Title:
Sighting telescope
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sighting telescope has an inner tube that moves transversely of the telescope axis relative to an outer tube and has operator-controlled elements arranged mutually at an angle for transversely displacing the inner tube. The outer tube has an enlarged inner diameter in the region of the operator-controlled elements. A leaf spring is arranged for applying a restoring force to the inner tube and extends in a substantially radial direction and has radially offset support locations, both on the outer tube and on the inner tube. The leaf spring is preferably arranged in the neighborhood of the enlarged inner diameter.



Inventors:
Wagner, Thomas (Wettenberg, DE)
Application Number:
11/341386
Publication Date:
08/03/2006
Filing Date:
01/30/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41G1/38; F41G3/00; F41G3/32
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PRITCHETT, JOSHUA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WALTER OTTESEN, P.A. (GAITHERSBURG, MD, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A sighting telescope comprising: an outer tube defining an optical axis; an inner tube disposed within said outer tube and being mounted in said outer tube so as to be moveable transversely with respect to said optical axis; first and second operator-controlled operating elements arranged in said outer tube spaced at an angle from each other for acting laterally on said inner tube to displace said inner tube transversely to said optical axis; at least one leaf spring disposed between said inner and outer tubes for resiliently biasing said inner tube against said operator-controlled elements; and, said leaf spring being confined to lie substantially in a single plane transverse to said optical axis and being configured so as to be in contact engagement with said inner and outer tubes substantially only in said plane.

2. The sighting telescope of claim 1, wherein said one leaf spring or a plurality of said leaf springs are supported in or are attached to said outer tube.

3. The sighting telescope of claim 2, wherein said single plane is perpendicular to said optical axis and said one leaf spring or said plurality of said leaf springs are disposed essentially in said single plane.

4. The sighting telescope of claim 2, wherein said outer tube comprises an enlarged inner diameter in a region of said operator-controlled elements.

5. The sighting telescope of claim 4, wherein said inner diameter of said outer tube in said region of enlarged inner diameter comprises at least 95% of the minimum external diameter of said outer tube.

6. The sighting telescope of claim 4, wherein said outer tube has an enlarged inner diameter in which the leaf spring or the leaf springs are placed.

7. The sighting telescope of claim 6, wherein said outer tube has an inner wall surface and a recess formed in said inner wall surface; said operator-controlled elements act upon said inner tube within an adjusting region; and, said one leaf spring or said plurality of said leaf springs are so configured that they can be pressed partially or entirely into said recess for increasing said adjusting region.

8. The sighting telescope of claim 1, further comprising an optics displaceable in a direction of said optical axis; and, an adjustment device for displacing said optics arranged in or in the neighborhood of a plane of said operator-controlled elements for transversely displacing said inner tube.

9. The sighting telescope of claim 2, wherein said leaf spring or said leaf springs are supported at at least three peripherally offset locations on said outer tube.

10. The sighting telescope of claim 2, wherein said leaf spring or said leaf springs are supported at at least two peripherally offset locations on the inner tube.

11. The sighting telescope of claim 10, wherein two of the support locations of said leaf spring or said leaf springs on the inner tube are arranged respectively opposite one of said operator-controlled elements for transverse displacement of said inner tube.

12. The sighting telescope of claim 11, wherein a third support location of the leaf spring or said leaf springs are situated on a bisector of the angle subtended by the two other support locations of the leaf spring or said leaf springs on the inner tube and said optical axis.

13. The sighting telescope of claim 2, wherein said one leaf spring or said plurality of said leaf springs comprise three or four free ends.

14. The sighting telescope of claim 1, wherein the leaf spring(s) comprise the following structure: a first spring segment with a central portion and two outer portions adjoining thereto on either side, the outer portions being curved by the same amount and direction but curved oppositely in direction to the central portion; a second spring segment, extending to one side from the central portion and curved corresponding to the inner diameter of the outer tube; and, a third spring segment running from an outer edge of the second spring segment in a direction toward the central portion of the first spring segment, and in the neighborhood of a location where it joins the second spring segment, curved in the same direction as the second spring segment but with greater curvature than the second spring segment, and thereafter curved in an opposite direction.

15. A sighting telescope comprising: an outer tube; an inner tube moveable transversely to a telescope axis (A) relative to the outer tube; operator-controlled elements arranged at an angle to one another for transversely displacing the inner tube; and, said outer tube having an enlarged inner diameter in a region of said operator-controlled elements.

16. The sighting telescope of claim 15, comprising one or more leaf springs arranged between the outer tube and the inner tube in said region for producing a restoring force on said inner tube.

17. The sighting telescope of claim 16, wherein said one or more leaf springs are supported on or attached to said outer tube.

18. The sighting telescope of claim 16, wherein said one or more leaf springs are essentially arranged in a plane extending perpendicularly to said telescope axis (A).

19. The sighting telescope of claim 16, wherein said operator-controlled elements are adjustable and apply respective forces to said inner tube; and, said one or more leaf springs apply at least two return forces to said inner tube for acting in opposition to the force directions of said forces applied by said operator-controlled elements.

20. The sighting telescope of claim 16, wherein said operator-controlled elements are for adjusting elevation and windage, respectively; and, said sighting telescope defines an at least almost quadratic adjusting region for making adjustments with said operator-controlled elements.

21. The sighting telescope of claim 16, wherein said one or more leaf springs are arranged essentially in a plane which runs parallel to said telescope axis (A).

22. The sighting telescope of claim 16, wherein said one or more leaf springs extend substantially in a radial direction.

23. The sighting telescope of claim 15, wherein said enlarged inner diameter is formed by a recess formed in said outer tube.

24. The sighting telescope of claim 23, wherein said sighting telescope comprises one or more leaf springs arranged between said outer tube and said inner tube of said region for producing a restoring force on said inner tube; and, said recess has a depth which corresponds to the thickness of said one or more of said leaf springs taken together.

25. The sighting telescope of claim 23, wherein said outer tube comprises two parts; and, said recess arises when said two parts are connected to each other.

26. The sighting telescope of claim 25, wherein said two parts are threadably connected to each other.

27. The sighting telescope of claim 23, wherein said recess has a depth of less than 5 mm.

28. The sighting telescope of claim 22, wherein said recess has a depth of less than 0.5 mm.

29. A sighting telescope comprising: an outer tube defining an optical axis; an inner tube disposed within said outer tube and being mounted in said outer tube so as to be moveable transversely with respect to said optical axis; first and second operator-controlled operating elements arranged in said outer tube spaced at an angle from each other for acting laterally on said inner tube to displace said inner tube transversely to said optical axis; at least one leaf spring disposed between said inner and outer tubes for resiliently biasing said inner tube against said operator-controlled elements; said leaf spring being confined to lie essentially in a plane parallel to said optical axis and being configured so as to be in contact engagement with said inner and outer tubes; and, said leaf spring being symmetrical to a plane perpendicular to said optical axis and passing through said first and second operator-controlled elements.

30. The sighting telescope of claim 29, wherein said outer tube has a recess formed in the inner wall surface thereof and said leaf spring is disposed in said recess.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/679,096, filed Oct. 3, 2003, which is a continuation application of international patent application PCT/EP02/03723, filed Apr. 4, 2002, and claiming priority from German patent application 101 16 997.3, filed Apr. 5, 2001, all incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Sighting telescopes usually have an inner tube which is displaceable transversely of the telescope axis relative to an outer tube, and a lens or lens group which is displaceable in the direction of the telescope axis. The transverse displacement of the inner tube acts to displace a sighting mark for elevation and windage adjustments, and the longitudinal displacement of the lens or lens group acts for so-called parallax compensation, that is, for adjustment of the telescope for different target distances.

The adjustment devices for elevation and windage adjustments are usually arranged about in the middle of the telescope, on so-called adjustment knobs; as a rule, two such adjustment knobs are disposed at an angle to one another, one for elevation adjustment and the other for lateral or windage adjustment of the sighting mark.

On ergonomic grounds, it is desirable to also arrange the operating device for parallax compensation in the neighborhood of, ideally in the same plane as, the operating (operator controlled) elements for elevation and windage adjustments. Such sighting telescopes are known from, for example, German patent publication DE 297 20 737 or U.S. Pat. No. 6,005,711. In the telescope described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,005,711, a leaf spring is provided in the region of the adjustment knobs and extends substantially in the direction of the telescope axis. The leaf spring produces a restoring force on the inner tube acting against the elevation and windage adjustments.

It has now been found that in such sighting telescopes, because of the required firing stability and the resulting required wall thicknesses of the inner and outer tubes, the free aperture diameter for a sufficiently large visual field cannot be maintained if simultaneously an external diameter of the outer tube of one inch or less is to be maintained, particularly if the telescope is also to make different magnifications possible and if, simultaneously, the sighting marks are to have a square adjustment region.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention therefore has as its object to make possible, in a sighting telescope with operating elements for both parallax compensation and elevation and windage adjustments substantially in one plane, an outer diameter of the outer tube of a maximum of 25.4 mm. Here, an at least approximately square adjustment region for elevation and windage adjustments is also to be possible.

This object is attained with sighting telescopes of the invention with the following features:

A sighting telescope with an inner tube movable transversely of the telescope axis (A) relative to an outer tube, and operating elements arranged mutually at an angle for transversely displacing the inner tube, wherein one or more leaf springs are arranged between the outer tube and the inner tube for producing a restoring force on the inner tube, and wherein the leaf spring(s) extend(s) substantially in a radial direction.

The invention also includes the following features: A sighting telescope with an inner tube movable transversely of the telescope axis (A) relative to the outer tube, and operating elements arranged at an angle to one another for transversely displacing the inner tube, the outer tube having an enlarged internal diameter in the region of the operating elements.

According to an embodiment of the invention, one or more springs are provided between the outer and inner tubes, act to produce a restoring force on the inner tube for elevation and windage adjustments, and are formed as one or more leaf springs which extend in a substantially radial direction. Sufficient space for a parallax compensation mechanism is thereby left seen in the radial direction of the telescope axis laterally of the leaf spring(s).

According to a second embodiment of the invention, the outer tube of the sighting telescope has, in the region of the adjusting elements, a short region in the direction of the telescope axis with an enlarged internal diameter. In order for sufficient mechanical stability to be nevertheless ensured, the outer diameter of the outer tube in this region, and thus in the immediate surroundings of the operating elements, is also greater than in the remaining regions, particularly in a respective region before and behind the plane of the operating elements which act to receive the sighting telescope on a rifle.

The enlargement of the internal diameter is not limited here to recesses for operating elements for elevation adjustment to pass through, but the distance of the outer tube from the mid-axis of the outer tube is, in the region with enlarged internal diameter, greater in all directions than in the regions before and after the plane of the operating elements for mounting the sighting telescope on the rifle.

Due to the enlarged internal diameter of the outer tube, it is possible to arrange the mechanism required for adjustment of the parallax compensation and for elevation and windage adjustments between the inner tube and the outer tube, with an internal and external diameter of the inner tube required for a large visual field.

In the extreme case, the internal diameter of the outer tube may be larger than, or equal to, the outer diameter of the outer tube.

The spring or springs which act to produce a restoring force on the inner tube for elevation and windage adjustments are preferably formed as one or more leaf springs which extend substantially in the radial direction and are arranged in the region between the outer tube and the inner tube in which the internal diameter of the outer tube is enlarged. Sufficient space thereby remains seen in the direction of the telescope axis laterally of the leaf spring(s) for the parallax compensating mechanism. In the extreme position of the elevation adjustment, with completely stressed spring, this dips completely into the enlargement region of the outer tube, so that the spring does not limit the adjustment range of the elevation and windage adjustments.

It is advantageous to support or to attach a leaf spring or several leaf springs on the outer tube. Furthermore, it is advantageous to arrange the one leaf spring or the several leaf springs essentially in a plane which extends perpendicularly to the optical axis. It can also be advantageous that the one leaf spring or the several leaf springs generate at least two return forces on the inner tube. The return forces are in opposition to the force directions of the forces applied by the operator-controlled elements for elevation and windage on the inner tube. Finally, it is advantageous that the sighting telescope has at least an almost quadratic adjusting region or a fully quadratic adjusting region of the adjustment; that is, with both elevation and windage, a square can be moved over when making adjustments for elevation and windage.

In the sighting telescope of the invention, the magnification of the outer tube is formed via a cut-in or a recess in the outer tube. The cut-in or recess can have a depth which corresponds to the thickness of the leaf spring or of the several leaf springs together. The depth can be configured to be more or less as required. The recess can be formed in the outer tube by a groove which forms when two parts of the outer tube are connected to each other, for example, when the two parts are threadably connected. The depth of the groove is less than 5 mm and is preferably less than 0.5 mm.

The leaf spring(s) is/are to be supported at at least three places, offset in the radial direction, on the outer tube and at at least two places, offset in the radial direction, on the inner tube. The support places on the inner tube are then preferably arranged respectively opposite the operator-controlled elements for elevation and windage adjustments and mutually offset by about 90° around the telescope axis. The support places of the leaf spring(s) on the inner tube are then situated about in the middle seen in the length direction of the leaf spring(s) between two support places on the outer tube. It can thereby be achieved that the directions of the restoring forces produced by the spring(s) are substantially antiparallel to the force directions of the forces exerted by the elevation and windage adjustment operating elements on the inner tube.

In order to avoid dead places of the elevation and windage adjustments, that is, positions of the inner tube in which the restoring force of the leaf spring(s) is not sufficient, the leaf spring(s) is/are preferably supported at a third place on the inner tube, situated about in the middle between the two other support places on the inner tube. This third support place for the leaf spring(s) on the inner tube is also situated about in the middle seen in the length direction of the leaf spring(s) between two support places on the outer tube. It is thereby achieved that the direction of the restoring force produced by the spring(s) and transmitted by this third support place to the inner tube is substantially antiparallel to the sum vector of the forces exerted on the inner tube by both operating elements for elevation adjustment.

The curvature of the leaf spring(s) at the various places is chosen so that the required directions of the forces exerted on the inner tube are attained.

The leaf spring, or each of the leaf springs, can be formed with an integral slit so that it has three, preferably four, free ends. However it is also possible to join together plural leaf spring segments to give a corresponding leaf spring. Likewise, two or three individual, thin leaf springs can be combined into a leaf spring packet.

Particularly, the leaf springs have the following structure:

    • a first spring segment with a central portion and two outer portions adjoining thereto on either side, the two outer portions being curved by the same amount and direction but curved oppositely in direction to the central portion,
    • a second segment, extending to one side from the central portion and curved corresponding to the internal diameter of the outer tube,
    • and a third segment running from the outer edge of the second segment in the direction toward the central portion of the first segment, and in the neighborhood of the place where it joins the second segment, curved in the same direction as the second segment but with greater curvature than the second segment, and thereafter curved in the opposite direction.

A thus shaped leaf spring can be arranged between the inner tube and the outer tube such that the whole second segment abuts on the outer tube and furthermore the two ends of the outer portion of the first segment and the end of the third segment are supported on the outer tube. The middle region of the outer portion of the first segment and the middle region of the third segment are then supported on the inner tube.

Advantages of the extension of the leaf spring(s) in radial direction and the arrangement in a cut-in or groove are:

(a) little space is needed. The cut-in or recess for placing the spring(s) has a depth of about 0.5 mm. This groove is advantageously arranged in the region with widened diameter 13. The mounting of the spring in the groove affords the advantage that the region with the widened diameter need not be widened any farther. Preferably, the leaf spring is made of hardened steel Ck 101 K (in accordance with DIN 17222 having a diamond pyramid hardness (Vickers hardness)=HV 580+30). The thickness of the leaf spring is advantageously less than 0.30 mm, preferably less than 0.15 mm. Only a small structural space is needed because the spring is arranged in a recess. Of course, other materials, for example, copper-beryllium alloys, plastic or other steel alloys are possible.

(b) Another advantage is the large adjustable range of elevation and windage indicated in FIG. 5 which is prior art known from the “Victory Series” of sighting telescopes manufactured by Carl Zeiss AG of Germany. Preferably, the adjustable range of elevation and windage is formed roughly as a square. Nevertheless, it can be formed differently, for example, as an oblong. With the spring leaf arranged in the cut-in or the recess, a large and preferably square adjustable range of elevation and windage can be achieved; whereas, a spring, which is arranged in the classic way parallel to the telescope axis, reduces the adjustable range of elevation and windage as can be seen in FIG. 5.

(c) Preferably, the leaf spring is a leaf spring system, that is, a spring packet which has at least two leaf springs arranged one atop the other. Each single leaf spring preferably has a thickness of about 0.10 to 0.20 mm, especially about 0.15 mm. In lieu of a spring packet, also a single spring with adequately high elasticity can be used. A high spring force can be achieved with this high elasticity of the leaf spring system. Such a leaf spring system can be placed in a cut-in or recess of shallow depth and a large spring displacement path is realized. The leaf spring(s), for example, a leaf spring system as described above, can be pretensioned. The effective adjustment can, for example, be ±1 mm. This corresponds to a ±3.5 mm spring displacement path because the spring is pretensioned. The cut-in has a depth of a maximum of 5 mm. Preferably, the cut-in depth is <0.5 mm. This affords the advantage that the middle tube does not have to be increased in size in the bellied region thereof. With the term “bellied region”, that region of the sighting telescope is referred to whereat the elevation and windage operator-controlled elements are disposed. This thickened or bellied region is approximately designed in sighting telescopes as a spherical form. Instead of using a leaf spring system with two leaf springs, there can be three, four or more leaf springs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described with reference to the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 shows a section through a sighting telescope according to the invention, in a plane containing the telescope axis;

FIG. 2 shows a section through the sighting telescope of FIG. 1, in a plane perpendicular to FIG. 1 and taken along line II-II;

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of a leaf spring for producing the restoring force for elevation adjustment;

FIG. 4 shows the mid portion of a sighting telescope from the prior art;

FIG. 5 shows a schematic cross section of the mid portion of a sighting telescope from the prior art;

FIG. 6 shows a longitudinal section of a mid portion of a sighting telescope of the invention;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view looking into the mid portion of a sighting telescope according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 8 shows a cross section of the mid portion of a sighting telescope according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 9a, 9b and 9c show a first leaf spring of a leaf spring system;

FIGS. 10a, 10b and 10c show a second leaf spring of a leaf spring system;

FIG. 11 shows a leaf spring system;

FIGS. 12a to 12c show schematically the optical path or light path in a sighting telescope for the erecting lens at respective positions; and,

FIG. 13 is a detail view of the mid portion of a sighting telescope.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

The sighting telescope in FIGS. 1 and 2 has an outer tube 1 whose inner and outer diameter respectively increase toward the two ends. The objective 2 is arranged at the objective-side end of the sighting telescope and the two-lens eyepiece (3, 4) at the eyepiece-side end. The two components (3, 4) of the eyepiece are displaceable in the direction of the telescope axis by rotating the eyepiece portion, so that diopter compensation is possible.

A two-piece inner tube (5, 6) is arranged within the outer tube 1. The objective-side inner tube 6 is accommodated, displaceable coaxially along the telescope axis A, in the outer tube 1, and holds a focusing lens 20. Parallax compensation, that is, setting sharply to different target distances, takes place by displacing the focusing lens 20 coaxially along the optical axis.

An operating knob 18 with an eccentric 19 is arranged in the outer tube 1 in a bearing washer 17, for displacing the objective-side inner tube 6. On rotating the operating knob 18, the eccentric 19 moves parallel to the telescope axis A and correspondingly entrains the objective-side inner tube.

A field lens 7, a two-lens image erecting system (8, 9), and a reticle 10 are accommodated in the eyepiece-side inner tube 5. The real intermediate image produced immediately on the objective side of the field lens 7 by the objective 2 together with the focusing lens 20 is imaged as a real image in the plane of the reticle 10 due to the image erecting system (8, 9). The two lenses of the image erecting system (8, 9) are oppositely displaceable in a known manner by means of an adjusting ring (not shown) on the eyepiece side, so that, for example, different magnifications between 4.5 times and 14 times can be set. The image erecting system (8, 9) consequently forms a variator, which permits a magnification change by at least a factor of three.

The reticle 10 is displaceable perpendicularly of the telescope axis A for setting different elevations and windage. For this purpose, the eyepiece-side inner tube 5 is tiltably or pivotably received in the outer tube 1. The outer tube has projections 11 for this purpose in the neighborhood of the reticle 10, but spaced apart from the reticle 10 in the direction of the telescope axis A, and the inner tube has corresponding projections 12, so that tilting of the eyepiece-side inner tube 5 carrying the reticle is possible about the stop faces of the projections.

Two operating elements (14, 24), arranged mutually at 90° on the outer tube 1, are provided for elevation and windage adjustments at the objective-side end of the eyepiece-side inner tube 5. Each of these operating elements (14, 24) substantially consists of a threaded spindle threadably engaged in a nut (15, 25) on the outer tube 1 and having on its inner end a flange which presses against the eyepiece-side inner tube 5.

For latching the elevation and windage settings, a spring tip (not shown) on each nut and toothing extending around each threaded spindle are provided with which the spring tip meshes. When a scale is provided on the operating elements, it can also be possible to uncouple the operating elements (14, 24) from the associated threaded spindle.

The operating elements (14, 24) for elevation and windage adjustments and the operating element 18 for parallax compensation are arranged, offset by about 90° about the telescope axis A, virtually in one plane in the direction of the telescope axis A.

A leaf spring 16 for producing a restoring force on the eyepiece-side inner tube 5 is arranged between the outer tube 1 and the eyepiece-side inner tube 5. So that, on the one hand, a sufficient space remains for movement of the eyepiece-side inner tube 5 radially of the telescope axis A, with a simultaneously sufficiently large free diameter of the inner tube (5, 6), the outer tube 1 is configured thickened in the region 21 of the operating elements (14, 18, 24), and the inner diameter of the outer tube is increased in this region 13. The clear diameter of the outer tube 1 in this region 13 with widened inner diameter is about 98% of the external diameter of the outer tube 1 in the intermediate regions for mounting the sighting telescope.

The leaf spring 16 for producing the restoring force on the eyepiece-side inner tube against the force of the two operating elements (14, 24) for elevation and windage adjustments extends substantially in a radial direction within the region 13 in which the inner diameter of the outer tube is increased. The leaf spring extends by more than 90° about the telescope axis A, and is supported on the outer tube at at least three radially offset points (30, 31, 32) and at three radially offset points (33, 34, 35) on the eyepiece-side inner tube 5. The support locations (33, 34) on the eyepiece-side inner tube 5 are then opposite corresponding ones of the operating elements (14, 24) for elevation and windage adjustments, and the third support point 35 is situated in the bisector of the axes connecting the two other support points (33, 34) on the inner tube to the telescope axis A.

The exact structure of the leaf spring 16 is shown in FIG. 3. The leaf spring 16 has a first spring segment 40 with a central portion 41 and two outer portions (42, 43) adjoining thereto on either side, the two outer portions being alike curved by the same amount and direction, but curved less than, and oppositely in direction to, the central portion. Furthermore the leaf spring 16 has a second segment 44, extending from the central portion 41 to one side, and curved corresponding to the inner diameter of the outer tube, and a third segment (45, 46) running from the outer edge 47 of the second segment 44 in the direction of the central portion 41 of the first segment 40, and curved in a region 45 in the neighborhood of the junction to the second segment 44 in the same direction as the second segment but more strongly than the second segment 44, and thereafter curved in the opposite direction.

In the sighting telescope in FIGS. 1 and 2, the inner diameter of the outer tube 1 in the region 13 with widened inner diameter is, for example, 25 mm, and the outer diameter of the inner tube 5 in this region is, for example, 20 mm. With a wall thickness of about 1.8 mm of the inner tube 5, even with a minimum outer diameter of 25.4 mm of the outer tube 1 at the places provided for fitting to the rifle, there thus also remains a free diameter of the inner tube 5 which is sufficiently large that, with an objective diameter of 40 mm and with three-fold magnification, a visual field of the usual size of 10.36 m at 100 m, and with nine-fold magnification, a visual field of 3.35 m at 100 m, are achieved. With these dimensions, the radius of curvature of the outer portions (42, 43) of the first segment 40 of the leaf spring is 10 mm, and the radius of curvature at the end of the third segment of the leaf spring, and thus in the region supported on the inner tube 5, is 7 mm. Of course, other parameters can also be used.

FIG. 4 shows a middle part of a prior art sighting telescope with an optical axis A as produced by Carl Zeiss AG as part of the Zeiss Victory Series. Light flows downstream from the left side or ocular side (ocular not shown) to the right side or objective end (objective not shown). There is an outer tube 1 and an inner tube (5, 6) with one part being an ocular side inner tube 5 and another part being an objective side inner tube 6. Further, a field lens 20 and a two-lens image erecting system (8, 9) are shown. In the region of the operating elements (only the operating element for adjusting elevation 14 is shown) and, opposite of the operating element 14, a prior art leaf spring 100 is shown. In the region of the operating element, the first image plane, that is, the objective side image plane, can be found. This leaf spring 100 is arranged parallel to the optical axis A. The leaf spring 100 requires a lot of space and therefore reduces the adjustable range of elevation.

Furthermore, the leaf spring 100 is not arranged in a cut-in or a recess but in the gap 101 between the outer tube 1 and the inner tube (5, 6). Thus, the leaf spring 100 is an obstruction that hinders the adjustment of the elevation as can be seen in FIG. 5.

FIG. 5 shows schematically a cross section of the middle part of a sighting telescope which is prior art. In this part, the outer tube 1 shows a portion 102 for fastening the sighting telescope with fixing elements (not shown) to a gun (not shown). Two operating elements (114, 124) for elevation and windage adjustments are schematically indicated. A leaf spring 100 is arranged in a way that it can act against both operating elements (elevation and windage). The leaf spring 100 is arranged at an angle of about 135° to the operating element for elevation adjustment and the operating element for windage adjustment. The square adjustable range of elevation and windage 105 is indicated in FIG. 5. The inner tube can be adjusted within these limits. As can be seen, the leaf spring 100 projects into the square adjustable range for elevation and windage thereby reducing the adjustable range; whereas, with a leaf spring according to the invention, the full square adjustable range can be used as will now be explained.

FIG. 6 shows a longitudinal section of a middle part of a sighting telescope defining a telescope axis A. Light travels downstream from the objective (not shown) on the left hand side to the ocular (not shown) on the right hand side.

In the region of the operating element (only element 14 is shown), the diameter of the outer tube is widened. A recess 50 is provided and a leaf spring 16 is arranged in this recess. Instead of one leaf spring, a set of leaf springs could be provided. The recess can be circumferentially arranged in a full circle or it can be one or several parts of a circle or there can be one or several recesses. The recess(es) need to be big enough to accommodate parts of the leaf spring(s). The leaf spring(s) can be fixed inside the recess with a welding spot, screw or otherwise. With the arrangement of the leaf spring(s) in a recess, the elevation and windage ranges can be greater than the elevation and windage ranges provided in the prior art. The leaf springs are arranged in the region of the first image plane, that is, the image plane of the objective.

The adjustable range of elevation is preferably a square adjustable range of elevation and windage. The invention allows an enlargement of the adjustable range up to +20% to +30%. An edge length of the square range of elevation and windage of up to 30 mm, preferably 22 to 27 mm, can be achieved.

FIG. 7 provides a view looking into the middle part of a sighting telescope according to the invention. A part of the outer tube 1 with the bores for the operating elements (14, 24) for elevation and windage adjustment can be seen. A leaf spring system 51 is arranged in a recess 50. This leaf spring system consists of two separate leaf springs (52, 53). The leaf spring 53 rests on leaf spring 52. Leaf spring 53 can be made slightly shorter than leaf spring 52. Both leaf springs are connected with each other and to the outer tube by a screw 54. The recess 50 can have a width matched to the width of the leaf spring, for example, a width of 0.3 to 1.5 cm, preferably about 1.0 cm. Reference numerals 55 and 56 identify those regions into which the respective operating elements for elevation and windage adjustment are mounted.

FIG. 8 is a cross section of the middle part of the sighting telescope with bores (55, 56) for the operating elements for elevation and windage adjustment. The inner diameter of outer tube 1 is widened by recess 50 in which a part of the leaf spring system 51 is fixed by a screw 54. A self-stabilizing attachment of the leaf spring(s) can be provided, for example, by means of a forced-fit fixation. In contrast to FIG. 5, the leaf spring in FIG. 8 can recede completely into the recess 50, that is, spring 51 does not project beyond the inner wall surface 57 of the outer tube 1.

FIGS. 9a to 9c show the leaf spring 53 of the leaf spring system 51 and FIGS. 10a to 10c show the leaf spring 52 of the leaf spring system 51.

FIGS. 9c and 10c show projections of the springs (53, 52), respectively. In FIG. 9c, the large bore 53a is provided for screw 54 shown in FIG. 8 and the smaller 53b is needed during manufacture of the leaf spring. The same applies to bores 52a and 52b of spring 52 shown in FIG. 10c.

FIG. 11 shows the leaf spring system 51. Both leaf springs (52, 53) are connected to each other at one or two welding spots.

FIGS. 12a to 12c show schematically the optical ray path in a sighting telescope with image erecting lenses (8, 9) at different positions. The light comes from the left and the optical axis is identified by reference character A. The light passes first through the objective 2. A first image plane (object end image plane) 60 is disposed ahead of the field lens 7. The lenses (8, 9) of the image erecting system are arranged downstream of the field lens 7. Thereafter, the second image plane (ocular end image plane) is identified by reference numeral 61. The light leaves the sighting telescope through the objective lenses (3, 4). Reference numeral 62 identifies a lens for parallax compensation.

FIG. 13 is a detail view of a sighting telescope in the region of the operating elements with the elevation operating element 214 shown. Parts of the two-piece inner tube with the objective end inner tube 206 and the eye-piece end inner tube 205 as well as a first image erecting lens 208 are shown. In this example, the spring 200 is mounted in a recess 250, that is, there, the inner diameter of the outer tube 201 is increased. In conventional arrangements, the spring would be arranged in the gap 201 and so would reduce the region for elevation and windage adjustment.

In contrast to the other embodiments of the springs described above, the spring 200 is, for the most part, arranged essentially in a plane parallel to the optical axis A. With the arrangement in the recess 250, the spring 200 can be pressed together in such a manner that it lies substantially or entirely in the recess 250. In this way, the region for elevation and windage adjustment is increased. The spring acts on the inner tube at 135° with respect to each of the two operator-controlled elements of which only the operator-controlled element 214 for elevation is shown.

As shown in FIG. 13, the spring 200 is symmetrical to the left and right of a plane passing through line 220 perpendicular to the plane of the drawing and to the optical axis A. By way of example, the spring can be 8 mm wide and 26 mm long.

Sighting telescopes have a middle tube which can best be seen in FIG. 1 wherein the middle tube is that segment of the outer tube 1 lying between the two ends whereat the diameter increases. In the United States, the middle tube generally has a diameter of 25.4 mm (1 inch) and in Europe, the middle tube generally has a diameter of 30 mm. The parallel spring 200 shown in FIG. 13 can be preferable for sighting telescopes wherein the diameter is 30 mm and the radial springs shown in FIGS. 9a to 9c and 10a to 10c are preferable for sighting telescopes having a smaller or one inch diameter middle tube.

The radial springs can also be used in the large diameter middle tubes and that the parallel springs can be used in the small diameter middle tubes.

It is understood that the foregoing description is that of the preferred embodiments of the invention and that various changes and modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.