Title:
Firearm sling system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sling system for use with a firearm, including a first strap system having a loop configuration and positionable around the neck of the user so as to be locatable generally adjacent a frontal region of the torso of the user; a second strap system having first and second ends and connectable to the firearm; and a connector interfacing between the first and second strap systems and configured to enable the rifle to be fixedly and releasably positioned in a plurality of orientations relative to the user.



Inventors:
Elijah Jr., Walters J. (Surgionsville, TN, US)
Application Number:
10/411925
Publication Date:
10/14/2004
Filing Date:
04/11/2003
Assignee:
WALTERS ELIJAH J.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/259, 224/913
International Classes:
A45F3/14; F41C33/00; A45F3/00; (IPC1-7): F41C23/02; A45F3/04; F41C33/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ELKINS, GARY E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LUEDEKA NEELY GROUP, P.C. (KNOXVILLE, TN, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A sling system for use with a firearm by a human user having a neck and a torso, the system comprising: a first strap system having a loop configuration and positionable around the neck of the user so as to be locatable generally adjacent a frontal region of the torso of the user; a second strap system having first and second ends and connectable to the firearm; and a connector interfacing between the first and second straps and configured to enable the firearm to be fixedly and releasably positioned in a plurality of orientations relative to the user, the connector including a buckle, a strap engaging member yieldably positionable relative to the buckle, and a release member associated with the strap engaging member, wherein the buckle is slidably positioned on the first strap system and the second strap system is slidably positioned between the buckle and the strap engaging member such that a biasing member associated with the strap engaging member urges the strap engaging member into fixed engagement with the second strap system so as to restrain the connector from movement relative to the second strap system at a desired location thereon, with the release member being operable to release the biasing force to enable the second strap system to be moved relative to the strap engaging member.

2. The sling system of claim 1, further comprising an anchor strap portion that connects to the first strap system and is configured for anchoring the first strap system to a portion of the user's clothing adjacent a lower spine area of the user.

3. The sling system of claim 1, wherein the first strap system comprises a pair of strap portions and a connecting strap portion having opposite ends adjustably positionable relative to the pair of strap portions.

4. The sling system of claim 1, wherein the second strap system comprises a strap having a first end attachable to a stock portion of the firearm and a second end attachable to a barrel portion of the firearm.

5. The sling system of claim 1, wherein the plurality of orientations the connector is configured to enable the firearm to be fixedly and releasably positioned comprises a range of orientations between and including a first orientation wherein a barrel end of the firearm is pointed generally downwardly, and a second orientation wherein the barrel end is pointed generally upwardly.

6. A sling system for use with a firearm by a human user having a neck and a torso, the system comprising a user strap having a loop configuration and positionable around the neck of the user so as to be locatable generally adjacent a frontal region of the torso of the user; a firearm strap system having first and second ends and connectable to the firearm; and a connector interfacing between the user strap and firearm strap and configured to enable the firearm to be fixedly and releasably positioned in a plurality of orientations relative to the user, the connector including a user strap receiving region configured to slidably receive a portion of the user strap and a firearm strap region configured to receive and releasably lock the firearm strap in a plurality of desired orientations thereby preventing relative movement of the firearm strap in either direction.

7. The sling system of claim 6, further comprising an anchor strap portion that connects to the user strap and is configured for anchoring the user strap to a portion of the user's clothing adjacent a lower spine area of the user.

8. The sling system of claim 6, wherein the user strap comprises a pair of strap portions and a connecting strap portion having opposite ends adjustably positionable relative to the pair of strap portions.

9. The sling system of claim 6, wherein the firearm strap comprises a strap having a first end attachable to a stock portion of the firearm and a second end attachable to a barrel portion of the firearm.

10. The sling system of claim 6, wherein the plurality of orientations the connector is configured to enable the firearm to be fixedly and releasably positioned comprises a range of orientations between and including a first orientation wherein a barrel end of the firearm is pointed generally downwardly, and a second orientation wherein the barrel end is pointed generally upwardly.

11. A sling system for use with a firearm, the system comprising a first strap system having a loop configuration and positionable around a neck portion of the user so as to be locatable generally adjacent a frontal region of a torso of the user; a second strap system having first and second ends and connectable to the firearm; and a connector interfacing between the first and second strap systems and configured to enable the rifle to be fixedly and releasably positioned in a plurality of orientations relative to the user.

12. The sling system of claim 11, further comprising an anchor strap portion that connects to the first strap system and is configured for anchoring the first strap system to a portion of the user's clothing adjacent a lower spine area of the user.

13. The sling system of claim 11, wherein the first strap system comprises a pair of strap portions and a connecting strap portion having opposite ends adjustably positionable relative to the pair of strap portions.

14. The sling system of claim 11, wherein the second strap system comprises a strap having a first end attachable to a stock portion of the firearm and a second end attachable to a barrel portion of the firearm.

15. The sling system of claim 11, wherein the plurality of orientations the connector is configured to enable the firearm to be fixedly and releasably positioned comprises a range of orientations between and including a first orientation wherein a barrel end of the firearm is pointed generally downwardly, and a second orientation wherein the barrel end is pointed generally upwardly.

16. The sling system of claim 11, further comprising a backpack supported by the first strap system.

17. A sling system for use with a firearm, the system comprising a first strap system positionable generally adjacent a frontal region of a torso of the user; a second strap system having first and second ends and connectable to the firearm; and a connector interfacing between the first and second strap systems and configured to enable the rifle to be fixedly and releasably positioned in a plurality of orientations relative to the user.

18. The sling system of claim 17, further comprising a backpack having a pair of shoulder straps, wherein the first strap system is connectable to the shoulder straps of the backpack.

19. The sling system of claim 18, wherein the first strap system comprises a pair of strap portions having free ends and a connector located at each free end for connecting to the should straps of the backpack.

20. The sling system of claim 17, wherein the second strap system comprises a strap having a first end attachable to a stock portion of the firearm and a second end attachable to a barrel portion of the firearm.

21. The sling system of claim 17, wherein the plurality of orientations the connector is configured to enable the firearm to be fixedly and releasably positioned comprises a range of orientations between and including a first orientation wherein a barrel end of the firearm is pointed generally downwardly, and a second orientation wherein the barrel end is pointed generally upwardly.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates generally to slings for firearms. More particularly, this invention relates to slings for firearms which permit the firearm to be adjustably positioned in a variety of orientations.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Slings are useful for facilitating the carrying of firearms, particularly when walking long distances. In such circumstances, a user will often carry a backpack or the like that interferes with the use of a conventional shoulder sling. The invention relates to an improved firearm sling and, in particular, to a sling system that facilitates carrying a firearm when the user is also carrying a backpack.

[0003] In a preferred embodiment, the sling system includes a first strap system having a loop configuration and positionable around a neck portion of the user so as to be locatable generally adjacent a frontal region of a torso of the user. A second strap system having first and second ends is connectable to the firearm. A connector is provided to interface between the first and second strap systems and is configured to enable the rifle to be fixedly and releasably positioned in a plurality of orientations relative to the user.

[0004] In another aspect, the system includes a first strap system having a loop configuration and positionable around the neck of the user so as to be locatable generally adjacent a frontal region of the torso of the user; a second strap system having first and second ends connectable to the firearm; and a connector interfacing between the first and second straps and configured to enable the firearm to be fixedly and releasably positioned in a plurality of orientations relative to the user.

[0005] The connector preferably includes a buckle, a strap engaging member yieldably positionable relative to the buckle, and a release member associated with the strap engaging member. The buckle is slidably positioned on the first strap system and the second strap system is slidably positioned between the buckle and the strap engaging member such that a biasing member associated with the strap engaging member urges the strap engaging member into fixed engagement with the second strap system so as to restrain the connector from movement relative to the second strap system at a desired location thereon. The release member is operable, as by the user pulling on it, squeezing, or otherwise manipulating the release member, to release the biasing force to enable the second strap system to be moved relative to the strap engaging member.

[0006] In yet another aspect, the sling system includes a first strap system positionable generally adjacent a frontal region of a torso of the user; a second strap system having first and second ends and connectable to the firearm; and a connector interfacing between the first and second strap systems and configured to enable the rifle to be fixedly and releasably positioned in a plurality of orientations relative to the user.

[0007] In a preferred embodiment, the first strap system includes connectors for connecting the first strap system to a backpack having a pair of shoulder straps.

[0008] The sling system advantageously enables the firearm to be fixedly and releasably positioned in a range of orientations between a first orientation wherein a barrel end of the firearm is pointed generally downwardly and a second orientation wherein the barrel end of the firearm is pointed generally upwardly. Thus, the user may desirably select an orientation suitable to a particular circumstance.

[0009] The invention also advantageously provides a sling system that enables a user to comfortably carry a firearm even when wearing a backpack.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] Further features of preferred embodiments of the invention will become apparent by reference to the detailed description of preferred embodiments when considered in conjunction with the figures, which are not to scale, wherein like reference numbers, indicate like elements through the several views, and wherein,

[0011] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a firearm sling system in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention and installed on a firearm.

[0012] FIG. 2 is a perspective frontal view of a user wearing a sling system of FIG. 1.

[0013] FIG. 3 is a rear perspective view of a user wearing a sling showing the system of FIG. 1.

[0014] FIGS. 4-6 are closeup perspective views of a connector portion of the system of FIG. 1.

[0015] FIG. 7 is an exploded view of a connector portion for a sling system according to the invention of FIGS. 4-6.

[0016] FIG. 8 shows a firearm retained in a barrel down orientation by the system of FIG. 1.

[0017] FIG. 9 shows a firearm retained in a barrel up orientation by the system of FIG. 1.

[0018] FIG. 10 shows a firearm in a firing position.

[0019] FIG. 11 shows a backpack supported by the system of FIG. 1.

[0020] FIG. 12 shows an alternate embodiment of the invention which attaches to straps of a conventional backpack.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0021] With initial reference to FIG. 1, the invention relates to a sling system 10 in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention. The system 10 is shown attached to a firearm such as rifle 12 having a stock 14 and a barrel 16. As will be noted, the rifle 12 also has attached to it a conventional shoulder sling 18. The sling 18 may remain on the rifle 12 when the system 10 is being used or the sling 18 may be removed.

[0022] The system 10 includes as major components a user strap 20, a firearm strap 22, and a connector 24. As seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the user strap 20 is worn generally around a neck and torso of a user. The firearm strap 22 attaches to the rifle 12. The connector 24 interfaces between the user strap 20 and the firearm strap 22 to enable desired positioning of the rifle 12.

[0023] The user strap 20 maybe of one-piece construction or may have multiple strap components. The strap 20 may also be of fixed or adjustable dimension. In general, the user strap is preferably configured to provide a loop that is placed over a head of the user and hangs generally adjacent a stomach area of the user. In a preferred construction, the user strap 20 includes a pair of padded strap portions 26 and 28 and a connecting strap portion 30.

[0024] The strap portion 26 has opposite ends 32 and 34 and is preferably of adjustable length. The strap portion 28 is of preferably of identical construction to the strap portion 26 and has opposite ends 36 and 38. The ends 34 and 38 of the strap portions 26 and 28 may be joined together or otherwise secured relative to one another. Preferably, as seen in FIG. 3, a strip of fabric material 40 is used to connect to ends 34 and 38 as by sewing each end 34 and 38 to the material 40.

[0025] The connecting strap portion 30 has opposite ends 42 and 44. The end 42 is preferably connected to strap portion 26 adjacent ent end 32 thereof as by buckle 46. Likewise, end 44 is preferably connected to strap portion 28 adjacent the end 36 thereof as by buckle 48. The buckles 46 and 48 enable adjustment of the effective length of the connecting strap portion 30, that is, the length that hangs below the strap portions 26 and 28.

[0026] Returning to FIG. 3, the user strap 20 also preferably includes an anchor strap portion 52 configured for anchoring the user strap 20 to portions of the user's clothing, preferably adjacent a lower area of the user's spine. The anchor strap portion 52 preferably connects to and extends away from the material 40 and includes an end 54 connected to the material 40 as by loop 56 and buckle 58 to permit adjustment of the effective length of the anchor strap portion 52. An opposite end 60 of the strap portion 52 is preferably configured for attaching to clothing of the user. For example, end 60 is preferably configured to be Y-shaped and have fasteners such as buttons or clips 62 which may be attached as by clipping to the belt or pants of a user in the manner of suspenders or braces. In the alternative, the end 60 may include belt loops for sliding a belt therethrough.

[0027] The firearm strap 22 is preferably a single length of strap material having opposite ends 64 and 66. The end 66 is preferably secured adjacent the stock 14 and the end 64 secured adjacent the barrel 16. The end 66 preferably includes a plastic or metal hoop 67 (FIG. 2) secured thereto as by sewing. The end 64 of the firearm strap 22 may be passed through the hoop 67 and the resulting hoop 69 of the firearm strap 22 encircled about the stock 14.

[0028] The end 64 preferably includes a length of hook material secured thereto as by sewing for matingly engaging the loop material of the firearm strap 22 and/or a corresponding loop material secured to the firearm strap 22 and positioned to mate with the loop material to provide a hook/loop fastener. Thus, the end 64 may be secured to the barrel 16 as by encircling the end 64 about itself around the barrel 16. As will be appreciated, the firearm strap 22 may be also be attached or connected to the rifle in many ways and using standard fasteners and the like.

[0029] The firearm strap 22 is preferably oriented so as to extend over the upper edge of the rifle 12 to avoid upside down orientation of the rifle 12. In this regard, the ends of the firearm strap 22 are preferably sufficiently loose relative to the stock and the barrel of the firearm so as to permit the strap 22 to naturally fall down and to the side of the firearm when the firearm is raised to a firing position so as to minimize interference with sighting of the firearm on a target. It will be understood, however, that the firearm strap 22 may be otherwise connected to the rifle. Also, the sling 18 could be used in place of the firearm strap 22, but such would result in an inverted orientation of the rifle which is not preferred.

[0030] The length of the firearm strap 22 is preferably adjustable. In this regard, each end 64 and 66 preferably includes a length of hook material secured thereto as by sewing and the firearm strap 22 made of a material having a loop-type surface suitable for matingly engaging the hook material. Thus, the firearm strap 22 may be attached to the rifle by encircling the ends 64 and 66 about the rifle and securing the hook material of the ends to the firearm strap 22. This also facilitates adjustment of the length of the firearm strap 22.

[0031] It will be understood that the user strap 20 and firearm strap 22 are preferably made of materials having strength characteristics corresponding to the weight of the firearm. For example, relatively heavier strap materials are preferably used for use with heavy military firearms such M-60 machine guns as compared to a lighter material for small caliber and lightweight firearms such as .22 cal. rifles. Likewise, the heat resistance of the strap materials preferably corresponds to the use requirements. For example, strap materials having higher heat resistance is preferable for military weapons such as M-60 machine guns which generate considerable barrel heat when used to fire a plurality of rounds in rapid succession, whereas a strap material having a lower heat resistance would preferably be used for a .22 cal. rifle.

[0032] With reference to FIGS. 4-7, the connector 24 interfaces between the user strap 20 and the firearm strap 22 to enable the rifle 12 to be repositionable in a variety of orientations, and preferably fixedly positioned within a preferred range. For example, FIG. 2 shows the rifle 12 in a generally intermediate orientation with the barrel 12 generally lateral. FIGS. 8 and 9 show the preferred upward and downward limits range or positioning, wherein in FIG. 8 the rifle 12 is seen oriented with the barrel 16 end pointed generally downwardly, and in FIG. 9 the rifle 12 is seen oriented with the barrel 16 pointed generally upwardly. The connector 24 preferably functions to substantially but releasably lock the rifle 12 in a selected orientation with the range between and including the upward and downward range limits.

[0033] As will be appreciated, this desirably enables the user to orient the firearm 12 in an unlimited number of positions within this range to fit the comfort or use needs of the user, while rendering the firearm in a position that enables the user to quickly raise the firearm 12 to a firing position, such as seen in FIG. 10. Furthermore, since the firearm 12 and the portions of the sling system 10 that are maneuvered during use are generally oriented at the front of the user, the user may also carry a backpack without interfering with a backpack or the like having straps which loop around the user's shoulders. As will be appreciated, a conventional shoulder sling, such as the sling 18, does not readily permit a user to carry a backpack.

[0034] If desired, a backpack or the like may be attached to the user strap 20 as by use of conventional fasteners. As seen in FIG. 11, a backpack 68 may be supported by the user strap 20. For example, the backpack 68 may be snapped or sewn or otherwise fixedly or releasably attached or connected to the fabric material 40 or the strap portions 26 and 28. In one embodiment, connectors 69 are located on the user strap 20 for connecting to the backpack 68. The connectors 69 may preferably be hooks that engage corresponding loops provided on the backpack for supporting the backpack 68 from the user strap 20.

[0035] Returning to FIGS. 4-7, the connector 24 is preferably made of a metal or plastic material and is provided by a buckle 70 having a body 72 defining a pair of slots 74 and 76 for slidably, preferably freely slidably, receiving the connecting strap portion 30 of the user strap 20 adjacent an upper surface 78 thereof. A pair of spaced apart ears 80 extend away from an opposite surface 82 (FIG. 7) and receive the ends of a spring-loaded strap engaging member 84. The firearm strap 22 passes between the strap engaging member 84 and the surface 82.

[0036] The member 84 includes an elongate section 86 defining a rugous or textured surface 87 configured to frictionally engage the firearm strap 22 and having a longitudinal bore 88 extending therethrough for receiving pin 90 and spring 92 wrapped around the pin 90. One end of the spring 92 is positioned around one of the ears 80 when installed. The opposite ends of the pin 90 are received by apertures 94 provided through the ears 80. A lever tab 96 extends from the elongate section 86 and includes an aperture 98 for receiving a release strap 100. The spring 92 or other biasing mechanism may be adjustable if desired, is by configuring the pin 90 to be turned.

[0037] The member 84 is biased to rotate the rugous surface 87 of the member 84 toward the surface 82 to bear against the firearm strap 22, as seen in FIG. 5. The spring 92 or other biasing mechanism is preferably of sufficient strength such that the firearm strap 22 is effectively captured by the member 84 so as to lock the firearm strap 22 in place and thereby prevent relative movement of the firearm strap 22 in either direction. The surface 87 of the member 84 may be released from locking engagement with the firearm strap 22 as by pulling or otherwise interacting or manipulating the release strap 100 to counter the spring force and urge the surface 87 away from engagement with the strap, as seen in FIG. 6. It will be understand that release members may be used that are otherwise manipulated to release them from engagement with the firearm strap 22, such as by squeezing or other manipulation by the user.

[0038] While the foregoing described buckle 70 is a preferred mechanism for the connector 24, it will be understood that a variety of buckles, slides, and the like having various configurations may be utilized for the connector 24. In this regard, it is noted that the connector 24 preferably includes as its basic elements structure configured to slidably, preferably freely slidably, receive a portion of the user strap 20, and structure configured to receive and releasably lock the firearm strap 22 in a plurality of desired orientations thereby preventing relative movement of the firearm strap 22 in either direction. This serves to position the firearm 12 in a desired orientation, such as shown in FIGS. 2, 8, and 9, while still enabling the firearm 12 to be easily moved a firing position, such as shown in FIG. 10.

[0039] With reference now to FIG. 12, there is seen an alternate embodiment of a sling system 110 that is configured to attach to shoulder straps 112 and 114 of a backpack 116. The system 110 includes a user strap 120, firearm strap 122, and a connector 124. The firearm strap 122 preferably substantially corresponds to the firearm strap 22, and the connector 124 preferably substantially corresponds to the connector 24.

[0040] The user strap 120 may be made of one or more lengths of a strap material, such as the strap portions 26, 28, and 30 described previously, and includes opposite free ends 126 and 128. The free ends 126 and 128 include connectors 310 and 132 secured thereto as by stitches or the like for connecting the free ends 126 and 128 to the straps 112 and 114 of the backpack 116. The connectors 120 and 132 preferably enable releasable and adjustable connection of the strap 120 to the straps 112 and 114 and may preferably be buckles, snaps, or other fastening devices. Alternatively, the free ends 126 and 128 may be attached directly to the straps 112 and 114 as by stitches or the like.

[0041] The foregoing description of certain exemplary embodiments of the present invention has been provided for purposes of illustration only, and it is understood that numerous modifications or alterations may be made in and to the illustrated embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.