Title:
Extendable gun rests and methods
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Gun rests that are easily extendable and lockable are disclosed. The gun rests can include an upper elongated support, a lower elongated support, a gun support, a handle and a base. The gun support can be secured to the upper elongated support. The upper elongated support may be slidably engaged within the lower elongated support or the lower elongated support may be slidably engaged within the upper elongated support. The actuator is operably connected to a locking mechanism to lock the upper elongated support and lower elongated support in a fixed relative position. Depression of the actuator may bias the tube engagement members against the lower elongated support and allows the locking of the gun rest in one of a plurality of lengths.



Inventors:
Wuertz, John (Rochester, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/437460
Publication Date:
11/22/2007
Filing Date:
05/19/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41C27/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060137233Stabilizing apparatus and methodJune, 2006Meeks
20110239515Device for cleaning gun barrelsOctober, 2011Tennyson
20110289813Multi-caliber conversion kits for semi-automatic pistolsDecember, 2011Serandour
20130091751ADAPTER FOR ATTACHING A HAND GRIP TO A FIREARMApril, 2013Barney
20120117844Hand Grip for Forearm Stock of Rifles, Muzzleloaders, and CrossbowsMay, 2012Sweet
20160377362FIREARM TRIGGER BLOCK AND TAMPER NOTIFICATIONDecember, 2016Farr et al.
20070006506Liquid filling bullet for physical protectionJanuary, 2007Lan
20170023325FIREARM TRIGGER BLOCK AND TAMPER NOTIFICATION SYSTEMJanuary, 2017Farr et al.
20040134113Adjustable gun rest apparatusJuly, 2004Deros et al.
20020162265Firearm safety device and methodNovember, 2002Abad
20150143734Artificial Gun Mounting AccessoryMay, 2015Ley



Primary Examiner:
LEE, BENJAMIN P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John Wuertz (Rochester, MN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An extendable gun rest, comprising: an upper elongated support defining an upper cavity; a gun support secured to the upper elongated support; an actuator secured to the upper elongated support slidable between at least a locked position and a released position; a lower elongated support defining a lower cavity and telescopically secured to the upper elongated support; and a locking mechanism secured to the upper elongated support, the locking mechanism operably connected to the actuator, the locking mechanism comprising a biasing element and a first frictional element.

2. An extendable gun rest, as in claim 1, further comprising the first frictional element comprising a first frictional engaging surface, the biasing element communicating with the first frictional element to bias the first frictional engaging surface of the first frictional element against an inner surface of the lower elongated support to secure a relative position of the upper elongated support and the lower elongated support in one of a plurality of lengths.

3. An extendable gun rest, as in claim 2, further comprising a second frictional element defining a second frictional engaging surface to engage an inner surface of the lower elongated support.

4. An extendable gun rest, as in claim 3, wherein one side of the inner surface of the lower elongated support defines a notch.

5. An extendable gun rest, as in claim 3, wherein opposing sides of the inner surface of the lower elongated support define notches.

6. An extendable gun rest, as in claim 2, the upper elongated support further comprising a sleeve secured within the upper cavity, the sleeve defining a longitudinal passage, the biasing member extending through the longitudinal passage.

7. An extendable gun rest, as in claim 6, further comprising the frictional element secured to the sleeve.

8. An extendable gun rest, as in claim 3, the upper elongated support further comprising a sleeve secured within the upper cavity, the sleeve defining a longitudinal passage, the biasing member extending through the longitudinal passage and the first frictional element and the second frictional element secured to the sleeve.

9. A method for adjusting a gun rest, comprising: sliding an actuator movably secured to an upper elongated support from a locked to an unlocked position to release a locking mechanism engaged with an inner surface of a lower elongated support; extending the lower elongated support relative to the upper elongated support; contacting an underlying surface; and sliding an actuator movably secured to the upper elongated support from an unlocked to a locked position within an actuator passage to engage the locking mechanism with an inner surface of the lower elongated support.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Summary of the Invention

The present inventions relate to gun rests and, more particularly, gun rests having a variable length leg.

2. Description of the Related Art

Under certain circumstances, marksmen, such as hunters and target shooters, may have trouble keeping the gun such as a rifle, shotgun or a pistol example steady during the process of aiming and shooting. A number of factors can contribute to this difficulty. These factors can include weather, physical infirmities, weakening physical strength and awkward shooting locations. In addition, the marksman's target is frequently moving. In these situations, a marksman needs to maintain a degree of mobility to track targets and to accommodate targets that approach from unexpected directions. Marksman will typically have greater accuracy, success, and safety when their firearm is supported. Naturally occurring structures such as tree branches or rocks are frequently used by hunters to support for a gun. However when no natural support structures are available, a commercially available gun rest may be used to support the gun. Most commercially available gun rests are configured to support a majority of the weight of the gun to allow the marksman to devote more time and energy toward aiming the firearm.

Many gun rests are in the form of a rigid pole of a fixed-position. These devices can be cumbersome to transport and carry while hunting. Further, the fixed length may make it difficult for the marksmen to properly position the gun rest in a quickly changing shooting situation or to on a slope. Accordingly, a need exists for adjustable length gun rests.

Several designs for gun rests have employed variable length telescoping legs. The telescoping legs have provided a range of mechanisms to adjust and secure their length. However, most of these mechanisms require a two-handed or an otherwise complicated process to extend or collapse to an appropriate length. Examples of typical mechanisms include external set screws, threaded support tube segments, choke collars, external clamps, and bolts. These complicated mechanisms frequently require the use of two hands to lock and unlock the tube and to adjust the tube length. Some may require the use of additional tools to adjust and lock the gun rest at a desired length, or for attachment to the gun barrel. Simplicity, speed and dependable performance are essential for a hunter's gun equipment. Accordingly, a need exists for a gun rest that is quickly adjustable with a simple to operate robust mechanism.

Further, hunters are frequently in a position where they must move a gun rest as they target a game animal. Particularly on rough terrain, this can alter the length of the gun rest

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Apparatus and methods in accordance with the present inventions may resolve many of the needs and shortcomings discussed above and will provide additional improvements and advantages as will be recognized by those skilled in the art upon review of the present disclosure.

A gun rest in accordance with the present inventions may provide one or more adjustable length legs and associated methods of use and adjustment. In one aspect, a gun rest in accordance with one or more of the present inventions may provide apparatus and methods for aiming a firearm in a wide range of horizontal directions. In another aspect, a gun rest in accordance with one or more of the present inventions may be light weight. In another aspect, a gun rest in accordance with one or more of the present inventions may be rapidly adjustable to a variety of heights. In another aspect, a gun rest in accordance with one or more of the present inventions may be relatively noiselessly adjustable. In another aspect, a gun rest in accordance with one or more of the present inventions may be simple and easy to use. In another aspect, a gun rest in accordance with one or more of the present inventions may be height adjustably by a simple actuator which can be operated using one hand. In another aspect, a gun rest in accordance with one or more of the present inventions may be height adjustably by a simple actuator which can be operated using a single finger. In another aspect, a gun rest in accordance with one or more of the present inventions may be locked in position by pushing or sliding an actuator which results in the frictional locking of the gun rest in one of a plurality of lengths.

Gun rests in accordance with the present inventions may include two or more slidably engaged support tubes which are locked at a desired position by movement of an actuator. The actuator may engage a locking mechanism located internally and/or externally within the support tubes. The locking mechanism may incorporate one extendable engaging interior support inside the upper and lower elongated supports and at least one fixed engaging exterior support inside the upper and lower elongated supports. The fixed engaging exterior supports can be fixedly connected to the top mount which is fixedly connected to the upper elongated support.

In one aspect, an extendable gun rest in accordance with the present inventions includes a gun support, an actuator, an upper elongated support, a lower elongated support, and a locking mechanism. The upper elongated support may define an upper cavity. The gun support may be secured to the upper elongated support. The actuator may be secured to the upper elongated support slidable between at least a locked position and a released position. The lower elongated may support defining a lower cavity and telescopically secured to the upper elongated support. The locking mechanism may be secured to the upper elongated support. The locking mechanism is operably connected to the actuator to lock and unlock the relative positions of the upper elongated support and the lower elongated support. The locking mechanism can include a biasing element and a first frictional element. The first frictional element can include or define a first frictional engaging surface. The biasing element may communicate with the first frictional element to bias the first frictional engaging surface of the first frictional element against an inner surface of the lower elongated support to secure a relative position of the upper elongated support and the lower elongated support in one of a plurality of lengths. The locking mechanism can include a second frictional element defining a second frictional engaging surface to engage an inner surface of the lower elongated support. In one aspect, one side of the inner surface of the lower elongated support may define a notch. In another aspect, opposing sides of the inner surface of the lower elongated support may define notches. The upper elongated support may include a sleeve secured within the upper cavity. The sleeve may define a longitudinal passage. The biasing member of the locking mechanism may extend through the longitudinal passage. The first frictional element and/or second frictional element may be secured to the sleeve.

In another aspect, the present inventions may provide methods for adjusting a gun rest. The method may include a user sliding an actuator movably secured to an upper elongated support from a locked to an unlocked position to release a locking mechanism engaged with an inner surface of a lower elongated support. Then, the user extending the lower elongated support relative to the upper elongated support. The user contacting an underlying surface with a portion of the lower elongated support. The user sliding an actuator movably secured to the upper elongated support from an unlocked to a locked position within an actuator passage to engage the locking mechanism with an inner surface of the lower elongated support.

Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, and from the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a gun rest in accordance with the present inventions in a perspective view of an aspect;

FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary embodiment in a cross-sectional side view of an aspect of a gun rest in accordance with the present inventions;

FIG. 2A illustrated an exemplary embodiment in a transverse cross-sectional view of a gun rest along line 2A-2A of FIG. 2;

FIG. 3A illustrates an exemplary embodiment in a partial side view of an actuator for a gun rest;

FIG. 3B illustrates a partial cross-sectional side view of an actuator for a gun rest of FIG. 3A; FIG. 4A illustrates another exemplary embodiment in a partial side view of an actuator for a gun rest;

FIG. 4B illustrates a partial cross-sectional side view of an actuator for a gun rest of FIG. 4A;

FIG. 5A illustrates another exemplary embodiment in a partial side view of an actuator for a gun rest;

FIG. 5B illustrates a partial cross-sectional side view of an actuator for a gun rest of FIG. 5A;

FIG. 6A illustrates another exemplary embodiment in a partial side view of an actuator for a gun rest;

FIG. 6B illustrates a partial cross-sectional side view of an actuator for a gun rest of FIG. 6A;

FIG. 7A illustrates an exemplary embodiment in a partial cross-sectional side view of the junction of the upper elongated support and the lower elongated support with an exemplary embodiment of the locking mechanism in the unlocked position;

FIG. 7B illustrates a partial cross-sectional side view of the junction of the upper elongated support and the lower elongated support as in FIG. 7A with the locking mechanism in the locked position;

FIG. 8A illustrates an exemplary embodiment in a partial cross-sectional side view of the junction of the upper elongated support and the lower elongated support with another exemplary embodiment of the locking mechanism in the unlocked position;

FIG. 8B illustrates a partial cross-sectional side view of the junction of the upper elongated support and the lower elongated support as in FIG. 8A with the locking mechanism in the locked position;

FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a locking mechanism in a partial cross-sectional side view;

FIG. 10 illustrates another exemplary embodiment of a locking mechanism in a partial cross-sectional side view;

FIG. 11 illustrates another exemplary embodiment of a locking mechanism in a partial cross-sectional side view;

FIG. 12 illustrates another exemplary embodiment of a locking mechanism in a partial cross-sectional side view;

FIG. 13A illustrates an exemplary embodiment in a partial cross-sectional end view of gun rest having a first leg and a second leg; and

FIG. 13B illustrates an exemplary embodiment in a partial side view of gun rest having a first leg and a second leg.

All Figures are illustrated for ease of explanation of the basic teachings of the present invention only; the extensions of the Figures with respect to number, position, relationship and dimensions of the parts to form the preferred aspect will be explained or will be within the skill of the art after the following description has been read and understood. Further, the exact dimensions and dimensional proportions to conform to specific force, weight, strength, and similar requirements will likewise be within the skill of the art after the following description has been read and understood.

Where used in various Figures of the drawings, the same numerals designate the same or similar parts. Furthermore, when the terms “top,” “bottom,” “right,” “left,” “forward,” “rear,” “first,” “second,” “inside,” “outside,” and similar terms are used, the terms should be understood to reference only the structure shown in the drawings and utilized only to facilitate describing the illustrated aspects. Similarly, when the terms “proximal,” “distal,” and similar positional terms are used, the terms should be understood to reference the structures shown in the drawings as they will typically be understood by someone supporting a gun with an apparatus in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The figures generally illustrate aspects of extendable gun rests 10 including aspects of the present inventions. The particular exemplary aspects of the gun rests 10 illustrated in the figures have been chosen for ease of explanation and understanding of various aspects of the present inventions. These illustrated aspects are not meant to limit the scope of coverage but instead to assist in understanding the context of the language used in this specification and the appended claims. Accordingly, many variations from the illustrated aspects may be encompassed by the appended claims. Particularly, the exemplary aspects provided herein are generally illustrated with one or two extendable support members for exemplary purposes. Those skilled in the art will recognize the application of the inventive principles of the present application in aspects having two or more legs.

The present inventions provide extendable gun rests 10 adjustable and extendable to a plurality of lengths. The extendable gun rests 10 in accordance with the present inventions may permit the rapid adjustment and locking of the gun rest at one of a plurality of user selected lengths. The gun rests 10 may be readily adapted for use with pistols, rifles or other firearms. The gun rests 10 may be carried in the hand of a hunter that is not carrying a gun. While the shape of the upper and lower support members of the gun rests 10 are typically a cylindrical tube over at least a portion of their length, oval, square, or other cross-sectional shapes may also be used. Further, the overall configuration of the support members may be frusto-conical.

As illustrated throughout the Figures, extendable gun rests 10 generally include an upper elongated support 12, a lower elongated support 14, an actuator 16, a locking mechanism 24 and a gun support 18. An extendable gun rest 10 in accordance with the present inventions may also include a handle 20 and a base 22. The gun support 18 is typically attached to the upper elongated support 12. The handle 20 is typically integral or attached to the upper elongated support 12. The lower elongated support 14 is typically secured to the upper elongated support 12 to allow the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14 to telescope between a collapsed and extended configuration. The base 22 is typically attached to the lower elongated support 14.

The gun support 18 is configured to support a gun for resting or shooting. The gun support 18 is secured to the upper elongated support 12. The gun support 18 typically includes aspects which are U-shaped or Y-shaped to receive a barrel or stock of gun. However, the gun support 18 may be otherwise shaped to support a gun as will be recognized by those skilled in the art upon review of the present disclosure. The gun support 18 may be made of aluminum, steel, plastic or other materials. The materials or combinations of materials are typically selected and utilized in a way that will not scratch a gun. In one aspect, the gun support 18 may be integral with the upper elongated support 12. The gun support 18 may also be a separate component which is attached by various fasteners, welding, adhesives or other methods that will be recognized by those skilled in the art upon review of the present disclosure. In one aspect, the gun support 18, the upper elongated support 12 and the handle 20 may be integral and manufactured as single component.

The handle 20 is typically graspable by the hunter while shooting and when a gun is resting in the gun support 18. The handle 20 may be attached to the upper elongated support 12. The handle 20 may be made of a soft material and allows easy gripping of the gun rest 10 to aid in supporting a gun. The handle 20 may be wrapped with high friction shock absorbing materials such as, for example, plastics, rubbers or other elastomers with similar characteristics. In one aspect, an actuator passage 26 may extend through the handle 20 to receive the actuator 16.

The upper elongated support 12 is generally to support at least the weight of a gun. The upper elongated support 12 is typically less than four feet in length. The upper elongated support 12 is typically formed from a metal, polymer, composite material, or other material that is lightweight and robust. The upper elongated support 12 includes a bottom end and a top end. The upper elongated support 12 typically defines an upper cavity 37. The upper cavity 37 is typically defined at the bottom end of the upper elongated support 12. The upper cavity 37 may be circular, oval, square, triangular or otherwise shaped transverse cross-section. In one aspect, the upper cavity 37 may be configured to slidably receive at least a portion of the lower elongated support 14. In one aspect, the upper elongated support 12 may be in the form of a tube. One end of the tube's longitudinal passage can be covered by various aspects of the handle 12 and/or gun support 18 to form the longitudinal passage into an upper cavity 37. The upper elongated support 12 has an outer surface 112 and an inner surface 212. An actuator passage 26 may extend through the upper elongated support 12 to receive the actuator 16. An upper stop 38 may be provided adjacent to the opening of upper cavity 37. In one aspect, the upper stop 38 may extend inward into the opening of upper cavity 37. In another aspect, the upper stop 38 may extend outward away from the opening of the upper cavity 37.

The inner surface 212 or the outer surface 112 of the upper elongated support 12 may include a plurality of notches 39. The notches 39 may be defined by the inner surface 212 or the outer surface 112. Typically, the notches 39 extend longitudinally along at least a portion of the length of the lower cavity 47. The outer surface 112 of the upper elongated support 12 may define a plurality of notches 39 linearly spaced along on one side of the lower cavity 47. The inner surface 212 of the upper elongated support 12 may define a plurality of notches 39 linearly spaced along opposing sides of the upper cavity 37. The notches 39 may allow the engagement of one or more frictional elements 44 in one of the plurality of notches 39 on the lower support 14 to lock the relative position of the lower elongated support 14 and the upper elongated support 12.

The lower elongated support 14 is generally to support at least the weight of a gun. The lower elongated support 14 is typically less than four feet in length. The lower elongated support 14 is typically formed from a metal, polymer, composite material, or other material that is lightweight and robust. The lower elongated support 14 includes a bottom end and a top end. The lower elongated support 14 typically defines a lower cavity 47. The lower cavity 47 is typically defined at the top end of the lower elongated support 14. The lower cavity 47 may be circular, oval, square, triangular or otherwise shaped transverse cross-section. In one aspect, the lower cavity 47 may be configured to slidably receive at least a portion of the upper elongated support 12. In one aspect, the lower elongated support 14 may be in the form of a tube. One end of the tube's longitudinal passage can be covered by various aspects of the handle 20 and/or gun support 18 to form the longitudinal passage into a lower cavity 47. The lower elongated support 14 has an outer surface 114 and an inner surface 214. A lower stop 40 may be provided adjacent to the opening of lower cavity 47. In one aspect, the lower stop 40 may extend outward away from the opening of lower cavity 47. In another aspect, the lower stop 40 may extend into the opening of lower cavity 47.

The inner surface 214 or the outer surface 114 of the lower elongated support 14 may include a plurality of notches 39. The notches 39 may be defined by the inner surface 214 or the outer surface 114. Typically, the notches 39 extend longitudinally along at least a portion of the length of the upper cavity 37. The outer surface 114 of the lower elongated support 14 may define a plurality of notches 39 linearly spaced along on one side of the lower cavity 47. The inner surface 214 of the lower elongated support 14 may define a plurality of notches 39 linearly spaced along opposing sides of the lower cavity 47. The notches 39 may allow the engagement of one or more frictional elements 44 in one of a plurality of notches 39 on the lower support 14 to lock the relative position of the lower elongated support 14 and the upper elongated support 12.

The upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14 are generally telescopingly engaged with one another. In one aspect, the upper elongated support 12 may be slidably secured within a lower cavity 47 of the lower elongated support 14. In this aspect, the lower elongated support 14, at least for the length of the lower cavity 47, has a larger diameter (or other outside dimension) than the upper elongated support 12. In another aspect, the lower elongated support 14 may be slidably secured within the upper cavity 37 of the upper elongated support 12. In this aspect, the upper elongated support 12, at least for the length of the upper cavity 37, has a larger diameter (or other outside dimension) than the lower elongated support 14. In certain configurations, the upper stop 38 and the lower stop 40 may cooperate to secure the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14 to one another. In one aspect, the physical engagement of the upper stop 38 with the lower stop 40 can prevent the upper elongated support 12 from disengaging from the lower elongated support 14.

A base 22 may be fixedly attached or detachable from the lower elongated support 14. The base 22 can be configured to contact the ground and provide support or foundation for a gun rest 10. In certain aspects, the base 22 may be pointed or plug-shaped or stopper-shaped. A plug-shaped aspect of base 22 may, for example, be constructed out of soft, gripping materials including rubber or other elastomers with similar characteristics.

The gun rest 10 further includes an actuator 16 which may permit a user to lock and/or unlock the relative position of the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14. The actuator 16 may take the form of a trigger, button, slide, lever or other form. The actuator 16 may extend through an actuator passage 26 in the upper elongated support 12. The actuator passage 26 may extend from an outer surface 112 to an inner surface 212. The actuator 16 may be attached to the inner surface 112 of the upper elongated support 12 or be slidably receivable in an actuator passage 26 which passes from one side to the other side through the handle 20 or upper elongated support 12. The actuator 16 may engage and disengage the locking mechanism 24 to secure the relative positions of the upper support tube 12 and lower support tube 14.

The actuator 16 may be attached directly or indirectly to the locking mechanism 24. The actuator 16 may be attached directly to the upper elongated support 12 or may pass through a passage in the upper elongated support 12. The actuator 16 may be cylindrically shaped or have various other shapes.

The actuator 16 may be attached to a biasing member 32. The actuator 16 may be attached to a connecting element 58 which is attached to the biasing member 32. The actuator 16 may engage or disengage biasing member 32 to permit the extension or collapse of the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14.

Locking Mechanisms

The biasing member 32, the first support 34, and the second support 36 all have a first end and a second end. The biasing member 32 may pass through a biasing member guide 30. The first support 34 is attached at a first end to a first attachment point 33 to the inner surface of the upper elongated support 12. The second support 36 is attached at a first end to a second attachment point 35 to the inner surface of the upper elongated support 12. The upper elongated support 12 may be made from flexible materials such as rubber or plastic or other elastomeric or light weight materials. The biasing member 32 and the first support 34 and the second support 36 may be made from various lightweight materials including aluminum, steel or plastic. Attachment may be by riveting, welding or screwing. Aspects of locking mechanisms 24 are described in further detail below.

The locking mechanism 24 to lock the upper tube 12 in one of a plurality of positions relative to the lower tube 14 may include one or more supports from the biasing member 32, the first support 34, and the second support 36. One or more of the biasing member 32, the first support 34 and the second support 36 may be connected to a biasing element 42, a first frictional element 44, and a second frictional element 46. The biasing member 32, the first support 34 and the second support 36 may be attached at a first end to the upper elongated support 12.

In one configuration, the locking mechanism 24 may involve the biasing of one or more biasing elements 42 directly or indirectly against the inner surface 214 of the lower elongated support 14. The first frictional element 44 and second frictional element 46 or stationary biasing element 70 and movable biasing element 72 may be biased against the inner surface of the lower support 14.

In another configuration, the locking mechanism 24 may involve the engagement of a first frictional element 44 in a notch 39 on the inner surface of the lower support 14.

In another configuration, the locking mechanism 24 may involve the engagement of a first frictional element 44 in a notch 39 on the outer surface of the lower support 14.

In one aspect of the locking mechanism 24, a biasing element 42 is attached to the biasing member 32 at a second end. The first frictional element 44 is attached to the first support 34 at a second end. The first frictional element 44 may be attached by welding, riveting or screwing. The second frictional element 46 is attached to the second support 36 at a second end. The second frictional element 44 may be attached by welding, riveting or screwing.

The external surfaces of the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 most closely juxtaposed to the biasing element 42, act as a friction pad or frictional engaging surface.

The external surfaces of the biasing element 42 most closely juxtaposed (opposed) to the surfaces of the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 act as a friction pad or frictional engaging surface.

The engagement of the biasing element 42 with the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 results in the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 contacting the inner surface 214 of the lower elongated support 14 preventing further telescoping of the upper elongated support 12 relative to the lower elongated support 14. The engagement of the biasing element 42, the first frictional element 44, and the second frictional element 46 locks the position of upper elongated support 12 relative to lower elongated support 14. The force of the first frictional element 44, and the second frictional element 46 against the inner surface 214 of lower elongated support 14 is sufficient to support the weight of a gun on a gun rest 10 in the locked position and to prevent further extendable or telescopic movement of the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14 relative to one another.

The surfaces of the biasing element 42, the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 may be of high friction materials such as for example, high friction brake pad lining. The first support 34 and the second support 36 may be half-cylindrical. The biasing element 42 may be conical. The first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 may have reverse-conical depressions. The first support 34 and the second support 36 may be convex, cupped, inverse-conical or have a self-centering configuration.

In another aspect of the locking mechanism 24, a stationary biasing element 70 is attached to the first support 34 at a second end. The movable biasing element 72 is attached to the biasing member 32 at a second end. The stationary biasing element 70 and movable biasing element 72 may be attached to the biasing member 32 and the first support 34 by welding, riveting or screwing.

The external surface of the stationary biasing element 70 most closely juxtaposed to the movable biasing element 72 acts as a friction pad or frictional engaging surface. The external surface of the movable biasing element 72 most closely juxtaposed to the stationary biasing element 70 acts as a friction pad or frictional engaging surface.

The engagement of the stationary biasing element 70 with the movable biasing element 72 results in the stationary biasing element 70 and the movable biasing element 72 contacting the inner surface 214 of the lower elongated support 14. The force of the stationary biasing element 70 and the movable biasing element 72 contacting the inner surface of the lower elongated support 14 is sufficient to support the weight of a gun on a gun rest 10 in the locked position. This engagement of stationary biasing element 70 with the movable biasing element 72 locks the position of upper elongated support 12 relative to tube 14 and prevents further extendable or telescopic movement of the tubes. This aspect of the locking mechanism 24 provides a force sufficient to support the weight of a gun on a gun rest 10 in the locked position.

The biasing member 32 and the first support 34 and the second support 36 may be made from various lightweight materials including aluminum, steel or plastic. Attachment may be by riveting, welding or screwing. The surfaces of stationary biasing element 70 and movable biasing element 72 may be of high friction materials such as for example, high friction brake pad lining.

A further aspect of the locking mechanism 24 may employ a plurality of notches 39 on the inner surface 214 or outer surface 114 of the lower support 14. The lower elongated support 14 may be of a larger diameter or a smaller diameter than the upper elongated support 12. A first frictional element 44 may engage in one of a plurality of notches 39 to lock the gun rest 10 in one of a plurality of lengths. The first frictional element 44 may be attached to the first support 34 at a second end.

FIG. 1 illustrates a particular exemplary aspect of a gun rest 10 in accordance with aspects of the present inventions. As illustrated, the exemplary gun rest 10 includes a gun support 18, a handle 20, an actuator 16, an upper elongated support 12, a lower elongated support 14 and a base 22. The gun support 18 is illustrated as integral with a handle 20. The gun support 18 is in a U-shaped configuration to receive and support a gun. The gun support 18 extends upward from an upper portion of the handle 20. An actuator 16 extends through an actuator passage 26 through the handle 20 and is positioned below the gun support 18. As illustrated, the actuator 16 extends from a first side to a second side of the handle 20. The actuator 16 is particularly configured to slide between a locked position and an unlocked position. The actuator 16 typically slides in a substantially linear fashion such that a user may move the actuator 16 from a unlocked to a locked position using a single finger. In the unlocked position, the actuator 16 may extend from a first side of the handle 20. In the locked position, the actuator 16 may extend from a second side of the handle 20. Accordingly as illustrated, the actuator 16 may be slid from a first position to a second position with the thumb of a user and from a second position to a first position with the index finger of a user. The handle 20 is illustrated as secured to the upper elongated support 12. The upper elongated support 12 and the handle 20 generally define a longitudinal axis 300. For exemplary purposes, the handle 20 is generally positioned above the upper elongated support 12 along the longitudinal axis 300. The lower elongated support 14 is slidably engaged within the upper elongated support 12. As illustrated, the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14 are telescopingly engaged to permit the lower elongated support 14 to be received within an upper cavity 37 (as shown in FIG. 2) or passage defined by the upper elongated support 12. The lower elongated support 14 may be securable relative to the upper elongated support 12 to vary the length along the longitudinal axis 300 of the gun rest 10. A base 22 is shown secured to the bottom of the lower elongated support 14. As illustrated, the lower portion of the lower elongated support 14 may be secured within a base cavity defined by the base 22. As illustrated, the base 22 is configured to provide an increased footprint to prevent the penetration of the lower elongated support into an underlying surface when the surface is soft.

FIG. 2 illustrates a longitudinal cross-section of an exemplary gun rest 10 in accordance with aspects of the present inventions similar to the aspect illustrated in FIG. 1. As illustrated, the exemplary gun rest 10 includes a locking mechanism 24 positioned within an upper cavity 37 of the upper elongated support 12 and lower cavity of the lower elongated support 14. The illustrated locking mechanism 24 is in communication with the actuator 16 to secure the relative position of the upper elongated support 12 and lower elongated support 14 when the actuator is slid into a locked position and to permit the relative sliding of the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14 when slid into unlocked position. As illustrated, the locking mechanism 24 includes biasing member 32, a biasing element 42, a first frictional element 44 and a second frictional element 46. The biasing member 32 is secured to the actuator 16 to cause the biasing member 32 to extend downward when the actuator 16 is slid from an unlocked to a locked position. As illustrated, a substantially rigid connecting element 58 is pivotally attached to the actuator at a first end and the biasing member 32 at a second end. When the actuator 16 is slid to an unlocked position from a locked position, the biasing member 32 is configured to move upward along the longitudinal axis 300. The biasing element 42 is secured to the biasing member 32 in a position that brings the biasing member 32 into contact with the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 as the actuator 16 is slid into a locked position. As illustrated, the biasing element 42 moves downward as the actuator 16 is slid into the locked position to contact the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 to bias the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46. An angled or conical shaped, as illustrated, surface of the biasing element 42 may contact a surface of one or more of the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 to bring the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 into contact with the inner surface of lower elongated support 14 which defines a lower cavity 47. In one aspect, biasing member 32 may have sufficient rigidity to exert a downward force on biasing element 42 to permit first frictional element 44 and second frictional element 46 to maintain the relative position of the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14 when a compressional force is applied between the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14. The first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 are secured relative to the upper elongated support 12 to prevent the relative movement of the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14 when the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 frictionally engage the inner surface 214 of the lower cavity 47. As particularly illustrated, a first support 34 and a second support 36 secure the first frictional element 44 and second frictional element 36 relative to upper elongated support 12. In one aspect, first support 34 and second support 36 may combine to have sufficient rigidity to withstand compressional forces exerted between the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14. The upper elongated support 12 may include an upper stop 38 and the lower elongated support 14 may include a lower stop 40. The stops may function to prevent the lower elongated support 14 from disengaging from the upper cavity 37 of the upper elongated support 12.

FIG. 2A illustrates a transverse cross section of an exemplary gun rest 10 in accordance with aspects of the present inventions. As illustrated, a first support 34 is secured to a first frictional element 44 and a second support 36 is secured to a second frictional element 46. Further, as illustrated, the upper elongated support member 12 and lower elongated support 14 have a substantially circular profile. The elongated supports 34, 36 may be oval or circular or rectangular in cross-section or have another cross-sectional shape. As illustrated, the frictional elements 44, 46 may be semicircular in cross-sectional shape and have a semicircular portion removed about the midpoint of the linear side. This semicircular portion removed may be a semi-conical section in three dimensional shape. As the actuator 16 is slid into the locked position, the biasing member 32 is forced downward along longitudinal axis 300 causing the biasing element 42 to contact the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 and to bias the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 outward against an inner surface 214 of a lower cavity 47 defined in the lower elongated support 14.

FIGS. 3A and 3B illustrate an upper portion of an exemplary gun rest 10 in accordance with aspects of the present inventions similar to the aspect illustrated in FIG. 2. FIG. 3A illustrates a side view of an actuator 16 extending longitudinally through an actuator passage 26 positioned below the gun rest 18 and above the handle 20. FIG. 3B illustrates a cross-section of the gun rest 10 of FIG. 3A in cross-section and rotated approximately 90 degrees. Actuator 16 passes through an actuator passage 26 from a first side to a second side of the upper elongated support 12. A connecting element 58 is secured between the actuator 16 and an upper portion of the biasing member 32. The actuator 16 may be secured to a first end of the connecting element 58. The biasing member 32 may be secured to a second end of the connecting element 58. A second end of the connecting element 58 may be attached at a second end to biasing member 32. The biasing member 32 is slidably secured within a biasing member guide 30 which permits the movement of the biasing member 32 along the longitudinal axis 300 of the gun rest 10. A guide passage 81 within biasing member guide 82 may be oriented parallel or substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis 300 of the gun rest 10. As illustrated in solid lines, the actuator 16 is in an unlocked position. In the unlocked position, the angle 200 between the longitudinal axis 300 and the axis of the connecting element 58 is greater than 0 degrees and is typically around 30 to 60 degrees. This tends to draw biasing member 32 upward and disengages the locking mechanism 24. As illustrated in phantom, the actuator 16 is in a locked position. In the locked position, the angle 200 between the longitudinal axis 300 and the axis of the connecting member is typically less than the angle 200 for the same aspect in the unlocked position. In certain aspects, the angle 200 may be as small as 0 degrees when the actuator 16 is in the locked position. Reducing the angle 200 tends to move the biasing member 32 downward to engage the locking mechanism 24 in a locked position. The actuator passage 26 as illustrated extends substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis 300. Accordingly, sliding the actuator 16 through the actuator passage 26 from a first side to a second side of the upper elongated support 12 moves connecting element 58 from an unlocked position to a locked position thereby extending biasing member 32 along a longitudinal axis 300 and bringing biasing element 42 into contact with the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 as generally illustrated for exemplary purposes.

FIGS. 4A and 4B illustrate an upper portion of an exemplary gun rest 10 in accordance with aspects of the present inventions. FIG. 4A illustrates a side view of an actuator 16 extending longitudinally through an actuator passage 26 positioned below the gun rest 18 and above the handle 20. FIG. 4B illustrates a cross-section of the gun rest 10 of FIG. 4A in cross-section and rotated approximately 90 degrees. As illustrated, the actuator is generally configured to transfer a downward force applied to a first end of the actuator 16 to the biasing member 32 to lock the relative position of the upper elongated support 12 and lower elongated support 14. The first end of the actuator 16 is slidably received within an actuator passage 26 defined on a first side of the handle 20 with a portion of the first end extending from an outer surface of the handle 20 or upper elongated support 12. The actuator passage 26 is illustrated for exemplary purposes as a slot extending from an outer surface of handle 20 to a biasing member passage 31 through the first side of handle 20. The slot is shown extending substantially parallel with the longitudinal axis 300 and into the handle 20 beyond the longitudinal axis 300. The actuator 16 is pivotally secured at pivot point 62 to an inner surface of an upper cavity 37 of the handle 20 or upper elongated tube 12. The pivot point 62 may be located on a second side of the handle 20 or upper elongated tube 12. In one aspect, the actuator 16 is secured to the pivot point 62 at a second end of the actuator 16. The second side of the upper cavity 37 is shown on the diametrically opposite the first side of the upper cavity 37. The actuator 16 may slidably engage the biasing member 32 at an arcuate surface. Generally, the closer the distance between pivot point 62 and the point of engagement by the arcuate surface, the greater the leverage exerted by the actuator 16 on the elongated member. As illustrated in phantom, the actuator 16 is in an unlocked position when positioned in an upper portion of the actuator passage 26. As illustrated in solid lines, the actuator 16 is in a locked position when moved downward within the actuator passage 26. Accordingly, sliding the actuator 16 downward along the actuator passage 26 generally parallel to the longitudinal axis 300 of the upper elongated support 12 moves the actuator 16 from an unlocked position to a locked position thereby extending biasing member 32 along a longitudinal axis 300 and bringing biasing element 42 into contact with the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 as generally illustrated for exemplary purposes.

FIGS. 5A and 5B illustrate an upper portion of an exemplary gun rest 10 in accordance with aspects of the present inventions. FIG. 5A illustrates a side view of an actuator 16 extending longitudinally through an actuator passage 26 positioned below the gun rest 18 and above the handle 20. FIG. 5B illustrates a cross-section of the gun rest 10 of FIG. 5A in cross-section and rotated approximately 90 degrees. As illustrated, the actuator 16 is generally configured to transfer a downward force applied to a first end of the actuator 16 to the biasing member 32 to lock the relative position of the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14. The actuator passage 26 is illustrated for exemplary purposes as a slot extending from an outer surface of handle 20 to a biasing member passage 31 through the first side of handle 20. The slot is shown extending substantially parallel with the longitudinal axis 300 and into the handle 20 beyond the longitudinal axis 300. As illustrated, the actuator 16 may be of a slide or rocker type mechanism. In a sliding aspect illustrated by solid lines, the first end of the actuator 16 is slidably received within an actuator passage 26 defined on a first side of the handle 20 with a portion of the first end extending from an outer surface of the handle 20 or upper elongated support 12. The actuator 16 is configured to slide longitudinally along a line substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis 300. The biasing member 32 may be secured on a second end of the actuator 16. The actuator 16 is in an unlocked position when positioned in an upper portion of the linear actuator passage 26. The actuator 16 would be in a locked position when slid downward within the linear actuator passage 26. Accordingly, sliding the actuator 16 downward along the actuator passage 26 generally parallel to the longitudinal axis 300 of the upper elongated support 12 moves the actuator 16 from an unlocked position to a locked position thereby extending biasing member 32 along a longitudinal axis 300 and bringing biasing element 42 into contact with the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 as generally illustrated for exemplary purposes. In the rocking aspect illustrated in both phantom and solid lines, the first end of the actuator 16 extends from the actuator passage and is pivotally secured to the handle 20 or upper elongated support 12 at a pivot point 62. The actuator 16 is secured to the biasing member 32 at a connection 50 adjacent a second end of the actuator 16. The pivot point 62 is positioned between the first end and the connection 50. The actuator 16 is slidably received within an actuator passage 26 as it pivots about pivot point 62. The actuator 16 is configured to slide longitudinally along a line substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis 300 and about an arc around pivot point 62. The biasing member 32 may be secured on a second end of the actuator 16. In this rocking embodiment, the actuator 16 is in an locked position when positioned in an upper portion of the linear actuator passage 26. The actuator 16 would be in an unlocked position when slid downward within the linear actuator passage 26. Accordingly, sliding the actuator 16 downward in a rocking motion along the actuator passage 26 moves the actuator 16 from a locked position to an unlocked position moving biasing member 32 upward along a longitudinal axis 300 and withdrawing biasing element 42 from contact with the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46.

FIG. 6 illustrates a cross-sectional view of an exemplary gun rest 10 in accordance with aspects of the present inventions. An actuator bridge 21 may be secured at a first position and a second position, diametrically opposed to one another, on the top end of handle 20. The actuator bridge 21 may generally have the same or larger cross-sectional circumference than the end of handle 20. A gun support 18 may be secured at a position on the actuator bridge 21 along a longitudinal axis 300 from the top end of the handle 20. An actuator bridge cavity 23 or actuator bridge passage may be defined by the upper elongated support 12, the actuator bridge 21 and the gun support 18 and may be semicircular or square or other shape. As illustrated, actuator 16 may pass through actuator passage 26 along a longitudinal axis 300 on a top end of an upper elongated support 12. The actuator 16 may have a ring or platform 64 secured at a first end that may accommodate a thumb or finger. The actuator bridge cavity 23 may accommodate the actuator 16 in an unlocked and a locked position. The actuator 16 may be connected at a second end to a biasing member 32. Sliding the actuator 16 with a finger or thumb in the actuator passage 26 generally parallel to the longitudinal axis 300 of the upper elongated support 12 moves the actuator 16 from an unlocked position to a locked position thereby extending biasing member 32 along a longitudinal axis 300 and bringing biasing element 42 into contact with the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 as generally illustrated for exemplary purposes. As illustrated, the actuator 16 may have detent passages 66 along the vertical length of the actuator 16. Sliding the actuator 16 downwardly in the actuator passage 26 may engage a detent 68 and spring 69 in a notch 132 along biasing member 32 which may secure the actuator 16 in a locked position.

FIGS. 7A and 7B illustrate cross sections of a locking mechanism 24 of an exemplary gun rest 10 in accordance with aspects of the present inventions. FIG. 7A shows a first aspect of a locking mechanism 24 in an unlocked position. A biasing member 32 may be secured to biasing element 42, a first support 34 may be secured to a first frictional element 44 and a second support 36 may be secured to a second frictional element 46. In the unlocked position illustrated in FIG. 7A, the biasing element 42 is not in contact with the frictional elements 44, 46. The frictional elements 44 and 46 are not in contact with the inner surface 214 of the lower cavity 47.

FIG. 7B shows a first aspect of a locking mechanism 24 in a locked position. As the actuator 16 is slid into the locked position, the movement of the biasing member 32 downward along a longitudinal axis 300 brings the biasing element 42 into contact with the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 and forces the frictional elements 44 and 46 into contact with the inner surface 214 of the lower cavity 47 of the lower elongated support 14. This frictional contact interlocks the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14 in one of a plurality of lengths.

FIGS. 8A and 8B illustrate cross sections of a locking mechanism 24 of an exemplary gun rest 10 in accordance with aspects of the present inventions. FIG. 8A shows a second aspect of a locking mechanism 24 in an unlocked position. A biasing member 32 may be attached to a movable biasing element 72 and a first support 34 may be attached to a stationary biasing element 70. In the unlocked position, the stationary biasing element 70 is not in contact with the movable biasing element 72 and neither the stationary biasing element 70 nor the movable biasing element 72 are in contact with the inner surface of the lower cavity 47 of the lower elongated support 14.

FIG. 8B shows a second aspect of the locking mechanism 24 in a locked position. As the actuator 16 is slid into the locked position, movement of the biasing member 32 downwardly generally parallel to a longitudinal axis 300 results in the movable biasing element 72 contacting the stationary biasing element 70 and moving the movable biasing element 72 and the stationary biasing element 70 into contact with the inner surface 47 of the lower elongated support 14. This frictional contact interlocks the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14 in one of a plurality of lengths.

FIG. 9 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a third aspect of the locking mechanism 24 in the locked position of an exemplary gun rest 10 in accordance with aspects of the present inventions. A biasing member 32 may be secured to biasing element 42, a first support 34 may be secured to a first frictional element 44 at a first end and a second support 36 may be secured to a second frictional element 46 at a first end. Notches 39 may be defined by the inner surface 212 of the lower elongated support 14 and may extend longitudinally along at least a portion of the length of the lower cavity 47. A first end of a first connection element 90 may be secured to a second end of a first frictional element 44. A first end of a second connection element 92 may be secured to a second end of a second frictional element 46. A spring 96 may be secured at a first end to a second end of a first connection element 90 and a second end of a second connection element 92. The spring 96 may be configured to bias the first frictional element 44 and second frictional element 46 inward. In a third aspect, as the actuator 16 is slid into the locked position, the movement of biasing member 32 downward along a longitudinal axis 300 brings the biasing element 42 into contact with the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 and to bias the second frictional element 46 outward against the inner surface of the lower cavity 47 and to bias the first frictional element 44 into one of the several equally spaced notches 39 defined by the inner surface 214 of the lower cavity 47 of the lower elongated support 14. This frictional contact interlocks the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14 in one of a plurality of lengths.

FIG. 10 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a fourth aspect of the locking mechanism 24 in the locked position of an exemplary gun rest 10 in accordance with aspects of the present inventions. A biasing member 32 may be secured to biasing element 42, a first support 34 may be secured to a first frictional element 44 and a second support 36 may be secured to a second frictional element 46. Notches 39 may be defined by the inner surface 214 of the lower elongated support 14 and may extend longitudinally along at least a portion of the length of the lower cavity 47. The lower elongated support 14 may be of greater circumference or diameter or cross-sectional area than the upper elongated support 12. In a fourth aspect, as the actuator 16 is slid into the locked position, the movement of biasing member 32 downward along a longitudinal axis 300 brings the biasing element 42 into contact with the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 and to bias the second frictional element 46 outward against the inner surface of the lower cavity 47 and to bias the first frictional element 44 into one of the several equally spaced notches 39 defined by the inner surface 214 of the lower cavity 47 of the lower elongated support 14. This frictional contact interlocks the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14 in one of a plurality of lengths. To disengage first frictional element 44 from notches 39 a spring 96 may be provided to bias the first frictional element 44 inward. For exemplary purposes, spring 96 is shown as a leaf spring conferring an inwardly biasing force to frictional element 44 through its contact with first support 34.

FIG. 11 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a fifth aspect of the locking mechanism 24 in the locked position of an exemplary gun rest 10 in accordance with aspects of the present inventions. The lower elongated support 14 may be of greater circumference or diameter or cross-sectional area than the upper elongated support 12. A sleeve 80 may be secured at the inner surface 212 of the distal end of upper elongated support 12. The biasing member 32 may pass through a substantially longitudinal cavity 81 in sleeve 80. A biasing element 32 may be secured to a biasing element 42. A first frictional element 44 may be secured by a first connection element 90 to sleeve 80 at a first connection point 91. A second frictional element 46 may be secured by a second connection element 92 to sleeve 80 at a second connection point 93. End plate 86 may be secured by a third connection element 94 to the biasing element 42. A biasing member spring 88 may be present in the lower elongated support 14 and contact the bottom end of the lower elongated support 14 and the end plate 86 and provide an elongating tension to tend to extend the upper elongated support 12 relative to the lower elongated support 14. In a fifth aspect, as the actuator 16 is slid into the locked position, the movement of biasing member 32 downward along a longitudinal axis 300, traversing cavity 81, brings the biasing element 42 into contact with the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 and results in the frictional elements 44, 46 contacting the inner surface 214 of the lower cavity 47. This frictional contact interlocks the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14 in one of a plurality of lengths.

FIG. 12 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a sixth aspect of the locking mechanism 24 in the locked position of an exemplary gun rest 10 in accordance with aspects of the present inventions. The lower elongated support 14 may be of greater circumference or diameter or cross-sectional area than the upper elongated support 12. A biasing member 32 may be secured to a biasing element 42. A first connection element 90 may be secured at a first end to the inner surface 212 of the upper elongated support 12 and at a second end to a first frictional element 44. A second connection element 92 may be secured at a first end to the inner surface 212 of the upper elongated support 12 and at a second end to a second frictional element 46. In a sixth aspect, as the actuator 16 is slid into the locked position, movement of the biasing member 32 downward along a longitudinal axis 300 brings the biasing element 42 into contact with the first frictional element 44 and the second frictional element 46 and biases the flange collars 82, 84 outwardly against the inner surface 214 of the lower cavity 47. This frictional contact interlocks the upper elongated support 12 and the lower elongated support 14 in one of a plurality of lengths.

FIGS. 13A and 13B illustrate a gun rest 10 in accordance with the present inventions having first and second extendable legs. As illustrated, the gun rest 10 includes a gun rest 18, a handle 20, a first upper elongated support 12′, a first lower elongated support 14′ a second upper elongated support 12″ and a second lower elongated support 14″. The gun rest 18 may function as the actuator 16 and is biased upward by a biasing member spring 88. For exemplary purposes, the first upper elongated support 12′ and the second upper elongated support 12″ are illustrated as movably attached to the handle 20 to permit adjustment of the adjustment of the angle between the first upper elongated support 12′ and the second upper elongated support 12″. Each of the first upper elongated support 12′ and the second upper elongated support 12″ are secured to the handle 20 by a bolt 61 and nut 63. Each nut 63 may include a grip 65 to permit a user to easily lock and unlock the position of the first upper elongated support 12′ and the second elongated support 12″ by loosening or tightening, respectively, of the associated nut 63. A biasing member 32 extends through handle 20 and communicates at least a downward motion to a first biasing member 32′ and a second biasing member 32″ extending through the first upper elongated support 12′ and second upper elongated support 12″, respectively. As illustrated, the biasing member 32 include an arcuate biasing element 67 that communicates the downward movement to the first biasing member 32′ or the second biasing member 32″ over a range of angles of the first upper elongated support 12′ and second upper elongated support 12″ relative to the handle 20. The first biasing member 32′ and the second biasing member 32″ cooperate with other components of the locking mechanism 24, not shown, to relatively secure the first upper elongated support 12′ and the first lower elongated support 14′ and to relatively secure the second upper elongated support 12″ and the second lower elongated support 14″.

The foregoing discussion discloses and describes merely exemplary aspects of the present invention. Upon review of the specification, one skilled in the art will readily recognize from such discussion, and from the accompanying drawings and claims, that various changes, modifications and variations can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.