US 20020132557 A1
A toy water gun has a hand pump for pressurizing a reservoir of water and a trigger which controls a valve for allowing pressurized water to squirt from a nozzle when the trigger is pulled. A spring wire which normally urges the trigger toward a rest position engages a contact in response to pulling of the trigger whereby a circuit is completed to energize a motor which drives a slider-crank mechanism for causing reciprocation of the water gun's barrels, and to energize a sound circuit for simulating the sounds of gun fire.
1. A toy water gun comprising,
a plurality of barrels mounted in said housing, at least one of said barrels being slideable for reciprocal motion relative to said housing, and at least one of said barrels having a nozzle for expelling water,
a motor mounted in said housing,
an actuator operatively connected between said motor and said slideable one of said barrels for urging said slideable one of said barrels to reciprocate relative to said housing in response to energization of said motor,
an electrical power supply mounted in said housing,
a switch mounted in said housing and operatively connected between said power supply and said motor for selectively energizing said motor,
a pump mounted in said housing, said pump including a reservoir for containing water, a plunger for pressurizing said reservoir, and a trigger movable between a rest position and a shooting position, said trigger preventing fluid communication between said reservoir and said nozzle for preventing expulsion of water from said reservoir through said nozzle when in said rest position, and permitting fluid communication between said reservoir and said nozzle for enabling expulsion of water under pressure from said reservoir through said nozzle when in said shooting position
said trigger being adapted to be pressed for movement from said rest position to said shooting position, and being operatively connected to said switch for energizing said motor in response to movement of said trigger toward said shooting position.
2. A toy water gun in accordance with
3. A toy water gun in accordance with
4. A toy water gun in accordance with
5. A toy water gun in accordance with
6. A toy water gun in accordance with
FIG. 1 is an exterior side elevation view of an assembled toy water gun in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 2 is an interior side elevation view of the toy water gun of FIG. 1 in a disassembled condition with trigger removed.
FIG. 3 is a an enlarged fragmentary view showing a portion of the toy water gun as shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4A is a fragmentary plan view showing the barrel assembly of the toy water gun of FIG. 1 in a first disposition in use.
FIG. 4B is a fragmentary plan view showing the barrel assembly of the toy water gun shown in FIG. 4A in a second disposition in use.
FIG. 4C is a fragmentary plan view showing the barrel assembly of the toy water gun shown in FIG. 4A in a third disposition in use.
FIG. 5A is a fragmentary plan view showing the trigger assembly of the toy water gun of FIG. 1 in a first disposition in use.
FIG. 5B is a fragmentary plan view showing the trigger assembly of the toy water gun shown in FIG. 5A in a second disposition in use.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view showing an opposite side of a portion of the toy water gun as shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 7 is a schematic view showing an electric circuit for operating the toy water gun in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention.
 Referring now to FIG. 1 of the drawings, there is shown a water gun 1 having a housing 3 molded from plastic in the general shape of a futuristic carbine. A grip 5 extends downwardly from the main body 7 of the housing 3. The grip 5 has horizontally running, vertically spaced, ridges 9 and grooves 11 at its sides and rear, for preventing slippage in the palm of a hand, and notches 13 at its front for receiving the fingers of the gripping hand. Two barrels 12, 14 extend from the front of the water gun 1.
 A generally rectangular trigger guard 15 extends from the front of the grip 5 along the underside of the main body 7 and surrounds a trigger 17 having a surface 18 adapted to be pressed by an index finger for operating the water gun. On top of the trigger is a wall 16 (see FIG. 5A) from which a projection 20 extends rearwardly in axial alignment with a substantially cylindrical plunger 22 reciprocally slideable in a hollow cylinder 24 which leads into a water reservoir 26 having a filling opening which is covered by a threaded cap 28 best seen in FIG. 2.
 Referring to FIG. 3, a hand pump 79 has a cylinder 81 in communication with the reservoir 26. A plunger 83 is slideable within the cylinder 81 and has a handle 85 for reciprocating the plunger 83 to pump air into the reservoir 26 for pressurizing the water with it.
 A plastic hose 30 has one end connected to a boss 32 surrounding an opening in the wall of the cylinder 24 and an opposite end connected to a central valve port 34 in a three-way valve 36. A forward valve port 38 of the three-way valve 36 is connected to an inlet port of a T-fitting 40 having two outlet ports 42, 44. A hose 46 extends from one port 42 to an inlet opening 48 in a nozzle 50 mounted within a barrel 12 of the water gun 1. A hose 52 extends from the other port 44 of the T-fitting 40 to an inlet opening 54 in a nozzle 56 mounted within a barrel 14 of the water gun 1.
 A hose 58 has one end connected to the third port 60 of the three-way valve 36 and an opposite end connected to a relief nozzle 62 mounted on the butt end of the water gun 1 enabling communication between the ambient atmosphere and the reservoir 26.
 With the trigger 17 at its rest position, passage of pressurized water from the reservoir to the hoses 46 and 50 is blocked. When the trigger 17 is pulled to its firing position, passage of pressurized water from the reservoir to the hoses 46 and 50 is enabled and water under pressure in the reservoir 26 is forced through the hoses 30, 46 and 52 and expelled through the nozzles 50, and 56 on respective barrels 12, and 14.
 As can best be seen in FIGS. 5A and 5B, the trigger 17 has a floor 19 which projects rearwardly and terminates in an edge 21 engageable with a length of an electrically conductive resilient spring wire 23, a segment of which is wound about a screw 25 threaded into an aperture 27 in a boss 29 integral with the interior of the housing 3. The spring wire 23 urges the trigger in a forward direction toward a rest position for the trigger 17 as can best be seen in FIG. 5A. When finger pressure is applied to the trigger surface 18, the trigger 17 moves rearwardly, pivoting the spring wire 23 back about the screw 25 and urging a free end 33 of the spring wire 23 into contact with a contact in the form of a cylindrical sleeve 35 made of a conductive metal and circumscribing a boss 37 integral with the interior of the housing 3. A securing screw 39 is threaded into the boss 37 for holding the sleeve 35 in place.
 Referring additionally to FIGS. 6 and 7, an end of the spring wire 23 opposite the free end 33 is electrically connected to one terminal of a power supply 47 in a compartment 49 within the housing 3. The opposite terminate of the power supply is connected to the sleeve contact 35.
 The power supply contains three size C, 1˝ volt batteries 51 connected in series for producing a voltage of 4˝ volts. Connected in parallel with the series combination of the power supply 47 and a switch assembly 53 defined by the spring wire 23 and contact 35 are a motor assembly 55 and a sound assembly 57.
 The motor assembly 55 includes a direct current motor 59, having a unidirectionally rotatable armature 61 which is part of a slider-crank mechanism. The sound assembly 57 includes a microcircuit with a memory on which there are digitally stored sounds imitative of the firing of an automatic weapon, a digital to analog converter, an amplifier and a speaker for producing audible sounds as will be known to those skilled in the art.
 When the free end 33 of the spring wire 23 engages the contact 35, the motor 59 is energized, and its armature 61 rotates. Referring to FIGS. 4A-4C, the slider-crank mechanism includes a T-slide 63 slideably mounted on the housing of the motor assembly 55 an having an axial slot in which a boss 65 and cover screw 67, connected to the housing of the motor assembly 55, are received. A crank mounted on the armature 61 has a pin 69 disposed in a transverse slot 71 of the T-slide 63 for causing the T-slide 63 to reciprocate in an axial direction parallel to the barrels 12 and 14 as the motor armature 61 rotates.
 A lever 71 is pivotally mounted, at a center opening, over a boss 73 and cover screw 75 fixed to the housing of the motor assembly 55. A pin 75 on the T-slide 63 extends through an aperture adjacent one end of the lever 71 and is received in an aperture in the slideably mounted barrel 14. A pin 77 extending from the barrel 12, transverse to its axis, is received in an aperture adjacent an opposite end of the lever 71. As the motor armature 61 rotates, the T-slide 63 reciprocates axially, causing the lever 71 to pivot back and forth, and the barrels 12 and 14 to reciprocate in synchronization, 180 degrees out of phase.
 In use, the cap 28 is removed from the reservoir 26 and the reservoir 26 is filled with water, after which the cap 28 is replaced to seal the reservoir 26. The pump handle 85 is then reciprocated to force air, under pressure, into the reservoir.
 When the trigger 17 is pulled, fluid communication between the reservoir 26 and nozzles 50, 56 permits water, under pressure, to be forced from the reservoir 26 through the nozzles 50, 56. Pulling of the trigger also urges the spring arm switch member 23 against the conductive sleeve 35 for completing a circuit between the power supply 47 and motor 59, thereby causing the motor armature 61 to rotate, and the barrels 12, 14 to reciprocate as water is squirted from the nozzles 50, 56. Closing of the switch member 23 also energizes the sound assembly 57 which emanates sounds simulating gunfire.
 It is to be appreciated that the foregoing is a description of a preferred embodiment of the invention to which modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
 This invention relates to children's toy water guns of the type modeled after a carbine and having a large water reservoir. More specifically, the invention teaches how to provide such a water gun with the capability to squirt water from a plurality of barrels which reciprocate in out of phase synchronization as water is ejected through them, and to emit sounds associated with the firing of a weapon.
 It is known to make water guns having an electrical pump and an electrical noisemaker. In such water guns the trigger is connected to the actuator of an electrical switch in series with a battery and an electric pump. A noisemaker may also be connected to the battery through the switch. Pulling the switch closes a circuit between the battery and pump thereby causing the pump to continuously force water from a reservoir. Such electric water guns are relatively expensive to manufacture, and short lived when subjected to handling by children in their play environments due to the fragility of the electric pumps. Moreover, such pumps draw relatively large currents from the batteries which must be frequently replaced at further expense.
 It is also known in the art to make water guns having a mechanical pump with a plunger in the shaper of the gun trigger. Pulling the trigger forces the plunger into a chamber thereby forcing air into a reservoir filled with water. With each stroke of the trigger, a volume of water is displaced from the reservoir through a nozzle. Such water guns are generally silent and have no moving parts other than the trigger which is actuated by finger pressure and a return spring which restores the trigger to its rest position after each pull. Although inherently more reliable and less expensive than electrically operated water guns, manual water guns of this type are unable to provide children with the thrill of hearing weapon sounds as the water is “fired” from the gun, or to squirt long duration, continuous streams, of water.
 The present invention overcomes the aforementioned shortcomings of prior art water guns in teaching how to make a mechanically actuated water gun which can be operated to expel long duration continuous streams of water without any requirement for an electrical power supply, yet which can also emit gun-like sounds, and causing the barrels of the gun to reciprocate, when the trigger is pulled via motor driven slider-crank mechanism connected to the barrels, and an electronic sound system, both of which are connected to a switch actuated by the trigger.
 It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a water gun which can squirt water from a plurality of reciprocating barrels while emitting sounds associated with the firing of a weapon.
 Another object of the invention is to provide a water gun which can continuously emit pressurized water from a reservoir while operating an electrical sound generator.
 Still another object of the invention is to provide a water gun with a trigger having the feel of a conventional water gun trigger and the ability to emit sounds similar to those of a more expensive electrical pump operated water gun.
 A further object of the invention is to provide a water gun with barrels that reciprocate as water is manually pumped through nozzles in the barrels.
 Other and further objects of the invention will be apparent from the following drawings and description of a preferred embodiment of the invention in which like reference numerals are used to indicate like parts in the various views.