Title:
Re-useable reactive target for air/gas guns firing non-metallic bbs.
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention is a target that uses the kinetic energy stored in a plastic bb after it has been launched and transfers that energy into the target mass in order to cause a colored particulate matter to be expelled in such a manner as to make a mark on the target surface and to expel the same particulate matter into the surrounding area. This target reacts to the energy in order to visually inform the user that the target has been hit and, in the preferred embodiment, the point at which the impact occurred. Again, in the preferred embodiment, the colored particulate matter will be expelled both in front and back of the target. Additionally, the target faces can be machine-washed, dried, and hand-ironed for re-use.



Inventors:
Miller Sr., Kerry Lee (Seymour, IN, US)
Application Number:
13/167698
Publication Date:
12/29/2011
Filing Date:
06/24/2011
Assignee:
MILLER, SR. KERRY LEE
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41J5/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KLAYMAN, AMIR ARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kerry Lee Miller, Sr. (Seymour, IN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A target assembly that comprises a geometric shape with front, inner, and back layers that construct target surfaces consisting of porous material dimensioned to sequester a “puffing agent.”

2. The target in claim 1 consists of a flexible, porous fabric material such as cotton, nylon, polyester, or plastic and can be best described as containment sheets. In the preferred embodiment, the material is of a specific loft height that corresponds by formula to the number of feet per second employed by the launch medium, the distance from which the target is engaged, and the weight of the projectile. These sheets of polyester enclose packets of material that contain the powdered puffing agent.

3. The sheets of material in claim 2 will be attached to each other by gluing or sewing. In the preferred embodiment, heat will be used to weld the layers of materials together either by impregnating the materials with a thermally activated agent prior to assembly or by welding the preferred embodiment material together.

4. The sheets of material in claim 2 will serve as a contrasting medium for the powdered marking agent in claim 1. In the preferred embodiment, the contrast will be accomplished by employing light sheets and dark puffing agent.

5. The puffing agent in claim 1 consists of any finely powered substance which has the potential to become airborne when kinematic energy is imparted to it.

6. The puffing agent in claim 1 is constrained by “puffing agent packets” (PAPs) made of the same material as in claim 1 which are sewn, glued, taped, hook-n-looped, or heat sealed into position.

7. The puffing agent packets (PAPs) in claim 6 are constructed of two or more layers of material dimensioned to function efficiently within the unit in terms of performance ratio to feet per second of the launcher employed and the distance from which engagement is initiated. Furthermore, the number of layers constructing a PAP is determined by the maximum feet per second generated by the launcher: A two-layer PAP requires less impact energy to generate a reaction than a three-layer PAP.

8. The target in claim 1 consists of 2 separate sides each of which may mirror the other side with ⅛ to ¼ inch edge art, center circles, and in one embodiment- concentric circles.

9. The target in claim 1 is backed by wood, plastic, or metal mesh of either 5, 7, 10, etc. openings per linear inch. Commonly referred to as “plastic canvas,” “pegboard,” and screen enhances kinematic energy-release potential. Structural resiliency is also increased by the introduction of this rigid or semi-rigid material.

10. The target in claim 1 utilizes in its more complex embodiments a barrier/border made of a dimensioned flexible linear material having a diameter which can best be described as “rope-like,” but may be square or rectangular in shape.

11. The barrier/border in claim 10 serves to restrict “bleed-over” from atmospheric and gravitational influences when the target is impacted.

12. The barrier/border of claim 10 also serves an ornamental function.

13. The mesh in claim 9 acts to reinforce the material in claims 1 and 6 and to provide an anchor point to attach a fastener.

14. The fastener in claim 13 consists of any spring loaded clip, bolt and hook, zip-tie, or nails and screws.

15. The edge art in claim 8 consists of any applicable material such as paint, organic fiber rope, poly-based rope, ink, dyed glue.

16. The powdered agent mentioned in claim 1 will be comprised of powdered marking chalk of various colors, colored wood dust, baby powder, or other fine, or very finely ground material that can easily move through porous material and become airborne for a noticeable time and distance

17. The target in claim 1 has in the alternative embodiment of the invention, spray glue or stitching of the front layer which is comprised of black nylon of a suitable porosity which allows for expiration of the puffing agent through the black nylon while allowing spray glue a surface on which to adhere itself, will be utilized.

18. The target in claim 1 has two stages of use associated with its construction. The first stage is that once the projectile has impacted the target surface, the puffing agent rises to the surface and makes a perceptible mark. In the event that the target is impacted in the same exact location again, by another projectile, the agent will make a bolder mark and “puff” out of the target in both front and back. The introduction of gravity into the equation evinces the eventuality that the puffing agent will fall down into other areas of the target if not properly restrained. This invention specifically embodies a flexible, linear border of a material such as nylon, or organic rope, solid or hollow plastic tubing which is affixed to the non-puffing border areas of the target in order to introduce a barrier that seperates the multi-colored puffing agents.

19. In the current production embodiment of the target in claim 1, the target consists of a puffing agent packet “target core” which is 8 inches by 8 inches square with a plastic canvas back of 10 mesh sewn onto two sheets of 0.25 loft polyester batting which is sewn or otherwise attached in order to section it into 1.25 inch squares to contain the puffing agent.

20. The front layers mentioned in claim 1 also include the target “faces,” 8 inches by 8 inches in size, with graphic representations of geometric designs and animal likenesses inked onto the surface, attach to the core. The target face is sewn, or otherwise attached, along the border of its reverse side with the hook component of hook and loop fasteners which securely attaches it to the target core. The target faces are machine washable, machine dryable, and can be ironed back into shape for reuse.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit of provisional patent 61/398,414 filed Jun. 25, 2010

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISC

Not Applicable

APPENDIX

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention addresses the desire of shooters to observe target hits as soon as they occur. Many targets incorporate materials that react when struck by a projectile, but many of these require metal projectiles traveling at high velocities. Inherent to the mass and speed of metal projectiles, is the risk of serious injury. Therefore, Airsoft bbs have become prevalent in order to afford restrictive societies with the enjoyment of shooting without the high risk associated with metal projectiles. In order to achieve the delicate balance between reactivity and durability, design considerations have been guided toward greater technical proficiency on the part of the user. More is required than simply pointing and shooting at a target. The user is to be educated by detailed instructions as to the proper employment and interpretation of this technology. This invention eclipses earlier attempts at creating a re-useable reactive target in that it is designed to work well within the limited velocities and ranges found with Airsoft bb launchers. This invention differs from earlier attempts by the fact that the target faces can be machine-washed and dried, and hand-ironed for re-use.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Although this invention may be used for firearms and metal-projectile bb/pellet guns, it is recommended that it be used for what is known as “Airsoft” bb/pellet guns. Prior art makes its claims based on firearms and that prior art requires the energy and mass produced by firearm/metal-projectile launchers (hereafter referred to as “bb guns”). In order for the safer sport of Airsofting to enjoy the same visually appealing effects generated by the aforementioned firearms and bb guns, it is necessary to construct a product that: (1) Falls into the same cost-ratio percentile as firearms and bb guns, and (2) Is durable to a substantial degree. The genius of this invention is that it allows the user to hit a point and that point will exhibit a noticeable coloring from the puffing agent. If the same exact point is struck again, the area will generate an even bolder coloring. Successive hits, at that same point, will continue to produce coloring until the area becomes saturated, and then the puffing agent will become airborne in a noticeable manner. The ability to design and manufacture a target that should be used primarily with plastic airsoft bbs is one to be respected and applied vigorously to the growing Airsoft-gaming trend. A key feature of this invention is the fact that the target faces can be machine-washed and dried, and hand-ironed for re-use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a not-to-scale CAD image two dimensional isometric view of an assembled Ruff Puff 5×5 Reactive Airsoft Target System (R.A.T.S.), and the image depicts the external view of both versions 1 and 1a.

FIG. 2 shows an exploded isometric view of the components of the target. Numeral 1 is a 1.4 inch circle of white polyester fabric of a loft height of 0.25 inches. Numeral 2 is a 0.125 inch colored border which delineates numeral 1's area. Numeral 3 is edge art designed to make the target more visually appealing and consists of the same marking medium as the center circle labeled “Numeral 2.” Numeral 4 depicts Numerals 1, 2, and 3 together in order to provide a complete visual representation of the face of the target. Numeral 5 is the first polyester layer of 5 inch by 5 inch by 0.25 inch loft on which the face art will be affixed. Numeral 6 is a second polyester layer of 5 inch by 5 inch by 0.25 inch loft. Numeral 7 is the third polyester layer of 5 inch by 5 inch by 0.25 loft, and it is between the the polyester layers labeled 6 and 7 that the puffing agent will be sequestered. Numerals 5, 6, and 7 will be affixed to one another by either: glue, sewing stitches, or heat welding. Numeral 8 depicts the 5 inch by 5.4 inch plastic canvas mesh of either: 5, 7, or 9 openings per inch; drilled wood panel with circular holes comparable to the aforementioned plastic mesh; or metal mesh like dimensioned as the above materials. Numeral 8 affords the target with structural integrity, an anchor point for a fastening device in order to attach the target to a fixed object, a mounting point for the puffing agent packets (PAP) that sequester the puffing agent, and provides a medium to absorb impact energy and reflect that energy back into the puffing agent in order to cause the agent to exit the target and become airborne. Numerals 1a, 2a, 3a, 4a, 5a, 6a, 7a, and 8a all depict the reverse side of the target.

FIG. 3 is another exploded isometric view which differs from FIG. 2 only in that there are only two 5 inch by 5 inch by 0.25 inch polyester layers. It is important to note that the number of polyester layers is important to the extent that kinematic energy is absorbed and reflected in order force the puffing agent to become airborne in a visually stimulating manner.

FIG. 4 depicts an enlarged view of the three-layer Puffing Agent Packet which is version 1.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of the two-layer Puffing Agent Packet which is version 1a.

FIG. 6 is a not-to-scale isometric view of an assembled Ruff Puff Boxer Reactive Airsoft Target System (R.A.T.S.) which is a 4-sided target utilizing the above-mentioned Ruff Puff Puffing Agent Packet technology.

FIG. 7 is an exploded isometric view of the target described in FIG. 6 above. Item 8 has been omitted for clarity in offering numeral 9 which is an “X” type mounting to affix the one-sided 5 inch by 5 inch by 0.25 inch polyester target without a reverse side. The dimensions of numeral 9 are: 7.071 inches (the hypotenuse of the 5 by 5 targets) by 5.4 inches and serves as a spreader for geometric symmetry, an anchor point in which to attach a fastener, and to provide structural integrity.

FIG. 8 is a not-to-scale CAD image of a Ruff Puff Concentric Circle (CC) Reactive Airsoft Target System (R.A.T.S.). Numeral 10 depicts the 3 inch diameter center ring. This ring is constructed of two 2.625 inch diameter circles of polyester material 0.25 inch loft height. They are hinged by a 0.500 inch piece of the same material which shape is cut out of a single piece of material and folded at the hinge point. Numerals 14, 16, and 18 all depict the target rings that are the objective of the launched projectile and share in common their use of the puffing agent packets illustrated in FIG. 9. These puffing agent packets are bracketed in front and back by 13.125 inch by 13.125 inch by 0.25 inch layers of polyester material as presented in FIG. 10. Numeral 24 shows a 0.25 inch wide glue, stitch, or heat-weld ring used to separate the 3 inch diameter center ring from the 6 inch number two ring and provide an anchor point for the two 13.125 inch by 13.125 inch by 0.25 inch polyester layer. Numeral 25 shows another glue, stitch, or heat-weld ring used to separate the 6 inch number 2 ring from the 9 inch number 3 ring and also serves as an attachment point for the polyester layers. Numeral 26 depicts the glue, stitch, or heat-weld ring for separation of the 9 inch number 3 ring and the 12 inch number 4 ring as well as providing an attachment point. Numeral 27 shows the glue, stitch, or heat-weld ring which provides containment for the 12 inch number 4 ring and an attachment point. Numeral 28 shows a 2 inch by 2 inch by 2.828 inch glue, stitch, or heat-weld area. There are four of these areas on the target and they provide structural integrity and durability as an attachment point. Numeral 29 depicts a 0.25 inch wide glue, stitch, or heat-weld border that serves to attach the polyester layers to one another and to provide structural integrity while reducing fraying at the border. Numeral 30 depicts the energy absorbing/reflecting surface, which consists of plastic canvas mesh, pre-drilled wood, or metal mesh, that redirects the kinematic energy imparted by the impacting mass for transference into the puffing agent. (Numerals 22 and 23 are for manufacturing purposes.)

FIG. 9 is a not-to-scale, blown-up, cut-out, front view of Puffing Agent Packet version 2 which is rendered in order to better illustrate the puffing agent packet technology. Puffing agent is sequestered between two layers of porous material. Variable arc lengths allow for interchangeability between ring sizes. These puffing agent packets are bracketed by larger polyester sheets as described in FIG. 8 and FIG. 10.

FIG. 10 shows an exploded isometric view of a Ruff Puff CC (Concentric Circle) Reactive Airsoft Target System (R.A.T.S.). Numeral 10 is the 3 inch center circle target area. Numeral 11 is a border material made up of rope, plastic, nylon, or other flexible material used to prevent bleed-over by the puffing agent caused by gravitational and atmospheric forces. Numeral 14 is the 6 inch number 2 ring target impact area which contains the puffing agent packets of FIG. 9 under the face layer of 13.125 inch by 13.125 inch by 0.25 inch polyester that is border on the exterior by the flexible barrier material that remains in place due to being fixed by attaching agents. Numeral 13 is the flexible barrier/border made of rope, plastic, nylon, or other malleable material. Numeral 16 is the 9 inch number 3 ring that utilizes the same construction as the 6 inch number 2 ring. Numeral 15 is the flexible material border as used in numeral 11. Numeral 18 is the 12 inch number 4 ring that utilizes the same construction as rings 2 and 3. Numeral 17 is the same flexible material border as in numeral 11. Numerals 28 and 29 depict the triangular glue, stitch, or heat-weld areas as mentioned in FIG. 8. Numeral 31 shows the 13.125 by 13.125 by 0.25 polyester layer that comprises the innermost layer of the polyester material. A 13.125 inch by 13.125 inch by 0.25 inch polyester sheet is laid as base. The tubular puffing agent packets and circular center packet are attached to this base sheet. Another 13.125 inch by 13.125 inch by 0.25 inch polyester layer is placed over the base layer and the puffing agent packets and attached. The flexible border material is placed along the perimeters of the rings desired impact area. Numeral 32 is the assembled target with the rigid energy reflecting back.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Having described the invention in detail, those skilled in the art will appreciate that other embodiments may be made of the invention without departing from the spirit of the invention described herein. For instance, many different target shapes may be used. Therefore, it is not intended that the scope of the invention be limited to the specific and preferred embodiments illustrated and described herein. Rather, it is intended that the scope of the invention be determined by the appended claims and their equivalents

The invention is produced by cutting five pieces of 0.25 loft polyester batting to approximately 10 inches wide by 10 inches long. Also cut to a 10×10 dimension is clear plastic ten-mesh sheet. Two 10×10 polyester sheets are designated for the core and three sheets will become 3 separate target faces. The core sheets are place one on top of the other, edges lined up square, and the top core sheet is marked with sew-lines.

The sew-lines are achieved by placing a pre-made template (which has slots of equal and preset distances (approximately 2 inch squares) through which a marking medium may inserted) over the top core sheet and a marking medium is used to place registration lines. The two core sheets are then sewn along three border registration line sets; leaving one side open in which to insert the puffing agent. At this point, the interior registration lines and one border remain unsewn.

A pre-measured amount of puffing agent is then placed between the two core sheets. The puffing agent is then manipulated to completely cover the bottom-most core sheet in a level and equal manner. Once the puffing agent is equally distributed between the polyester core sheets, the remaining side is sewn to close the core.

The core is then gently placed on the clear plastic 10-mesh canvas and the corners squared. The core sheets and plastic mesh are then sewn together on an X-and Y-axes equal distances from the center point. Once center point has been identified, the Y-axis sewing begins one registration line above the center point and ends one registration line below the center point (approximately 4 inches in each axis). The X-axis sewing begins one registration line to the left and ends one registration line to the right of the center point. This sewn crosshair provides stability during the sewing process and adds to the functioning and durability of the target core.

The target core is then sewn along the remaining registration lines and this process has now created another configuration of the all-important “Puffing Agent Packet.” The core is set aside and will be trimmed later.

The target faces are produced by stenciling borders, graphics, and text onto the target face and attaching hook side of hook-n-loop fasteners to the reverse. The target graphics consist of any non-proprietary image or design and a 0.300 inch (approximately) colored border that effectively frames the target and also acts as a guide for, and obscures the view of, the hook fastener on the reverse side.

The graphics, border, and text are currently inked onto the polyester batting surface by use of stencils, but ideally, inkjet production inking technology will replace this process.

On the reverse side (non-graphics side), strips of hook fastener (approximately 0.250 inches wide) run the length and width of the target face basically mirroring the inked border on the obverse side and are tacked into place with glue which forestalls the flexing and elastic deformation of the target face. The hook fastener is then sewn into place by sewing machine. Loop-side fasteners are then attached to the hook fasteners for when the face is not in use.

The target faces are trimmed by placing a ruled edge on the inked border and cutting off flush with the inked surface on the left and right sides. The top of the target face is cut approximately 0.500 inches above the inked border and the bottom of the target face is cut approximately 0.500 inches below the inked border.

The target core is trimmed by using a template that trims the core to slightly larger than the target face in order to maximize hook fastener attachment (the hook fastener attaches very well to the polyester core surface). The over-sized core also compensates for individual user tastes and attachment techniques while also taking into account the variations in size of the target faces when the target faces are washed, dried, and ironed back into original configuration. After the core is trimmed, two 4-inch long zip-tie type fasteners are threaded into the top of the plastic canvas mesh. One is inserted two inches from the left border of the core, and the other is inserted two inches from the right border of the core. These ties are inserted 2 full mesh squares down from the top of the core. The core is now placed into a vacuum bag, placed into a vacuum packing machine, the air removed, and the package sealed. This is done to minimize shifting of the puffing agent during handling and transport. The core is now in shipping configuration.

Three target faces, each with different graphics, are placed in a shipping bag with the vacuum-packed core and instructions for use. The target is ready for shipping.

This description of this evolution of the invention should not be seen as limiting the patentable aspect of the invention. Due to the nature of the malleability of the plastic canvas mesh, the polyester batting, the puffing agent, and the sewing, a military-type man-size silhouette comprised of multiple cores attached to one another and trimmed to the desired form, would be but a normal advancement of the “Puffing Agent Packet” technology. It is the Puffing Agent Packet (PAP) that is the concept of interest for patenting this invention.

The same Puffing Agent Packet technology is utilized in the Ruff Puff Grenade Rap. This construction is comprised of two 8 inch by 3.75 inch sheets of 0.25 inch loft (low loft) white polyester and one 8 inch by 3.75 inch sheet of porous black nylon fabric. The bottom sheet of white polyester has a 1.0 inch by 1.0 inch hook fastener sewn approximately 1.75 inches in from the left side approximately 1.5 inches down from the top edge. This process is repeated for the right side. Adhesive-backed loop fasteners of dimensions of 1.0 inches by 1.0 inches are mated to the hook fasteners and allow for the grenade wrap to be securely fastened to the CO2 airsoft grenade. The three sheets are then sewn together 1.875 inches down from the top and along the 8 inches of their longest axis (down the middle long-ways). A pre-measured amount of Puffing agent is placed between the white polyester sheets of the upper half and evenly spread to cover the bottom sheet of polyester. This half is then sewn 0.25 inches down from the top edge of this upper half in order to contain the puffing agent. This process is repeated for the lower half. A containment sew line is made 0.25 inches in from the left side and the right side. The left side is defined as the side where the loop fastener is sewn. The right side is defined as where the hook fastener is sewn. The left side is sewn top to bottom 1.5 inches in from the left 0.25 inch sew-line and the right side is sewn top to bottom 1.5 inches from the right side 0.25 sew-line. Another top to bottom sew-line is sewn 3 inches from the right side 0.25 inch sew-line. These sew-lines result in 8 individual puffing agent packets: six each of 1.5 inch by 1.75 inch packets and two each of 1.75 inch by 3.5 inch packets. A three-inch long by 0.75 inch wide loop fastener is sewn 0.375 inches down from the top-left edge flush with the left edge and is located on outside plane of the bottom sheet which is the same plane as the 1.0 inch by 1.0 inch hook-n-loop fasteners. A mating hook fastener, 3.0 inches by 0.75 inches, is sewn 0.375 inches down from the right side and is flush with the right side; it is located on the black-nylon-mesh side of the grenade wrap, which is opposite of the mating loop fastener and creates a hook-n-loop fastening system which provides for closing the of the Ruff Puff Grenade Rap around the CO2 airsoft grenade.