Title:
"Section 8" holder, the ultimate retention device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The purpose of the invention is to specifically address the problem of maintaining control and retention of a tactical device such as a flashlight while allowing use of the retention hand by rotating the flashlight to the backside of the hand and gaining use of the palm of the same hand for normal gripping. The invention accomplishes this by the virtue of the design of a flexible figure “8” shape that has 2 holes incorporated into it. The one hole is sized so that the most common tactical flashlight body diameters will be a tight friction fit between it and the figure “8”. The other hole accepts a finger “sizing ring”. The sizing ring is easily replaceable and is also a friction fit into the figure “8”. The proper sizing ring will allow the device to rotate freely on a digit of the hand, typically the index finger. The flashlight is held firmly and allowed to rotate and change positions to go from a palm gripped position to a position on the back of the hand. With a flip of the wrist, the flashlight goes from the back of the hand to the gripping position while being firmly retained and in a predictable position, unlike a lanyard or unattached flashlight. Once the invention is flipped to the palm position, the flashlight is easily held in the palm of the hand in any of the accepted methods of tactical training such as the hand over hand position or the hand alongside the firearm position. If the invention is flipped the opposite direction, it will flex back to its neutral flat state and rest on the backside of the hand holding the invention, and use of the open hand is available.



Inventors:
Rankin, Joseph W. (Cary, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/390842
Publication Date:
10/04/2007
Filing Date:
03/28/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F5/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20120306225Leaf scooperDecember, 2012Mirzai
20040145197Adjustable snow shaperJuly, 2004Kubicka et al.
20090223198MAGNETIC CLEAN UP TOOLSeptember, 2009Nye
20050104394Pipe-handling toolMay, 2005Cortez
20110309645FLEXIBLE PET WASTE COLLECTION DEVICE, KIT CONTAINING SAME AND THE USE THEREOFDecember, 2011Briscoe
20160300750HOLDING EQUIPMENTOctober, 2016Iwasaka et al.
20100194129SEPARATOR FOR PULLING OFF STACKED PACKAGING SHEETS WITH EMBOSSED CAVITIESAugust, 2010Bouthiette
20160311118BOLT RETRIEVAL APPARATUSOctober, 2016Miura et al.
20040051328Unit for handling a product comprising at least one ream of sheetsMarch, 2004Cinotti et al.
20030057721Auxiliary handle for long-handled implementsMarch, 2003Ducklow
20160008987PAD FOR TRANSFER APPARATUS, OBJECT TRANSFER APPARATUS INCLUDING THE PAD, AND OBJECT TRANSFER METHODJanuary, 2016Park et al.



Primary Examiner:
KRAMER, DEAN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOSEPH W. RANKIN (CARY, NC, US)
Claims:
1. A flexible retention device with multiple adjustable openings to grip objects inserted into the openings to comprise an adjustable retention system that will attach an object or an adjustable rigid insert to the device and the retention device will rotate on or about a digit of the hand allowing controlled forced flexibility from a normal resting state to a useful state of said device and the device returning to a normal resting state when forces are removed and while maintaining relative positions of the of the inserted objects.

2. A flexible gripping device in claim 1 wherein the device is able to be flexed and said device resilient properties will return said device to its normal resting state when the flexing forces are removed.

3. A gripping device in claim 1 wherein the device has at least 2 openings.

4. A gripping device in claim 1 wherein the device is a flexible molded material sized to apply a friction fit to the inserted objects.

5. A gripping device in claim 1 wherein an opening is designed to accept a rigid insert to effectively control the inside openings of the device.

6. A gripping device in claim 1 will expand and hold the rigid insert by friction.

7. A gripping device in claim 1 will hold rigid insert by mechanical design.

8. A gripping device in claim 1 wherein the device can be slid over an object and the friction produced from the object and the device will maintain relative fore and aft and relative rotational position to each other.

9. A gripping device in claim 1 wherein the material choice and the physical dimensions can determine the controlled flexibility of the device in linear, rotational, and bending modes.

10. A gripping device in claim 1 wherein the device can be deflected with applied force to allow the axis centerlines of the objects to move away from the normal objects axis positions.

11. A gripping device in claim 1 wherein the device will return to its natural position and allow the axis centerlines of the objects to move back to their normal axis positions.

12. A gripping device in claim 1 wherein the insert can be of a material to allow friction between the insert and the device and also allow movement or sliding of another object placed inside the gripped insert

13. A gripping device in claim 1 wherein if the insert is placed over a digit of the hand and an object is placed into the other opening, the object can be rotated about the centerline of the digit of the hand going from a palm position to a back of hand position allowing free movement of all the digits of the hand while retaining the device and object.

14. A gripping device in claim 1 wherein the gripping force applied with the hand will deform the flexible device to allow it to conform to the desired use and when said force is released, the flexible device will return to the normal resting state.

15. A gripping device in claim 1 wherein the device is used to hold a tactical flashlight that is predictably retained and able to be rotated about a digit of the hand into useful tactical operating positions

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to a retention device for holding and controlling an object, most notably a tactical flashlight, and maintaining use of both hands for situations arising but not limited to law enforcement and competitive firearms competitions

In the venues of law enforcement and competitive firearms competitions, there are often times the need to apply use of a tactical flashlight to a given situation. The law enforcement officer or competitor might need to have a flashlight in one hand to identify a threat and hold another control device or firearm in the other hand.

In PRIOR ART, the common method of holding a flashlight was either in the bare hand or with an attaching cord called a lanyard. The lanyard, attached to the flashlight, was typically looped over the wrist and the flashlight was retained if dropped by the officer. The lanyard was difficult to control at best and especially hard to get control of if dropped. The above situation with a dangling light is a potentially dangerous one for an officer. An offender can grasp the cord and now has a means of dragging or controlling the officer and his one arm. With a bare hand and no attachment, the light can be dropped or misplaced if both hands are needed quickly.

In a dangerous encounter, an officer might need to shine a light on the subject to gain control, or in worst case, draw a firearm. The safest method of doing this is to identify the object with the light and then, only if needed, draw the firearm to the subject. If the situation escalates to this, then there are accepted law enforcement methods of training and holding that place the firearm and light in alignment with each other.

If the problem escalates and shooting is required, the light and firearm need to stay on target. If the situation requires the officer to expend more rounds than the magazine in the firearm can hold or if the firearm jams, a reload is required. This reload has to be quick and the flashlight and firearm need to be controlled and on target. A free hand to grasp the spare magazine and insert it into the firearm is helpful. Typically, this required setting down the flashlight or dangling the light from a lanyard to have free movement of the non firearm hand. A dangling lanyard or a dropped flashlight are a liability when the situation is critical.

These potential real life low light situations are routinely practiced by law enforcement in their training. There are also national and international competitive shooting sports organizations that practice these and other real life scenarios where a flashlight and full use of the hands for situations including quick reloading is needed.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The purpose of the invention is to specifically address the problem of maintaining control and retention of a tactical device such as a flashlight while allowing use of the retention hand by rotating the flashlight to the backside of the hand and gaining use of the palm of the same hand for normal gripping. The device will also add an element of safety by eliminating a dangling lanyard or a dropped or lost device such as the flashlight in a critical situation.

The invention accomplishes this by the virtue of the design of a flexible figure “8” shape that has 2 holes incorporated into it. The one hole is sized so that the most common tactical flashlight body diameters will be a tight friction fit between it and the figure “8”. The other hole accepts a “sizing ring”. The sizing ring is easily replaceable and is also a friction fit into the figure “8”. The inserted sizing ring is a different harder material with little surface friction unlike the figure “8” device which has good surface friction and gripping qualities.

The proper sizing ring will allow the device to rotate freely on a digit of the hand, typically the index finger. The flashlight is held firmly and allowed to rotate and change positions to go from a palm gripped position to a position on the back of the hand.

With a flip of the wrist, the flashlight goes from the back of the hand to the gripping position while being firmly retained and in a predictable position, unlike a lanyard or unattached flashlight.

Once the light is flipped to the palm position, the flashlight is easily held in the palm of the hand in any of the accepted methods of tactical training such as the hand over hand position or the hand alongside the firearm position. This is able to be accomplished due to the flexibility of the figure “8” material and the design of the shape itself. If the light is flipped the opposite direction, it will flex back to its neutral flat state and rest on the backside of the hand holding the device, and use of the open hand is available.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of the device.

FIG. 1B is a side view of the device.

FIG. 1C is a front view of the device.

FIG. 1D is a sectional view through the device.

FIG. 2A is a photograph of an insert.

FIG. 2B is a photograph of an insert and the body of the device assembled together.

FIG. 2C is a photograph of the body without an insert.

FIG. 2D is a second view of an insert.

FIG. 3A shows the device before it is inserted over an object.

FIG. 3B shows the device inserted over an object.

FIG. 3C is an end view of the device inserted over an object.

FIG. 4A shows an end view of a device with no insert.

FIG. 4B shows an end view of a device with no insert and a thicker wall section than FIG. 4A.

FIG. 4C shows a side view of a device with no insert

FIG. 4D shows a side view of a device with no insert and a thicker cross section that in FIG. 4C.

FIG. 4E is a perspective view of a device with no insert.

FIG. 7A shows the device in use and on the back of the hand position.

FIG. 7B shows the device in a mid position.

FIG. 7C shows the device in a “hand over hand” position.

FIG. 7D shows the device in use and on the back of the hand position.

FIG. 7E shows the device in a mid position.

FIG. 7F shows the device in a position between the index and middle finger.

FIG. 6A is a photograph of the device in the back of hand position.

FIG. 6B is a photograph of the device rotated to the palm of the hand.

FIG. 6C is a photograph of the device in the hand over hand position.

FIG. 6D is a photograph of the device in a position between the index and middle finger.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the drawings in general, the drawings are to describe the preferred embodiment of the invention and not meant to limit the scope of the invention.

As best shown in FIG. 1A, the invention is comprised of a flexible body with at least, but not limited to, two openings. The openings are shown as round, but should not be limited to a round shape and can be made to fit the required object(s) to be held. The body of the invention is designed to accept and firmly hold an insert(s) that is generally of a material that is more conducive to holding its given shape. In this definition, object(s) refers to a part that the invention is designed to mate with to accomplish the scope of the invention. The object(s) is not part of the invention. The invention refers to the body of the invention and the insert of the invention.

The object(s) and the insert are designed to be held by a friction fit as well as by the mechanical design of the insert and the size and shape of the holes located in the flexible body of the invention. The amount of friction is also determined by the material selection of the insert and body of the invention.

In FIG. 1B, the invention is shown in the side view. In FIG. 1C, is shown a front view of FIG. 1B. In the cross sectional shown in FIG. 1D, 3 is showing a side view of the invention body and 4 is showing an insert. It is noted that the opening in the body will be smaller that the corresponding insert contact surface and will need to expand in order for the insert to be placed. This expansion and subsequent gripping and the resiliency and flexibility of the invention body create the described friction to hold the body of the invention and the insert and the object, and allow the invention to function as intended.

In FIG. 1D, the sectional view also shows that insert 4 is designed with a lip on either side of the insert. This is an example, but not limited to, a mechanical method of retaining the relationship of the body of the invention to the insert.

FIG. 2A shows a photograph of an example of an insert. The insert would be formed of a material that would maintain its shape when inserted into the body of the invention. The friction of the insert is accomplished by the relationship of this fixed diameter that mates to the flexible and resilient body of the invention as described in paragraph 0013 when the insert is placed into the body of the invention. In this photograph, the insert is shown to have a lip on either side of the mating diameters. This lip will produce a mechanical means of holding the insert to the body of the invention. The insert in the photograph is shown as, but not limited to a round shape.

FIG. 2B is a photograph of the invention. The parts of the invention shown are 1 the flexible and resilient body of the invention and 2 the insert.

FIG. 2C shows a photograph of the flexible and resilient body of the invention without an insert.

FIG. 2D shows a photograph of an insert.

In its preferred embodiment, when the invention is placed over an object, the design and shape of the opening in the invention that mates with the object should be such that a friction fit is employed between their mating surfaces when the flexible and resilient body of the invention is placed properly over the object. The material selection of the body of the invention and the shape of the body will determine the force required to place the invention over the object and also determine what forces the joining of the invention and the object, once in their properly inserted position, can withstand. The material selection of the flexible and resilient body and the shape of the opening should be able to supply sufficient friction and maintain position between the invention and the object to resist linear and rotational forces acting to move them from their inserted position.

FIG. 3A shows an object 2 and the invention 3 and the arrow 1 depicting the direction that the invention will move in order to establish a resting position onto an object. It is implied that the object is stationary in this depiction. It is shown that the invention has a round opening and the object has a corresponding round hole although the scope of the invention should not be limited to a round object for its function. A round opening and a round object are used for ease of discussion purposes.

FIG. 3B depicts the invention 7 that has been inserted over an object and a position established. A point of reference that defines the established position is shown as 6. This point can be used as an indicator of where the invention and the object are when at rest and also when a force is applied. If the invention is properly designed with respect to the materials selection for the flexible and resilient body of the invention and the design of the opening in the invention is sufficient to apply frictional and mechanical holding power, the point of contact 6 should maintain relationship between the invention and the object if forces defined by the end use are not exceeded. 5 shows the direction linear forces that might act upon this contact point as described above.

FIG. 3C depicts an end view of the same invention and object as described in paragraph 0021 above, looking at them from the direction of A as shown in FIG. 3B. 8 is shown to be the non moving and fixed object as described in paragraph 0020. 9 shows the flexible and resilient body of the invention. 11 depicts forces acting in a direction that would attempt to rotate the invention about the object. 10 is a contact point that can be used as an indicator of where the invention and the object are when at rest and also when a force is applied. If the invention is properly designed with respect to the materials selection for the flexible and resilient body of the invention and the design of the opening in the invention is sufficient to apply frictional and mechanical holding power, the point of contact 10 should maintain relationship between the invention and the object if forces defined by the end use are not exceeded.

The material selection as well as the physical design of the invention will determine what amount of friction is achieved between the invention and the insert, and between the invention and the object. Once the determination has been made of the desired frictional properties needed to meet the objective of the invention, these properties can be adjusted. This combination of flexibility and resiliency and the adjustability are the essence of the design of the invention. This can be achieved by varying the wall thickness of the body of the invention as depicted in FIG. 4A which has a thin wall 1 and in FIG. 4B that has a notably thicker wall section 2. The invention can also be adjusted by varying the thickness of the body as shown in FIG. 4C which has a thin wall 3 and FIG. 4 D which has a thicker wall 4. FIG. 4E is a perspective view that shows the wall thickness 6 and the body thickness 5.

As described in the above paragraphs, the flexibility and resiliency and the adjustability of the invention can be determined by physical design of the invention. Another method of obtaining this adjustability either independently with the physical design changes or as a stand alone means is the material selection. In its preferred embodiment the invention would be comprised of a flexible and resilient body molded from a rubber material and would have an insert molded from a plastic polymer material such as nylon. By adjusting the properties of the rubber material and varying the hardness and grade of rubber, the device can be tailored to meet the needs of the invention. It should be noted that the flexible and resilient body could be made of other materials than rubber that produce the desired characteristics. The insert could also be of other materials or polymers and also but not limited to metals or aluminum.

In its preferred embodiment, the invention has the insert centerline and object centerline in a fixed attitude to each other. This attitude is described as the normal state of the invention at rest with no forces acting on it. This position can be seen in FIG. 5A with 1 showing the insert and 2 showing the flexible resilient body of the invention. In its preferred embodiment during use, the device might be subjected to forces acting longitudinally and rotationally as described in the above paragraphs. A combination or addition to these forces might be a twisting and moving of the centerlines of the object and the insert away from each other to achieve a useful position of the invention. These forces might be seen by F in FIGS. 5B and F in FIG. 5C.

In its preferred embodiment, the invention might be used to secure an object (flashlight) to the hand by virtue of inserting a finger through the insert. The object (flashlight) is secured to the invention due to the frictional forces described for mating the invention to an object. FIG. 5D shows a hand holding the invention. The invention has been inserted over a tactical flashlight. The flexible and resilient body of the invention has allowed the object (flashlight) to be put into a useful tactical position and to be retained onto the hand by virtue of the digit of the hand being inserted into the insert. Once the twisting forces on the invention have been taken away or the hand is relaxed, the invention will return to a normal state as described in paragraph 0025.

In its preferred embodiment, the insert will have the ability to be made of different sizes to accommodate different hand digit sizes. The different sizes will allow either a tight fit or a loose fit. A fit that allows the insert to rotate freely on the digit is desirable to allow the invention to rotate about the digit of the hand with an object inserted in the invention. The invention will be able to rotate about the digit to different positions. In the position where the invention is rotated to the back of the hand, the hand is free to use all digits for grasping. The invention maintains the object (flashlight) in a predictable and retained manner resting or near the back of the hand and out of the way. This can be seen in FIG. 6A

If the invention is rotated towards the palm of the hand, the object (flashlight) will move in that direction and at the same time maintain the normal state described in FIG. 5A. This normal state of the invention is used to define the location of the object (flashlight) and make it predictable as to its location and attitude. The object will rotate but not “flop” in a random manner. This predictability is essential to knowing the object will be at a desired location depending on how the invention is rotated. FIG. 6 B shows the object (flashlight) rotated to the palm of the hand.

Once the invention has been rotated to a useful position, the digits of the hand can be used to apply the needed forces to make the body of the invention deform to the useful position. Once these forces are removed, the invention will return to the normal state. The forces can be longitudinal, rotational, twisting, or a combination thereof. During these force applications, the object (flashlight) will maintain the frictional bond between the invention and the object and maintain the relationships described in 0021 and 0022. The invention and object remain fixed and the invention and insert can be moved and flexed as needed.

In its preferred embodiment the invention will be used with a tactical flashlight during law enforcement operations and shooting competitions. There are accepted training methods and positions that have been proven effective for the use of a tactical flashlight. Two of these positions are shown. In FIG. 6C, the invention is being used with a tactical flashlight in the “hand over hand” position and the flashlight tail cap is being operated with a thumb. In FIG. 6D, the invention is being used in the position of location of the tactical flashlight between the index and middle finger and the flashlight tail cap is being operated with the palm of the hand and thumb intersection. Both of these positions are currently being used for training and shooting competitions.

In its preferred embodiment the invention will be used with a tactical flashlight during law enforcement operations and shooting competitions. There are accepted training methods and positions that have been proven effective for the use of a tactical flashlight. The sequence of rotating the invention from the back of the hand where the invention is in its normal resting position FIG. 7A and going to the “hand over hand” position is shown. FIG. 7B shows a mid position and FIG. 7C shows a final useful “hand over hand” position. FIG. 7D shows the invention in a back of hand normal resting position. FIG. 7E shows a mid position with the index finger and middle finger opening to accept the invention. FIG. 7F shows the useful position of between index finger and middle finger.