Title:
SHOULDER STOCKS FOR USE WITH FIREARMS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Shoulder stocks for use with firearms are described. An example shoulder stock for use with firearms includes a shoulder stock that defines at least one storage compartment having an opening. The shoulder stock includes a locking mechanism that includes an extension that extends toward the rear of the shoulder stock. Additionally, the example shoulder stock includes a base plate that includes a seal. The base plate is removably couplable to the shoulder stock by the locking mechanism.



Inventors:
Fluhr, Norbert (Oberndorf, DE)
Bantle, Johannes-august (Bosingen, DE)
Application Number:
12/324561
Publication Date:
07/16/2009
Filing Date:
11/26/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41C23/22
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080131848TAP SENSOR FOR WEAPON SIMULATORJune, 2008Wilson et al.
20080047188Height-Adjustable and Foldable Gun RestFebruary, 2008Lindstrom
20080202011Telescopic gun sight windage correction systemAugust, 2008Shepherd
20060026886Rapid activation system for a laser-sighting assemblyFebruary, 2006Doukas
20090211140Center balanced gunstock with pistol grip and trigger actuator rod and folding front foregripAugust, 2009Rolfe
20090044438TRIGGER LOCK IN GUNSFebruary, 2009Yollu
20070137085Safety cartridgeJune, 2007Aske
20060196098Hand-carried weapon having a remote visual displaySeptember, 2006Lee et al.
20090277067Take-down rifles including a caliber exchange systemNovember, 2009Gregg
20100037504RIFLE BODYFebruary, 2010Müller
20080244951MOLDED RIFLE STOCKOctober, 2008Picard et al.



Primary Examiner:
LEE, BENJAMIN P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HANLEY, FLIGHT & ZIMMERMAN, LLC (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A shoulder stock for use with firearms, comprising: a shoulder stock that defines at least one storage compartment having an opening, wherein the shoulder stock includes a locking mechanism that includes an extension that extends toward the rear of the shoulder stock; and a base plate that includes a seal, wherein the base plate is removably couplable to the shoulder stock by the locking mechanism.

2. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 1, wherein the base plate defines a cavity to receive the extension and to substantially axially secure the base plate relative to the shoulder stock.

3. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 1, wherein the seal is positioned adjacent the opening when the base plate is coupled to the shoulder stock to prevent fluid from entering the at least one storage compartment.

4. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 1, wherein the base plate comprises a first portion and a second portion.

5. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 4, wherein the first portion comprises a relatively rigid material and the second portion comprises a relatively elastomer material.

6. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 4, wherein the first portion defines a cavity to receive the extension.

7. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 4, wherein the first portion defines a recess to receive the seal that is positioned adjacent the opening when the base plate is coupled to the shoulder stock to prevent fluid from entering the at least one storage compartment.

8. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 4, wherein the first portion defines an aperture through which some of the second portion protrudes to form the seal that is positioned adjacent the opening when the base plate is coupled to the shoulder stock to prevent fluid from entering the at least one storage compartment.

9. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 4, wherein the shoulder stock defines a recess to receive a projection of the second portion of the base plate to further secure the base plate relative to the shoulder stock.

10. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 9, wherein the projection is removable from the recess to rotate the base plate relative to the extension to remove the base plate from the shoulder stock.

11. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 1, wherein the shoulder stock further comprises at least one projection that defines a groove to receive a rib of the base plate.

12. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 1, wherein the shoulder stock comprises a plastic material.

13. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 1, wherein the extension, guide ribs, at least one projection that defines a recess and a cavity of the base plate are configured to draw the base plate toward the shoulder stock as the base plate is rotated about the extension to removably couple the base plate to the shoulder stock.

14. A shoulder stock for use with firearms, comprising: a shoulder stock that defines at least one storage compartment having an opening, wherein the shoulder stock comprises: a first projection that defines a first groove, wherein the first projection defines a recess positioned toward the rear of the firearm and an indentation that is positioned toward the top of the firearm and wherein the recess and the indentation are to receive a projection of a second portion of a base plate; a second projection opposite the first projection, wherein the second projection defines a second groove; and an extension that extends from the shoulder stock, wherein the extension includes a first guide rib opposite a second guide rib; a first portion of the base plate that is coupled to the second portion, wherein the first portion comprises: a cavity to receive the extension to removably couple the base plate to the shoulder stock; a first rib to be received by the first groove; a second rib to be received by the second groove, wherein at least one of the first rib, the second rib, the cavity, the extension, the first groove or the second groove are configured to draw the base plate toward the shoulder stock as the base plate is rotated about the extension.

15. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 14, wherein the first portion defines an aperture through which some of the second portion protrudes to form a seal that is positioned adjacent the opening when the base plate is coupled to the shoulder stock to prevent fluid from entering the at least one storage compartment.

16. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 14, wherein the first portion defines a third groove to receive a seal that is positioned adjacent the opening when the base plate is coupled to the shoulder stock to prevent fluid from entering the at least one storage compartment.

17. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 14, wherein the first portion comprises a relatively rigid material.

18. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 14, wherein the second portion comprises an elastomer material.

19. A shoulder stock for use with firearms, comprising: a shoulder stock that defines at least one storage compartment having an opening, wherein the shoulder stock includes a bayonet lock that includes an extension that extends toward the rear of the shoulder stock; and a base plate that includes a liquid tight seal, wherein the base plate is removably couplable to the shoulder stock by the bayonet lock.

20. The shoulder stock as defined in claim 19, wherein the extension, guide ribs, at least one projection that defines a recess and a cavity of the base plate are configured to draw the base plate toward the shoulder stock as the base plate is rotated about the extension to removably couple the base plate to the shoulder stock.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This patent is a continuation of International Patent Application Serial No. PCT/EP2007/004526, filed May 22, 2007, which claims priority to German Patent Application 10 2006 024 962.3, filed on May 29, 2006 and to German Patent Application 10 2006 033 260.1, filed on Jul. 18, 2006, each of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

This patent relates generally to shoulder stocks and, more specifically, to shoulder stocks for use with firearms.

BACKGROUND

Some known rifles have storage compartments in the shoulder stock for storage purposes. In some examples, the storage compartment may be configured to hold ammunition (e.g., shotgun or rifle cartridges) or cleaning kits, etc. Similar storage compartments have been available since approximately the middle of the 19th century in which flints, wadding, etc. were stored. Additionally, the M1 carbine, includes a storage compartment in which a cleaning kit is stored. While the storage compartment of the M1 carbine is supposed to be water proof, known production techniques have been unable to cost efficiently mass produce such water proof storage compartments. As such, the M1 carbine may include a container, which is waterproof, that is positioned in the storage compartment. In operation, to close and/or seal the storage compartment, a steel cover is coupled to the shoulder stock via a catch and/or locking mechanism. The interaction between the steel cover and the storage compartment does not provide a waterproof seal even if material is placed between the steel cover and the shoulder stock, because compression of the material around the shoulder stock is not be evenly distributed. Additionally, the catch and/or locking mechanism is difficult to open, which often results in broken finger nails. Further, because the catch and/or locking mechanism is made of metal, in time, these components may rust, which prevents the steel cover from being securely fastened to the shoulder stock.

Since the middle of the 18th century, base plates (e.g., stock plate) have been coupled to wood shoulder stocks via screws. Today, this manner of coupling the base plate to the shoulder stock continues even in firearms having plastic shoulder stocks such as, for example, the Remington® rifle “Nylon.”

Some known firearms include a waterproof ammunition container that is screwed to the base plate of the shoulder stock. A gasket or seal is positioned on an end of the container to substantially prevent water from entering the container between the connection of the container and the base plate. In operation, the interaction between the container and the base plate results in considerable design restrictions. Additionally, the small size of the container makes it susceptible to being misplaced or lost.

Some modern firearms such as, for example, submachine guns, automatic firearms or assault weapons, require batteries to operate certain components. In such instances, reservoir batteries may be additionally stored in the firearm. Typically, these batteries are positioned in the firearm in a moisture proof housing, especially if the batteries are engaged to electrical contacts. In operation, it may be preferable to have the area in the firearm in which the batteries are positioned to be easily accessible to the marksman. While these batteries may be stored in a moisture proof container positioned in the storage compartment of the shoulder stock, which is not water proof, this approach leads to design limitations and increases production costs. For example, if the M1 carbine was provided with such a moisture proof container to store batteries, the cost of the firearm would probably only be acceptable for use with military task forces.

Some magazines such as, for example, stock magazines or tubular magazines (e.g., Spencer, patented in 1860; FN-small caliber automatic “Browning”), are examples of costly components that may provide relatively adequate water proofing. However, the purchase of these magazines is typically justifiable only for use with luxury firearms.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a side view of an example shoulder stock and an example base plate.

FIG. 2 depicts a side, cross-sectional view of the example shoulder stock and the example base plate of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 depicts a top view of the example shoulder stock and the example base plate of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 depicts a trimetric view of the example shoulder stock of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 depicts a rear view of the example shoulder stock of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 depicts a side view of the example shoulder stock of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 depicts a side, cross-sectional view of the example base plate of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Certain examples are shown in the above-identified figures and described in detail below. In describing these examples, like or identical reference numbers are used to identify the same or similar elements. The figures are not necessarily to scale and certain features and certain views of the figures may be shown exaggerated in scale or in schematic for clarity. Additionally, several examples have been described throughout this specification. Any features from any example may be included with, a replacement for, or otherwise combined with other features from other examples. Further, throughout this description, position designations such as “above,” “below,” “top,” “forward,” “rear,” “left,” “right,” etc. are referenced to a firearm held in a normal firing position (i.e., wherein the “shooting direction” is pointed away from the marksman in a generally horizontal direction) and from the point of view of the marksman. Furthermore, the normal firing position of the weapon is always assumed, i.e., the position in which the barrel runs along a horizontal axis.

The examples described herein generally relate to example shoulder stocks having one or more storage compartments that may advantageously utilized to store batteries or other items. Additionally, the examples described herein generally relate to example base plates that are removably couplable to the example shoulder stocks.

Referring to FIGS. 1-7, an example shoulder stock 1 is depicted that may be manufactured, produced and/or fabricated by injection molding or any other suitable methods. The shoulder stock 1 includes a relatively planar surface 102, which is positioned toward the rear of the shoulder stock 1 and adjacent a first projection 11 and a second projection 15. Additionally, openings 402 and 404 of storage compartments 23 are positioned adjacent the planar surface 102 and are on either side of a center line 502 (FIG. 5). In this example, the openings 402 and 404 have a substantially circular cross-section. However, in other examples, the opening 402 and 404 may have any other suitable cross-section. While the cross-sections of the openings 402 and 404 are depicted as being substantially similar, the cross-sections of the openings 402 and 404 may be different from one another. Still in other examples, the storage compartments 23 may be arranged in any other position such as, for example, the storage compartments 23 may be positioned along the center line 502 or the storage compartments 23 may be positioned at an angle from one another (e.g., a 45 degree angle relative to the center line 502, etc.). Additionally, while the examples described herein depict two storage compartments 23, the shoulder stock 1 may define any other number of storage compartments (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.).

The first projection 11 defines a first groove 104 and the second projection 15 defines a second groove 106. The first and second grooves 104 and 106 open toward each other. In operation, the first groove 104 is configured to receive and secure a first rib 108 of a base plate 3 relative to the shoulder stock 1 and the second groove 106 is configured to receive and secure a second rib 110 of the base plate 3 relative to the shoulder stock 1. The first and second ribs 108 and 110 extend from a first portion 5 (e.g., a stiff coating) of the base plate 3. The first portion 5 may be made of a relatively rigid material. As depicted in FIGS. 3-5, the first projection 11 includes an angled surface 13 (e.g., a diagonal inlet surface) positioned toward the rear of the shoulder stock 1 and adjacent a recess 31. In some examples, the second projection 15 may include an angled surface (not shown). Additionally, the first projection 11 defines an indentation 19 positioned toward the top of the shoulder stock 1. The recess 31 and the indentation 19 are configured to receive a projection 17 (e.g., a catch finger) of the base plate 3.

An extension 9 (e.g., a center bolt) extends from the planar surface 102 toward the rear of the shoulder stock 1. In particular, the extension 9 is positioned substantially along the center line 502 below and in relative close proximity to the openings 402 and 404 of the storage compartments 23. The extension 9 includes a first guide rib 408 and a second guide rib 410, which extend on either side (e.g., to the right and to the left, respectively) of the extension 9.

The first portion 5 of the base plate 3 defines a cavity or aperture 25 (FIG. 7) that receives the extension 9. Additionally, the cavity 25 includes a plurality of cut-outs (not shown) positioned opposite one another that correspond to the first and second guide ribs 408 and 410 of the extension 9 when the base plate 3 is positioned substantially perpendicular relative to the center line 502. In operation, to removably couple the base plate 3 to the shoulder stock 1, the extension 9 is inserted into the cavity 25 such that the guide ribs 408 and 410 are received by the cut-outs. The base plate 3 is then rotated about the extension 9 to properly position, for example, the guide ribs 408 and 410 in slots (not shown) of the cavity 25. To ensure that the base plate 3 is not improperly aligned relative to the extension 9 and, thus, the shoulder stock 1, the first guide rib 408 may be a different size and/or have a different geometry than the second guide rib 410.

As the first portion 5 of the base plate 3 is rotated toward its position illustrated in FIG. 1, the first rib 108 is received by the first groove 104 and the second rib 110 is received by the second groove 106. To draw a surface 702 of the first portion 5 toward the planar surface 102 as the base plate 3 is rotated about the extension 9, surfaces 29, 704, 706, 708 and 710 of the slots, the ribs 108 and 110 and/or the grooves 104 and 106 may be beveled. In particular, the surfaces 29, 704 and 712, which are positioned toward the rear of the shoulder stock 1 may be constructed as beveled edges. As a result, the first portion 5 is firmly positioned against the planar surface 102 of the shoulder stock 1.

A second portion 7 is coupled to the first portion 5, both of which are part of the base plate 3. The second portion 7 may be made of an elastomer material or an elastomer coating (e.g., a rubber like material) that may be relatively flexible as compared to the first portion 5. The second portion 7 includes the projection 17 that may be partially received by the recess 31 and the indentation 19. The recess 31 is open toward the rear of the shoulder stock 1 and the indentation 19 is open toward the top of the shoulder stock 1. In operation, as the base plate 3 is rotated relative to the extension 9, the second portion 7 may be partially deformed by the angled surface 13 until the projection 17 is received by the recess 31. To detach the base plate 3 from the shoulder stock 1, a marksman may grasp a tip or end 712 of the projection 17 to disengage the projection 17 from the recess 31 and, thereafter, the first portion 5 of the base plate 3 may be rotated such that the base plate 3 is then positioned relatively perpendicular to the center line 502 at which point the base plate 3 may be removed from the shoulder stock 1.

In some examples, the second portion 7 may surround the first portion 5 to provide a seal between the base plate 3 and the shoulder stock 1. Additionally or alternatively, seals or coatings 27 and/or 412 may be coupled to the first portion 5 and/or the planar surface 102, respectively, to seal the storage compartments 23 when the base plate 3 is secured to the shoulder stock 1 as depicted in FIG. 1. In particular, the seals or coatings 27, 412 may surround each of the storage compartments 23 to seal the storage compartments 23 when, for example, the first portion 5 engages the angled surfaces 13 of the first and/or second projections 11 and 15.

The examples described herein provide a substantially water proof storage chamber 23 that can be repeatedly opened and closed without damaging components of the shoulder stock 1 and/or the base plate 3. Additionally, the examples described here can be cost effectively produced. Further, in contrast to known firearms having storage compartments in which the base plate is fastened to the shoulder stock with screws, the example base plate 3 may be removed from the shoulder stock 1 without the use of tools (e.g., screw driver, etc.). In some examples, only a few components (e.g., the first portion 5, the second portion 7, and the shoulder stock 1) may be needed to adequately seal the storage compartments 23. In operation, the openings 402 and 404 are positioned toward the rear of the shoulder stock 1 such that the storage compartments 23 may be accessed from the rear of a firearm (not shown). The position of the storage compartments 23 provides a significantly high amount of protection to the storage compartments 23 when the examples described herein are utilized with a rifle or other firearm. The examples described herein are suitable to be produced in mass production with relatively low or no precision monitoring.

As described above, the shoulder stock 1 defines the storage compartments 23. At least a portion of the planar surface 102 is to be sealingly engaged by the base plate 3 to prevent liquid from entering the storage compartments 23. In operation, the base plate 3 is removably coupled to the shoulder stock 1 adjacent the planar surface 102 by the interaction between the extension 9, the first and second guide ribs 408 and 410 and the cavity 25. A locking mechanism or bayonet lock may include the extension 9, the first and second guide ribs 408 and 410 and the cavity 25. In some examples, this interaction may be similar to a bayonet mount (e.g., bayonet lock). The extension 9 extends from the planar surface 102 toward the rear.

As discussed above, no additional components other than the base plate 3 cover the storage compartments 23. Swiss military rifles have utilized base plates to position and/or conceal an identification label. In contrast, the base plate 3 is utilized to cover the storage compartments 23, and not necessarily a place to conceal an identification label.

In contrast to known firearms, the base plate 3 is securely fastened to the shoulder stock 1 via the interaction between the extension 9, the first and second guide ribs 408 and 410 and the cavity 25. This interaction provides a reliable and permanent connection between the shoulder stock 1 and the base plate 3, which secures the base plate 3 relative to the shoulder stock 1 even if the base plate 3 is twisted during training exercises and/or combat missions. Additionally, the interaction between the extension 9, the first and second guide ribs 408 and 410 and the cavity 25 advantageously provides a sealing engagement between the base plate 3 and the shoulder stock 1, which substantially prevents moisture and/or fluid from penetrating the storage compartments 23 when the base plate 3 is secured to the shoulder stock 1 as depicted in FIG. 1. In particular, this sealing engagement is provided by a relatively few number of components. Preferably, two or less components are utilized to securely fasten the base plate 3 to the shoulder stock 1, which is a significantly less number of components than used with known shoulder stocks that require at least two fasteners while still inadequately covering and/or sealing any storage compartments.

The extension 9 may be positioned somewhat off center relative to the planar surface 102 such that, in some examples, by rotating the base plate 3 about the extension 9 a majority of the cross-section of the opening 402 and 404 and/or the planar surface 102 are exposed. Similarly, the off center position of the extension 9 relative to the planar surface 102, enables the storage compartments 23 to be relatively large. Further, the position of the extension 9 adjacent the storage compartments 23 provides an anchoring point to advantageously ensure that a sealing engagement is provided to and/or around the openings 402 and 404 of the storage compartments 23. In some examples, such as, when the examples described herein are used with submachine guns, the storage compartments 23 may be positioned along the center line 502 (e.g., a vertical longitudinal plane) of the firearm, which enables the breech path or its related components to move freely relative to the firearm. The storage compartments 23 may be advantageously utilized to store batteries.

As described above, the base plate 3 includes the cavity 25 that receives the extension 9 and substantially secures the base plate 3 relative to the shoulder stock 1 even if the base plate 3 is twisted relative to the shoulder stock 1. Known issued firearms (e.g., rifles, submachine guns, assault weapons, etc.) may be retrofitted with the examples described herein, because the examples described herein are directed toward the shoulder stock and the base plate and not the rear gunstock base

Preferably, the seals 27, 412 are arranged around the openings 402 and 404 of the storage compartments 23 and coupled to the first portion 5 and/or the planar surface 102 to seal the storage compartments 23 when the base plate 3 is secured to the shoulder stock 1. In some examples, the seals 27, 412 may be a rubber gasket and/or a compressible gasket, which seals the opening 402 and 404 of the storage compartments 23. While the storage compartments 23 are depicted as being cylindrical sleeves, the storage compartments 23 may be any other shape and have any other size. The seals 27, 412 advantageously ensure that an adequate seal is provided to the storage compartments 23 even taking into account production tolerances and/or mass production.

Traditionally, base plates were made of a metal material. However, modern firearms increasingly include base plates made of a rubber material and/or an elastomer material. The rubber material and/or the elastomer material advantageously conforms to a marksman's clothing during firing, cushions recoil and substantially prevents a firearm that has been leaned against an object on end from falling over. However, base plates made of rubber material and/or elastomer material pose some problems because the base plate is not uniformly supported by the shoulder stock. To eliminate some these problems encountered with known base plates, the example base plate 3 includes the first portion 5 and the second portion 7, which is coupled to the first portion 5 toward the rear of the shoulder stock 1. In some examples, the first portion 5 may be made of a relatively rigid material and the second portion 7 may be made of an elastomer material. The first portion 5 defines the cavity 25 that receives (e.g., fits over) the extension 9. The second portion 7 may form a coating for a support portion of the firearm. Additionally, the surface 702 of the first portion 5 may define an aperture, groove and/or indentation 714 (e.g., a third groove and/or an aperture) in which the seal 27 may be positioned to surround the openings 402 and 404 of the storage compartments 23 when the base plate 3 is secured to the shoulder stock 1. In operation, the first portion 5 may be manufactured, fabricated and/or machined from a zinc material, a plastic material or any other suitable material. The first portion 5 may define a groove into which the seal 27 is positioned.

Preferably, the first portion 5 defines apertures (not shown) (e.g., recesses or an aperture) that enables some of the second portion 7 to extend through the first portion 5 to surround the openings 402 and 404 and to provide a seal to the storage compartments 23 when the base plate 3 is secured to the shoulder stock 1. However, in still other examples, the seal may be separate from the second portion 7, but may be made of a material that is similar to the material used for the second portion 7. The second portion 7 may be made of a material that is relatively stiff, but is deformable to provide sealing properties. In some examples, the second portion 7 may be made of a material similar to the material used to manufacture automobile tires.

While the interaction between the extension 9 and the cavity 25 secures the base plate 3 to the shoulder stock 1, to ensure that objects such as, for example, grass or straw, do not become lodged between the base plate 3 and the shoulder stock 1, the shoulder stock 1 includes the first and second projections 11 and 15 that define the first and second grooves 104 and 106, respectively, that receive the first and second ribs 108 and 110 of the base plate 3. Preferably, the ribs 108 and 110 and/or the projections 11 and 15 are positioned at a distance from the extension 9. While the examples described herein are provided with two projections 11 and 15, the shoulder stock 1 may be provided with one projection.

Preferably, the first projection 11 defines the recess 31 to receive the projection 17. The projection 17 may be part of the second portion 7. As a result, to produce the projection 17, no separate components are produced. The interaction between the projection 17 and the recess 31 ensures secure positioning of the base plate 3 relative to the shoulder stock 1 to prevent impairment during firing. Additionally, the interaction between the projection 17 and the recess 31 prevents the base plate 3 from shifting relative to the openings 402 and 404 to ensure that an adequate seal is maintained against the openings 402 and 404. Further, the interaction between the projection 17 and the recess 31 prevents the base plate 3 from shifting relative the seals 27 and/or 412 to prevent the seals 27 and/or 412 from degrading and/or to increase the useful life of the seals 27 and/or 412.

Preferably, as described above, the projection 17 engages the indentation 19 of the first projection 11 to further secure the base plate 3 relative to the shoulder stock 1. To remove the projection 17 from the indentation 19, a marksman grasps the tip 712 of the projection 17 and moves the projection 17 toward the rear of the shoulder stock 1. As a result, the projection 17 and, thus, the base plate 3 may be removed from the shoulder stock 1 without the use of an additional tool (e.g., a screw driver). However, during normal operation, the position, shape and/or material properties of the projection 17 urge the projection 17 toward and into the indention 19 to prevent the projection 17 from interfering during firing and to ensure the base plate 3 is securely positioned against the shoulder stock 1.

Preferably, as discussed above, the shoulder stock 1 and the storage compartments 23 are made of a plastic material. As a result, fluid (e.g., water) can not penetrate lateral walls 112 of the shoulder stock 1 and/or the storage compartments 23. Additionally, producing the shoulder stock 1 and/or the storage compartments 23 from a plastic material advantageously reduces the amount of operations performed to manufacture, fabricate and/or produce these components. In particular, the amount of time to produce the shoulder stock 1 and the storage compartments 23 is between about a few seconds.

Preferably, as described above, the first portion 5 and the second portion 7 are coupled to each other. In particular, the first portion 5 may be molded to the second portion 7 and/or the first portion 5 and the second portion 7 may be vulcanized. As a result, the first and second portions 5 and 7 may be produced by injection molding with relatively high precision even if the first portion 5 has a different thermal expansion rate than the second portion 7. Additionally, the first portion 5 may be precisely coupled to the second portion 7.

Preferably, as discussed above, the extension 9, the first and second guide ribs 408 and 410, the cavity 25, the first and second projections 11 and 15 and/or the first portion 5 are configured to ensure that as the base plate 3 is rotated toward the operating position, the base plate 3 is drawn toward the shoulder stock 1. In some examples, the slots of the cavity 25 may be provided with tapered surfaces 29. In other examples, surfaces 29 of the first and/or second guide ribs 408 and 410 may be beveled. As a result, as the base plate 3 is rotated about the extension, the seal 27, which coats the first portion 5, is positioned in the groove 714 and/or the second portion 7 that protrudes through the apertures defined by the first portion 5, is pressed around the openings 402 and 404 of the storage compartments 23 to provide an adequate seal even taking into account production tolerances. In particular, the seal conforms to production inconformities such as, for example, flashing, gaps, etc.

The examples described herein provide an example apparatus that includes fewer components than known shoulder stocks while still providing storage compartments 23 that may be sealing engaged by the base plate 3 even taking into account production tolerances.

Additionally, different base plates 3 may be interchanged (e.g., field exchanged) with one another that have different geometries. In some examples, the base plate 3 may have a convex geometry and, in other examples, the base plate 3 may have a concave geometry.

Although certain example methods, apparatus and articles of manufacture have been described herein, the scope of coverage of this patent is not limited thereto. On the contrary, this patent covers all methods, apparatus and articles of manufacture fairly falling within the scope of the appended claims either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents.