Title:
EASY CONNECT STOCK AND FOREND SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method and apparatus are disclosed for substituting a different stock, and a forend assembly, in a long gun (e.g., a shotgun) without the use of tools by a user in the field. Applicants' preferred apparatus for substituting a stock comprises: a long gun (e.g., an illustrated shotgun) having a stock and a receiver assembly; and an adaptor which removably interconnects the stock to the receiver assembly, wherein the adaptor includes: an adaptor base bolted to the receiver assembly; and a tool-less stock release means slidably attached to the base, whereby the stock release can be lifted up by a user to release the stock from the adaptor. Upon a new stock being placed in the adaptor, the stock release means can be pushed down, back into the adaptor base, to lock the adaptor, whereupon the adaptor interconnects the substitute stock with the receiver assembly. Applicants' preferred forend assembly comprises: a modified forend carrier that is affixed to the long gun (e.g., the illustrated shotgun); and a forend which removably mounts onto the fixed carrier by a tool-less forend release means attached to the forend and carrier, wherein the tool-less forend release means comprises a tongue-and-groove arrangement and a releasable lock. This permits the forend to be swapped out.



Inventors:
Webber, Kevin A. (Deerfield, NH, US)
Toner, Sean P. (Bradford, MA, US)
Hoell Jr., Joseph A. (Dunbarton, NH, US)
Application Number:
11/551271
Publication Date:
04/26/2007
Filing Date:
10/20/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41A21/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KLEIN, GABRIEL J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOLLAND & BONZAGNI, P.C. (LONGMEADOW, MA, US)
Claims:
Having thus described the invention, we claim:

1. An apparatus comprising: a. a long gun having a stock and a receiver assembly; and b. an adaptor which removably interconnects the stock to the receiver assembly; c. wherein the adaptor comprises: i. an adaptor base; and ii. a tool-less stock release means, slidably attached to the base, to unlock the adaptor and release the stock upon the stock release means being lifted up, at least partially out of the base, by a user.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the long gun is a shotgun.

3. An apparatus comprising: a. a long gun having a stock and a receiver assembly; and b. an adaptor which removably interconnects the stock to the receiver assembly, wherein the adaptor includes: i. an adaptor base; and ii. a tool-less stock release slidably attached to the base, wherein the stock release can be lifted up at least partially out of the adaptor base, by a user, to release the stock from the adaptor.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the long gun is a shotgun.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein the adaptor base is bolted to the receiver assembly.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the tool-less stock release has a finger grip and two spaced apart legs, extending downwardly from the finger grip, that straddle respective channels on opposite sides of the adaptor base.

7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein the adaptor includes a substantially flat stock lock slidably housed within a substantially horizontal guide housing; the stock release has a tapered wedge extending downwardly from the finger grip, offset from and inclined toward the legs; and, the wedge is housed within an opening of the stock lock, whereby the stock lock is designed to slide between the guide housing between the guide housing and a generally horizontal slot, inside the stock, upon the tapered wedge being lifted up or pushed down with the rest of the stock release.

8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein the wedge has at least one stop to prevent the stock release from being lifted out of the adaptor entirely.

9. A method for substituting a stock in a long gun, comprising: a. attaching an adaptor to a receiver assembly of a long gun; b. removably attaching the stock to the adaptor to interconnect the stock to the receiver assembly; c. lifting a stock release, without the use of tools, to unlock the adaptor; d. removing the stock from the unlocked adaptor; e. placing a substitute stock inside the adaptor; and f. pressing down the stock release to lock the adaptor and thereby interconnect the substitute stock to the receiver assembly.

10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein the long gun is a shotgun.

11. A method for substituting a stock in a long gun, comprising: a. interconnecting the stock removably to a receiver assembly of the long gun via an adaptor between the stock and receiver assembly; b. pulling a stock release at least partially out of the adaptor, without the use of tools, to unlock the adaptor; c. removing the stock from the unlocked adaptor; d. placing a substitute stock into the unlocked adaptor; and e. locking the adaptor by pushing the stock release, without the use of tools, back into the adaptor to interconnect the substitute stock to the receiver assembly.

12. A method for substituting a stock in a long gun, comprising: a. interconnecting the stock removably to a receiver assembly of the long gun via an adaptor; b. pulling a stock release, without the use of tools, to unlock the adaptor; c. removing the stock from the unlocked adaptor; d. placing a substitute stock into the unlocked adaptor; and e. locking the adaptor by pushing down the stock release, without the use of tools, to interconnect the substitute stock to the receiver assembly.

13. The method of claim 12 wherein the long gun is a shotgun.

14. An apparatus comprising: a. a forend carrier attached to a long gun, wherein the carrier comprises: i. a front end and a rear end; ii. a pair of front protrusions on opposite sides of the carrier, adjacent the carrier's front end; iii. a pair of rear protrusions adjacent the carrier's rear end; b. a forend comprising: i. a front end and a rear end; ii. attachment means for removably attaching the forend to the forend carrier, wherein the attachment means comprises: (a) a pair of grooves, adjacent the forend's front end, adapted in size and shape to slip over the front protrusions on the carrier; and (b) a pair of slide bars, adjacent the forend's rear end, adapted in size and shape to slip onto the rear protrusions on the carrier.

15. The apparatus of claim 14 wherein the long gun is a shotgun.

16. An apparatus comprising: a. a forend carrier attached to a long gun, wherein the carrier comprises: i. a front end and a rear end; ii. a pair of front protrusions on opposite sides of the carrier, adjacent the carrier's front end; iii. at least one rear protrusion adjacent the carrier's rear end; b. a forend comprising: i. a front end and a rear end; ii. a pair of grooves, adjacent the forend's front end, adapted in size and shape to slip over the front protrusions in the carrier; and iii. a slide lock, adjacent the forend's rear end, adapted in size and shape to slip over the rear protrusion on the carrier.

17. The apparatus of claim 16 wherein the long gun is a shotgun.

18. A method for removably attaching a forend in a long gun comprising: a. affixing a forend carrier to the long gun; b. attaching a front end of the forend by a tongue-and-groove arrangement in the carrier and forend; c. removably securing the forend in place to the carrier by a releasable lock located, at least in part, in the forend; and d. wherein steps (b) and (c) are performed without the use of tools by a user in the field.

19. The method of claim 18 wherein the long gun is a shotgun.

20. The method of claim 19 wherein the step of removably securing the forend in place to the carrier by a releasable lock located, at least in part, in the forend further comprises the following sub-steps: a. spring loading a pair of slide bars on opposite sides of the interior of the forend, adjacent a rear end of the forend; and b. sliding those bars over respective protrusions on the carrier.

21. The method of claim 20 wherein the step of removably attaching the forend by the tongue-and-groove arrangement further comprises the following sub-steps: a. slipping grooves in a front end of the forend over respective protrusions in a front end of the carrier, while holding the forend in a downward tilt relative to the carrier; and b. pivoting a rear end of the forend upwardly, towards the carrier, until a releasable lock in the forend snaps into place.

22. A method comprising: a. affixing a forend carrier to a long gun; b. attaching a front end of a forend by a tongue-and-groove arrangement in the carrier and forend; c. removably securing the forend in place to the carrier by a releasable lock located, at least in part, in the forend; and, d. removing the forend from the carrier, without the use of tools, by releasing the lock and then pivoting the forend downwardly and forwards until the tongue-and-groove arrangement releases from the carrier.

23. The method of claim 22 wherein the long gun is a shotgun.

24. A method for removably attaching a forend in a long gun comprising: a. sliding a front leading end of the forend over front lock protrusions on opposite sides of the carrier; b. continue pushing the forend forward until the front lock protrusions slip into respective L-shaped pockets in a leading end of the forend; and c. pushing up the rear of the forend, until a releasable lock located in a rear portion of the forend snaps into position once the forend is level.

25. The method of claim 24 wherein the long gun is a shotgun.

26. An apparatus for removably attaching a forend in a long gun comprising: a. a long gun having a fixed forend carrier; b. a forend; and, c. tool-less forend release means for removably attaching the forend onto the carrier and removing the forend off the carrier without the use of tools.

27. The apparatus of claim 26 wherein the long gun is a shotgun.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority from a U.S. Provisional Patent Application, Ser. No. 60/729,145, filed Oct. 20, 2005.

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates generally to firearms. More specifically, it relates to the stock and forend attachment for long guns, such as shotguns.

BACKGROUND

A long gun is a firearm with an extended barrel, usually designed to be fired braced against the shoulder. Barrels of such weapons commonly extend to around 50 cm or longer, giving considerable accuracy and range. Most modern long guns fall into one of two categories, rifles or shotguns, distinguished by their design and type of projectile they fire.

Shotguns are designed primarily to fire small pellets, called shots. Some shotguns can be adapted to fire a single projectile, called a slug.

There are several major components of shotguns: the barrels, stocks, and forends or forearms. Shotguns are distinguished by the length of their barrels, and by their barrel diameters, or bores. The barrels, stocks, and forends vary according to the gun's design and intended use.

By far the most common gauges for barrels are 12 (0.73 in, 18.5 mm diameter) and 20 (0.614 in, 15.6 mm), although 4, 8, 10, 14, 16, 24, 28, 32 gauges and the .410 calibre (10 mm) have also been produced.

Chokes on the barrels can control the exiting spread, or pattern of shot. Therefore, shotgun gauges and choke patterns are selected based on the type of shooting to be done.

The proper fit for a user of a shotgun depends largely on the length and shape of the gun's stock. The selection of the proper stock and forend will have a bearing on the user's comfort, accuracy, and control when shooting.

The gauge of a barrel and the type of game are factors in determining what ammunition is to be used. Pump shotguns intended for private defensive use have barrels as short as 18 inches. “Small game” barrels, for hunting game like rabbits and squirrels with buckshot, are often 22 to 24 inches in length. Larger barrels, about 28-29 inches, are used to hunt quails, pheasants, and doves in semi-open wooded or farmland, where dense brush is less of a hindrance and the ability to have more reach is important. Still other barrels, designed for single shot, are used for hunting larger game.

The advent of interchangeable barrels made the shotgun a more versatile firearm, especially in the field. Hunters often swap out barrels for different game.

Shotguns also are used for sports such as skeet, trap, and sporting clays. These involve shooting clay disks, known as clay pigeons, thrown in various ways. Shorter stocks are used for greater maneuverability.

Often, shooters will want to change the forend and or stock to create the proper fit. This happens, sometimes, when there are two shooters (e.g., a husband and wife) sharing the same shotgun. One of the shooters will, more than likely, have an improper fit with the shotgun.

Another instance is with hunters. Often, the hunter will want to switch out the forend and stock to create the proper fit for different game or sporting activity.

The changing of the stock, forend, or both is a time-consuming process. The user has to disassemble portions of the shotgun by using tools when in the field. If the stock is too long, it can get caught in the armpit of the user. If the stock is too short, recoil can cause the scope to hit the eyebrow. An improper fit can also cause during the gun's recoil: the stock to hit the cheek, when the cheek is pressed on the stock to line up the sight and target.

The average woman typically uses a shorter stock than the average man. Forearms have an economic design for comfort, fit and control. Shotgun stocks and forends come in a variety of designs and materials. Selections of the stock and forend will depend upon what the shooter is comfortable with and the use.

To remove existing shotgun stocks, the butt pad has to be taken off first. This requires the user to unscrew the Philips screws holding it in place. Upon removal of the pad, the stock bolt and any metal spacers have to be removed to free the stock from the shotgun or the receiver. The forend currently is either slid onto the magazine tube or over both the magazine tube and barrel.

Some shotgun designs have a screw or another form of locking mechanism for the forend.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,374,528 to Davis et al. discloses a stock mounting kit that uses adaptors. U.S. Pat. No. 5,173,564 to Hammond, Jr. discloses a stock mounting kit using an extension and latch system. Both of these inventions require the use of tools in the field to swap out stocks.

Accordingly, it is a general object of the present invention to provide an easy connect/disconnect system which permits the quick and easy change of shotgun stocks and forends without the use of tools in the field.

It is another general object to provide an easy connect/disconnect system which permits the quick and easy change of stocks and forends, for any long gun, without the use of tools in the field.

It is a more specific object to provide an adaptor for removably interconnecting a stock to a receiver, wherein the adaptor has a tool-less release for changing stocks without the use of tools in the field.

It is another specific object to provide an easy connect/disconnect system for long-gun forends that permits a shooter to attach a different forend without the use of tools.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

An easy connect/disconnect apparatus is disclosed for replacing a stock or forend (a.k.a. forearm) in a long gun without the use of tools in the field. Applicants' preferred and illustrated embodiment comprises: a modified stock having a specially shaped end adjacent a standard receiver assembly of a shotgun; the receiver assembly has an adaptor that interconnects the stock to the receiver assembly to hold the shotgun together; wherein the adaptor has a tool-less stock release that can be lifted to release the stock from the adaptor and receiver assembly. In the field a shooter can unlock the adaptor without any tools to substitute a different stock. Upon locking the adaptor, again without any tools, the receiver and new stock are secured together. Applicants' preferred embodiment also provides a forend that can be mounted or replaced by a pushbutton release.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The above and other objects will become more readily apparent when the following description is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a standard long gun (here, a shotgun) modified with Applicants' “Easy Connect Stock and Forend System”;

FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of Applicants' “Easy Connect Stock,” wherein a non-standard (“modified”) stock and a standard receiver assembly are interconnected by an adaptor having a tool-less stock release;

FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of Applicants' “Easy Connect Stock,” wherein the stock and receiver assembly are disconnected with the tool-less stock release in a lifted or unlocked position;

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of FIG. 2, which includes the stock, receiver assembly, and adaptor with the tool-less stock release;

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of the adaptor;

FIG. 6 is a partial cross-sectional side view of the FIG. 2 shotgun, which shows the tool-less stock release lifted up and the stock lock disengaged while the stock and receiver assembly are still connected;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional side view similar to FIG. 6, but with the adaptor tool-less stock release closed and the stock lock engaged while the stock and receiver assembly are interconnected;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional top view of the receiver assembly, stock, and adaptor, with the stock release closed;

FIG. 9 is a plan view of a modified end of the stock;

FIG. 10 is an exploded view of the forend carrier and forend forming Applicants' “Easy Connect Forend,” with action bars attached to the carrier;

FIG. 11 is a top perspective view of that carrier and forend assembly, nested together; and

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of Applicants' forend carrier affixed to the front end of a shotgun, with the forend removed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the drawings in detail, FIGS. 1-12 illustrate a preferred embodiment of Applicants' “Easy Connect Stock and Forend System” for easily connecting and disconnecting a stock and a forend in a long gun (e.g., shotgun), without the use of tools in the field.

FIG. 1 shows a MOSSBERG® 500® pump shotgun 10, which has been modified to utilize the preferred embodiment of Applicants' “Easy Connect Stock and Forend System.”

O. F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., which manufactures the MOSSBERG® 500® pump shotguns, is the Assignee of the current invention. As used herein, the term “standard” refers to parts found in a MOSSBERG 500® shotgun; the term “modified” refers to parts changed from those found in a 500® shotgun.

FIGS. 2-9 illustrate, in detail, Applicants' preferred “Easy Connect Stock” embodiment 100 for easily connecting and disconnecting a shotgun stock. It comprises: a standard receiver assembly 112; a modified stock 114 having a specially shaped end 116 adjacent the receiver assembly 112; and, an adaptor 118 that interconnects the stock 114 to the receiver assembly 112 holding the shotgun together, wherein the adaptor 118 has a “tool-less” stock release 120 that is lifted or slid up to allow the stock 114 to be separated from the receiver assembly 112. After swapping another stock (not shown), the stock release 120 is then pressed down to lock the pieces together.

As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the receiver assembly 112 is attached to the adaptor 118 by using an adaptor bolt 122. The bolt 122 is a conventional bolt. The bolt 122 is placed through aligned adaptor mounting holes 124, 125 and is threaded into a mounting bore 126 in the receiver assembly.

FIGS. 3-9 disclose the preferred embodiment of the adaptor 118 comprising the stock release 120, an adaptor base 128, and a stock lock 129. The stock release 120 straddles the adaptor base 128 while holding the stock lock 129 within the adaptor 118.

The stock release 120 has several integral components. For example, stock release 120 has a preferred hand or finger grip 130. Grip 130 (see FIGS. 4, 6 and 7) has a slightly arcuate top surface 131, which inclines or slopes toward stock end 116. Grip 130 also has a flat bottom 132. A front portion of bottom 132 is designed to rest adjacent a ledge 133 of base 128, when the stock release 120 is fully closed.

Referring to FIG. 4, two legs 134a, 134b extend downwardly from the finger grip 130. The legs 134a, 134b are generally flat. Their exposed sides are partly knurled to help a user's grip.

A tapered wedge 136 is positioned in front of, and in the middle of, legs 134a, 134b. Tapered wedge 136 extends downwardly from the finger grip 130 into the adaptor base. At first, the wedge extends at a 90° angle relative to the flat bottom 132 (see FIGS. 6 and 7). Then, about one-fourth of the way down, the wedge cants toward receiver assembly 112, so that its free end 140 is almost centered between the legs 134a, 134b.

The preferred wedge 136 is notched longitudinally. It is otherwise generally flat on all sides (see FIG. 8).

Stock release 120 is secured to the adaptor base 128 by the legs 134a, 134b and the tapered wedge 136. Legs 134a, 134b straddle vertical bearing surfaces 142a, 142b on opposite sides of adaptor base 128 (see FIG. 5). This allows the stock release 120 to move up and down freely to a certain extent. Wedge end 140 has a lip 144 which acts as a stop. It hits against the stock lock 129 (see FIG. 6) to prevent the release 120 from being pulled out of the adaptor base 128 entirely.

When the stock release is closed (see FIG. 7), it is held in place by two spring-loaded ball plungers located at 145a, 145b (see FIG. 5) in bearing surfaces 142a, 142b. The plungers act as detents or stops. They slip into aligned recesses in the interior sides (not shown) of legs 134a, 134b.

As best shown in FIGS. 5-8, adaptor base 128 is a milled piece (i.e., after an initial casting) but could be made up of separate plates. Adaptor base 128 is basically a U-shaped housing, which further includes: an oval lock slot 146 in which the stock lock 129 resides and slides; a domed top 148 that corresponds to the configuration of the underside 132 of finger grip 130; a generally flat bottom 150 designed to rest atop a flat ledge 151 on the modified stock end 116; and a pair of trapezoidal side extensions 152a, 152b designed to mount onto stock end 116 (see FIG. 9).

Adaptor top 148 has a rectangular recess 153. It includes a rectangular “cutout” 156 that abuts ledge 133 and opens into the top of lock slot 146. Similarly, lock slot 146 opens into the top of mounting hole 124.

Mounting holes 124, 125, as mentioned above, are used to attach the adaptor 118 to the receiver assembly 112. Mounting holes 124, 125 are coaxial. They are set in the center of the adaptor base 128 slightly above an adaptor mount 158 in receiver assembly 1 14.

Mounting hole 124 has a greater diameter than the head of the adaptor bolt 122. Mounting hole 125 has a diameter less than the head of bolt 122. Bolt 122 secures the adaptor 118 to the receiver assembly 112 by resting against a front adaptor wall 162 adjacent receiver assembly 112. Wall 162 contains an arcuate protrusion or rim 164 (see FIGS. 5-8). That rim extends into an arcuate recess 166 in the receiver assembly 112 to help attach the adaptor base 128 to the receiver assembly.

Stock lock 129 locks the stock 114 in place when the receiver assembly 112 and adaptor 118 are mounted to the stock 114. The stock lock 129 is contained within the lock slot 146 of the adaptor base 128 (see FIG. 8). Stock lock 129 is preferably square in cross-section. It is generally flat. It has a square central opening 174, through which the tapered wedge 136 extends. The square opening is wide enough to accommodate the angled portions of the wedge (see FIGS. 6 and 7).

Two coil springs 176a, 176b are always in compression. Opposite ends rest against the stock lock 129, inside respective channels 178a, 178b (see FIG. 8), and against a front face of lock slot 146. Since the springs are always in compression, they bias the stock lock 129 (and indirectly the wedge 136) toward a locked position. The stock lock 129 is held in place within the adaptor 118 partly by the tapered wedge 136 and coil springs 176a, 176b.

In operation, stock 114 (see FIG. 9) is attached to the receiver assembly 112 by sliding the stock 114 upwardly engaging specially shaped end 116 with the adaptor 118 having the tool-less stock release 120 disengaged. Flat ledge 151 extends outwardly from stock end 116, towards the receiver assembly 112. There are two support columns or stanchions 178a, 178b on opposite ends of the ledge 151. Trapezoidal notches extend longitudinally in opposing surfaces of columns 178a, 178b. These notches provide slip-in accommodations for the mirror-shaped adaptor walls 152a, 152b. The ledge accommodates the width and length of the adaptor base 128. A stock wall portion 180 is behind the two columns 178a, 178b. Stock wall portion 180 is generally flat and has a pocket or slot 182 (rectangular in cross-section) to accommodate the stock lock 129.

As shown in FIGS. 6, when a stock 114 is attached to the adaptor 118 and receiver assembly 112 with the stock release 120 disengaged, the stock lock 129 resides within the adaptor 118. To lock the stock 114 in place, the stock release 120 is pushed downward until the ball-plunger detents 145a, 145b slip into “their” recesses in legs 134a, 134b. Pushing the stock release down also engages the tapered wedge 136, which in turn drives the spring-loaded stock lock 129 into the stock lock slot 184. There is a line-to-line contact (i.e., a close fit) between the lock 129 and slot 146. That combination of features creates a secure and locked attachment between the stock 114, adaptor 118, and receiver assembly 112 as shown in FIG. 7.

To remove the stock 114, the stock release 120 is pulled upwardly. The tapered wedge 136 drives the stock lock 129 out of the stock lock slot 184 and into the adaptor 118. Then the stock 114 can be slipped out of the stock end 116. See FIG. 3.

In its simplest sense, the stock release 120 can therefore be thought of as a tool-less stock release means, slidably attached to the base, to unlock the adaptor and release the stock upon the stock release means being lifted up by a user.

Applicants' “Easy Connect Stock” can also be thought of as a method of substituting a stock in a long gun. The preferred method comprises the following steps: (a) attaching an adaptor to a receiver assembly of a long gun; (b) removably attaching the stock to the adaptor to interconnect the stock to the receiver assembly; (c) lifting or sliding up a stock release at least partially out of the adaptor, without the use of tools, to unlock the adaptor; (d) removing the stock from the unlocked adaptor; placing a substitute stock inside the adaptor; and, (d) pressing or pushing down the stock release to lock the adaptor and thereby interconnect the substitute stock to the receiver assembly.

FIGS. 10-12 disclose Applicants' preferred “Easy Connect Forend” assembly 200. Assembly 200 comprises: a forend or forearm carrier 210 secured to receiver assembly 112; a modified forend or forearm 212 removably attachable to the forend carrier 210 by two front locks (e.g., two tongue-and-groove arrangements) 214a, 214b; and a pair of rear locks (e.g., two slide locks) 216a, 216b to removably lock the forend 212 onto the carrier 210.

As with Applicants' “Easy Connect Stock,” their “Easy Connect Forend” (in its broadest sense) is designed for use on any long gun. The illustrated preferred embodiment 200 is designed for use in pump shotguns.

Forend carrier 210 is a modified version of O. F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc.'s standard carrier for its 500® pump action shotgun. The modifications are best shown in FIG. 10: two identical rear lock protrusions (e.g., one shown at 218b) located on opposite sides of the carrier, near its rear; and two identical front lock protrusions (e.g., one shown at 220b) on opposite sides of the carrier, near its front.

Rear lock protrusions (e.g., 218b) have flat tops and exposed sides. The tops are tipped forward. They decline from rear to front.

Front lock protrusions (e.g., 220b) resemble the human tongue, but are flat on their exposed sides. They are generally flat on top; have flat bottoms which incline from rear to front; and, have a rounded tip.

Applicants' preferred forend (a.k.a. forearm) 212, as mentioned above, is a modified version of O. F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc.'s standard forend for its 500® pump action shotgun. As best shown in FIG. 10, the modifications are: two identical L-shaped pockets 222a, 222b inside the forend (one on each side), which form two identical front “pocket” protrusions 223a, 223b (one on each side) at the leading edge of the forend, are designed to slip off or snugly onto the front lock protrusions (e.g., 220b); and two spring-biased slide bars 224a, 224b inside the forend (one on each side), with attached slide lock releases (e.g., one shown at 226b) outside of the forend, are designed to slide off or snugly onto the tops of rear lock protrusions (e.g., 218b).

Forend lock springs (e.g., one shown at 228b) normally bias respective slide bars 224a, 224b into a locked position (see FIG. 11). In that position, rear ends of the bars ride onto the carrier's rear lock protrusions (e.g., 218b). Because of a tight fit, the bars stay in place until the knurled slide releases (e.g., 226b) are pushed forward, thereby sliding the bars 224a, 224b forward and off the protrusions (e.g., 218b).

Forend 212 has two hollow spacers 229a, 229b to provide structural stability. One spacer 229a is located just rear of the slide bars 224a, 224b; the other spacer 229b is just rear of L-shaped pockets 222a, 222b. Each spacer has an arcuate top surface to cup the bottom of the carrier, when the forend is mounted.

FIGS. 10 and 11 show standard actions bars 230a, 230b attached to the forend. They form no part of this invention.

There are two vertical stops (e.g., one shown at 232) on the front and rear ends of the carrier 210. They are located on the bottom of carrier 210. As the action is closed, the forend 212 pushes on rear stop 234. As the action is opened, the forearm pushes on the front stop.

To attach the forend or forearm 212, slide the rear of the forend over the carrier's front lock protrusions (e.g., 220b). Continue pushing forward until the carrier's front lock protrusions slip into the L-shaped pockets 222a, 222b. Then push up on the rear of the forend 212. Once the forend is level, the front locks 214a, 214b and rear locks 216a, 216b will snap into place.

When the forend 212 is attached, it is held in place by four locks, two per side. Front forend lock protrusions (e.g., 223b) respectively engage front forend carrier lock protrusions (e.g., 220b) to form the front locks 214a, 214b. Spring-loaded slide bars 224a, 224b respectively engage the carrier's rear lock protrusions (e.g., 218b) to secure the rear locks 216a, 216b.

To remove forend 212, push both slide lock releases (e.g., 226b) forward. Holding those knurled releases forward, pull down the rear of the forend and then slide the forend forward and down . . . until it is off the carrier. At that point, the user can swap out another forend by reversing the process.

Applicants' forend assembly invention therefore is designed to be used in the field or anywhere, allowing the user with quickness and ease to change out a shotgun's stock 114 and or forend 212 without the use of tools.

While the preferred adaptor 118 for the “Easy Connect Stock” is mounted onto the receiver 112 by tools beforehand (here, a Philips screwdriver), note that no tools are needed to lift the stock release 120 afterwards. Similarly, no tools are needed to replace an “Easy Connect Forend” 212 after its associated forend carrier 210 is mounted onto the shotgun by tools beforehand.

The combination of a tongue-and-groove arrangement (e.g., 214b) and a releasable lock (e.g., a slide lock 216b) can be thought of as a tool-less forend release means for removably attaching the forend onto or removing the forend off a fixed carrier.

The ability to replace a stock 114 and forend 212 in a short amount of time without tools reduces the need for the user to carry tools to the field or shooting range. Applicants' invention allows for easy adjustment and reduction in time when interchanging the stock 114 and/or forend 212 for different users and/or different types of game or sporting activities.

It should be understood by those skilled in the art that obvious structural modifications can be made to the Easy Connect Stock and Forend System, beyond those noted above, without departing from the spirit of the invention. For example, the modified stock end can be accomplished by attaching a machined part rather than milling the end; or, the preferred method of substituting a shotgun stock can be broadened by omitting certain steps. In the removable forend, pushbutton locks could be substituted for the slide bars. Accordingly, reference should be made primarily to the accompanying claims rather than the foregoing description to determine the scope of the invention.





 
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