving the device's use over the original one, no matter how slight, will upgrade a device to the status of “ergonomic.”

[0062] Nevertheless, (in upgrading a device to the status of ergonomic) this does not mean it will be effective, innocuous or comfortable. With previous grip models, the user's hand was required to actively compensate for positions and/or movements due to the lack of ergonomics as well as the feedback which exists between sensory and motor functions. As stated by recognized medical professionals, “If sensory function is impaired, the worker may adopt a more forceful grip, awkward posture, or other compensatory maneuver that can add further injury. It has been demonstrated that fingertip force applied to tools is increased under conditions of diminished sensation . . . Increasing grip force can raise carpal tunnel pressures, worsen median nerve function and accelerate carpal tunnel syndrome.” David M. Rempel. M.D.; Robert J. Harrison, M.D., Scott Barnhardt, M.D. “Work-Related Cumulative Trauma Disorders of the Upper Extremity Special Communication.” The Journal of the American Medical Association, Feb. 12, 1992, Vol. 267; No. 6; p. 838.

[0063] At the other end of the spectrum there is orthopedics, which is “the medical study and skill of treating bones which have not grown correctly or which have been damaged. An orthopedic device is one which helps people who have an injury involving the bones.” Cambridge International Dictionary of English, Cambridge University Press, First published 1995 Reprinted 1995, 1996. According to this definition, the postural grip can be characterized not only as a common grip but also as a medical one designed to avoid dysfunctions and/or deformations of a user's arms and hands. With the postural grip, the user's hand and forearm will not suffer strain of any kind since it will be in a state of passive adaptation and total rest.

[0064] The postural grip was especially designed to fully comply with the premise that the hand and forearm work and/or rest in “the functional position.” The postural grip “forces” both the hand and forearm to adopt the correct posture, as an orthopedic or postural device would normally.

[0065] Thus, it is possible to accept that there are various levels of ergonomics that can be applied in any given device, and any change in the shape of a tool that improved its use is an advancement. However, from an orthopedic point of view, any variant (outside the limits of the middle range) from a prescribed shape, which in this case is the functional position, is an intolerable aberration.

[0066] Accordingly, with each shape, size, inter-constitutive parts, bonds and especially spatial placement (with which a certain grip is configured), there is a corresponding and unavoidable unique and forced posture for utilizing a arm or tool. Such posture will be better or worse depending on how one considers and abides by applicable scientific principles.

[0067] Since the arms with which we are dealing are fundamentally hand tools, their design and construction must respect a series of principles based upon classical and uncontroverted knowledge.

[0068] The following are basic concepts used in this field:

[0069] A) Functional position—In The Hand Vol. 11, Chapter 53, pp. 494-497, Raoul Tubiana M.D., former president of the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand, points out in his book entitled The Hand (considered by many to be the “Bible” of hand surgery) that “few concepts have been more useful in saving injured hands than that of the functional position.”

[0070] The term “functional position” seems to have been used first by Kanavel (1925). This descriptive expression has been employed commonly and the concept it implies has been most useful in the prevention of numerous complications after immobilization of the hand.

[0071] The functional position has also been described by Bunnell (1948) as follows: “The hand at rest assumes a certain position. This is largely the midposition of the range of motion of each and every joint, including the wrist and rotation of the forearm. The muscles are all nicely balanced so that at their normal tone, when at rest, the position called the functional position is assumed . . . The forearm is halfway between pronation and supination. The wrist is in about 20° of dorsiflexion and 10° of ulnar flexion. The fingers are slightly flexed in each of their joints, the index being flexed least and the little finger most. The thumb is forward from the hand in partial opposition and its joints are also partially flexed . . . Each and every ‘functional position’ must endeavor to bring together a number of favorable conditions that are not always compatible with each other.”

[0072] The basis is clear and is not controverted. Years of extensive and worldwide labor-related orthopedic experience have long led to a definitive conclusion: the unique, desirable, non-substitutable, and invariable position for the innocuous use of any manual tool which implies any grade of immobility is “the functional position.”

[0073] “The functional position” is the unique position for the hand and forearm that allows an exact balance of all the muscles involved (i.e., agonistic, antagonistic, extensors, flexors, supinators, pronators, abductors and adductors).

[0074] This position is satisfactory and desirable because it is the only position that will not cause trauma to the underlying organs during the use of a particular member. Further, there is no other position which can surpass the functional position in terms of comfort to the member since there is only one maximum degree of muscular equilibrium in each anatomic structure. Additionally, it is non-substitutable since only a genetic mutation can alter it. Moreover, it is it is invariable because any change, small as it may be, necessarily implies the loss of a positional and/or functional aspect with are both relevant.

[0075] B) Two-Grip Concept (for the Application to Tool-Handle Design):

[0076] Let us examine other particularly relevant concepts by John Napier described in his renowned book Hands.

[0077] An extension of the two-grip concept is its application to the design of tool handles. Most tools and appliances have two ends—the working-end and the handle. The form of both components should be dictated by the nature of the particular operation involved. However, too frequently it seems that inventiveness and ingenuity are concentrated on the working-end while the handle is left to care for itself. The human hand is highly adaptable and can secure a grip on almost any kind of shape, but in order for a tool to reach its maximum efficiency, the handle must also be designed for a specific function.

[0078] It should be a relatively simple matter to design a handle for a single purpose tool. A careful analysis of the intended activity under all sorts of environmental conditions and situations (cold and hot weather, greasy hands, overhead working, etc.) will determine the most effective grip, whether precision or power. Errors of judgment, however, are still only too common.

[0079] Human have passed from tool-users to toolmakers and now, somewhat ironically, back to tool-users again. There are some craftspeople remaining who construct their own tools, but their numbers are few. Tools are no longer personal creations of craftspeople (whose survival once depended on the tool's effectiveness) but are the standardized products of commercial toolmakers. Tools made for the uncritical domestic market are the worst offenders. Shapes of handles are more often chosen for their packaging and their modern design qualities rather than for their functional suitability. Early people in the throes of constructing hand-axes never made that mistake since their lives and livelihood depended on it. John Napier. Hands, Chapter Three, Function of the Hand, Prehensile Patterns and Tool Handle Design, pp. 69-71, Published by Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., 1993.

[0080] C) Opposition:

[0081] Concepts by John Napier, Hands, Chapter Three, Function of the Hand:

[0082] “Perhaps the most important movement of the human hand is opposition . . . Opposition is a movement by which the pulp surface of the thumb is placed squarely in contact with, or diametrically opposite to, the terminal pads of one or all of the remaining digits.” p. 55.

[0083] D) Precision Grip:

[0084] “The precision grip is employed when delicacy of handling and accuracy of instrumentation are essential and power is a secondary consideration” John Napier, Hands, Chapter Three. Function of the Hand. p.62.

[0085] E) Power Grip:

[0086] “Power grip is executed between the surface of the fingers and the palm with the thumb acting as a buttressing and reinforcing agent. In making a fist, power is the only consideration and accuracy does not come into it.” John Napier, Hands, Chapter Three, Function of the Hand, p. 62.

[0087] F) Hook Grip:

[0088] The hook grip is a subsidiary grip that is a function of the flexors of the fingers. Although the hook grip is a prehensile posture, it is not a very important one in the general functioning of the hand.“John Napier, Hands, Chapter Three, Function of the Hand, pp. 62-63.

[0089] G) Palmar Pads:

[0090] “We retain the five apical pads on the ends of the fingers, three interdigital pads, and the hypothenar pad; the thenar pad has disappeared, the pad or mount of the thumb being largely a muscular eminence . . . The hypothenar pad serves to cushion the pressure exerted by the handles of tool and weapons held in a power grip.” John Napier, Hands, Structure of the Hand, pp. 43-44.

[0091] H) Precision and Power Areas:

[0092] “Very broadly speaking, the median nerve is most important for precision and the ulnar nerve for power”, C. B. Wynn Parry, Rehabilitation of the Hand, Fourth Ed., Butterworths Ed., p.31.

[0093] I) Palmar Cup:

[0094] “The skeleton of the hand has a double concavity—transverse and longitudinal—that gives it the shape of a cup with a palmar concavity. It is essential for the grasping function of the hand that these concavities be preserved.” Raoul Tubiana, M.D, The Hand, Vol. 11, Chapter 53, pp. 494-495 (1985).

[0095] “It is essential for the prehensile role of the hand that these curvatures be respected in both their longitudinal and transverse axes”. Raoul Tubiana, M.D, The Hand, Vol. 11, Chapter Four, p. 23, 1985.

[0096] The posture grip is ideally adapted to the palmar cup, in its precise anatomic location, on a longitudinal or transversal axis. The posture grip's central and basic form is a semi-sphere providing relief of the human hand wherein the hand, which is basically curved (hemispheric) and inclined, is properly supported, the fingers remain in slight flexion and the metacarpophalangeal joints are at 45°.

[0097] The basic shape of the postural grip is in direct accordance with the palmar cup. However, the former grips do not have any hemispherical surface to support the power grip.

[0098] J) Transverse Axis of the Hand:

[0099] When the hand is on the postural grip, the metacarpophalangeal joints are at rest in an angle of approximately 75° with respect to the hand axis. “The transverse axis of the palm, which corresponds to the metacarpophalangeal articulations, is not perpendicular to the longitudinal axis, represented by the median radius. Instead this transverse axis is oblique, more distal at the metacarpophalangeal joint of the index finger and more proximal at the fifth metacarpophalangeal joint. Thus it forms an acute angle of approximately 75 degrees with the longitudinal axis.” Raoul Tubiana, MD, The Hand, Vol. 11, Chapter Four, p. 23.

[0100] K) Carpal Tunnel Pressure:

[0101] “Highest mean pressures (55 mm Hg) were recorded in full supination and 90° MP [metacarpophalangeal] flexion and lowest pressures (12 mm Hg) were recorded at 45° pronation and 45° MP flexion . . . The extension/flexion and ulnar/radial deviation postures associated with the lowest carpal tunnel pressure can now be expanded to include a forearm rotation angle near 45° pronation and an metacarpophalangeal joint angle of 45°. This set of postures should be considered during the design of hand-intensive tasks and hand tools in order to minimize carpal tunnel pressure during repetitive activity.” David Rempel, MD, Joel Bach, Ph.D, Richmond, Calif., Leonard Gordon, M.D. and Yuen So, M.D., Ph.D, San Francisco, Calif. “Effects of Forearm Pronation/Supination on Carpal Tunnel Pressure.” Journal of Hand Surgery 1998, 23 A, p. 38.

[0102] The use of all of these concepts as the basis of this invention enabled the achievement of a shape in which the postural grip itself supports the arm and forearm, conforming to the only correct, comfortable and innocuous position for arm use.

[0103] Since the use of arms immobilizes a user's hands and arms to a degree, the principles of medical knowledge upon which these concepts are based must be appreciated.

[0104] Instead of attempting to adapt the pre-existing shapes, a totally new one was created. It is based on the anatomical structure of the hand and forearm and complies with the precision of established orthopedic and anthropological knowledge and modern medical science.

[0105] The postural grip is not a collection of characteristics copied from other grips, but is rather absolutely unique, precise and complete. Deviations from the final shape of the postural grip, and hence from the functional position, would generally invalidate the entire objective since “each and every functional position must endeavor to bring together a number of favorable conditions which are not always compatible with one another.” Raoul Tubiana, The Hand, Vol 11, Chapter 53, p. 49.

[0106] Accordingly, a particular combination of configurations is necessary in order to achieve a new grip which:

[0107] A) Is conformed to allow and oblige the hand and forearms of arm users to hold such items, whether during their function, at rest or simply during transport, in the so-called “functional position”—a natural, relaxed and comfortable posture, according to medical orthopedics.

[0108] B) Is configured in a version for the primary hand (both right and left), the “other hand” (left and right) and also in an ambidextrous configuration, which allows for optional right or left hand use, which is for instance, a preferred option of police forces since it allows transferring and use the arm to the between hands in the event of injury.

[0109] C) Allows supporting of the arm (bonding to it) by its upper or lower ends, as the user desires.

[0110] D) Can be gripped by both hands simultaneously (complementary grip), such as during use of revolvers and pistols, in order to ensure a more secure and firm hold of the arm. Further, this may also be used in heavier arms, such as heavy machine guns, etc. which typically require use of both hands in parallel position.

[0111] E) Can be selectively removed and can be manufactured separately from or jointly with the remaining section(s) of the arm.

[0112] F) Can be manufactured from different materials, including (without limiting to) plastic, wood, resin, silicone, etc., with a surface that may be textured with any design to prevent hands from slipping along or off the grip;

[0113] G) More comfortably supports the arms themselves as well as the user's hands in order to reduce the effects of certain forces, such as gravity. As stated by Dr. Tubiana, “[a] number of forces are brought into play: a) the forces to which a solid object is subjected, principally gravity and occasionally kinetic forces and b) the forces generated by the hand itself.” Raoul Tubiana, M.D., The Hand, Vol. II, Chapter 45, p. 470.

[0114] H) Allows easier and more comfortable operation of the various mechanisms which make up the arms.

[0115] I) Allows comfortable and effortless immobilization in proper firing positions;

[0116] J) Is optimally adapted in terms of its shape, dimensions and primarily in the spatial localization of the body parts and limbs affected by its use (i.e., fingers, hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, arms and/or shoulders). This is accomplished primarily by applying the aforementioned medical orthopedic knowledge and the applicable principles.

[0117] K) Circumvents or avoids undesirable impacts, forces, and motions resulting from kickback that is produced when a arm is fired, thereby preserving the health of a user's members and underlying organs. It also maintains a desired targeting position without being overwhelmed by the aforementioned motions and/or forces, thereby increasing the precision of the arm.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0118] The attached figures will cast light on the present invention. These figures are to be construed as merely illustrative and not limiting of the present invention:

[0119] FIG. 1, illustrates a right hand in the functional position;

[0120] FIG. 2, illustrates a left hand in the functional position;

[0121] FIGS. 3 and 4 show a cross sectional view of a right and left hand on the postural grip respectively;

[0122] FIGS. 5 and 6 are front views of a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively;

[0123] FIGS. 7 and 8 are rear views of a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively;

[0124] FIGS. 9 and 10 are outside lateral views of a posture grip, for a right and left hand respectively;

[0125] FIGS. 11 and 12 are inside lateral views of a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively;

[0126] FIGS. 13 and 14 are top views of a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively;

[0127] FIGS. 15 and 16 are bottom views of a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively;

[0128] FIGS. 17 and 18 are outside lateral views of a common pistol with a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively;

[0129] FIGS. 19 and 20 are inside lateral views of a common pistol with a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively;

[0130] FIGS. 21 and 22 are rear views of a common pistol with a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively;

[0131] FIGS. 23 and 24 are front views of a common pistol with a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively;

[0132] FIGS. 25 and 26 are bottom views of the lower extreme of a common pistol with a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively;

[0133] FIGS. 27 and 28 are top views of the upper extreme of a common pistol with a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively;

[0134] FIGS. 29 and 30 are inside lateral views of a common pistol with a posture grip held by a right and left hand respectively;

[0135] FIGS. 31 and 32 are outside lateral views of a common pistol with a posture grip held by a right and left hand respectively;

[0136] FIGS. 33 and 34 are front views of a common pistol with a posture grip held by a right and left hand respectively;

[0137] FIGS. 35 and 36 are bottom views of a common pistol with a posture grip held by a right and left hand respectively;

[0138] FIGS. 37 and 38 are outside lateral views of a revolver with a posture grip for a right and left hand, respectively;

[0139] FIGS. 39 and 40 are front and rear views of a posture grip in an ambidextrous configuration;

[0140] FIGS. 41 and 42 are a bottom view of the lower extreme and a top view of the upper extreme of a posture grip in an ambidextrous configuration respectively;

[0141] FIGS. 43 and 44 are a front and rear view respectively of a posture grip applied to a heavy arm in a double configuration for both a right and left hand where the posture grip is supported from its upper end;

[0142] FIGS. 45 and 46 are a front and rear view respectively of a posture grip applied to a heavy arm in a double configuration for both right and left hands where the posture grip is supported from its lower end;

[0143] FIG. 47 is a lateral view of a common submachine gun with a posture grip for the primary hand and a prior art grip for the other hand;

[0144] FIG. 48 is a lateral view of a common submachine gun with a posture grip for both hands;

[0145] FIG. 49 is a lateral view of a common carbine Ithaca with a posture grip for the primary hand and a prior art grip for the other hand;

[0146] FIG. 50 is a lateral view of a common carbine Ithaca with a posture grip for both hands;

[0147] FIG. 51 is a lateral view of a common carbine with a posture grip for the primary hand and a prior art grip for the other hand;

[0148] FIG. 52 is a lateral view of a common carbine with a posture grip for both hands;

[0149] FIG. 53 is a lateral view of a common rifle with a posture grip for the primary hand and a prior the art grip for the other hand; and

[0150] FIG. 54 is a lateral view of a common rifle with a posture grip for both hands.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0151] For a better understanding and comparison of the inventive posture grip, and exclusively for this reason, the posture grip will be divided in parts like the prior art grips explained above. It is to be understood that the parts of the posture grip are not clearly defined by sudden or sharp limits or borders. Together the parts form a three-dimensional continuous surface which tends to support and allow the entire palmar surface of the hand to remain in the functional position, whether the posture grip is used as the main grip and/or as an accessory grip and/or as an complementary grip such as where the thenar and hypothenar eminences of the complementary hand work as support.

[0152] Accordingly, there are the following parts:

[0153] A and B) Two laterals: the inside (the side that is closer to the body midline of the user) and outside (the side that faces the outer-side of the user).

[0154] C) One upper extreme, which blends into the rest of the arm when the configuration determines it, or is free when the postural grip is supported or attached from its lower end).

[0155] D) One lower extreme, which may be free and is frequently used as complementary grip by the other hand, or may be used as support in the case of an inverse configuration.

[0156] E and F) Two faces, anterior and posterior although, these may be less pronounced than in the prior art because of the structure of the posture grip.

[0157] Inside Lateral:

[0158] As shown in the embodiments of FIGS. 11, 12, 19, 20, 29 and 30, and for the sake of clarity, this section may be divided into five parts:

[0159] Upper (1)—concave channel in the vertical direction, inclined from top to bottom and from rear to front. This section is used to rest or lodge the user's thumb;

[0160] Central (2)—convex in every direction, blending forward with a support imprint of the middle and ring fingers;

[0161] Lower (3)—formed by two concave surfaces in every direction;

[0162] Anterior (4)—used to support the thenar eminence of the other (non-firing) hand; and

[0163] Posterior (5)—smaller and used to support the hypothenar eminence. It blends to the bottom with the lower section. In the rear it ends in a unique structure which may be considered a limit, or “limit structure” (6) (even if it is only partial) with the posterior face. The antero-posterior inclination should be between 50-80°.

[0164] Outside Lateral:

[0165] As shown in the embodiments of FIGS. 5, 6, 9, 10, 17, 18, 37 and 38, and for the sake of clarity, this section may be divided into two parts:

[0166] Anterior (7)—comprised of four channels, generally in a finger configuration, concave in the vertical direction, inclined from rear to forward and from top to bottom, slightly divergent from one another, destined to lodge the index, middle, rind and annular finger of the primary hand, blending continuously with the anterior face. Its basic vertical configuration is slightly convex; and

[0167] Posterior (8)—continues the aforementioned surface with the channels fading away to the rear, where it mixes into the posterior face. The outside lateral ends, in its upper extreme, blends with the remaining parts of the arm at the bottom and the lower extreme. The basic slopes are approximately the same as those from the inside lateral.

[0168] Upper Extreme:

[0169] As shown in FIGS. 3, 4, 5, 6, 13, 14, 27 and 28 where we may describe its figure shape as a generally triangular area (9), with rounded sides and angles which permit support of the thumb and the index finger of the primary hand situated in the shape of a precision grip (where the thumb is half-flexed and the index finger has every articulation in slight flexion, the pulp of both fingers facing each other). This configuration does not vary in grips whether having upper and/or lower support. It has a slight slope from the back to the front and from the outside to inside, with respect to the arm to which it is applied

[0170] Lower Extreme:

[0171] As shown in FIGS. 15, 16, 25, 26, 35 and 36 it is slightly convex in both directions, and slightly slopes from the front to the back and from the bottom to the upper part. It may contemplate the entrance of cartridges in common pistols, or blend itself with the remaining body of the grip where the grip is supported at its lower end, as is the case with some heavy gun-machines or cannons.

[0172] Anterior Face:

[0173] As shown in FIGS. 5, 6, 23, 24, 33, and 34, four channels (10.1), (10.2), (10.3), and (10.4) are presented which slope from the outside to the inside and from the upper part to the lower part, concave in a predominantly vertical direction, slightly divergent. It is designed to accommodate the index, middle, ring and little fingers. Its basic slope is between 10 and 30° from the horizontal line. The desired antero-posterior slope is between 50 and 80°. It continues on the outside with the outside lateral and on the inside with the inside lateral. Its basic vertical configuration is slightly convex.

[0174] Posterior Face:

[0175] As shown in FIGS. 7, 8, 21 and 22. For purposes of clarity and we may divide it into two portions: an upper portion (11), using approximately ⅔ of the total area, with two basic curves—convex lateral-lateral and concave vertical—designed to support the thenar eminence; and a lower portion (12), exhausting approximately ⅓ of the total area with two concave curves designed to provide the total anatomic support of the hypothenar eminence. The basic antero-posterior slope is slightly greater than the anterior face in around 5-10°. It continues to the outside until the outside lateral, and inside to the inside lateral, when it meets the “limit structure” (6), where it ends.

[0176] Another configuration of the posture grip that can be used for light and heavy arms may have an ambidextrous configuration that is conformed especially so that the user may use his/her right or left hand (as the primary hand), whichever he/she prefers.

[0177] This configuration basically incorporates the external of two posture grips halves (one for the right hand and the other for the left hand) which are put together, whereby the angle of the lateral-lateral opening is somewhat reduced, in order to maintain portability. This allows the hands that use them to remain in a functional position.

[0178] When in this configuration, the posture grip has the following differentiating characteristics:

[0179] The basic shape is symmetrical, as illustrated in FIGS. 39, 40, 41 and 42; with resepect to the anterior face, the finger channels form a smooth upper concavity, as illustrated in FIG. 39; the posterior face ends towards the bottom and to the rear in the shape of a cupola, as shown in FIG. 40; and the base forms an egg-like shape, as shown in FIG. 41.

[0180] What follows is a description of a preferred embodiment of the object of the present invention.

[0181] FIGS. 3 and 4 show a cross sectional view of a right and left hand on the postural grip respectively and how the support surfaces of thumb and index finger adjust themselves upon the grip, thus conforming to a precision grip and thumb-index finger opposition, the aforementioned basic concepts underlying the present invention.

[0182] FIGS. 5 and 6 are front views of a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively where the antero-posterior slope as well as the lateral channels for finger support is shown. Also shown more generally is the lateral slope of the grip. The total asymmetry of the posture grip is quite evident from this figure. The convex curves over which a user's fingers surround and hold the grip may also be appreciated from these illustrations.

[0183] FIGS. 7 and 8 are posterior views of a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively. The basic lateral inclination is appreciated as well as the general asymmetry. In addition, these illustrations of the grip show the differentiated areas for support of the hypothenar and thenar eminences, and continuation to the front and laterally, with the channels for the support of the fingers. Part of the surface of support for the other (or complimentary) hand is also appreciated.

[0184] FIGS. 9 and 10 are outside lateral views of a posture grip, for a right and left hand respectively. The asymmetry, which corresponds to the asymmetry of a user's hands, is appreciated along with the inclined channels for finger support, slightly open towards the front as a fan. This also ensures a comfortable grip to different user's having fingers of different widths and compliments the anatomy and function of the hand. To the rear, the support surface of the hypothenar eminence begins. This is a fundamental part of the posture grip, having the function of strongly supporting the hand and absorbing impacts during the movements to which arms (and its users) are subjected during shooting.

[0185] FIGS. 11 and 12 are inside lateral views of a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively. As can be seen more clearly, the support surface for the thumb is shown, with its inclination towards the front and bottom. This allows the thumb to face the other fingers (especially the index finger) closely and in “opposition” thus conforming to a precision grip, which is necessary for the precision operation of a arm. Collaborating with the aforementioned area towards precision function of the arm, the surface continues towards the rear with a support area for the thenar eminence and with a crest which separates both eminences, located a bit more towards the rear. This latter position corresponds with the so called “life line” which distinguishes the eminences anatomically. Lastly, the internal limit of the support surface for the hypothenar eminence is also shown. In its lower part, the support surface for the hypothenar and thenar eminences of the complementary hand can be clearly appreciated, clearly delimited by its separation crest (slightly convex). As a consequence, the grip provides anatomically adequate support, along with more comfort and efficiency.

[0186] FIGS. 13 and 14 are top views of a postural grip for a right and left hand respectively, where its significant asymmetry is observed, as is its antero-posterior and latero-lateral basic inclination, the staged design of the channels for finger support, as well as the spatial conformation of the supports for the thenar and hypothenar eminences of the primary hand.

[0187] FIGS. 15 and 16 are bottom views of a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively, where the asymmetry is seen, as is its basic egg-like shape that conforms to the power grip the anatomical transversal and oblique arches of the hand. Also shown are the differentiated support areas for the other hand and the staged design of the channels for support of the fingers with a configuration defined by the “functional position,” proceeding from a smaller to a bigger flexion, from the index finger to the little finger.

[0188] FIGS. 17 and 18 are outside lateral views of a common pistol with a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively. The relationship between its basic parts are shown, including its significant antero-posterior inclination, the concave opening that is formed on its upper face in which lies the area between the thumb and index finger for adequate support and comfort.

[0189] FIGS. 21 and 22 are posterior views of a common pistol with a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively. The pronounced basic asymmetry, its latero-lateral inclination as well as its relative “eccentricity” with respect to the main body of the arm are shown. The differentiated hand support surfaces are also evident.

[0190] FIGS. 23 and 24 are frontal views of a common pistol with a posture grip for a right and left hand respectively. As above, the basic characteristics of the posture grip are appreciated: asymmetry, eccentricity, lateral inclination, and a convex vertical final form for the support of the fingers and metacarpophalangean articulations.

[0191] FIGS. 29 and 30 are inside lateral views of a pistol with the posture grip held by a right and left hand respectively. The anatomical supports for each finger, including the thumb (inclined) and the conformation of the support areas for the hypothenar and thenar eminences are especially appreciated, particularly adequate in form and position. Also shown is the crest which separates them.

[0192] FIGS. 31 and 32 are outside lateral views of a pistol with the posture grip held by a right and left hand respectively. All of the following are appreciated, including the slightly open disposition of the fingers, with a remarkable inclination towards the front and towards the bottom; the metacarpofalangean articulations disposed at a 75° with respect to the hand axes; and the smooth cubital deviation and finger flexion, increasing from the index finger to the little finger, from the top to the bottom.

[0193] FIGS. 33 and 34 are frontal views of a pistol with the posture grip held by a right and left hand respectively. The following characteristics are shown, including the hand posture in mid-pronation, which is a fundamental and eccentric part of the posture grip; perfect opposition of the thumb and index fingers, and slightly smaller opposition with respect to the other fingers; the slight separation among the extremities of the fingers, and their lateral inclination; the convexity of the support surface which is essentially “transmitted” to the posture of the hand that holds the grip, conforming to the power grip and the aforementioned postural and anatomical characteristics of the hand; and the support surfaces for the complementary hand which are available for elective use.

[0194] FIGS. 35 and 36 are bottom views of a pistol with the posture grip held by a right and left hand respectively. The following characteristics are shown, including: the 10-20° handextension angle with respect to the forearm as well as the remarkable asymmetry. Further, lateral and antero-posterior inclination, strict conforming to each of the anatomic arches of the hand—in effect assuming the functional position; the slight flexion increasing from the index finger to the little finger; and total support of the hand's palmar area all allow for higher precision and sensitivity, as well as the avoidance undesirable slippage of the arm from the hand.

[0195] It is evident that despite scientific and technological progress, this has not been applied to the conception and design of arm grips, which presently still have similar faults to those originating from one to two-hundred years ago, when they where initially designed.

[0196] The new grip, on the other hand, has been idealized, designed and built according to conventional medical knowledge and modern scientific measures involving the hands and forearms. The grip strictly conforms to the established orthopedic principles that govern the design of hand tools such that it is adequate, comfortable, healthy and efficient.

[0197] Shooting tests have been carried out with the same pistols and revolvers, first with their conventional grip and then changing to a posture grip and taking into account comparative numeric values relating to precision. For experienced shooters, improvements of 2% to 4% have been attained, while beginners improved up to 14% when shooting using the precision grip. Nevertheless, in all cases, the increase in comfort was referenced, as was the reduction of undesirable side effects (typically present in conventional grips) after intensive use, such as cramps, pains, numbness, etc.





 
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