Title:
Articulating firearm fore grip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An articulating fore grip adapted for retrofit attachment to a rail-like support structure of an existing firearm. The fore grip comprises a base member which is slidably attachable to and selectively positionable along the rail of the firearm. The base member is outfitted with a locking mechanism which is operative to selectively maintain the base member in a prescribed position relative to the rail. The fore grip further comprises an adapter member which is rotatably connected to the base member, and a handle member which is pivotally connected to the adapter member. The rotatable and pivotal connection of the handle member to the base member effectuated by the adapter member allows the handle member to be selectively positioned in a multiplicity of differing angular orientations relative to the rail of the firearm, and further allows the handle member to be selectively moved between a fully deployed position and a fully collapsed position.



Inventors:
Lin, Ting-sheng (Montreal, CA)
Application Number:
12/012020
Publication Date:
08/06/2009
Filing Date:
01/31/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41C23/16
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
HAYES, BRET C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STETINA BRUNDA GARRED & BRUCKER (ALISO VIEJO, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A fore grip for retrofit attachment to a rail of a firearm, the fore grip comprising: a base member adapted to be slidably engageable to the rail; an adapter member rotatably connected to the base member; and a handle member pivotally connected to the adapter member.

2. The fore grip of claim 1 wherein the base member defines an elongate channel sized and configured to receive a portion of the rail.

3. The fore grip of claim 2 wherein: the channel is partially defined by an opposed pair of side walls of the base member; and each of the side walls includes an elongate slot formed therein, the slots of the side walls extending in spaced, generally parallel relation to each other and being adapted to receive respective ones of a complimentary pair of protuberances defined by the rail.

4. The fore grip of claim 3 wherein the base member includes a locking mechanism adapted to maintain the base member in a prescribed position relative to the rail.

5. The fore grip of claim 4 wherein the locking mechanism comprises at least one locking screw which is operative to selectively draw the side walls toward each other in a manner frictionally maintaining the base member in a prescribed position relative to the rail when the base member is slidably attached thereto.

6. The fore grip of claim 1 wherein: the rail of the firearm extends along a first axis; the adapter member is rotabably connected to the base member so as to be rotatable about a second axis which extends generally perpendicularly relative to the first axis when the base member is slidably attached to the rail; and the handle member is pivotally connected to the adapter member so as to be pivotal about a third axis which extends generally perpendicularly relative to the second axis when the base member is slidably attached to the rail.

7. The fore grip of claim 6 wherein the handle member defines a juxtaposed pair of ear portions, and a portion of the adapter member is advanced between the ear portions of the handle member.

8. The fore grip of claim 7 wherein the handle member is pivotally connected to the adapter member by a pivot pin which is advanced through the adapter member and the ear portions of the handle member.

9. A fore grip for a firearm, comprising: a base member defining a first axis; an adapter member rotatably connected to the base member so as to be rotatable about a second axis which extends generally perpendicularly relative to the first axis; and a handle member pivotally connected to the adapter member so as to be pivotal about a third axis which extends generally perpendicularly relative to the second axis.

10. The fore grip of claim 9 wherein the base member defines an elongate channel sized and configured to receive a portion of a rail of the firearm.

11. The fore grip of claim 10 wherein: the channel is partially defined by an opposed pair of side walls of the base member; and each of the side walls includes an elongate slot formed therein, the slots of the side walls extending in spaced, generally parallel relation to each other and being adapted to receive respective ones of a complimentary pair of protuberances defined by the rail.

12. The fore grip of claim 11 wherein the base member includes a locking mechanism adapted to maintain the base member in a prescribed position relative to the rail.

13. The fore grip of claim 12 wherein the locking mechanism comprises at least one locking screw which is operative to selectively draw the side walls toward each other in a manner frictionally maintaining the base member in a prescribed position relative to the rail when the base member is slidably attached thereto.

14. The fore grip of claim 9 wherein the handle member defines a juxtaposed pair of ear portions, and a portion of the adapter member is advanced between the ear portions of the handle member.

15. The fore grip of claim 14 wherein the handle member is pivotally connected to the adapter member by a pivot pin which is advanced through the adapter member and the ear portions of the handle member.

16. A fore grip for a firearm, comprising: a base member defining a first axis; and a handle member rotatably and pivotally connected to the base member so as to be rotatable about a second axis which extends generally perpendicularly relative to the first axis, and pivotal about a third axis which extends generally perpendicularly relative to the second axis.

17. The fore grip of claim 16 wherein the handle member is rotatably and pivotally connected to the base member by an intervening adapter member.

18. The fore grip of claim 17 wherein the adapter member is rotatably connected to the base member so as to be rotatable about the second axis, and the handle member is pivotally connected to the adapter member so as to be pivotal about the third axis.

19. The fore grip of claim 16 wherein the base member includes a locking mechanism adapted to maintain the base member in a prescribed position relative to a rail of the firearm when the fore grip is mounted thereto.

20. The fore grip of claim 19 wherein the locking mechanism comprises at least one locking screw.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT RE: FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to firearms and, more particularly, to a fore grip which is adapted for retrofit application to an existing firearm and is articulable in a manner allowing for the selective movement thereof to a collapsed position or into any one of a multiplicity of differing angular orientations as needed to accommodate a particular user preference.

2. Description of the Related Art

As is well known to firearm enthusiasts, large caliber and other automatic firearms are often difficult to control when firing, with a lack of control often resulting in muzzle rise which can cause the marksman to shoot above an intended point of aim or target. The control of muzzle rise has been accomplished in the prior art through the use of a pistol-style grip, often referred to as a fore grip, at a fixed location under the barrel of the firearm, near the muzzle thereof.

In certain prior art firearms outfitted with a fore grip, such fore grip is permanently mounted in a fixed position under the barrel of the firearm. While such fixed fore grip may still serve the marksman well in some situations, it usefulness is limited since its permanent location may not be ideally suited to the preferences of the marksman. Along these lines, when shooting firearms, it is typically important that the firearm be maintainable in a steady, stable position by the user to ensure the accuracy of the aim.

In recognition of the deficiencies associated with permanently fixed fore grips, there has also been developed in the prior art fore grips which are moveably mounted to the firearm so as to be capable of movement along a single axis, such axis typically running beneath and in generally parallel relation to the barrel of the firearm. More particularly, such moveable fore grips usually include a base portion and a handle portion, the base portion being slidably attached to a rail-like structure defined by the firearm and extending along the underside of the barrel thereof. In this regard, the base portion and the rail of the firearm are typically formed to have complimentary dove tail or prismatic cross-sectional configurations, thus substantially preventing the removal of the fore grip from the rail in a direction perpendicular to the available axis of movement. Once such fore grip is moved to a desired position upon the corresponding rail, the fore grip is typically maintained in such position by the tightening of one or more mechanical fasteners such as set screws which extend through the base portion and into direct engagement with the rail. Though being moveable along the rail, the prior art sliding fore grip is capable of extending along only one axis which extends generally perpendicularly relative to the movement axis.

As will be recognized, the above-described sliding or “slip-on” fore grips provide advantages over those which are permanently fixed to the firearm in that such sliding fore grips may be maintained in any one of a multiplicity of different positions relative to the barrel and muzzle of the firearm according to user preference. Though providing some measure of adaptability attributable to movement relative to the rail along a single axis, the prior art sliding fore grips are still unable to accommodate users of the firearm whose preference is to have the fore grip extend along an axis or at some angular orientation relative to the rail differing from that to which the prior art sliding fore grip is limited as explained above. Further, the prior art fixed and sliding fore grips also do not possess the capability of being moved into a collapsed state for ease of fireman storage. Though the sliding fore grip may be removed from the fireman to assist in storage, such removal gives rise to a risk of the detached fore grip being misplaced. The present invention addresses many of the aforementioned deficiencies of fixed and sliding fore grips by providing an articulating fore grip which may selectively positioned at any one of a multiplicity of differing angular orientations relative to the barrel or rail of a firearm, thus having the capability of accommodating a substantially wider range of user preferences. In addition, the articulating fore grip of the present invention is capable of being pivoted to a collapsed or stowed position to simplify storage of the firearm. These, as well as other features and attributes of the present invention will be discussed in more detail below.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided an articulating fore grip which is adapted for retrofit attachment to a rail-like support structure of an existing firearm. The fore grip comprises a base member which is slidably attachable to and selectively positionable along the rail of the firearm. The base member is outfitted with a locking mechanism which is operative to selectively maintain the base member in a prescribed position relative to the rail. The fore grip further comprises an adapter member which is rotatably connected to the base member, and a handle member which is pivotally connected to the adapter member. The rotatable and pivotal connection of the handle member to the base member effectuated by the adapter member allows the handle member to be selectively positioned in a multiplicity of differing angular orientations relative to the rail of the firearm, and further allows the handle member to be selectively moved between a fully deployed position and a fully collapsed position.

The present invention is best understood by reference to the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These, as well as other features of the present invention, will become more apparent upon reference to the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of an articulating fore grip constructed in accordance with the present invention as operatively positioned upon a firearm which is shown in phantom;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged, perspective view of the fore grip shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the fore grip of the present invention similar to that shown in FIG. 2, but depicting the fore grip as rotated approximately 90° relative to the position shown in FIG. 2 as a precursor to the movement of the fore grip to a collapsed position;

FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of the fore grip of the present invention as moved into a fully collapsed position; and

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the fore grip taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 1 and illustrating the available range of movement of the handle section of the fore grip relative to the barrel of the firearm to which it is operatively coupled.

Common reference numerals are used throughout the drawings and detailed description to indicate like elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the drawings wherein the showings are for purposes of illustrating a preferred embodiment of the present invention only, and not for purposes of limiting the same, FIGS. 1-5 illustrate an articulating fore grip 10 constructed in accordance with the present invention. In FIGS. 1-5, the fore grip 10 is depicted in an exemplary, operative position upon a firearm 12 such as an automatic rifle. The exemplary firearm 12 comprises a receiver 14 which transitions into an elongate, cylindrically configured barrel 16 defining a muzzle 18 at its distal end. Extending along a portion of the underside of the barrel 16 is an elongate magazine tube 20. The magazine tube 20 defines an integral rail 22, an enlarged section of which is shown in each of FIGS. 2-5. The rail 22 extends along an axis A1 as shown in FIG. 2, such axis A1 extending in spaced, generally parallel relation to an axis defined by the cylindrically configured barrel 16 of the firearm 12. The firearm 12 further includes a magazine 24 which extends along an axis A2 shown in FIG. 1. The axis A2 itself extends generally perpendicularly relative to the axis A1.

The fore grip 10 of the present invention comprises a base member 26 which is slidably attachable to the rail 22 in the manner best shown in FIGS. 2-5. In this regard, the base member 26 defines a generally U-shaped channel 28, the vertical side walls of which each include a continuous, generally V-shaped slot or notch 30 extending therealong. The notches 30, which extend in opposed, generally parallel relation to each other, are adapted to receive respective ones of a complimentary pair of elongate, generally V-shaped protuberances 32 which are formed on opposed sides of the rail 22 and each extend in generally parallel relation to the axis A1. As will be recognized by those of ordinary skill in the art, the releasable engagement of the fore grip 10 to the rail 22 is effectuated by the advancement of the base member 26 over the rail 22 such that the protuberances 32 are received into respective ones of the notches 30. Once the base member 26 is slidably engaged to the rail 22 via the receipt of the protuberances 32 into the notches 30, the resultant mechanical engagement between the base member 26 and rail 22 prevents the removal of the fore grip 10 from the rail 22 in a direction which is generally parallel to the axis A2. However, the base member 26 is slidably moveable along the axis A1, and thus selectively positionable anywhere along the length of the rail 22 as indicated by the arrow shown in FIG. 2.

The base member 26 of the fore grip 10 further comprises a locking mechanism which is adapted to maintain the base member 26, and hence the fore grip 10, in a prescribed position relative to the rail 22. In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, the locking mechanism comprises at least one, and preferably a pair of locking screws 34. As best seen in FIGS. 2-5, each of the locking screws 34 is advanced through one of the vertical side walls of the base member 26 defining the channel 28 thereof, and is cooperatively engaged to the remaining one of the vertical side walls of the base member 26. More particularly, the engagement of the locking screws 34 to the base member 26 is facilitated in a manner wherein the tightening of the locking screws 34 (i.e., the rotation of the locking screws 34 in a clockwise direction) effectively draws the spaced vertical side walls defined by the base member 26 toward each other in a manner narrowing or constricting the channel 28 and facilitating the frictional retention of the base member 26 in a prescribed position relative to the rail 22. Conversely, the loosening of the locking screws 34 (i.e., the rotation of the locking screws 34 in a counter-clockwise direction) allows the base member 26 to be selectively slidably moved along the rail 22 in the direction of the axis A1.

Those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that locking mechanisms other than for the above-described locking screws 34 as are operative to maintain the base member 26 in a prescribed position upon the rail 22 are contemplated to be within the spirit and scope of the present invention. For example, the locking screws 34 may be substituted with set screws which are selectively engageable to the rail 22. Additionally, it is also contemplated that the base member 26 and the rail 22 may have complimentary configurations varying from that shown in FIGS. 2-5. For example, complimentary dove tail cross-sectional configurations are contemplated to be within the spirit and scope of the present invention, the complimentary notches and protuberance 30, 32 shown in FIGS. 2-5 being exemplary only.

In addition to the base member 26, the fore grip 10 of the present invention comprises an adapter member 36 which is rotatably connected to the base member 26. More particularly, as seen in FIGS. 2-4, the rotatable connection of the adapter member 36 to the base member 26 is facilitated by a pin 38, the upper end of which is exposed in that surface of the base member 26 defining the floor of the channel 28 thereof. The rotatable connection of the adapter member 36 to the base member 26 effectuated by the pin 38 allows the adapter member 36 to be rotated about an axis A3 in the direction shown by the arrow in FIG. 2. The axis A3 extends generally perpendicularly relative to the axis A1, and in generally parallel relation to the axis A2 when the base member is slidably attached to the rail 22.

In addition to the base and adapter members 26, 36, the fore grip 10 comprises a handle member 40 which is pivotally connected to the adapter member 36. More particularly, the pivotal connection of the handle member 40 to the adapter member 36 is facilitated by the advancement of the adapter member 36 between a juxtaposed pair of ear portions defined by the handle member 40. Subsequent to such advancement, a pivot pin 42 is advanced through coaxially aligned openings formed through each of the ear portions defined by the handle member 40 and the adapter member 36, thus facilitating the pivotal connection of the handle member 40 to the adapter member 36. When pivotally connected to the adapter member 36 via the pivot pin 42, the handle member is selectively pivotal about an axis A4 which is defined by the pivot pin 42 and extends generally perpendicularly relative to the axis A3.

When the fore grip 10 of the present invention is slidably attached to the rail 22 in the above-described manner, and in its basic, operative position, the adapter member 36 and handle member 40 each extend along the axis A3 in the manner shown in FIG. 2. However, due to the pivotal connection of the handle member 40 to the adapter member 36 effectuated by the pin 42, the handle member 40 may be selectively pivoted or rotated relative to the adapter member 36 about the axis A4 in the manner shown in FIG. 5. As is apparent from FIG. 5, when moved to either of its pivotal extremes, the handle member 40 extends along an axis A5 which extends generally perpendicularly relative to the axis A3, as well as the axis A4. Though shown at the extreme limits of its pivotal movement about the axis A4 in FIG. 5, those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the handle member 40 may be pivoted about the adapter member 36 so as to assume a position along any axis extending between the axis A5 and the axis A3 and/or between the axis A5 and the axis A4. In this regard, the handle member 40 may be manipulated to assume a position along any one of a multiplicity of different axes which are each a function of the orientation of the adapter member 36 relative to the base member 26 lying at or somewhere between the two orientations shown in respective ones of FIGS. 2 and 3 and/or the orientation of the handle member 40 relative to the adapter member 36 lying at or somewhere between the orientations shown in FIG. 5. Thus, in contrast to the above-described prior art fore grips which are only extensible along the axis A3, the handle member 40 of the fore grip 10 constructed in accordance with the present invention may be selectively rotated and pivoted to assume any one of a multiplicity of angular orientations relative to the axis A1 as needed to accommodate a particular user preference.

Referring now to FIGS. 2-4, in addition to the fore grip 10 being selectively moveable along the length of the rail 22 and the handle member 40 thereof angularly positionable relative the rail 22 in the aforementioned manner, the handle member of the fore grip 10 is further selectively movable between a fully deployed position (shown in FIG. 2) and a fully collapsed or stowed position (shown in FIG. 4). To facilitate the movement of the handle member 40 from its fully deployed to its fully collapsed positions, the adapter member 36 (and hence the handle member 40) is initially rotated approximately 90° from its orientation shown in FIG. 2 to the orientation shown in FIG. 3. As is apparent from FIGS. 2 and 3, such rotation of the adapter member 36 effectively causes the pin 42 to move from a position wherein it extends in generally parallel relation to the axis A1, to a position wherein it extends in generally perpendicular relation to the axis A1. Subsequent to the rotation of the adapter member 36 as causes it to assume the orientation shown in FIG. 3, the handle member 40 is pivotal about the pin 42 to assume the stowed or collapsed position shown in FIG. 4 wherein the handle member 40 extends in generally parallel relation to the axis A1. Those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the movement of the handle member 40 to its collapsed position shown in FIG. 4 may be accomplished so that the base of the handle member 40 is disposed closer to the muzzle 18 than to the magazine 24, or alternatively closer to the magazine 24 than to the muzzle 18. The movement of the handle member 40 back to its fully deployed position is accomplished in the reverse sequence.

Though not shown, it is contemplated that the handle member 40 may be hollow, and define an interior battery department which is accessible by a removable base portion thereof. The batteries or other power supply advanced into the interior compartment defined by the handle member 40 may be used to provide power to an accessory of the firearm 12, such as a laser site.

Those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the depiction of the firearm 12 included in FIG. 1 and partially in FIGS. 2-5 is exemplary only, and that the fore grip 10 of the present invention may be retrofit to any firearm having a rail-like structure which is capable of being slidably engaged with the base member 26 of the fore grip 10 in a manner similar to that described above. Additionally, the handle member 40 of the fore grip 10 may be provided in a shape or contour different from that shown in FIGS. 1-5 without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

This disclosure provides exemplary embodiments of the present invention. The scope of the present invention is not limited by these exemplary embodiments. Numerous variations, whether explicitly provided for by the specification or implied by the specification, such as variations in structure, dimension, type of material and manufacturing process may be implemented by one of skill in the art in view of this disclosure.