Title:
Rocker-arm igniter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rocker-arm igniter for irritation grenades, hand grenades, smoke or fog grenades, or similar, includes a rocker arm that may be pivoted by a tensioned spring about a pivot axis from a initial position into a second position, and that is firmly attached to a striker that, when the rocker arm is pivoted into its second position, strikes a igniter element of the rocker-arm igniter. A first mechanical securing device with a first securing device element is provided that holds the rocker arm in its initial position. Additionally, a second mechanical securing device with a second securing device element is provided that also holds the rocker arm in its initial position. The rocker arm is released to pivot into its second position only after removal of both securing device elements.



Inventors:
Luebbers, Thorsten (Luetjensee, DE)
Luebbers, Kai (Trittau, DE)
Application Number:
11/266963
Publication Date:
12/21/2006
Filing Date:
11/04/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F42B27/00; F42C14/02; F42C15/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KNOX, STEWART
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ECKERT SEAMANS CHERIN & MELLOTT, LLC (PITTSBURGH, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A rocker-arm igniter for a grenade having a housing with a rocker arm that may be pivoted by a tensioned spring about a pivot axis from a initial position into a second position, and that is firmly attached to a striker which, when the rocker arm is swiveled into its second position, strikes a igniter element of the rocker-arm igniter, said rocker-arm igniter comprising a first mechanical securing device with a first securing device element that holds the rocker arm in its initial position, and a second mechanical securing device with a second securing device element that holds the rocker arm in its initial position, wherein the rocker arm is released to pivot into its second position only after removal of both securing device elements.

2. The rocker-arm igniter as in claim 1, wherein the second mechanical securing device is independent of the first mechanical securing device.

3. The rocker-arm igniter as in claim 1, wherein the second mechanical securing device is radially opposite the rocker arm.

4. The rocker-arm igniter as in claim 1, wherein the first mechanical securing device is removed by removing the first securing device element in a first direction and the second mechanical securing device is removed by removing the second securing device element in a second direction.

5. The rocker-arm igniter as in claim 1, wherein the second mechanical securing device element comprises a clamp on the housing of the rocker-arm igniter.

6. The rocker-arm igniter as in claim 5, wherein the clamp is in the form of a fork with two tines that may be placed onto a wing of the housing of the rocker-arm igniter.

7. The rocker-arm igniter as in claim 6, wherein the second mechanical securing device is provided with an engaging projection that engages in an engaging hole in the wing.

8. The rocker-arm igniter as in claim 1, wherein the second mechanical securing device is provided with a pull ring to release the securing device.

9. The rocker-arm igniter as in claim 5, wherein the clamp is a plastic component.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a rocker-arm igniter as is used for irritation grenades, hand grenades, smoke, or fog grenades.

The rocker-arm igniter includes a housing in which a rocker arm may pivot about an axis with the help of a strong, pre-tensioned spring. The rocker arm is connected with a striker that strikes an ignition cap positioned in an igniter head when the spring pivots the rocker arm.

The function of the rocker arm will be explained in connection with an irritation grenade.

Such munitions include a housing that receives at least one, and often several, pyrotechnic loads, e.g., irritation loads that create a loud report and/or a flash of light upon ignition. A rocker-arm igniter is preferably threaded into the top part of the irritation grenade housing. For this, the rocker arm rests approximately against the housing of the irritation grenade, and is held in this initial position by a mechanical securing device, usually a pin with an extraction ring.

When the irritation grenade is used, it is held by a person so that the rocker arm may be held against the housing in its initial position. After releasing the mechanical securing device and subsequent tossing of the irritation grenade, the rocker arm is pivoted into its second position by the action of the strong spring so that the striker strikes the ignition cap to ignite the irritation load or loads.

An example of an irritation grenade with a rocker-arm igniter is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,595,139.

As a securing device element, for example, a securing pin is used that holds the rocker arm in its initial position. Extraction force of about 40 N to 80 N is required to extract the securing pins. For improved handling, the securing pin is equipped with an extraction ring by means of which the user extracts the pin from the housing.

In unforeseen situations, it may occur that the extraction ring catches on an object, for example, and the securing pin is extracted inadvertently. If the user is not holding the irritation grenade securely and is not securing the rocker arm with his hand, the irritation grenade loads are ignited. The pressure wave thus arising may lead to severe injury to the user.

There may also be situations in which the user inadvertently does not correctly hold the irritation grenade and does not hold the rocker arm securely. If the user then extracts the securing devices, the irritation grenade loads are ignited, again leading to serious injury.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is a principal object of the present invention to increase the safety of a rocker-arm igniter and to provide a design in which inadvertent arming of the rocker-arm igniter is practically impossible.

This object, as well as other objects which will become apparent from the discussion that follows, are achieved, in accordance to the present invention, by providing an additional, second mechanical securing device with a second securing device element that also holds the rocker arm in its initial position, whereby the rocker arm is released to pivot into its second position only after removal of both securing device elements.

The second mechanical securing device increases safety against undesired or inadvertent triggering of the rocker-arm igniter since the user is forced to employ a controlled procedure to arm the rocker-arm igniter. If the user inadvertently removes the first securing device, or if it is otherwise removed without the irritation grenade being held securely, triggering of the rocker-arm igniter is prevented by the second securing device. The user, after noticing the removal of the first securing device, must hold the irritation grenade securely in the hand before removing the second securing device.

After the irritation grenade is tossed, the rocker arm pivots into its second position by the force of the pre-tensioned spring in which the striker strikes the ignition cap, igniting the cap. As necessary, the igniter cap may detonate a delay charge that then ignites the irritation grenade load, or detonates loads of the irritation grenade sequentially.

The second mechanical securing device is preferably independent of the first mechanical securing device so that the sequence to remove both securing devices is arbitrary. Designs are naturally conceivable in which the mechanical design of the two mechanical securing devices is so configured that the sequence of securing device removal is pre-determined.

In an advantageous embodiment of the invention, the second mechanical securing device is positioned radially opposite the rocker arm resting against the housing so that there is good spatial separation between the two securing devices.

The two securing device elements are preferably so configured that they must be removed in different directions. This also requires more attention by the user to achieve a controlled arming of the rocker-arm igniter, and prevents inadvertent arming of the rocker-arm igniter.

The second securing device is a clamp, for example, attached to the housing of the rocker-arm igniter that holds the rocker arm in its initial position. The connection to the housing may be of any type. The clamp is preferably shaped as a two-pronged fork that is mounted on a wing within the housing of the rocker-arm igniter. The wing may be, for example, threaded into the igniter head of the rocker-arm igniter that bears the igniter cap.

One leg of the clamp is preferably provided with an engaging projection such as a small knob that engages with a corresponding engagement recess of the wing. This prevents the clamp from being removed from its rest position inadvertently when, for example, the irritation grenade is loaded. On the other side, the knob is so shaped that the fork may be extracted from the engagement recess with a strong pull.

The second mechanical securing device is preferably made of plastic so that it retains a certain elasticity.

For a full understanding of the present invention, reference should now be made to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of an irritation grenade with a rocker-arm igniter with two mechanical securing devices according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the irritation grenade as in FIG. 1, wherein both mechanical securing devices are removed.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional, cutaway view through a rocker-arm igniter for an irritation grenade per FIG. 1 showing the second mechanical securing device.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to FIGS. 1-3 of the drawings. Identical elements in the various figures are designated with the same reference numerals.

The irritation grenade 1 shown in FIG. 1 includes a housing 2 in which several pyrotechnic irritation charges such as report or flash charges are mounted as may be taken from the State of the Art described above. The neck 3 of a rocker-arm igniter 11 is threaded into the center of the upper side of the housing 2, whereby this neck 3 is a part of the housing 4 of the rocker-arm igniter. An ignition cap 5 is provided on the upper end of the neck facing away from the housing 2 that can ignite a delay charge 7 for the pyrotechnic loads within the housing 2 via a channel 6. The neck 3 with the igniter cap 5 forms an ignition chamber 8. Two wings 9 and 10 connected to each other are threaded onto the igniter chamber 8 that lie opposite each other and possess a straight area facing upward.

The rocker-arm igniter 11 includes a rocker arm 12 that may swivel about a pivot axis 13 with the help of a strong helical spring, and that is firmly attached with a striker 15. As is visible in FIG. 1, the rocker-arm igniter is secured in that the rocker arm 12 is secured by a pin 16 that is inserted through a hole 17 in the rocker arm and a matching hole 18 in the housing 4 of the rocker-arm igniter 11. The pin 16 is provided with a folding pull ring 19. The pin 16 with the pull ring 19 is a first known securing device that must be removed before the irritation grenade can be used. After removal of the pin 16, the rocker arm is held in the hand of the user. When the irritation grenade is tossed, the rocker arm 12 with the striker 15 swivels because of the spring 14 so that the striker 15 strikes the igniter cap.

As a second mechanical securing device, a clamp 20 in the form of a two-tined fork is provided whose upper end is also attached to a folding pull ring 21. The clamp 20 is extended along the straight area of the wing 10 of the igniter chamber 8, and lies approximately radially opposite the rocker arm 12. The clamp 20 includes an engaging knob 22 on one tine that engages in an engaging hole 23 in the wing 10. The clamp 20 rests against the front edge of the rocker arm 12 surrounding the neck 3, and prevents swiveling of the rocker arm 12 by the spring even if the first mechanical securing device consisting of pin 16 and pull ring 19 has already been extracted.

To use the irritation grenade, a person grasps the housing 2 with the rocker arm 12 and removes sequentially the two mechanical securing devices, i.e., pulls the pin 16 using the pull ring 19 and the clamp 20 with the help of the pull ring 21 from their secured positions. The rocker arm 12 is still held against the housing 2 by the hand of the user. Only when the irritation grenade is tossed does the rocker-arm 12 swivel from the force of the spring of the striker 15 about the axis 13 so that the striker pin 15 strikes the igniter cap, thus triggering ignition of the individual pyrotechnic irritation loads.

Since two mechanical securing devices must be removed before use, inadvertent release of a single securing device does not lead to function of the rocker-arm igniter and of the irritation charge.

There has thus been shown and described a novel rocker-arm igniter which fulfills all the objects and advantages sought therefor. Many changes, modifications, variations and other uses and applications of the subject invention will, however, become apparent to those skilled in the art after considering this specification and the accompanying drawings which disclose the preferred embodiments thereof. All such changes, modifications, variations and other uses and applications which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention are deemed to be covered by the invention, which is to be limited only by the claims which follow.