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Publication numberUS20040159033 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/367,127
Publication dateAug 19, 2004
Filing dateFeb 14, 2003
Priority dateFeb 14, 2003
Publication number10367127, 367127, US 2004/0159033 A1, US 2004/159033 A1, US 20040159033 A1, US 20040159033A1, US 2004159033 A1, US 2004159033A1, US-A1-20040159033, US-A1-2004159033, US2004/0159033A1, US2004/159033A1, US20040159033 A1, US20040159033A1, US2004159033 A1, US2004159033A1
InventorsKarl Rohrbaugh
Original AssigneeKarl Rohrbaugh
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Semiautomatic handgun
US 20040159033 A1
Abstract
A handgun comprises a frame, a trigger pivotally mounted on the frame for movement between a rest position and a depressed position, and a hammer pivotally mounted on the frame in spaced relation to the trigger. A trigger bar is pivotally connected to the trigger and extends into operative relation with the hammer for cocking the hammer when the trigger is moved to the depressed position. A biasing member has a first end connected to the frame and a second end connected to the trigger bar for biasing the trigger bar in a direction into operative relationship with the hammer and in a direction for returning the trigger to the rest position from the depressed position.
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Claims(30)
What is claimed is:
1. A semiautomatic handgun comprising: a frame; a trigger pivotally mounted on the frame for movement between a rest position and a depressed position; a hammer pivotally mounted on the frame in spaced relation to the trigger; a trigger bar pivotally connected to the trigger and extending into operative relation with the hammer for cocking the hammer when the trigger is moved to the depressed position; and a biasing member having a first end connected to the frame and a second end connected to the trigger bar for biasing the trigger bar in a direction into operative relationship with the hammer and in a direction for returning the trigger to the rest position from the depressed position.
2. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 1; wherein the semiautomatic handgun is a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun.
3. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 1; wherein the semiautomatic handgun has a length of about 4.7 inches, a height of about 3.6 inches, and a thickness of about 0.94 inches.
4. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 3; wherein the semiautomatic handgun is a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun.
5. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 4; wherein the semiautomatic handgun has an unloaded weight of about 12.3 ounces.
6. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 3; wherein the semiautomatic handgun has an unloaded weight in the range of about 12.0 to 12.5 ounces.
7. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 1; further comprising a barrel mounted on the frame and a grip for receiving the hand of a shooter; and wherein a line extending perpendicular to a central axis of the barrel intersects the grip at a preselected angle such that the barrel will be aligned axially with the forearm of the shooter when the grip is held in the hand with the top of the shooter's wrist level with the top of the forearm.
8. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 5; wherein the preselected angle is in the range of about 9 to 11 degrees.
9. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 1; wherein the frame has a first pin and a second pin adjacent the first pin; and wherein the biasing member has at least one first coil encircling the first pin of the frame and a first foot portion extending from the first coil at the first end of the spring and resting on the second pin of the frame.
10. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 9; wherein the biasing member has at least one second coil and a second foot portion extending from the second coil at the second end of the spring and connected to the trigger bar.
11. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 1; wherein the semiautomatic handgun has a length in the range of about 4.5 to 5.5 inches, a height in the range of about 2.9 to 4.4 inches, and a thickness in the range of about 0.85 to 0.98 inches.
12. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 1; wherein the semiautomatic handgun has a length in the range of about 4.5 to 5.0 inches, a height in the range of about 3.2 to 4.0 inches, and a thickness in the range of about 0.90 to 0.95 inches.
13. A semiautomatic handgun comprising: a frame having a forward end, a rear end, a first locating recess disposed between the forward end and the rear end, and a second locating recess disposed at the rear end; a trigger pivotally mounted in the first locating recess of the frame for movement between a rest position and a depressed position; a hammer pivotally mounted in the second locating recess of the frame; a trigger bar pivotally connected to the trigger and movable in a first direction toward the first locating recess of the frame in response to depression of the trigger to operatively engage the hammer for cocking the hammer; a biasing member for biasing the trigger bar in a second direction away from the first locating recess and into operative relationship with the hammer and for returning the trigger to the rest position from the depressed position; and a deflector for deflecting the trigger bar in a direction generally transverse to the first and second directions when the trigger is returned by the biasing member to the rest position from the depressed position.
14. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 13; wherein the biasing member comprises a torsion spring having a first end connected to the frame and a second end connected to the trigger bar.
15. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 14; wherein the frame has a first pin and a second pin adjacent the first pin; and wherein the torsion spring has at least one first coil encircling the first pin of the frame and a first foot portion extending from the first coil at the first end of the torsion spring and resting on the second pin of the frame.
16. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 15; wherein the torsion spring has at least one second coil and a second foot portion extending from the second coil at the second end of the torsion spring and connected to the trigger bar.
17. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 13; wherein the semiautomatic handgun is a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun.
18. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 13; wherein the semiautomatic handgun has a length of about 4.7 inches, a height of about 3.6 inches, and a thickness of about 0.94 inches.
19. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 18; wherein the semiautomatic handgun is a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun.
20. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 19; wherein the semiautomatic handgun has an unloaded weight of about 12.3 ounces.
21. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 18; wherein the semiautomatic handgun has an unloaded weight in the range of about 12.0 to 12.5 ounces.
22. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 13; further comprising a barrel mounted on the frame and a grip for receiving the hand of a shooter; and wherein a line extending perpendicular to a central axis of the barrel intersects the grip at a preselected angle such that the barrel will be aligned axially with the forearm of the shooter when the grip is held in the hand with the top of the shooter's wrist level with the top of the forearm.
23. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 22;
wherein the preselected angle is in the range of about 9 to 11 degrees.
24. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 13; wherein the semiautomatic handgun has a length in the range of about 4.5 to 5.5 inches, a height in the range of about 2.9 to 4.4 inches, and a thickness in the range of about 0.85 to 0.98 inches.
25. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 13; wherein the semiautomatic handgun has a length in the range of about 4.5 to 5.0 inches, a height in the range of about 3.2 to 4.0 inches, and a thickness in the range of about 0.90 to 0.95 inches.
26. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 13; wherein the deflector comprises a portion of the frame extending between the first locating recess and the second locating recess.
27. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 26; wherein the frame has a top disposed over the first locating recess and the second locating recess; and wherein the portion of the frame has a first surface inclined at a first preselected angle relative to the top and a second surface inclined at a second preselected angle relative to the top.
28. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 27; wherein the first preselected angle is greater than the second preselected angle.
29. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 28; wherein the first preselected angle is in the range of about 166 to 168 degrees and the second preselected angle is in the range of about 134 to 136 degrees.
30. A semiautomatic handgun according to claim 27; wherein the trigger is pivotally mounted to the frame by a pin extending through an aperture in the first locating recess of the frame; and wherein a distance from a turning point between the first and second inclined surfaces of the portion of the frame to a center of the aperture in the first locating recess of the frame is in the range of about 1.4 to 1.6 inches.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention pertains generally to firearms and, more particularly, to a semiautomatic handgun of a size small enough to be carried in a pocket or other concealed location.

[0003] 2. Background of the Invention

[0004] The design of firearms in recent years, and in particular handguns, has required the use of fewer moving parts to thereby make the handgun more reliable. With fewer moving parts in handguns, the cost of manufacture is significantly reduced, assembly/disassembly and maintenance are greatly simplified, and there is less chance of failure of such parts, resulting in an optimum design for the handgun characterized with high reliability and efficacy. In addition to improving the reliability and efficacy of handguns, the use of fewer moving parts results in a handgun which is light and compact, leading to more comfortable usage of the handgun and to the ability of conveniently concealing the handgun for self-defense purposes.

[0005] Conventional handguns, however, are complex in construction and operation and add additional components which substantially increase the overall weight of the handgun. Thus, in conventional handguns, since the number of moving parts is not sufficiently reduced to a minimum, there is no significant reduction in the cost of manufacture, weight and degree of compactness of the handgun. Furthermore, assembly/disassembly and maintenance of conventional handguns is complex, and the interaction of the components thereof lacks reliability and simplicity. Still further, the manufacture of conventional handguns is complex and expensive since such guns require the use of specialty tooling for the fabrication of the components thereof.

[0006] Moreover, because of inherent size limitations, small-sized handguns currently available have very limited fire power and very poor accuracy and tend to be relatively heavy and difficult to hold. Such handguns are typically .22, .25 or .32 caliber and have barrels which are no more than about two inches long. Accuracy is limited not only by the shortness of the barrel, but also by a tendency of the muzzle to rise when the gun is fired. Furthermore, because of the complexity of the action and the need to expel the casings of spent cartridges, it is very difficult to design a small-size handgun which can be fired semiautomatically.

[0007] Moreover, as is well known, recoil of any handgun increases as the handgun, or that part of it which recoils, is decreased in weight or the power of the ammunition that is fired is increased. The physical reason is that a given cartridge will develop a characteristic amount of recoil momentum, for a particular length of barrel, regardless of the type of the handgun in which it is fired. This recoil momentum results in an increase in the energy of recoil which is proportional to the square of the recoil momentum and varies inversely with the mass of the recoiling part. In other words, doubling the recoil momentum by increasing the power of the cartridge will quadruple the recoil energy of the handgun. Reducing the recoiling mass, on the other hand, by fifty percent will double the recoil energy. Therefore, since reducing the weight of a handgun and increasing the power of the ammunition substantially increases the handgun's recoil, recoil is a critical problem in stability of light-weight handguns when firing powerful ammunition.

[0008] The present invention overcomes many of the disadvantages inherent in the manufacture, assembly/disassembly, use and maintenance of conventional handguns.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] It is an object of the present invention is to provide a semiautomatic handgun of lightweight, compact and economical construction which facilitates manufacture.

[0010] It is another object of the present invention to provide a semiautomatic handgun which is small enough to be carried in a pocket or otherwise concealed on the body of a person.

[0011] It is another object of the present invention to provide a semiautomatic handgun in which specialty tooling for the manufacture thereof is kept to a minimum.

[0012] It is another object of the present invention to provide a semiautomatic handgun in which the number of moving components is reduced to a minimum and the interaction of these components is reliable and simple.

[0013] It is another object of the present invention to provide a semiautomatic handgun having a double-action trigger and firing assembly which allows for a smoother, simpler and more consistent trigger action providing improved firing accuracy.

[0014] It is another object of the present invention to provide a semiautomatic handgun having constructional features which provide for improved assembly and disassembly of the components thereof.

[0015] It is still another object of the present invention to provide a semiautomatic handgun which can be operated by smooth, consistent trigger action providing improved accuracy.

[0016] The foregoing and other objects of the present invention are carried out by a semiautomatic handgun comprising a frame, a trigger pivotally mounted on the frame for movement between a rest position and a depressed position, a hammer pivotally mounted on the frame in spaced relation to the trigger, a trigger bar pivotally connected to the trigger and extending into operative relation with the hammer for cocking the hammer when the trigger is moved to the depressed position, and a biasing member having a first end connected to the frame and a second end connected to the trigger bar for biasing the trigger bar in a direction into operative relationship with the hammer and in a direction for returning the trigger to the rest position from the depressed position.

[0017] In one embodiment, the semiautomatic handgun is a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun having a length of about 4.7 inches, a height of about 3.6 inches, a thickness of about 0.94 inches, and an unloaded weight in the range of about 12.0 to 12.5 ounces, preferably about 12.3 ounces.

[0018] The semiautomatic handgun further comprises a barrel mounted on the frame and a grip for receiving the hand of a shooter. A line extending perpendicular to a central axis of the barrel intersects the grip at a preselected angle such that the barrel will be aligned axially with the forearm of the shooter when the grip is held in the hand with the top of the shooter's wrist level with the top of the forearm. Preferably, the preselected angle is in the range of about 9 to 11 degrees.

[0019] The frame has a first pin and a second pin adjacent the first pin. The biasing member preferably comprises a torsion spring having at least one first coil encircling the first pin of the frame, a first foot portion extending from the first coil at the first end of the torsion spring and resting on the second pin of the frame, at least one second coil, and a second foot portion extending from the second coil at the second end of the torsion spring and connected to the trigger bar.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0020] The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention, will be better understood when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there is shown in the drawings embodiments which are presently preferred. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangement and instrumentalities shown. In the drawings:

[0021]FIG. 1 is a rear perspective view of a semiautomatic handgun according an embodiment of the present invention;

[0022] FIGS. 2A-2F show the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, where FIG. 2A is a left view in side elevation, FIG. 2B-2E are rear, top, bottom and front views, respectively, and FIG. 2F is a right view in side elevation;

[0023]FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention;

[0024]FIG. 4 is a view in rear elevation of the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention with the right grip cover removed;

[0025]FIG. 5 is a right side longitudinal sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 4;

[0026]FIG. 6 is a right view in side elevation of the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention with the right grip cover removed to show components of the trigger mechanism;

[0027]FIG. 7 is a view in rear elevation of the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention with the slide and the right grip cover removed;

[0028]FIG. 8 is a right side longitudinal sectional view taken along the line 8-8 of FIG. 7;

[0029]FIG. 9 is a right view in side elevation of the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention with the slide and the left grip cover removed to show components of the trigger mechanism and the firing pin assembly;

[0030]FIG. 10 is a view in rear elevation of the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention with the right and left grip covers removed;

[0031]FIG. 11 is a right side longitudinal sectional view taken along the line 11-11 of FIG. 10;

[0032]FIG. 12 is a view in rear elevation of the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention with the right and left grip covers removed and the slide in its most rearward position;

[0033]FIG. 13 is a left side longitudinal sectional view taken along the line 13-13 of FIG. 12 showing the slide in its most rearward position;

[0034]FIG. 14 is a top view of the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention;

[0035]FIG. 15 is a right side longitudinal sectional view taken along the line 14-14 of FIG. 14;

[0036]FIG. 16 is a left side longitudinal sectional view taken along the line 15-15 of FIG. 14;

[0037] FIGS. 17A-17H show the frame of the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, where FIGS. 17A and 17B are front and rear perspective views, respectively, FIGS. 17C-17D are left and right views in side elevation, respectively, and FIGS. 17E-17H are top, front, rear and bottom views, respectively;

[0038] FIGS. 18A-18G show the slide of the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, where FIG. 18A is a front perspective view, FIGS. 18B-18C are left and right views in side elevation, respectively, and FIGS. 18D-18G are top, bottom, front and rear views, respectively;

[0039] FIGS. 19A-18F show the barrel of the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, where FIG. 19A is a rear perspective view, FIG. 19B is a left view in side elevation, and FIGS. 19C-19F are top, bottom, front and rear views, respectively;

[0040] FIGS. 20A-20C show the trigger of the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, where FIG. 20A is a front perspective view, FIG. 20B is right view in side elevation, and FIG. 20C is a front view;

[0041] FIGS. 21A-21C show the hammer of the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, where FIG. 21A is a front perspective view, FIG. 21B is right view in side elevation, and FIG. 21C is a front view;

[0042] FIGS. 22A-22B show the trigger bar used in the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, where FIG. 22A is a perspective view and FIG. 22B is a view in side elevation;

[0043]FIGS. 23A and 23B show the hammer strut used in the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, where FIG. 23A is a perspective view and FIG. 23B is a view in side elevation;

[0044] FIGS. 24A-24C show the firing pin used in the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, where FIG. 24A is a perspective view, FIG. 24B is a view in side elevation, and FIG. 24C is a front view;

[0045] FIGS. 25A-25B show the firing pin retainer used in the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, where FIG. 25A is a view in side elevation and FIG. 25B is a perspective view;

[0046] FIGS. 26A-26B show the ejector used in the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, where FIG. 26A is a view in side elevation and FIG. 26B is a perspective view;

[0047] FIGS. 27A-27B show the extractor used in the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, where FIG. 27A is a view in side elevation and FIG. 27B is a perspective view;

[0048]FIG. 28 is a diagrammatic view showing the extractor and corresponding spring used in the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention;

[0049] FIGS. 29A-29B show the recoil spring guide rod used in the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, where FIG. 29A is a view in side elevation and FIG. 29B is a perspective view;

[0050] FIGS. 30A-30B show the right grip cover used in the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, where FIG. 30A is a front view and FIG. 30B is a rear view;

[0051] FIGS. 31A-31B show the magazine release used in the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, where FIG. 31A is a view in side elevation and FIG. 31B is a perspective view;

[0052]FIGS. 32A and 32B show the plunger used in the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, where FIG. 32A is a view in side elevation and FIG. 32B is a perspective view;

[0053]FIG. 33 is a side view of the torsion spring used in the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention;

[0054]FIG. 34 is a diagrammatic view of the trigger mechanism, the firing pin and components of the hammer assembly of the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention;

[0055] FIGS. 35A-35B show the frame used in the semiautomatic handgun according to another embodiment of the present invention, where FIG. 35A is a left view in side elevation and FIG. 35B is a right view in side elevation; and

[0056]FIG. 36 is a right view in side elevation of the frame of semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention showing critical dimensions and angles.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0057] While this invention is susceptible of embodiments in many different forms, this specification and the accompanying drawings disclose only presently preferred embodiments of the invention. The invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments so described, and the scope of the invention will be pointed out in the appended claims.

[0058] Certain terminology is used in the following description for convenience only and is not intended to be limiting. The words right, left, front, rear, upper, lower, inner, outer, clockwise, counterclockwise, rearwardly and forwardly designate directions in the drawing to which reference is made. Such terminology includes the words above specifically mentioned and words of similar import.

[0059] In the following description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention, the term “about” is used to quantify the preferred dimensions and weights of the semiautomatic handgun and its components. The term “about” is defined to cover the specific dimensions and weights described as well as values within a range of ±10% of the specific dimensions and weights described.

[0060] Referring now to the drawings in detail, wherein like numerals are used to indicate like elements throughout, there is shown in FIGS. 1-34 and 36 an embodiment of a semiautomatic handgun 1 according to the present invention. The semiautomatic handgun 1 generally comprises a frame 10, a hand grip 12 of ergonomic configuration integral with the frame 10, a slide 14 slidably mounted on the frame 10, a barrel 16 mounted to the frame 10, a firing pin assembly indicated generally at 20, a trigger assembly indicated generally at 22, and a hammer assembly indicated generally at 24.

[0061] Referring to FIGS. 17A-17H, the frame 10 is generally hollow and has a forward end indicated generally at 26, a rear end indicated generally at 28, a top indicated generally at 30, a first locating recess indicated generally at 32 disposed above a trigger guard 36 and generally between the forward end 26 and the rear end 28, a second locating recess indicated generally at 34 at the rear end 28, and a third locating recess indicated generally at 35 above the first locating recess 32. The hand grip 12 is located at the rear end 28 of the frame 10. The trigger guard 36 is integral with the frame 10 and the hand grip 12 and guards the trigger 18.

[0062] The barrel 16 is disposed on the top 30 of the frame 10. Referring to FIGS. 19A-19F, the barrel 16 has a bore 38 having an open end, a cartridge chamber 40 coaxial with the bore 38 for sequentially receiving live rounds or cartridges 42 (FIG. 13) to be fired, and a support portion 44 for connecting the barrel 16 to the frame 10. The support portion 44 has an inclined surface 44 a defining a feed ramp for feeding the live cartridges from a magazine assembly, indicated generally at 46 in FIG. 3, to the cartridge chamber 40. The third locating recess 35 of the frame 10 receives and properly positions the barrel support portion 44. The barrel support portion 44 is mounted to the frame 10 by a connecting pin 44 (FIGS. 5 and 8) extending through a cam slot 44 b formed in the barrel support portion 44 and corresponding aligned holes 10 a formed in the frame 10 and retained therein with a friction fit. The cam slot 44 b has a lower cam portion 44 c and an upper cam portion 44 d. Prior to firing the semiautomatic handgun, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 8, the connecting pin 44 rests against the lower cam portion 44 c. As further described below, after the semiautomatic handgun is fired, the cam slot 44 b allows the pressure of gases from the round to push the barrel 16 rearwardly and downwardly until the pin 44 rests against the upper cam portion 44 d.

[0063] Referring to FIG. 5 and 19B, the bore 38 of the barrel 16 has a central axis A, a rifled bore portion 16 a and a free bore portion 16 b. The rifled bore portion 16 a extends from the open end of the bore 38 toward the cartridge chamber 40. The free bore portion 16 b is disposed between the rifled bore portion 16 a and a forward end of the cartridge chamber 40. During a firing sequence, the free bore 16 b allows the cartridge 42 to build momentum with less resistance at the time when the pressure of the gas in the cartridge chamber 40 is highest, allowing the gas to expand toward the forward end 26 of the frame 10, thereby decreasing the pressure applied against the slide 14. By this construction, since the pressure applied against the slide 14 during a firing sequence is reduced, recoil is reduced, and the slide 14 can be made smaller and lighter, thereby allowing reduction in both the size and weight of the semiautomatic handgun. Preferably, the free bore is about 0.250 inch in length.

[0064] FIGS. 18A-18G show the slide 14 used in the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention. The slide 14 comprises an elongate cover having forward and rear portions removably mounted over the top 30 of the frame 10. The slide 14 is slidably mounted on the frame 10 for reciprocal longitudinal movement between first and second positions. The first position of the slide 14 is shown, for example, in FIG. 11 and corresponds to a firing position wherein the semiautomatic handgun is capable of firing. Firing of the semiautomatic handgun drives the slide 14 to the second position (i.e., towards the rear end 28 of the frame 10), as shown in FIG. 13, wherein the empty casing of the cartridge is ejected. The slide 14 is preferably slidably mounted on the frame 10 in tongue-and-groove fashion, where the slide 14 is provided with depending flange portions 14 a having longitudinal recesses 14 b to slidably receive guide lugs 10 b on side edges of the frame 10. The slide 14 is provided with serrations 48 to facilitate manipulation of the slide 14 by a user during operation of the semiautomatic handgun. The slide 14 has a longitudinal axis B which, in the assembled condition of the semiautomatic handgun, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2A-2F, is coincident with the central axis A of the bore 38 of the barrel 16.

[0065] The rear portion of the slide 14 has a block 50 having an elongate passage, generally designated 52, for receiving a firing pin 54 of the firing pin assembly 20. The forward portion of the slide 14 has an abutment 56 which, together with walls 10 c, 10 d of the frame 10 and a peripheral wall portion 16 c of the barrel 16, define a chamber 58 for housing a guide rod 60 and a recoil spring 62 mounted around a shank portion 60 a of the guide rod 60 as shown in FIG. 34. The recoil spring 62 preferably comprises a double wound spring which urges the slide 14 to the first position (i.e., towards the forward end 26 of the frame 10) by applying spring pressure against the abutment 56 of the slide 14 and a head portion 60 b of the guide rod 60. By this construction, the recoil spring 62 is operatively connected to the slide 14 for returning the slide 14 to the first position thereof. When the slide 14 is mounted on the top 30 of the frame 10 in the assembled condition of the handgun, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2A-2F, the elongate passage 52 is coaxial with the cartridge chamber 40 and the bore 38 of the barrel 16 along the central axis A.

[0066] Referring to FIGS. 5 and 18E-18G, the elongate passage 52 has passage sections of decreasing diameter extending from the rear end to the forward end of the slide 14. More specifically, the elongate passage 52 has a first passage section 52 a having a first diameter and a second passage section 52 b having a second diameter smaller than the first diameter. The block 50 has a shoulder 50 a disposed between the first and second passage sections 52 a, 52 b, a front wall defining a breech face 50 b, and a rear wall 50 c. As shown in FIG. 18F, an opening 52 c of the elongate passage 52 extends through the breech face 50 b of the block 50 adjacent to the second passage section 52 b and is coaxial with the firing pin 54, the cartridge chamber 40 and the bore 38 of the barrel 16. The opening 52 c has a diameter sufficient to allow passage therethrough of a forward end 54 a of the firing pin 54 for striking the primer of the live cartridge 42 disposed in the cartridge chamber 40.

[0067] Referring to FIGS. 3, 8, 21A-21C, 31A-31B, 32A-32B and 34, the hammer assembly 24 comprises broadly a hammer 66 and a hammer strut 68. The hammer 66 is pivoted to the frame 10 on a hammer pin 70 passing through an aperture 66 a of the hammer 66 and apertures 10 e of the frame 10 for engagement of its striker portion 66 b with a rear end 54 b of the firing pin 54. The hammer strut 68 is pivoted to the hammer 66 on a pin 72 passing through aperture 66 c of the hammer 66 and an aperture 68 a of the hammer strut 68. The hammer 66 is driven through the hammer strut 68 by a plunger 74 under the biasing force of a mainspring 76. More specifically, a lower end 68 b of the hammer strut 68 engages a generally conical-shaped recess 74 a in the head portion 74 b of the plunger 74. An upper portion 76 a of the mainspring 76 is disposed around a shank portion 74 c of the plunger 74 and abuts a lower end of the head portion 74 b thereof to bias the plunger upwardly as shown in FIG. 34. The mainspring 76, the plunger 74 and a lower portion of the hammer strut 68 are disposed in a tunnel 78 in the backstrap of the hand grip 12. A lower end 76 b of the mainspring 76 presses against a magazine catch 80 pivoted to the frame 10 on a pin 82 passing through an aperture 80 a of the catch 80 and apertures 10 f of the frame 10.

[0068] As shown in FIGS. 8 and 34, the catch 80 is urged counterclockwise by the mainspring 76 into latching engagement with the floorplate 46 a of a cartridge magazine 84 of the magazine assembly 46 slidably retained in a magazine well 85 formed within the hand grip 12 of the frame 10. As shown in FIG. 13, the magazine assembly 46 comprises generally the cartridge magazine 84, the footplate 46 a, a follower 86, and a spring 88. FIGS. 1 and 2A-2F show the assembled semiautomatic handgun without the magazine assembly in the magazine well 85. In FIGS. 4-16, the magazine assembly 46 is inserted in the magazine well, however, the floorplate 46 a, which is shown in FIG. 3, is omitted from FIGS. 4-16 to facilitate illustration only. The magazine assembly 46 is of conventional design to hold a spring-loaded column of cartridges 42 which are fed one by one into the cartridge chamber 40 as the slide 14 is driven rearward either by hand or on recoil when the handgun is fired. It is understood by those skilled in the art that the biasing force of the mainspring 76 against the catch 80 is selected so that a user can easily manually urge the catch 80 clear of the floorplate 46 a of the cartridge magazine 84 against the bias of the mainspring 76 to enable the magazine assembly 46 to be inserted into or withdrawn from the magazine well 85.

[0069] Referring to FIGS. 3, 6, 9, 11, 17D, 20A-20C, 21A-21C, 22A-22B, and 34, the trigger assembly 22 comprises broadly the trigger 18, an elongated hammer-cocking trigger bar 90, and a biasing member 67. The trigger 18 projects outwardly from the frame 10 into a space defined by the trigger guard 32 and is pivotally connected to the frame 10 by means of a connecting pin 94 passing through an aperture 18 a of the trigger 18 and through an aperture log in the first locating recess 32 of the frame 10. The trigger 18 has an upward extension 18 b to which is pivoted at a pin 18 c a forward end 90 a of the trigger bar 90. A rear end 90 b of the trigger bar 90 is provided with a claw 90 c which engages a cocking lug 66 d on the lower end of the hammer 66 below the aperture 66 a. Accordingly, when the trigger bar 90 is drawn forward (i.e., to the right as shown in FIGS. 6, 9 and 11) by pulling the trigger 18 clockwise, the hammer 66 is pivoted counterclockwise against the pressure of the mainspring 76 until the claw 90 c of the trigger bar 90 passes under the cocking lug 66 d releasing the hammer 66 to strike the firing pin 54.

[0070] The rear end 90 b of the trigger bar 90 is urged upward and rearward (i.e., in the direction denoted by arrow a in FIG. 34) by the biasing member 67. Referring to FIGS. 6, 17D, 22A-22B, 33 and 34, the biasing member 67 comprises a torsion spring having a foot portion 67 a at one end extending into a hole 90 d in the rear end 90 b of the trigger bar 90. The torsion spring 67 extends from the rear end 90 b of the trigger bar 90 to, and is pivotally supported on, a pin 96 fixed in the frame 10, by small coils 67 b at the forward end of the torsion spring 67 which encircle the pin 96. An arm 67 c extends from the coils 67 b and rests on a pin 98 fixed in the frame and disposed below the pin 96. A large coil 67 d of the torsion spring 67 has two arms 67 e and 67 f extending away from each other in opposite directions. The arm 67 f extends forward to the small coils 67 b, while the arm 67 e extends rearward and is fixed to the rear end 90 b of the trigger bar 90 by means of the foot portion 67 a. A recess 10 h is formed on one side of the hand grip 12 to accommodate the large coil 67 d of the torsion spring in the assembled state of the semiautomatic handgun. In order to install the torsion spring 67, the arms 67 e, 67 f must be flexed toward each other stressing the large coil 67 d, so that a rearward force is exerted on the trigger bar 90 in the direction denoted by arrow a in FIG. 34 which in turn urges the trigger 18 in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIGS. 6, 9 and 11. The torsion spring 67 therefore acts as a trigger-return spring.

[0071] Referring again to FIGS. 6, 21A-21C and 22A-22B, the trigger bar 90 has an upwardly extending positioning portion 90 e provided on the upper edge thereof forward of the claw 90 c, and forming therewith a U-shaped section 90 f that surrounds the cocking lug 66 d on the hammer 66. As the hammer 66 is cocked during a triggering cycle, the positioning portion 90 e is urged upward by the torsion spring 67 against a guide surface 10 i of the frame 10 so that the claw 90 c moves downward and the cocking lug 66 d on the hammer 66 rides up the front edge of the claw 90 c until it escapes the tip of the claw 90 c releasing the hammer, which is then free to fall under the force exerted on it by the mainspring 76.

[0072] During the triggering cycle, a straight surface 90 g on the upper edge of the claw 90 c of the trigger bar 90 rests on the underside of the cocking lug 66 d on the hammer 66, so that when the trigger is released, the torsion spring 67 drives the trigger bar 90 rearward, with the surface 90 g sliding along the bottom of the cocking lug 66 d until the claw 90 c returns to the position shown in FIGS. 6, 9 and 11. The upward force exerted by the small coils 67 b of the torsion spring 67 causes the claw 90 c to move upward as soon as the tip of the claw 90 c passes rearward of the cocking lug 66 d. The upward movement of the claw 90 c is limited by engagement of the positioning portion 90 e with the guide surface 10 i on the frame 10. It will be noted that the surface 90 g of the trigger bar 90 is only slightly sloped relative to the direction in which the trigger bar 90 moves lengthwise in order to reduce the resistance to the rearward force exerted by the torsion spring 67. Furthermore, the force exerted by the torsion spring 67 rearwardly should be substantially greater than its upward force. This is readily obtained by properly coiling the torsion spring 67 and in selecting the point at which the torsion spring 67 engages the trigger bar 90 such that the desired amount and direction of the force exerted by the foot portion 67 a on the torsion spring 67 is attained.

[0073] The hand grip 12 is disposed at the rear end 28 of the frame 10. Referring to FIGS. 2B, 2E, 17D and 30A-30B, the right and left sides of the hand grip 12 are provided with a right cover 100 and a left cover 102, respectively, which provide a grip to facilitate manipulation by the user. The right cover 100 is mounted on the right side of the hand grip 12 using suitable threaded screws 104, 106 passing through corresponding apertures 10 a, 100 b of the right cover 100 and threaded into corresponding threaded blind bores 10 j, 10 k of the frame 10. The left cover 102 is mounted on the left side of the hand grip 12 using suitable threaded screws 108, 110 passing through corresponding apertures in the left cover 102 and threaded into corresponding threaded blind bores 101, 10 m of the frame 10. A recess 112 is formed in rear side of the right cover 100 to accommodate portions of the torsion spring 67 and the trigger bar 90 so that these components do not contact the right cover 100 in the assembled state of the semiautomatic handgun and during movement of these components during a triggering cycle. The rear side of each of the covers 100, 102 is provided with blind bores 103, 105 (shown only in the right cover 100 in FIG. 30B) for accommodating corresponding opposite ends of the trigger pin 94 and the magazine release pin 82. By this construction, the covers 100, 102 are more positively engaged with the corresponding sides of the hand grip 12 when connected thereto by the threaded screws.

[0074] The firing pin assembly 20 of the semiautomatic handgun 1 according to the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to FIGS. 3, 24A-24C, 25A-25B and 34.

[0075] The firing pin assembly 20 comprises broadly the firing pin 54 movable within the elongate passage 52 in the block 50 of the slide 14 during a firing sequence between a rearward, cocked condition remote from the cartridge chamber 40, and a forward, fire condition proximate the cartridge chamber 46, a resilient biasing member 112 for biasing the firing pin 54 to its fire condition, and a retainer 114 for controlling movement of the firing pin 54 within the elongate passage 52 in the block 50 of the slide 14.

[0076] Referring to FIGS. 24A-24C, the firing pin 54 has a first cylindrical body portion 54 c having the forward end portion 54 a for movement within the second passage section 52 b of the elongate passage 52 in the block 50 of the slide 14, a second cylindrical body portion 54 d for movement within the first passage section 52 a of the elongate passage 52, and a third cylindrical body portion 54 e having the rear end portion 54 b, a tapered portion 54 f separating the first and second cylindrical body portions 54 c, 54 d, and a collar portion 54 g disposed between the second and third cylindrical body portions 54 d, 54 e for guiding movement of the firing pin 54 within the elongate passage 52 in the block 50 of the slide 14 during a firing sequence. The third cylindrical body portion 54 e has a greater diameter than the second cylindrical body portion 54 d which has a greater diameter than the first cylindrical body portion 54 c. The taper of the tapered portion 54 f increases from the first cylindrical body portion 54 c to the second cylindrical body portion 54 d. The collar portion 54 g has a greater diameter than each of the first, second and third cylindrical body portions 54 c, 54 d, 54 e, respectively. Preferably, the entire firing pin 54 is formed as a unitary, one-piece structure from a single piece of material by a suitable manufacturing process. However, it is understood by those skilled in the art that the collar portion 54 g may be formed separately from the remaining portions of the firing pin 54 and connected between the second and third cylindrical body portions 54 d, 54 e with a friction fit or by suitable connecting means, such as hardware and/or welding.

[0077] The retainer 114 is mounted over the third cylindrical body portion 54 e of the firing pin 54 by fitting the rear end portion 54 b into an aperture 114 a of the retainer with a friction fit. When the firing pin 54 is assembled in the semiautomatic handgun 1, the retainer 114 abuts against the rear wall 52 c of the block 50 in the slide 14 as shown in FIG. 16. By this construction, movement of the firing pin 54 in the direction toward the forward end of the frame 10 is limited by the rear wall 52 c of the block 50 so that movement of the forward end portion 54 a of the firing pin 54 is controlled to provide accurate discharge of a cartridge 42 in the cartridge chamber 40.

[0078] Preferably, the biasing member 112 comprises a long action firing spring disposed around the first and second cylindrical body portions 54 c, 54 d and the tapered portion 54 f of the firing pin 54. The firing spring 112 is arranged to be placed under compression to propel the firing pin 54 towards the firing condition with a relatively strong, predetermined force. The firing spring 112 is anchored, at opposite ends thereof, between an inner surface of the collar portion 54 g of the firing pin 54 and the shoulder 50 a of the block 50 in the slide 14. In the assembled state of the semiautomatic handgun 1, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 16, the firing pin assembly 20 (the firing spring 112 being omitted for illustration purposes only) is movably mounted to the slide 14 with the elongate passage 52 coaxial with the cartridge chamber 40 and the bore 38 of the barrel 16 along the central axis A.

[0079] FIGS. 27A-27B and 28 show an extractor 120 for extracting an empty cartridge from the cartridge chamber 40 and FIGS. 26A-26B show an ejector 122 for ejecting the empty cartridge extracted by the extractor 120 out of an ejection port 14 c in the slide 14 during movement of the slide 14 toward its second position upon firing a round. The extractor 120 is mounted in a horizontal slot 14 d of the slide 14 for pivotal movement by a connecting pin 124 which extends through an aperture 120 a of the extractor 120 and a corresponding vertical aperture 14 e of the slide 14. A biasing member 126 is anchored, at opposite ends thereof, between a surface 120 b of the extractor 120 and a blind bore 14 f formed in a rear wall of the horizontal slot 14 d of the extractor 120. The biasing member 126 functions as a spring catch for retaining the extractor 120 in contact with the spent cartridge to effect extraction of the empty cartridge from the semiautomatic handgun when the slide 14 is driven to the second position thereof. The ejector 122 has a connecting portion 122 a extending from an ejecting portion 122 c and disposed in a recess 101 formed in the top 30 of the frame 10 adjacent one of the guide rails 10 b. The ejector 122 is integrally connected to the frame 10 by a pin 128 extending through a horizontal aperture 122 b formed in the connecting portion 122 a of the ejector and through corresponding horizontal apertures 10 n in the frame 10. During movement of the slide 14 toward its second position upon firing a round, the extractor 120 pulls the empty cartridge from the cartridge chamber 40. When the slide 14 reaches its second position, a cam surface 122 d of the ejecting portion 122 c of the ejector 122 hits a lower rim portion of the empty cartridge, expelling the empty cartridge through the ejection port 14 c in the slide 14.

[0080] Operation of the semiautomatic handgun 1 according to the present invention will be explained below with reference to the drawings.

[0081] In use, the shooter inserts a loaded magazine into the magazine well 85. If a cartridge 42 is not already positioned in the cartridge chamber 40, the slide 14 is first manually moved rearward toward the rear end 28 of the frame 10 against the bias of the recoil spring 62 and then released. By this operation, the slide 14 is allowed to be moved forward towards the front end 26 of the frame 10 under the bias of the recoil spring 62 causing a cartridge to be pushed from the magazine assembly 46 into the cartridge chamber 40. The semiautomatic handgun is now ready to be fired.

[0082] When the trigger 18 is pulled to the rear, the trigger bar 90 moves forward and its rear end 90 b engages the cocking lug 66 d of the hammer 66, thereby locking the hammer 66 to the rear. The rear end 90 b of the trigger bar 90 rides the cocking lug 66 d of the hammer 66 to its breaking point. At this time, the hammer strut 68 moves down into the tunnel 78 in the backstrap of the hand grip 12 compressing the mainspring 76. Under the spring power of the mainspring 76, the hammer 66 travels forward striking the firing pin 54 which in turn strikes the primer of the chambered round to ignite the gunpowder in the round. Gases generated upon ignition of the gunpowder push the bullet of the round into the free bore section 16 b of the barrel 16 which allows the gases to flow forward, thereby reducing pressure which in turn reduces recoil. The bullet then moves forward into the rifled section 16 a of the barrel 16 and then exits the semiautomatic handgun. The pressure of the gases push the empty casing of the round against the breech face 50 b of the block 50 in the slide 14 pushing the slide 14 rearwardly and pushing the barrel 16 rearwardly and downwardly by means of the cam slot 44 b of the barrel 16.

[0083] As the slide 14 moves to the rear, the extractor 120 hooks on the rim of the empty casing and pulls it out of the cartridge chamber 40. As the slide 14 reaches near the end of its rearward travel, a bottom left side of the empty casing is hit by the ejector 122 and, while still being pulled by the extractor 120, the empty casing is ejected out of the ejection port 14 c of the slide 14. When it reaches the end of its rearward travel, the slide 14 moves forward under the power of the recoil spring 62, again stripping a new round from the magazine and positioning it in the cartridge chambers 40. The cycle is now complete and the semiautomatic handgun is now ready to be fired again.

[0084] From the foregoing construction and operation of the semiautomatic handgun 1 according to the present invention, it will be appreciated that the firing assembly 20, the trigger assembly 22, and the hammer assembly 24 constitute a double-action mechanism of the semiautomatic handgun. Stated otherwise, depression of the trigger 18 from the state of the handgun shown in FIG. 6 both cocks and releases the firing pin 54 to fire a round. This features allow for a smoother, simpler and more consistent trigger action providing improved firing accuracy over conventional handguns. Furthermore, by the double-action mechanism of the semiautomatic handgun of the present invention, the number of moving components is reduced to a minimum, thereby providing a semiautomatic handgun which is lightweight, compact and economical to manufacture, and in which the interaction of components is reliable and simple. Another advantage of the double-action mechanism of the semiautomatic handgun 1 according to the present invention is that it facilitates maintenance and provides for improved assembly and disassembly of the components thereof.

[0085] The frame 10 and the grip covers 100, 102 are preferably formed of aluminum, such as 7075-T6 aluminum. The recoil spring guide rod 60 is preferably formed of a suitable polymer, such as DELRIN®. The slide 14, the barrel 16, the trigger 18, the hammer 66, the firing pin 54, the firing pin retainer 114, the extractor 120, the ejector 122, the hammer strut 68, the plunger 74, the magazine catch 80, the trigger bar 90, and the pins are preferably formed of stainless steel, such as 17-4 stainless steel. The torsion spring 67, the firing pin spring 112, the mainspring 76 and the recoil spring 62 are preferably formed of spring steel. However, it is understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that other materials exhibiting a high ratio of strength to weight are suitable for the components of the semiautomatic handgun. For example, the grip covers can also be made of carbon fibers. Additionally, all of the components, except for the guide rod and the springs, can be manufactured of titanium.

[0086] Referring again to FIGS. 2A and 2D-2F, the overall length d1 of the semiautomatic handgun 1 according to the present invention is preferably in the range of about 4.5 to 5.5 inches, and more preferably about 4.5 to 5.0 inches. The overall height d2 of the semiautomatic handgun 1 is preferably in the range of about 2.9 to 4.4 inches, and more preferably about 3.2 to 4.0 inches. The overall width or thickness d3 of the semiautomatic handgun 1, including the grip covers, is preferably in the range of about 0.85 to 0.98 inches, and more preferably about 0.90 to 0.95 inches. The overall width d4 of the slide 14 is preferably in the range of about 0.75 to 0.85 inches, and more preferably about 0.8 to 0.83 inches. The distance d5 between the top of the slide 14 and a lower front portion of the frame 10 is preferably in the range of about 0.95 to 1.25 inches, and more preferably about 1.0 to 1.15 inches. The length d6 of the bottom portion of the hand grip 12 is preferably in the range of about 1.6 to 2.0 inches, and more preferably about 1.75 to 1.9 inches. The distance d7 between two lines 1 1, 1 2 extending perpendicularly to a line 1 3 connecting points 14 g and 80 b of the slide 14 and the magazine catch 80, respectively, is preferably in the range of about 5.0 to 6.75 inches, and more preferably about 5.5 to 6.5 inches. Preferably, the unloaded weight (i.e., the weight without the magazine 46 and without a round in the chamber) of the semiautomatic handgun 1 is in the range of about 11.5 to 12.75 ounces, and more preferably about 12.0 to 12.5 ounces.

[0087] It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the overall height d2 of the semiautomatic handgun 1 and the length d6 of the bottom portion of the hand grip 12 shown in FIG. 2F will depend on the type of magazine 46 selected which will determine the height d8 and the length d9 of the magazine well 85 as shown in FIG. 15. The type of magazine 46 selected depends on the number of rounds desired to be held in the magazine.

[0088] As described in detail below, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that several structural features of the frame 10 and the right grip cover 100 facilitate the manufacture of the semiautomatic handgun 1 according to the present invention within the foregoing described preferred ranges of dimensions and weights to provide a semiautomatic handgun with exterior dimensions and an unloaded weight not previously achieved by the prior art.

[0089] Referring to FIGS. 17D and 36, an abutment 150 of the frame 10 has a first surface constituting the guide surface 10 i and a second surface 10 p extending from the guide surface 10 i. The guide surface 10 i is inclined at an angle a2 relative to the top 30 of the frame 10. The angle a2 is selected so that the guide surface 10 i allows the positioning portion 90 e of the trigger bar 90 to ride along the inclination of the guide surface 10 i until the cocking lug 66 d of the hammer 66 escapes the tip of the claw 90 c of the trigger bar, thereby releasing the hammer. The guide surface 10 i effectively limits the upward movement of the claw 90 c so that upon release of the hammer 66, the U-shaped section 90 f of the trigger bar again surrounds the cocking lug 66 d and the semiautomatic handgun is again ready to be fired again. A turning point 10 q between the guide surface 10 i and the second surface 10 p is disposed at a distance d10 from a center of the aperture 10 g in the first locating recess 32 of the frame 10. The distance d10 is selected so that the length of the guide surface 10 i on which the positioning portion 90 e of the trigger bar 90 rides is sufficient to allow the trigger bar 90 to undergo the range of movement necessary until the cocking lug 66 d of the hammer 66 escapes the tip of the claw 90 c which releases the hammer. The second surface lop of the abutment 150 is inclined at an angle a3 relative to the top 30 of the frame 10 so that the second locating recess 34 provides sufficient space to accommodate movement of the cocking lug 66 d and the claw 90 c during the triggering cycle. Preferably, the angle a2 is in the range of about 166 to 168 degrees, and the angle a3 is in the range of about 134 to 136 degrees. The distance d10 is preferably in the range of about 1.4 to 1.6 inches. By this construction, the abutment 150 allows the trigger bar 90 and the hammer 66 to be reset again for another triggering cycle without interfering with movements of the trigger bar and the hammer during the triggering cycle. Accordingly, there is no need to provide additional components in the semiautomatic handgun to assist resetting of the hammer, thereby reducing the number of parts and overall weight of the semiautomatic handgun.

[0090] Another structural feature of the frame 10 which contributes to the reduction in size and weight of the semiautomatic handgun 1 is a space formed by the recess 10 h of the frame 10 and the recess 112 of the right cover 100 in the assembled state of the semiautomatic handgun 1. The recess 10 h and the recess 112 accommodate portions of the torsion spring 67 and the trigger bar 90 so that these components do not contact the right cover 100 in the assembled state of the semiautomatic handgun and during a triggering cycle. The recess 10 h of the frame 10 specifically accommodates the large coil 67 d of the torsion spring 67 in the assembled state of the semiautomatic handgun. The lower surface of the recess 10 h is disposed at a distance d11 from the top 30 of the frame. The distance d11 is selected so that the large coil 67 d of the torsion spring 67 has sufficient space to move freely without interference by other portions of the frame 10. Thus the recess 10 h and the recess 112 reduce the overall width d3 (FIG. 2D) of the semiautomatic handgun by providing a space within which the large coil 67 d of the torsion spring can move during a triggering cycle. Preferably, the distance d11 is in a range of about 1.8 to 1.9 inches.

[0091] The hand grip 12 of the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention is ergonomically designed to fit the hand of the shooter for positive control and to lessen felt recoil and muzzle flip when a round is fired. The hand grip 12 is contoured so that the semiautomatic handgun rides low in the hand of the shooter and aligns the barrel with the forearm of the shooter for a natural point which facilitates hitting a target. Furthermore, with the foregoing preferred dimensions of the semiautomatic handgun, the fingers of the shooter can wrap securely about the grip with the forefinger in the trigger and the barrel in close alignment with the axis of the shooter's arm.

[0092] With reference to FIGS. 15 and 36, in order to achieve the foregoing advantages of the ergonomic design of the semiautomatic handgun 1, two critical angles al and a4 are defined. Angle al is an angle formed by the intersection of a line 1 4 extending along a surface 10r of the frame 10 and a line 1 5 extending generally perpendicular to the axis A of the barrel 16. Angle a4 is an angle formed by the intersection of a line 1 6 extending along a surface 10 s of the frame 10 and a line 1 7 extending along the top 30 of the frame 10. The angles al and a4 are selected so that the barrel will be aligned only slightly above the axis of the forearm of the shooter when the hand grip 12 is held in the hand with the top of a shooter's wrist level aligned with the top of the forearm. This alignment substantially eliminates muzzle rise when the semiautomatic handgun is fired. Preferably, the angle al is in the range of about 9 to 11 degrees and the angle a4 is in the range of about 5 to 6 degrees.

[0093] By the foregoing description, it will be appreciated that the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention can be designed to fire cartridges of various calibers, including 9 mm, .380, .357, .40 and .45 calibers.

[0094] A preferred embodiment according to the present invention is a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun constructed as described above with reference to FIGS. 1-36. The frame 10 and the grip covers 100, 102 are made of aluminum, preferably 7075-T6 aluminum. The recoil spring guide rod 60 is made of a durable polymer, preferably DELRIN®. The slide 14, barrel 16, trigger 18, hammer 66, firing pin 54, firing pin retainer 114, extractor 120, ejector 122, hammer strut 68, plunger 74, magazine catch 80, trigger bar 90, firing pin spring 112, and all of the pins are made of stainless steel, preferably 17-4 stainless steel. The torsion spring 67, the firing pin spring 112, the mainspring 76 and the recoil spring 62 are preferably formed of spring steel.

[0095] The preferred dimensions d1-d7 shown in FIGS. 2A and 2D-2F for the 9 mm semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention are as follows: d1 is about 4.7 inches; d2 is about 3.6 inches; d3 is about 0.94 inches; d4 is about 0.8 inches; d5 is about 1.25 inches; d6 is about 1.75 inches; and d7 is about 6.25 inches. The angle a1 shown in FIG. 15 is preferably in the range of about 9 to 11 degrees. The angles a2-a4 shown in FIG. 36 are preferably in the range of about 5 to 6 degrees, in the range of about 166 to 168 degrees, and in the range of about 134 to 136 degrees, respectively. The unloaded weight (i.e., the weight without the magazine and without a round in the chamber) of the 9 mm semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention is preferably within the range of about 12.0 to 12.5 ounces, and more preferably 12.3 oz. This preferred unloaded weight includes the weight of the slide 14, which is preferably within the range of about 4.5 to 6.0 ounces. As further described below, the low weight of the slide 14 reduces felt recoil during a firing sequence.

[0096] In the 9 mm semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention, the dimension d8 shown in FIG. 15 is preferably selected to accommodate a magazine 46 which can hold six rounds, which together with an additional round in the chamber 40, constitutes seven rounds. The result is a very compact and lightweight 9 mm semiautomatic handgun having high firing power as compared to conventional 9 mm semiautomatic handguns. It will be appreciated, however, that other types of magazines having a capacity to hold a number of rounds less than six can be used in the 9 mm semiautomatic handgun of the present invention by appropriately adjusting the dimension d8. For example, the dimension of the hand grip 12 in the direction of the dimension d8 could be shortened to accommodate a five-round or a four-round magazine. This modification would provide a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun which is even more compact and lightweight as compared to conventional 9 mm semiautomatic handguns.

[0097] Thus, by the foregoing construction, it will be appreciated that the present invention provides a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun that is lightweight and compact due to exterior dimensions and an unloaded weight not previously achieved by the prior art.

[0098] From the foregoing description, it will be appreciated that the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention has low felt recoil as compared to conventional semiautomatic handguns. Since recoil is the reactive force equal and opposite to the force required to accelerate a bullet from the muzzle of the barrel with sufficient initial velocity to strike a target at a given distance with a forceful impact, its dissipation must be controlled. During its cycle of compression and expansion of the recoil spring 62, some of the energy of recoil will have been dissipated by the work done in compressing the recoil spring. Additional energy of recoil will be dissipated during extraction and ejection of the empty casing from the chamber 40. Several structural features of the semiautomatic handgun 1 of the invention further contribute to the dissipation of recoil-when the semiautomatic handgun is fired.

[0099] One feature of the present invention contributing to the dissipation of the energy of recoil is the selection of the angle al shown in FIG. 15 within the preferred range of about 9-11 degrees. When a shooter grabs the grip 12 of the semiautomatic handgun 1, the preferred angle al allow the fingers of the shooter to push the grip into the center of the palm of the hand. As a result, when the semiautomatic handgun recoils during a triggering cycle, the grip 12 is pushed against the center of the palm of the shooter's hand rather than the top of the hand. This substantially reduces muzzle rise when the handgun is fired.

[0100] Another feature contributing to the dissipation of the energy of recoil is the provision of the free bore 16 b in the barrel 16 with a length of about 0.250 inches. By this construction, recoil is released through the free bore 16 b during a firing sequence. More specifically, upon ignition, the bullet of the round moves in the chamber 40 with gases flowing forward. As the gases flow through the free bore 16 b, pressure is reduced. When the bullet exits the front of the semiautomatic handgun, the pressure is low enough so that the barrel 16 drops down by means of the cam slot 44 b and the slide 14 can move rearwardly.

[0101] Other features contributing to the dissipation of the energy of recoil are the use of the “double” recoil spring 62 and the use of the spring power of the mainspring 76 to accelerate the hammer 66 forward in order to strike the firing pin 54 which in turn strikes the primer of the chambered round. Yet another feature contributing to the dissipation of the energy of recoil is the low weight of the slide 14, which is preferably within the range of about 4.5 to 6.0 ounces, and more preferably 4.8 ounces, for the 9 mm semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention.

[0102] As described above for the embodiment of FIGS. 1-34 and 36, an object of the present invention is to provide a semiautomatic handgun which is of light weight and compact construction. In order to further achieve these objects, according to another embodiment of the present invention shown in FIGS. 35A-35B, the frame 10 is provided with holes 150 for reducing the weight of the frame 10 and, therefore, the overall weight of the assembled semiautomatic handgun. In this embodiment, five circular holes 150 are formed on each side of the portion of the frame 10 corresponding to the hand grip 12. However, it will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that the number, location and configuration of the holes 150 on the frame 10 may be varied so long as the structural strength of the frame 10 is not compromised.

[0103] It will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that the unique construction and the combination of materials, dimensions and weights from which the semiautomatic handgun of the present invention is comprised results in a highly versatile semiautomatic handgun which is light weight, compact and economical to manufacture, in which specialty tooling for the manufacture thereof is kept to a minimum, in which the number of moving components is reduced to a minimum and the interaction of these components is reliable and simple, and which has constructional features providing for improved assembly and disassembly of the components thereof.

[0104] Moreover, the inventive semiautomatic handgun is highly durable and resistant to structural or performance degradation. The inventive semiautomatic handgun is also quite compact and is easily concealed or carried as a back-up weapon. Notwithstanding its small size, the gun can be held very securely, with a full two-finger grip and the thumb wrapped securely about the upper portion of the grip and the back of the grip resting against the meaty part of the hand between the thumb and the forefinger. The axis of the barrel is parallel to the axis of the forearm and only slightly above it, so that recoil forces are applied directly up the arm, with substantially no muzzle rise when the handgun is fired.

[0105] Moreover, the semiautomatic handgun according to the present invention provides a very compact handgun which has semiautomatic action, excellent accuracy and enormous stopping power. Because of its compact size and high stopping power, this handgun is particularly suitable for use as a back-up weapon by law enforcement officers and the like, and is particularly well adapted for use in self-defense situations and by trained professionals for instructional purposes. The semiautomatic handgun is also inherently safe.

[0106] It will also be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that the semiautomatic handgun of the present invention can be operated by smooth, consistent trigger action providing improved accuracy.

[0107] From the foregoing description, it can be seen that the present invention comprises an improved semiautomatic handgun. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that obvious changes can be made to the embodiments described in the foregoing description without departing from the broad inventive concept thereof. It is understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiments disclosed, but is intended to cover all obvious modifications thereof which are within the scope and the spirit of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7739821May 7, 2008Jun 22, 2010Wayne Eugene HammeFolding pistol
US7937871 *May 15, 2008May 10, 2011Dimitrios MantasFloorplate for handgun magazines for the breakage of glass panes
US8011355 *Jun 7, 2010Sep 6, 2011Marushinkogyo KabushikikaishaCartridge-based air gun
US8661723 *Oct 26, 2011Mar 4, 2014German Sport Guns GmbhHandgun with other defense and utility elements
US20110252686 *Apr 15, 2010Oct 20, 2011Coleman William JHigh Reliability Extractor Depressor for Use in Handguns
US20120279105 *Oct 26, 2011Nov 8, 2012Dietmar EmdeHandgun
WO2014186378A1 *May 13, 2014Nov 20, 2014Bellione Norman AnthonySemi-automatic pistol
Classifications
U.S. Classification42/69.03
International ClassificationF41A19/44, F41A19/14, F41A5/04
Cooperative ClassificationF41A19/14, F41A19/44, F41A5/04
European ClassificationF41A19/44, F41A19/14, F41A5/04