Title:
TOP LOCK SECURITY HOLSTER II
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A security holster for semi-automatic handguns in which a locking tag secures the handgun in the holster by engaging the ejection port of the handgun. The locking tab enters the ejection port from the top side of the handgun.



Inventors:
Lowe, Michael V. (GARDEN CITY, ID, US)
Aberle, Gregory (EMMETT, ID, US)
Jenkins, Taylor (NAMPA, ID, US)
Senn, Anthony (NAMPA, ID, US)
Application Number:
11/877498
Publication Date:
07/31/2008
Filing Date:
10/23/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/246, 224/193
International Classes:
F41C33/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WAGGENSPACK, ADAM J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SHAVER & SWANSON, LLP (BOISE, ID, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A security holster for a handgun, said handgun having an ejection port, a handle, and a barrel, said handgun also having a top side, a left side, a right side, a bottom side, a barrel end and handle end, comprising: a holster body for securing said handgun, said holster body comprising a top side, a left side, a right side, and a bottom side, a forward end corresponding to said handgun barrel and a rearward end corresponding to said handgun handle end; a locking tab attached to said holster body and configured to move into engagement with said ejection port of said handgun by moving into a locked position in said ejection port from a release position adjacent said top side of said handgun and generally above the top of said handgun; a release tab attached to said holster body and operatively connected to said locking tab and configured to lift said locking tab from engagement in said ejection port toward said handgun top side into said release position; whereby said locking tab releases said handgun by being raised above the top of said handgun, with said locking tab biased to press into said ejection port when said ejection port is adjacent to said locking tab.

2. The security holster for a handgun of claim 1 in which said release tab on said holster body left side, positioned for activation by a digit of a user's left hand, by said release tab being operatively connected to said locking tab, and configured to transfer motion of a user's digit into lifting said locking tab to a position above said ejection port.

3. The security holster for a handgun of claim 1 in which said release tab on said holster body right side, positioned for activation by a digit of a user's right hand, by said release tab being operatively connected to said locking tab, and configured to transfer motion of a user's digit into lifting said locking tab to a position above said ejection port.

4. The security holster of claim 1 in which said locking tab further comprises one or more engagement features which are configurable to be utilized to connect with a release tab configured for operation by a digit of said user's left or right hand.

5. The security holster of claim 4 which further comprises a left and a right side engagement feature, which are provided so that said security holster may be configured to function with a release tab configured for operation by a digit of said user's right hand or left hand.

6. The security holster of claim 3 in which said release tab is attached to said right side of holster body, and is configured for activation by a user's right index finger or left thumb.

7. The security holster of claim 2 in which said release tab is attached to said left side of holster body, and is configured for activation by a user's right thumb or left index finger.

8. The security holster of claim 1 in which said locking tab is attached to a swing arm mounted to said holster body in a position corresponding to above the top of said handgun.

9. The security holster of claim 8 in which said swing arm is attached to said holster body at a point forward of said locking tab.

10. The security holster of claim 8 in which said swing arm is attached to said holster body at a point rearward of said locking tab.

11. A security holster for a handgun with an ejection port, said handgun having a top side, a left side, a right side, and a bottom side, comprising: a holster body for securing said handgun; a locking tab configured to move into engagement with said ejection port of said handgun by moving into a locked position in said ejection port from a release position generally above said top side of said handgun in a path generally normal to the plane of said top side of said handgun; one or more engagement features attached to said locking tab for connection to a release tab, with said engagement feature configured for connection to a release tab on either a left or a right side of said holster body; with said release tab operatively connected to said locking tab and configured to lift said locking tab from engagement in said ejection port toward said handgun top side into said release position; wherein said release tab may be configured to be positioned for activation by a digit of a user's left or right hand.

12. The security holster of claim 11 in which said locking tab further comprises an engagement feature which may be utilized to connect with either a release tab configured for operation by a digit of said user's right hand, or by a release tab configured for operation by a digit of said user's left hand.

13. The security holster of claim 11 which further comprises a left and a right side engagement feature, which are provided so that said security holster may be configured to function with either a release tab configured for operation by a digit of said user's right hand, or by a release tab configured for operation by a digit of said user's left hand.

14. The security holster of claim 8 in which said swing arm is a spring mounted to an interior surface of said holster body top side.

15. A security holster for a handgun with an ejection port, and a handle, and a barrel, said handgun having a top side, a left side, a right side, a bottom side, a barrel end and handle end, comprising: a holster body for securing said handgun, said holster body comprising a top side, a left side, a right side, and a bottom side, a forward end adjacent to said handgun barrel and a rearward end adjacent to said handgun handle end; a locking tab attached to an interior surface of said holster body top side and configured to move into engagement with said ejection port of said handgun by moving into a locked position in said ejection port from a release position adjacent said top side of said handgun and moving in a direction generally normal to the plane of said top side; a release tab attached to said holster body and operatively connected to said locking tab and configured to lift said locking tab from engagement in said ejection port toward said handgun top side into said release position;

16. The security holster for a handgun of claim 15 in which said release tab is positioned on said holster body left side for activation by a digit of a user's left hand.

17. The security holster for a handgun of claim 15 in which said release tab is positioned on said holster body right side for activation by a digit of a user's right hand.

18. The security holster of claim 15 in which said locking tab further comprises one or more engagement features which may be utilized to connect with either a release tab configured for operation by a digit of said user's right hand, or by a release tab configured for operation by a digit of said user's left hand.

19. The security holster of claim 18 which further comprises a left and a right side engagement feature, which are provided so that said security holster may be configured to function with a release tab on said holster body right side or left side.

20. The security holster of claim 19 in which said release tab is attached to said holster body right side, and is configured for activation by a user's right index finger or left thumb.

21. The security holster of claim 19 in which said release tab is attached to said holster body left side, and is configured for activation by a user's right thumb or left index finger.

22. The security holster of claim 18 in which said locking tab is attached to a swing arm with the swing arm attached to said holster body.

23. The security holster of claim 22 in which said swing arm is attached to said holster body at a point forward of said locking tab.

24. The security holster of claim 22 in which said swing arm is attached to said holster body at a point rearward of said locking tab.

25. The security holster of claim 15 in which said locking tab further comprises one or more engagement features which may be utilized to connect with either a release tab on said left side of the holster body, or by a release tab on said right side of said holster body.

26. The security holster of claim 15 which further comprises a left and a right side engagement feature, which are provided so that said security holster may be configured to connect to either a release tab on a holster body right side, or a release tab on a holster body left side.

27. The security holster of claim 22 in which said swing arm is biased to press said locking tab into said ejection port, and configured to move aside to admit said handgun into said holster.

28. The security holster of claim 22 in which said locking tab is attached to a swing arm with the swing arm hingedly mounted to said holster body above said top of said handgun.

29. The security holster of claim 28 in which said swing arm is attached to an inside surface of said holster body top, above said handgun top side, and biased to press said locking tab into said ejection port, and configured to move aside to admit said handgun into said holster.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the priority date of the provisional application entitled Top Lock Security Holster filed by Mike Lowe on Oct. 23, 2006 with application Ser. No. 60/854,057.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to generally to an apparatus for securing a handgun in a holster, and more particularly to a top lock security holster.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Some security holsters are designed primarily for law enforcement officers. For security holster designs for law enforcement officers, the main considerations are easy accessibility and retention in the face of an assault by a criminal. For these purposes, the inventor's previous security holster utilizes a finger tube, which is built into the shroud around the security holster, to protect access to the handgun release mechanism. By the use of this finger tube, a police officer has enhanced control over his weapon, and the assailant will find it very difficult to gain access to the officer's weapon.

The aforementioned device is an injection molded article constructed primarily of plastic or other suitable material. The manufacture of the device requires the construction of a mold for the device and tooling of an assembly line. The cost of establishing a manufacturing site for the aforementioned device is a significant expense for the manufacturer of the device and comprises a large portion of the final cost of the device when sold to law enforcement officials.

Law enforcement personnel inherently have either left or right hand dexterity which necessitates the manufacture of both left and right handed security holsters. Constructing both left and right handed security holsters for law enforcement personnel previously required tooling a manufacturing facility with both left and right security holster molds and assembly processes. Thus, significant additional expense is encountered when manufacturing the aforementioned device in configurations for both left and right handed law enforcement personnel.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The device is a security holster for an automatic handgun. Automatic handguns conventionally are constructed with a handle, barrel, trigger mechanism, and a shell ejection port on one side of the top of the weapon. The security holster conforms to the design of a conventional automatic handgun by holding the forward barrel portion within a sleeve of the holster and holding the handle of the hand gun in the rear portion of the holster. The holster contains a locking mechanism that securely holds the handgun in the holster by a locking tab that engages the ejection port of the weapon. The locking tab located within the interior surface of the holster engages the ejection port on the top of the handgun. The locking tab is inserted into the ejection chamber from the top of the handgun. In order to remove the handgun from the holster, the locking tab is removed from the ejection port of the handgun by activating a release tab on one side or the other of the holster body. Actuating the release tab moves the locking tab to the top of the weapon and out of the ejection port. One construction of the holster allows user to release the locking tab by actuating the release tab with a digit of the right hand. Another construction of the holster allows user to release the locking tab by actuating the release tab with a digit of the left hand. Another construction of the holster enables the holster to be configured so that the release tab may be actuated by a digit of the left or right hand of the user.

The security holster is designed such that one or more engagement features are present within the holster to allow operation by the user's right hand in one configuration, the user's left hand in another configuration, or a version of the holster which may be configured for use by either a left handed or a right handed user. What all these configurations have in common is that the locking tab moves upward toward the top surface of the handgun to release the handgun. This is in contract to other security holsters in which the locking tab basically enters the ejection port from the side. The holster can contain both left and right hand engagement features so that the release mechanism may be mounted for actuation by a digit of either the left or right hand.

When the release tab is oriented for use on the right side of the holster, the user may release the locking tab by actuating the releasing tab with er his right index finger or left thumb. When the release tab is oriented for use on the left side of the holster, the user may release the locking tab by actuating the releasing tab with er his left index finger or right thumb.

The locking tab may be incorporated into a locking assembly, including a swing arm, engagement features, and the locking tab. The engagement features are provided for functional engagement of actuation devices, such as finger trays, thumb trays, and release levers. The swing arm may be attached to the front or rear of the holster body, of generally in the middle of the holster body. A version attaches to the front of the holster body, and the swing arm presses the locking tab toward the ejection port. Another version attaches to the inside of the holster body, and the swing arm may be a v or u shaped spring which presses the locking tab toward the ejection port.

The locking tab mechanism of the holster is attached to the holster by a swing arm attached to a spring or a flexible member mounted on the top of the holster body above the handgun. Alternatively, the swing arm may be mounted to the inside surface of the holster body top. This swing arm may pivot either forward or rearward of the locking tab. When the handgun is inserted into the holster, the locking tab is designed to move aside and admit the handgun to the holster.

The security holster of the invention utilizes a locking tab which drops into place into the ejection port of a semi automatic pistol. In its broadest concept, this security holster utilizes a locking tab which is actively moved from an open position to a closed position, and while in the closed position it engages in the ejection port of the handgun. The locking tab is moved out of engagement with the handgun by use of several different methods. For a left handed user, the release mechanism which engages the index finger of the left hand on the left hand side of the gun would lift the locking tab out of engagement with the ejection port. Alternately, the left handed user could utilize the thumb of his left hand on the right hand side of the hand gun to activate a simple lever which lifts the locking tab out of engagement with the ejection port.

The options for lifting the locking tab out of the ejection port for a right handed user are similar. The right handed user could use the index finger of his right hand on the right side of the hand gun which would lift a lock release block as the finger was inserted into a finger tray or finger channel. The lock release could be lifted by insertion of the finger, or it could require a lateral movement of the finger in order to lift the lock release. The right handed user could also utilize the holster in a configuration so that the thumb of his right hand, on the left hand side of the handgun activated a lever which either by pushing down or pushing up on the lever would lift the locking tab out of the ejection port.

FIG. 1 shows one version of the top lock security holster of the invention in which the locking tab is attached to a bar on the top of the holster body. The front of the bar is attached to a holster body at a hinge, and thus the back part of the bar could be raised and lowered from the hinge. FIG. 1a is a top view of the security holster of the invention which shows projections sticking out from the locking tab on both the right and the left sides which can be utilized for engagement with a release lever or a finger lock release. An advantage of this design is that a single mold could be used to make an ejection molded holster of this design, and after molding, the holster could be configured for either left or right handed users. This would eliminate the need to make a separate mold for left and right handed users. FIGS. 2 and 2a are other views of the security holster of the invention, with FIG. 2a showing the concept of lifting the release tab from the left hand side of the gun either by a left hander's index finger or by a right hander's thumb. FIG. 3 is a view from the rear of the holster showing a hand gun engaged in the holster. FIG. 4 is a view of the right side of the holster showing the locking tab engaged in the ejection port of the holster. The finger release could be configured so that it is generally over the region of the trigger guard, or could also be configured so that it is positioned closer to the ejection port, depending upon the preference of the user. FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the top lock security holster, showing the locking tab in place in the ejection port area of the security holster. FIG. 6 and FIG. 6a are views of a different version of a top lock security holster. In this version, the locking tab still drops vertically in place into the ejection port of the hand gun. Its hinging and hinge and spring mechanism are different in this version however, as the spring and hinge is attached to the holster body above the ejection port rather than being hinged from the front of the holster body. In this version the locking tab is attached to a generally v-shaped spring, with one arm of the spring attached to the holster body and one arm of the spring attached to the locking tab. As the hand gun is inserted into the holster the locking tab is pushed upward until the depression formed by the ejection port is directly below it, at which time it drops into place into the ejection port as shown in FIG. 5a. As with the earlier version shown, the ejection port could be lifted by the thumb or finger of either the left or right hand. FIG. 7 shows another view of this alternative version of the top lock security holster. FIG. 8 shows another view of this alternative version of the top lock security holster. A commonality with all of these versions is that the ejection port is engaged by an actively moving locking tab, and the locking tab moves vertically in and out of the ejection port. The locking tab can operate with a rebounding device, or without a rebounding device.

The purpose of the foregoing Abstract is to enable the public, and especially the scientists, engineers, and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection, the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The Abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the application, which is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

Still other features and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in this art from the following detailed description describing preferred embodiments of the invention, simply by way of illustration of the best mode contemplated by carrying out my invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of modification in various obvious respects all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and description of the preferred embodiments are to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as restrictive in nature.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the security holster of the invention.

FIG. 2 is top view of a security holster of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the security holster of the invention

FIG. 4 is a top cut away view of the security holster of the invention

FIG. 5 is a front view of one version of the security holster of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the security holster of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the release assembly of the invention.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a hand gun with only the release assembly 50 show positioned on the hand gun.

FIG. 9 is a side cute away view of one version of the security holster of the invention.

FIG. 10 is a detail view of the release assembly one version of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

While the invention is susceptible of various modifications and alternative constructions, certain illustrated embodiments thereof have been shown in the drawings and will be described below in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific form disclosed, but, on the contrary, the invention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims.

In the following description and in the figures, like elements are identified with like reference numerals. The use of “or” indicates a non-exclusive alternative without limitation unless otherwise noted. The use of “including” means “including, but not limited to,” unless otherwise noted.

Several preferred embodiments of the invention are shown in FIGS. 1 through 10. FIG. 1 shows the security holster 10 of the invention. Also shown in FIG. 1 is the handgun 12 which has handle 14, a barrel 16, and an ejection point 18. The ejection port 18 is shown better in other figures. The security holster 10 includes a holster body 20. The holster body 20 includes a top side 22, a left side 24, a right side 26, a bottom side 28, a forward end 30 and a rearward end of the holster body 32. Typically the holster body is wrapped by an outer cover to cover the mechanical working of the security holster, and the outer cover of the holster is omitted in the figures, as it is not essential to the working of the holster.

The security holster 10 includes a locking tab 34. The locking tab 34 in the version shown in FIG. 1 is attached to a swing arm 36, which is attached to the security holster 10, and is configured to rotate or bend away from the security holster 10. When the swing arm 36, with its attached locking tab 34 moves away from the ejection port 18, the handgun 12 is free to be withdrawn from the security holster 10. The version of the security holster 10 shown in FIG. 1 includes an engagement feature 38. The engagement feature shown in FIG. 1, is a post, which extends slightly above the surface of the security holster 10. The engagement feature 38 is provided so that a release tab, (not shown in FIG. 1) can engage the engagement feature and lift the locking tab 34 away from engagement with the ejection port 18.

The advantage of the design shown in these figures is that one security holster can be made which can be modified to fit either left or right handed users. When building an ejection molded security holster for hand guns, the hand gun's external surface configuration must be closely adhered to by the inside of the security holster, so any particular hand gun fits in the security holster with sufficient accuracy that it has a snug fit and is not loose, but moves freely in and out of the security holster 10. One way to accomplish this is to have a different ejection mold for the left and the right hand holster. Since each mold is very expensive, this doubles the production cost. The security holster 10 of the invention addresses that problem by providing one security holster 10 which can be modified after it is ejected molded, so it can be operated with either a left or a right handed user.

The present invention may also be a security holster made for left or right handed users, but which has the locking tab enter the ejection port from the top. This has advantages in that the holster can be made thinner, and the locking tab entering from the top may allow a quicker release of the handgun.

The swing arm 36 and the locking tab 34 are common to both right and left handed security holster 10. However, additional features such as a release tab 40 (not shown in FIG. 1) can be added to either the left or the right side, to configure the security holster 10 of the invention for either right or left handed use.

FIG. 2 is a top view of the same security holster 10 as shown in FIG. 1 and shows the engagement feature 38 on both the left and right side of the security holster 10. These are attached to the swing arm 36, and the locking tab 34 is also attached to the swing arm 36. This view shows the locking tab 34 engaged in the ejection port 18 of the handgun 12.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the same version of the holster shown the swing arm 36, a hinge 42, the locking tab 34, the release tab 40 and the ejection port 18. An outline is shown of a thumb tray 44 which could be mounted on either the left or the right side of the security holster 10 to enable a right or left hand user to enable his thumb to engage the engagement feature 38, and lift the locking tab 34 out of the ejection port 18.

FIG. 4 shows another view of the device, which shows a finger tray 44 positioned on the left side 24 of the security holster 10 and an engagement with the engagement feature 38 to lift the locking tab away from the ejection port 18.

FIG. 5 shows another view of the security holster 10 showing the left and right engagement feature 38 with a different structure for lifting the swing arm 36 away from the top of the security holster 10. This is a release lever 48 which could be configured to be activated by a user's thumb or a figure and could be positioned on the left or the right side of the handgun 12.

FIG. 6 shows another design of the swing arm 36, in which the engagement feature 38 is in a slightly different configuration. The engagement feature can also be a threaded hole, a hole into which a closed fits, or any kind of mounting structure to which a thumb tray, finger tray or release lever may be operatively attached. The swing arm 36 and the engagement feature 38 shown in FIG. 6 form a release assembly 50, which includes a locking tab 34, which is not fully visible in FIG. 6.

FIG. 7 is a view of the release assembly 50, with the handgun 12 and the rest of the holster body removed, to more clearly show how the release assembly 50 functions.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of this particular embodiment of the security holster 10, with the swing arm 36 clearly visible, one of the two engagement features 38 also visible, and the locking tab 34 and the ejection port 18 shown.

FIG. 9 is another preferred embodiment of the invention, in which the swing arm 36 is in the form of a “v” or “u” shaped spring 52. The spring 52 is attached to the inside inner surface of the holster body 20. There is sufficient room between the top of the handgun 12 and the top inside surface of the holster body 54, so that when the handgun 12 is inserted into the security holster 10, the locking tab 34 which is on the end of the v-shaped spring 52, is forced out of the way by the handgun 12. As the handgun 12 is further inserted into the security holster 10, when the ejection port 18 is aligned with the locking tab 34, the locking tab 34 is pressed into the ejection port 18 by the v-shaped spring 52. This position is shown in FIG. 10, and in this position the handgun 12 cannot be withdrawn from the security holster 10 until the locking tab 34 is lifted from engagement with the ejection port 18. This is accomplished by use of the engagement features 38, which can be provided on either side of the locking tab 34, and can be functionally connected to a thumb tray, finger tray or release lever on either the right or the left side.

The invention also includes a holster made for right handed users in any of these configurations, in which the locking tab 34 is raised directly upward form the top of the handgun 12.

While there is shown and described the present preferred embodiment of the invention, it is to be distinctly understood that this invention is not limited thereto but may be variously embodied to practice within the scope of the following claims. From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.





 
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