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Publication numberUS20020092223 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/966,582
Publication dateJul 18, 2002
Filing dateSep 28, 2001
Priority dateDec 27, 1999
Publication number09966582, 966582, US 2002/0092223 A1, US 2002/092223 A1, US 20020092223 A1, US 20020092223A1, US 2002092223 A1, US 2002092223A1, US-A1-20020092223, US-A1-2002092223, US2002/0092223A1, US2002/092223A1, US20020092223 A1, US20020092223A1, US2002092223 A1, US2002092223A1
InventorsKarl Blomquist, Raymond Ridge
Original AssigneeBlomquist Karl D., Ridge Raymond L.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus and method for locking a gun
US 20020092223 A1
Abstract
An apparatus and method for locking a gun. The apparatus includes a dummy round configured for insertion into a firing chamber of a gun, a locking component configured for coupling with the dummy round, and an elongated sleeve rotatably coupled with the locking component. The locking component includes a keyed head positioned within a longitudinal channel of the elongated sleeve. The locking component and elongated sleeve are insertable through the discharge end of a gun's barrel. An actuating mechanism, such as a key is insertable through the channel of the elongated sleeve to engage with the keyed head and rotate the locking mechanism relative to the elongated sleeve. Rotation of the locking mechanism effects a friction lock between the locking mechanism and the dummy round.
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Claims(20)
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for locking a gun comprising:
a dummy round insertable into a firing chamber of the gun;
a locking component insertable through a discharge end of a barrel of the gun and threadedly engagable with the dummy round, the locking component including a keyed head configured for engagement with an actuating tool;
an elongated sleeve including a longitudinal channel formed therein, wherein the elongated sleeve is rotatably coupled with the locking component such that the keyed head is positioned within the longitudinal channel.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising at least one friction reducing washer positioned between the locking component and the elongated sleeve.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a deformable material disposed between a set of threads associated with the locking component and a set of threads associated with the dummy round.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the locking component includes a mechanism for adjusting an overall length of the apparatus.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising at least one collar formed about the locking component.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a flange formed on the end of the elongated sleeve configured for external abutment with an end of a barrel of the gun.
7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein at least a portion of the elongated sleeve, including the flange, is formed of a case hardened material.
8. The apparatus of claim 6, further comprising a protective material placed about a portion of the elongated sleeve.
9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the protective material is positioned on the elongated sleeve at a location which is intended to be adjacent a discharge end of a barrel of the gun.
10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the keyed head includes a hexagonal-pinned recess formed therein.
11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the keyed head includes a polygonal recess formed therein.
12, The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the polygonal recess includes three arcuate adjoining sides.
13. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the dummy round is configured to longitudinally expand upon exertion of a force by an internal ejector mechanism of the gun.
14. An apparatus for locking a gun comprising:
a first body portion;
a second body portion threadedly engaged with the first body portion, the second body portion including a tapered surface configured for engagement with a forcing cone of the gun, the second body portion further including a keyed head configured to be engaged by and actuated by a mating key, wherein upon actuation by the mating key the second body portion extends longitudinally from the first body portion such that the tapered surface frictionally engages with the forcing cone of the gun.
15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the keyed head of the second body portion includes a polygonal recess formed therein.
16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the polygonal recess includes three arcuate sides forming a generally triangular shape.
17. A method of locking a gun, the method comprising:
placing a dummy round in a firing chamber of the gun; providing a locking component rotatably coupled with an elongated sleeve; inserting the locking component and elongated sleeve through a discharge end of a barrel of the gun;
actuating the locking component by rotating the locking component relative to the elongated sleeve; and effecting a friction lock between the locking component and the dummy round.
18. The method according to claim 17, wherein actuating the locking component includes inserting a key through the elongated sleeve, engaging the key with the locking component, and rotating the key to rotate the locking component relative to the elongated sleeve.
19. The method according to claim 18, wherein effecting a friction lock between the locking component and the dummy round includes engaging a first set of threads associated with the locking component with a second set of threads associated with the dummy round.
20. The method according to claim 19, further comprising disengaging the key from the locking component and removing the key from within the elongated sleeve.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/472,427, filed Dec. 27, 1999, pending.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] This invention relates to a lock for various gun configurations, including semi-automatics, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, and the like. It has long been desirable to provide a lock to avoid the unauthorized or accidental actuation of guns, thereby preventing injury to children and others.

[0004] 2. State of the Art

[0005] A wide variety of gun locks is available, including a trigger lock which is installed between the trigger and the trigger guard to prevent actuation of the trigger by an unauthorized individual. Such trigger locks require the use of a conventional key and lock body to lock the trigger lock in the space between the guard and the trigger and encapsulate the trigger and trigger guard.

[0006] Unfortunately, such trigger locks can be displaced from the locking position by breaking the trigger guard, which is a relatively fragile component of the gun. Moreover, such trigger locks are difficult to install properly and can frequently be displaced from the space between the trigger and the trigger guard; and a live round can be present in the firing chamber which can discharge upon dropping the gun.

[0007] Gun locks having elongated key shanks with key bits formed integrally therewith engagable with keyways in a dummy round are also available. Such a conventional lock engages the outer extremity of the barrel of the gun and locks the dummy round against removal. This is a relatively expensive mechanism which is subject to dislodgment of the lock engaged with the outer end of the barrel and the consequent release of the dummy round.

[0008] Additionally, such conventional locks may often be easily removed by an unauthorized user without the requisite key. The removal of such a lock, depending on the specific configuration thereof, may be accomplished by picking the lock, or by some other manipulation. Such tampering with a gun lock may even include actions which leave the lock subsequently inoperable as well as potentially damaging the gun thereby rendering the gun a hazard to anyone who uses it regardless of their skill or ability.

[0009] It would be advantageous to provide a gun lock which reduced the likelihood, and potentially eliminated the possibility, of the gun lock being disabled and removed by tampering. It would further be advantageous to provide a gun lock which is simple to actuate by the intended user and which is configured so as to not damage the chamber or barrel of the gun. Additionally, it would be advantageous to provide a gun lock which is easily adaptable to different styles and configurations of guns.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] In accordance with one aspect of the invention an apparatus for locking a gun is provided. The apparatus includes a dummy round insertable into the firing chamber of the gun. A locking component is insertable through the discharge end of a barrel of the gun, commonly referred to as the muzzle, and threadedly engagable with the dummy round. The locking component includes a keyed head which is configured for engagement with an actuating tool. An elongated sleeve, having a longitudinal channel formed therein, is rotatably coupled with the locking component such that the keyed head is positioned within the longitudinal channel. Thus, the apparatus is configured to receive an actuating tool, such as a key, through the channel of the elongated sleeve for engagement with, and actuation of the locking component. Actuation of the locking component includes rotation of the locking component independent of the elongated sleeve to effect a friction lock between the locking component and the dummy round.

[0011] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, another apparatus for locking a gun is provided. The apparatus includes a dummy round insertable into a firing chamber of the gun, the dummy round including a first set of threads associated therewith. A locking component, insertable through the discharge end of the gun's barrel, includes a second set of threads which are configured to cooperatively mate with the first set of threads. The locking component also includes a keyed head for engagement with an actuating tool such as a key.

[0012] A deformable material may be placed between the first set and second set of threads to increase friction therebetween.

[0013] An elongated sleeve having a longitudinal channel formed therein is rotatably coupled with the locking component such that the keyed head is positioned within the longitudinal channel. A flange is formed at one end of the elongated sleeve and is configured to abut the external surface of the discharge end of the gun's barrel.

[0014] At least one friction reducing washer disposed between the locking component and the elongated sleeve so as to reduce or eliminate the transfer of torque between the two components during the rotation of one relative to the other.

[0015] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, a method is provided for locking a gun. The method includes inserting a dummy round into the firing chamber of a gun. A locking component is provided which is rotatably coupled to an elongated sleeve. The locking component and elongated sleeve are inserted into the barrel of the gun from the discharge end. The locking component is actuated by rotating the locking component independent of the elongated sleeve to effect a friction lock between the locking component and the dummy round.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] The foregoing and other advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the drawings in which:

[0017]FIG. 1 is a view showing the components of the gun lock with the key and a keyactuated locking component of the gun lock prior to installation in a semil 5 automatic gun;

[0018]FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing all of the components of the gun lock installed in a semi-automatic gun;

[0019]FIG. 3 is a view showing an alternative embodiment of the gun lock prior to the actuation of said embodiment in a revolver;

[0020]FIG. 4 is a view showing the location of the components of the gun lock of FIG. 3 after actuation of the gun lock to lock the associated revolver gun;

[0021]FIG. 5 is a view of the pin-lock configuration taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 3;

[0022]FIG. 6 is a view showing the components of an alternative embodiment of the gun lock prior to the installation thereof in a gun;

[0023]FIG. 7 is a view showing the components of the gun lock of FIG. 6 installed in a gun;

[0024]FIG. 8 is a view showing the arrangement of the components after they have been locked in a gun;

[0025]FIG. 9 is an exploded view of the gun lock according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0026]FIG. 10 is a partial cross-sectional view of the gun lock shown in FIG. 9;

[0027]FIGS. 11A and 11B show an exemplary tamper proof keyed head used in conjunction with the present invention;

[0028]FIG. 12 is a cross sectional view of another a dummy round used in conjunction with breaking guns in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

[0029]FIGS. 13A and 13B show additional features, including barrel length adjustment, which may be incorporated with various embodiments of the present invention; and

[0030]FIGS. 14A through 14C show various views of an additional embodiment according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0031] Referring to the drawings, and particularly to FIGS. 1-2 thereof, I show a gun lock 10 consisting of a key 12 and a dummy round 14 having a locking component 16 engagable within the barrel 18 of a semi-automatic gun 20.

[0032] The gun lock 10 is shown in operative relationship with the gun 20 in FIG. 2. The dummy round 14 has a step 26 which prevents rotation by being engaged by the ejector tab 28 of the gun to provide anti-rotation means for the dummy round 14. The rotatable locking component 16 includes an extension 32 threadedly engagable at 34 with the dummy round 14.

[0033] A pin keyway 36 is provided in the locking component 16 for the reception of a corresponding pin key bit 38 which is provided on the extremity of a key shank 42 having an actuator handle 44 formed integrally therewith. After the round 14 has been initially installed in the firing chamber of the gun 20, the rotatable locking component 16 is inserted into the barrel 18 on the end of the key 12 with the key bit 38 engaged in the keyway 36.

[0034] Rotation of the key 12 clockwise causes the threaded extension 32 to engage the correspondingly threaded bore 34 of the locking portion 16 and creates a friction lock between the threads of the locking portion 16 and the dummy round 14.

[0035] When removal of the locking component 16 is desired, the key can be utilized to force the locking component 16 out of its intimate engagement with the dummy round 14 and permit normal use of the gun 20.

[0036] An alternative embodiment 60 of the lock is shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, where identical reference numerals for identical parts of the embodiment of FIG. 1 are used, as including a dummy round 14 which has O-ring anti-rotation means 62 mounted on an extremity thereof to prevent rotation of the dummy round 14 in the chamber of a revolver when the key 12 is utilized to lock the dummy round 14 by urging the tapered wall 64 of the locking component into locking engagement with the wall of the revolver's forcing cone by bringing the corresponding tapers of the locking component 68 and the wall of the revolver into intimate contact to establish frictional and shear locks.

[0037] The gun lock 60 may be further described as including a first body portion 86 threadedly coupled to a second body portion 88. Both the first body portion 86 and second body portion 88 are insertable, as a unit, into the firing chamber of the revolver. As noted above, actuation of the gun lock 60 includes rotating the second body portion 88 relative to the first body portion 86 such that the second body portion 88 to longitudinally extend outwardly due to the threaded engagement of the two body portions 86 and 88. The use of a reverse thread in this configuration pennits the lock to withstand any attempt to defeat the lock with a drill, and results in a uniform clockwise locking action for any embodiment of the invention.

[0038] An additional embodiment 70 of the gun lock is shown in FIGS. 6-8 and is specifically designed to be utilized in breaking guns, such as shotguns, rifles, revolvers and the like. The gun lock 70 includes an elongated sleeve 72 which is insertable in the barrel 74 of a gun of the aforementioned character. The sleeve 72 is provided with a flange 76 which abuts the extremity of the barrel 74. The dummy round 78 is locked in place by rotation of the locking component 82 by a key 12. When the locking operation has been completed, the key 12 can be withdrawn to leave the sleeve 72 and the dummy round 78 in locked position.

[0039] Therefore, when the associated gun is broken, the dummy round 78 cannot be withdrawn because it is frictionally locked by means of the locking component 82 to the wall of the sleeve 72 and the flange 76 prevents the dummy round from being withdrawn from the chamber.

[0040] It is also contemplated that the key 12 be provided with a demountable key bit 80 which permits the configuration and type of key to be changed without the necessity for providing a new shank 82 and actuator 84.

[0041] As is apparent from FIGS. 6 through 8, various components of the gun lock 70 are rotatable relative to, and fimctionally independent of the other components. For example, the locking component 82 is rotatable relative to the dummy round 78 so as to accomplish threaded engagement of the two components, at least until the mating threads are fully engaged whereby a friction lock is effected between the locking component 82 and the dummy round 78 . Similarly, in order to disengage the locking component 82 from the dummy round, a sufficient amount of torque must be applied to the locking component 82 relative to the dummy round 78 (i.e., such as is provided by the key 12) in order to overcome the friction lock created therebetween.

[0042] Additionally, as is more apparent from FIG. 6, the locking component 82 is insertable into, and rotatable relative to the elongated sleeve 72. The relative rotatability of the locking component 82 with respect to the elongated sleeve 72 allows the gun lock 70 to remain locked once it is properly installed in the barrel 74 of a gun. For example, once the gun lock 70 is in the barrel 74 and the locking component 82 is threadedly engaged with the dummy round 78 (i.e., as shown in FIG. 8), rotation of the locking component 82 may only be effected by use of the key 12. Thus, while one may attempt to disengage the locking component 82 from the dummy round 78 by grabbing the flange 76 and rotating the elongated sleeve 72, the elongated sleeve 72 will freely rotate relative to and independent of the locking mechanism 82. Likewise, similar forces applied to the dummy round 78 will not permit disengagement of the lock due to the independent rotation of the components. In such situations the freely rotating elongated sleeve 82 fails to impart the requisite torque to the locking mechanism 82, relative to the dummy round 78, as is necessary to overcome the friction lock formed therebetween.

[0043] Similarly, if one was able to access the dummy round 78 and rotate it within the chamber of the gun, disengagement of the locking component 82 from the dummy round would still not be accomplished due to lack of sufficient torque between the two components. Rotation of the dummy round 78 would simply cause rotation of the locking component 82 by virtue of the friction lock formed therebetween. However, the locking mechanism 82 would rotate freely with respect to the elongated sleeve 72 again preventing the application of torque to the locking mechanism 82 relative to the dummy round 28.

[0044] Thus, without use of the properly configured key 12, the ability to apply sufficient torque to the locking component 82 relative to the dummy round 78 for disengagement thereof becomes very difficult if not impossible.

[0045] Referring now to FIGS. 9 and 10, a gun lock 70′ is shown which includes various features for enhancing the general usability of the gun lock 70′, including the gun lock's ability to prevent unauthorized disengagement. FIG. 9 shows an exploded view of the gun lock 70′ while FIG. 10 shows a partial cross-sectional view of the gun lock 70′ in an assembled and engaged configuration. It is noted that the gun lock 70′ may be used in substantially all types of guns, and is particularly useful in guns having barrel lengths of, for example, 3 inches or longer.

[0046] Referring to FIG. 10, it is seen that the gun lock 70′ is similar to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 6 through 8 having an elongated sleeve 72′ and a locking component 82′ which is threadedly engagable with a dummy round 78′. However, as is also apparent, the locking component 82′ and the elongated sleeve 72′ are each formed of multiple components.

[0047] Referring to both FIG. 9 and FIG. 10, it is seen that the locking component 82′ includes a stud 90 having a first portion 90A, a second portion 90B, and an integral flange 90C. In the embodiment shown, the first portion 90A is threaded while the second portion 90B is unthreaded. The stud is desirably formed of a material which allows for the formation of the threads without significant fabrication difficulties but which still exhibits considerable strength. For example, the stud 90 may be formed of hardened steel or stainless steel.

[0048] The threads of the first portion 90A are configured to mate with internal threads 92 formed in the dummy round 78′. A deformable material 92 may deposited at a location along the threads of the first portion 90A to increase the friction between the stud 90 and the dummy round 78′ during engagement of their respective threaded portions 90A and 92. The increased friction between the threads of the stud 90 and the dummy round 78′ increases the amount of torque that must be applied to the locking mechanism 82′ relative to the dummy round for engagement and, more importantly, disengagement of the two components.

[0049] The deformable material 92 may include, for example, nylon, and may be in the form of a button deposited on a small area of the threaded portion 90A as shown, or may be disposed over a larger area of the threaded area to provide a greater amount of friction as may be desired. Alternatively, a small hole or cavity may be formed in the threaded portion 90A with the deformable material 92 being deposited therein such that at least a portion of the deformable material 92 protrudes from the hole so as to be engagable with the mating set of threads formed in the dummy round 78

[0050] The locking mechanism 82′ further includes an extension rod 96 having a bore or channel 98 formed longitudinally therethrough. The extension rod is desirably formed of a high strength material such as, for example, aluminum or stainless steel. The size and configuration of the channel 98 and the size and configuration of the second portion 90B of the stud 90 are designed such that the second portion 90B may be received by the channel 98 in secure and immobile fashion, thereby providing an interference or press fit between the stud 90 and the extension rod 98. Alternatively, the stud 90 might be connected to the extension rod by other means such as, for example, by welding, brazing, pinning or by keying the stud 90 to the channel 98 and providing a set screw through wall of the extension rod 98 into the channel 98 so as to prevent either rotational or linear movement of the stud 90 relative to the extension rod 96.

[0051] The locking component 82′ further includes a second stud 100, referred to herein as a tamper proof stud, which is inserted into the opposing end of the channel 98 of the extension rod 96. The tamper proof stud 100 includes a keyed head 102 for receipt of a key whereby the sufficient torque may be applied to the locking component 82′. The keyed head 102 may be configured as described above with reference to FIG. 5, or may include additional configurations as shall be set forth below. The tamper proof stud 100 is desirably formed of a material exhibiting sufficient strength to transfer the requisite torque applied thereto via a key while also avoiding stripping or camming of the keyed head 102 during actuation of the gun lock 70′. Exemplary materials may include a hardened alloy steel or stainless steel.

[0052] Upon assembly of the locking component 82′ (i.e., fitting stud 90 and tamper proof stud 100 into opposing ends of the channel 98 formed in the extension rod 96), the locking component 82′ becomes a substantially unitary member in the sense that a force imparted to the tamper proof stud 100 via keyed head will be transferred therefrom through the extension rod 96 and into stud 90. Thus, any motion, rotational or otherwise, experienced by a given member of the locking component 82′ will translate into corresponding motion of the remaining members of the locking component 82′.

[0053] The elongated sleeve 72′ may also be formed of multiple subcomponents. For example, a plug 104 having a flanged end 106 and a longitudinal body portion 108 may be coupled with an outer sleeve member 110. The outer sleeve member 110 includes a bore or channel 112 longitudinally therethrough, including a portion 114 which has a stepped, or reduced cross-sectional area, at one end thereof. The channel 112 is configured to receive the longitudinal body portion 108 of the plug 104 in an interfering fashion. However, as with the other interference fits described herein, other means of coupling the plug 104 with the outer sleeve member 110 maybe utilized.

[0054] The stepped portion 114 of the channel 112 is configured to rotatably receive the tamper proof stud 100 with the keyed head 102 being sized to abut the shoulder 116 formed by the stepped portion 114. Thus, once assembled, the tamper proof stud 100 allows relative rotation between the locking component 82′ and the elongated sleeve 72′, but prevents linear or longitudinal movement of the locking component 82′ relative to the elongated sleeve 72′.

[0055] The outer sleeve member 110 may be formed of a high strength material such as, for example, aluminum. The plug 104 is desirably formed of a material exhibiting a high degree of toughness such as for example, hardened stainless steel. An exemplary plug 104 may be formed of 440C stainless steel which is case hardened to a minimum of 60 on the Rockwell C scale.

[0056] Using a hardened material for the plug 104 helps to prevent tampering such as an attempt by an unauthorized user to disable the gun lock 70′, for example, by use of a drill, a screwdriver, a chisel or other similar tools. While, other components may likewise be formed of a hardened material, the plug 104, and particularly the flange 106, is the only portion of the gun lock 70′ which is externally exposed when positioned within a gun barrel and properly actuated into a locked position. Thus, it is more desirable to form the plug 104 of a hardened material than certain other components.

[0057] A bore or channel 118 is formed longitudinally within the plug 104, extending through both the longitudinal body portion 108 and the flange 106. The channel 118 allows for access of a key (not shown in FIGS. 9 and 10) to pass through the elongated sleeve 72′ to accommodate coupling of the key with the keyed head 102 of the locking component 82′. The outer portion of the channel 118 adjacent the flange 106 may include a tapered section 120 for facilitating easier insertion of a key into the channel 118. The channel 118 is desirably formed to have a minimized cross-sectional area thereby allowing the key to pass through but preventing other objects, such as for example a screw driver, from being inserted therein. Additionally, the channel 118 desirably exhibits a length of 1.5 inches or greater to prevent access by a small diameter precision screwdriver or a jeweler's screwdriver.

[0058] For example, the channel 118 may be formed with a diameter which accommodates passage of a {fraction (3/32)} inch (0.09375 inches) pinned hex head key (or similar sized key having a different configuration). By minimizing the cross-sectional area of the channel 118, tampering and unauthorized attempts to disable the gun lock 70′ are thereby reduced.

[0059] The gun lock 70′ may include additional components such as jam nuts 122A and 122B, a spacer or collar 124, friction reducing washers 126 and 128, protective shrink tubing 130, and/or a protective ring or collar 132.

[0060] The jam nuts 122A and 122B may be provided to accommodate a limited amount of adjustment regarding the overall length of the gun lock 70′. Specifically, the length of the gun lock 70′ may be adjusted for use in a gun having a given barrel length by setting the depth of the threaded portion 90A of the stud 90 within the dummy round 78′, positioning a first jam nut 122A at a position on the threaded portion 90A which corresponds to the selected depth, and then locking the first jam nut 90A at the set position by abutting the second jam nut 122B with the first jam nut 122A thereby locking both jam nuts 122A and 122B into the set position.

[0061] One or more collars 124 may be positioned about the extension rod 96, the elongated sleeve 110 or both to act as a spacer and a guide when installing the gun lock 70′. The collar 124 is desirably formed of a material which is relatively soft in comparison to gun's barrel such as, for example, plastic. The collar 124 serves to prevent undue contact of the gun barrel with various components of the gun lock 70′ (i.e. stud 90, extension rod 96, or outer sleeve 110) to prevent scraping or gouging of the gun's rifling during insertion and removal of the gun lock 70′.

[0062] A first friction reducing washer 126 may be positioned between the extension rod 96 and the outer sleeve member 110. The friction reducing washer may be formed, for example, of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commercially known as Teflon, and serves to reduce the transfer of torque between the extension rod 96 and the outer sleeve member 110 as they rotate relative to one another.

[0063] A second friction reducing washer 128 may be placed in the channel 112 of the outer sleeve member 110 such that it is positioned between the shoulder 116 formed by the stepped portion 114 and the keyed head 102 of the tamper proof stud 100. The friction reducing washer 128 allows the tamper proof stud 100, and thus the locking component 82′, to more freely rotate relative to the outer sleeve member 110 of the elongated sleeve 72′. For additional reduction in friction, the stepped portion 114 of the outer sleeve member 110 may also be coated with a friction reducing material such as PTFE.

[0064] The reduction of friction between the locking component 82′ and the elongated sleeve 72′ further helps in reducing tampering and unauthorized disablement of the gun lock 70′. For example, when properly installed in a gun barrel, one might attempt to disable the gun lock 70′ by either pushing or pulling on the flange 106 of the elongated sleeve 72′ while simultaneously rotating the elongated sleeve 72′ within the gun barrel. Such actions might be used in an attempt to transfer torque from the elongated sleeve 72′ to the locking mechanism 82′ and subsequently disable the gun lock without a key. For example, simultaneously pushing and rotating the elongated sleeve 72′ might transfer torque from the outer sleeve member 110 to the extension rod 96 if sufficient friction exists between the two members at their abutting ends. Similarly, simultaneously pulling and rotating the elongated sleeve 72′ might transfer torque from the outer sleeve member 110 to the tamper proof stud 100 if sufficient friction exists between the shoulder 116 formed by the stepped portion 114 and keyed head 102 of the tamper proof stud 100. Thus, disposing friction reducing materials at locations of contact between the elongated sleeve 72′ and the locking component 82′ serves to eliminate the transfer of torque therebetween.

[0065] Shrink tubing 130, such as a thin walled polyolefin material, may be placed about the elongated sleeve 72; to cover the joint formed between the plug 104 and the outer sleeve member 110, to further prevent an attempt at dismantling or disassembling the gun lock 70

[0066] A protective ring 132 may be formed on an outer periphery of the plug 104 adjacent the flange 106. The protective ring 132 may be formed of a soft material such as plastic or PTFE to prevent damage of the riflings adjacent the discharge end of a gun's barrel. As will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art, riflings within a gun barrel serve to impart a rotational motion to a bullet as it passes through the barrel, thereby improving the accuracy of the gun. The riflings positioned at discharge tend to have the greatest effect on a bullets accuracy and therefore must be protected to ensure the accuracy and operational integrity of the gun. The protective ring 132 helps to serve this purpose.

[0067] Referring particularly to FIG. 10, installation and implementation the gun lock 70′ is readily described. The dummy round 78′ is placed into the chamber of a gun. The locking component 82′ and elongated sleeve 72′, coupled to together as an operable unit, are inserted through the discharge end of the gun's barrel. The collar 124 helps guide the locking component 82′ and elongated sleeve 72′ through the barrel of the gun until the threaded portion 90A of the stud 90 mates with the internal threads 92 of the dummy round 78′. A key (not shown in FIG. 10) is inserted through the channel 118 of the plug 104 until it operably engages with the keyed head 102 of the tamper proof stud 100. It is noted that, because of the configuration of the gun lock 70′, the key does not come in contact with the barrel or the rifling of the gun. The locking component 82′ is rotated by actuation of the key such that the locking component 82′ threadedly engages the dummy round. The dummy round is rotationally held in place by rotational means, such as engagement with the ejector clip of the gun, or by use of an 0-ring as has been described above herein.

[0068] As described above, the jam nuts 122A and 122B serves to determine the engagement length of the threaded portion 90A. Alternatively, the threaded portion 90A may be designed with a predetermined engagement length such that jam nuts 122A and 122B are not required.

[0069] A friction lock is formed between the stud 90 and the dummy round by virtue of the contact between the first jam nut 122A (or in the absence ofjam nuts 122A and 122B, the integral flange 90C) and the front surface 134 of the dummy round 78′, as well as through contact of the mating threads 90A and 92 including the deformable material 94 disposed therebetween.

[0070] Upon removal of the key from the channel 118 in the elongated sleeve 72′ the flange 106 remains exposed at the discharge end of the gun barrel. However, rotation of the elongated sleeve 72′ fails to impart sufficient torque to the locking component 82′ as would be necessary to overcome the friction lock formed between the dummy round 78′ and the locking component 82′. Additionally, the configuration of the channel 118 in the elongated sleeve 72′, i.e., the cross-sectional area and the length thereof, prevents the insertion of conventional tools in an effort to engage the keyed head 102 of the tamper proof stud. In the case of an unconventional tool being used to access the keyed head 102, the configuration of the keyed head serves to prevent the application of torque thereto as shall be discussed in greater detail below.

[0071] As described above in reference to alternative embodiments, the configuration of the dummy round 78′ and the flange 106 which abuts the discharge end of a gun's barrel serve to prevent removal of the gun lock 70′ by longitudinal extraction through either end of the gun's barrel. It is noted that, while the flange 106 is described as abutting the discharge end of the gun's barrel, the gun lock 70′ does not need to clamp against either end of the barrel to effect locking thereof. In other words, actuation of the gun lock does not require a compressive force to be imparted from the gun lock 70′ to the barrel of the gun.

[0072] Referring now to FIGS. 11A and 11B, an exemplary keyed head 102 is shown which may be employed in the present invention. FIG. 11A shows a plan view, and FIG. 11B shows a cross sectional view, of the keyed head 102 having a polygonal recess 140 formed of three substantially equal arcuate sides 142. A radiused connection 144 may be formed at the point of interface between one arcuate side 142 and another. A stud portion 146 is configured to fit into the channel 98 of extension rod 96 as described above (FIG. 9). Alternatively, the stud portion 146 may be threaded, such as for use in embodiments shown in FIGS. 1 through 4.

[0073] The polygonal recess 140 prevents tampering by providing a geometric configuration which is difficult to engage with conventional tools such as, for example, a screw driver, the tip of a knife, or an awl. A polygonal recess 140 similar to that shown in FIGS. 11A and 11B has previously been employed in the heads of sheet metal screws distributed as TP3® screws available from Tamperproof Screw Co., Inc. located at 30 Laurel Street, Hicksville, N.Y. 11801. However, some features shown in FIGS. 11A and 11B which are unique and have not been incorporated into the TP3® screws.

[0074] For example, a chamfer 150 is formed as the side 152 of the keyed head 102 transitions into the top 154 of the keyed head 102. The chamfer 150 serves to cooperatively mate the keyed head 102 into a necked-down portion of a gun's barrel, commonly referred to as the forcing cone (which transitions from the firing chamber into the barrel) when, for example, the keyed head 102 is employed in an embodiment for use in a revolver such as shown and described with respect to FIGS. 1 through 4.

[0075] An exemplary keyed head 102 for use with the embodiments of FIGS. 1 through 4, and with a .357 caliber gun, may exhibit a diameter “D” of 0.356 inches with a chamfer 150 formed at an angle β of approximately 15° C. Additionally, the arcuate sides 142 may exhibit a radius of 0.162 inches and the radiused connection 144 may exhibit a radius of 0.01 inches. The depth of the polygonal recess 140 may exhibit a longitudinal dimension “X” of approximately 0.125 inches. Of course different dimensions may be utilized, and different caliber guns may require adjustment of some of the above parameters.

[0076] It is noted that other configurations of the keyed head 102 are also contemplated. For example, a head similar in general configuration to that shown in FIGS. 11A and 11B, but having specified relationships between radiused connections 144 and arcuate sides 142 is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,827,811 issued to Vickers, the entirety of which is incorporated by reference herein. Additionally, pinned torx heads, pinned phillips heads, spanner type recesses and other keyed tamper resistant or tamper proof type fasteners are included within the scope of the invention.

[0077] Referring now to FIG. 12, a dummy round 200 is shown according to another aspect of the invention. The dummy round 200 as shown is configured for use with breaking type guns, and particularly as a dummy round for a breaking type shotgun having an internal ejector mechanism which automatically ejects a shotgun shell upon breaking open the gun. However, various aspects of the dummy round 200 may be applicable to dummy rounds and gun locks used in other types of guns.

[0078] The dummy round 200 includes plug member 202 coupled with a case member 204. The case member 204 has a cavity 206 formed therein to accommodate a piston 208 and a biasing member 210. The biasing member 210 is positioned between the front wall of the case member 204 and the piston 208 thereby biasing the piston 208 in a longitudinally inward direction. One or more key elements 212 may be provided about the shoulder 214 of the piston 208. The key elements 212 are positioned within a longitudinal slot 216 formed in the wall of the case member 204 to allow longitudinal movement of the piston 208 while restricting rotational movement of the piston relative to the case member 204. The key elements 212 may be formed on the shoulder 214 of the piston 208 after insertion of the piston 208 into the cavity 206 of the case member 204. For example, key element 212 may include a screw or machine type fastener which is screwed into the shoulder 214. Alternatively, key element 212 may be a member which is brazed or welded to the shoulder 214.

[0079] The piston 208 has a set of internal threads 218 configured to mate with a locking component (such as the threaded portion 90A of locking component 82′ shown in FIGS. 9 and 10). The biasing member 210 and piston 208 thus combine to give a certain amount of play along the longitudinal extent of a gun lock to prevent damage to the internal mechanism of the gun when broken open. Without such play, the internal ejecting mechanism of a gun would apply a force to the dummy round, which is locked into the firing chamber, likely damaging and potentially rendering inoperable the internal ejector mechanism.

[0080] Thus, for example, with the dummy round 200 inserted into the firing chamber of a breaking shotgun, a locking mechansim (for example the locking mechanism 82 or 82′ described above herein) may be coupled with the piston 208 via the internal threads 218. With the dummy round 200 locked into place, the breaking gun may be closed. Upon breaking the gun open the internal ejector mechanism will attempt to eject the dummy round 200 from the firing chamber by applying a force, for example, to the plug member 202. The application of force to the plug member 202 will cause the plug member 202 and case member 204 to be displaced to the left (as viewed in FIG. 12) relative to the piston 208 thereby overcoming the force of the biasing member 210. The movement of the plug member 202 and case member 204 relative to the piston 208 (and indeed relative to the rest of the locking apparatus coupled therewith) allows for conventional actuation of the internal ejector mechanism of the gun without compromising the integrity of either the locking apparatus, or subsequent damage to the internal ejector mechanism.

[0081] The dummy load 200 should be constructed so as to withstand a substantial linear tensile force applied thereto. For example, the dummy round 200 desirably withstands a pull test of at least 225 lbs such that the dummy round 200 stays assembled and maintains its structural integrity.

[0082] Referring now to FIGS. 13A and 13B, an additional feature which may be incorporated with the gun locks of the present invention is shown. FIG. 13A shows a threaded stud 230 which is formed of a first stud portion 230A and a second stud portion 230B. Each stud portion 230A and 230B includes a halved section 232A and 232B respectively. The halved sections 232A and 232B mate with one another so as to form a “whole” threaded stud 230. However, the halved sections 232A and 232B are longitudinally slidable relative to each other such that the over all length of the threaded stud 230 may be adjusted. Upon positioning of the halved sections 230A and 230B relative to one another, a threaded collar 234 may be positioned over the overlapping area of the halved sections 232A and 232B to retain the relative positioning of the first and second stud portions 230A and 230B. The threaded stud 230 may be used, for example, in place of stud 90 shown in FIGS. 9 and 10 such that the overall length of the gun lock 70′ may be adjusted to accommodate guns having different barrel lengths.

[0083] Referring to FIG. 13B, an alternative design is shown for adjusting the overall length of a gun lock. A sleeve member 240 is slidably coupled with a stud member 242. A series of apertures 244 are formed through the wall 246 of the sleeve member 240. Additionally, a plurality of set points, or indentations 248, may be formed in the stud member 242 in a pattern corresponding to the apertures 244 formed in the sleeve member 240. The sleeve member 240 and stud member 242 may be positionally fixed relative to one another by placing set screws 250 or other retention members in one or more aligned pairs of apertures 244 and indentations 248.

[0084] As an example of implementing the embodiment shown in FIG. 13B, the sleeve member 250 may be representative of the extension rod 96 shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, while the stud member may be representative of stud 90, and particularly of the second portion 90B thereof. Such implementation would require that stud 90 be slidable relative to the extension rod 96 rather than fixed as described above.

[0085] Referring now to FIGS. 14A through 14C, a gun lock 300 is shown according to another embodiment of the present invention. The gun lock 300 is integrated into a cylinder 302 of a revolver 304. As will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art, the cylinder 302 of a revolver includes multiple holding chambers 306 for holding individual rounds of ammunition and sequentially positioning the rounds of ammunition for discharge by the revolver 304.

[0086] For example, a conventional cylinder might be configured with six holding chambers (although other configurations are also available). However, according to the present invention, one of the locations which would conventionally accommodate a holding chamber 306 serves as an integral locking component 308. Thus the cylinder 302 includes five holding chambers 306 and one locking component 308.

[0087] Referring specifically to FIG. 14B, a partial cross sectional view of the gun lock 300, including the locking component 308, is shown. Instead of forming a through aperture sized and configured to serve as holding a chamber 306, a blind hole 310 (or alternatively a through hole) may be formed and tapped so as to threadedly engage with the locking component 308. When the revolver 304 is to be locked, the cylinder 302 is rotated such that the integral locking component is aligned with the barrel 312 of the revolver 304. A visual alignment indicator 314, such as a notch formed in the cylinder 302, may be used to assist in aligning the locking component 308 with the barrel 312.

[0088] Once the locking component 308 is aligned with the barrel 312, an actuating key 316 may be inserted into the barrel 312 to engage with a keyed head 318 and subsequently actuate the locking component 308. The locking component 308 includes a chamfer 320 or a tapered portion which is sized and configured to mate with the forcing cone 322 of the revolver 304. Actuation of the locking component 308 occurs by rotation thereof relative to the cylinder 302. Rotation of the locking component 308 causes it to longitudinally extend from the cylinder 302 until the chamfer 320 contacts the forcing cone 322 and establishes a friction and shear lock therebetween as shown in FIG. 14C. As with other embodiments described herein, the locking component 308 may be reverse threaded, if so desired, such that clockwise rotation of the locking component 308 causes the longitudinal extension thereof.

[0089] Disengagement of the locking component 308 entails imparting a rotational force to the locking component 308 which is sufficient to overcome the friction lock between the contacting components, and subsequently contracting the locking component 308 back within the blind bole 310. The locking component 308 may include a second chamfer 324 or tapered section which sized and configured to mate with a chamfer 326 formed in the blind hole 310. A friction lock may be established between these two chamfers 324 and 326 so as to retain the locking component in place when not actuated as is shown in FIG. 14B.

[0090] It is noted that while the keyed head 318 is shown to include a polygonal recess such as has been described above, the keyed head 318 may include other tamper proof or tamper resistant configurations.

[0091] While the invention may be susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments have been shown by way of example in the drawings and have been described in detail herein. However, it should be understood that the invention is not intended to be limited to the particular forms disclosed. Rather, the invention includes all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the following appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6796072 *Jan 27, 2003Sep 28, 2004Ammo-Safe, Inc.Firearm safety device
US6895707Jul 30, 2003May 24, 2005Visualock, Inc.System for preventing accidental or unauthorized firing of a firearm
US7621062 *Mar 23, 2005Nov 24, 2009Gregory Anthony CugliariBullet identification and tracking device
US7752796 *Aug 28, 2006Jul 13, 2010Barrel Gunlock, LlcLocking device for firearm
DE202010013858U1 *Oct 1, 2010Mar 16, 2012Burg-Wächter KgSicherungsvorrichtung für eine Schusswaffe
Classifications
U.S. Classification42/70.11
International ClassificationF41A17/44
Cooperative ClassificationF41A17/44
European ClassificationF41A17/44
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 28, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: CHAPMAN GLOBAL HOLDINGS, LTD., VIRGIN ISLANDS, BRI
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BLOMQUIST, KARL D.;RIDGE, RAYMOND L.;REEL/FRAME:012222/0060
Effective date: 20010927