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Publication numberUS20070094911 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/554,717
Publication dateMay 3, 2007
Filing dateOct 31, 2006
Priority dateNov 1, 2005
Also published asWO2007053694A2, WO2007053694A3
Publication number11554717, 554717, US 2007/0094911 A1, US 2007/094911 A1, US 20070094911 A1, US 20070094911A1, US 2007094911 A1, US 2007094911A1, US-A1-20070094911, US-A1-2007094911, US2007/0094911A1, US2007/094911A1, US20070094911 A1, US20070094911A1, US2007094911 A1, US2007094911A1
InventorsRhett Rush, Randal Ellington
Original AssigneeRush Rhett P, Ellington Randal C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shooting stick and sling combination
US 20070094911 A1
Abstract
A selectively collapsible shooting support is mounted on a sling for supporting a weapon to which the sling is attached. A cover is selectively moveable with respect to the sling for concealing and housing the collapsed shooting support in stored condition on the sling, and for releasing the support for deployment. The shooting support preferably comprises two segmented or collapsible sticks connected to the sling and extendable to support a firearm during firing. Movement of the firearm to follow a target is possible without loss of support or repositioning of the sticks on a support surface or a body portion of a shooter.
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Claims(29)
1. Apparatus for supporting a hand manipulated element, said apparatus: comprising:
a sling having element engagement members and for operatively coupling the sling to the element;
an element support operatively coupled to the sling in a position spaced from said engagement members, and
a cover for covering said element support in a stored position and operable to uncover said element support for deployment.
2. Apparatus of claim 1 including a base coupled to said sling spaced from said engagement members, said element support being connected to said support base.
3. Apparatus of claim 1 wherein said element support comprises at least one collapsible leg and said apparatus further includes a cover moveable along said sling to one position to cover said collapsible leg when collapsed and to a second position away from said leg to permit erection thereof.
4. Apparatus of claim 1 wherein the element comprises a single monopod collapsible leg.
5. Apparatus of claim 1 wherein the element comprises a pair of collapsible legs.
6. Apparatus of claim 1 wherein said element comprises at least one leg of multiple telescoping section secured together by an elastic cord.
7. Apparatus for supporting a firearm, said apparatus comprising:
a sling;
at least one leg operably attached to said sling;
a cover on said sling moveable between one position securing said leg along said sling and a second position spaced from said leg for movement of said leg away from said sling into a support position.
8. Apparatus as in claim 7 wherein said leg is comprised of a plurality of elastically-coupled sections, said sections being collapsible for disposition alongside one another for storage and being connectable end-to-end to define a deployable support leg.
9. Apparatus as in claim 8 further including a base member mounted on said sling, said leg having one end portion moveably connected to said base member for angular movement of said leg with respect to said base.
10. Apparatus as in claim 9 wherein said base member includes a socket for moveably receiving an end of said leg.
11. Apparatus as in claim 9 including an elongated slot extending from said socket.
12. Apparatus as in claim 11 wherein said leg includes an elongated elastic member extending through said leg sections, said elastic member disposed in said slot when said leg sections are disposed alongside one another.
13. Apparatus as in claim 12 including two collapsible legs, each having a plurality of said sections.
14. Apparatus as in claim 9 wherein said sling has at lest two ends for respectively coupling to a firearm, said base connected to said sling at a position spaced from each of said two ends.
15. Shooting stick apparatus for supporting a firearm and comprising:
an elongated sling for attachment to a firearm;
a pair of collapsible shooting sticks moveably attached to said base; and
a cover moveable on said sling between a first position for holding said sticks alongside said sling and a second position to release said sticks for deploying in a direction extending away from said sling.
16. Apparatus as in claim 15 wherein said support base defines a pair of stick sockets, and one end of each stick receivable in a socket for angular movement of said stick with respect to said support base.
17. Apparatus as in claim 16 wherein each stick includes a plurality of sections elastically coupled together with an elastic member extending through said sticks, the sections having an end operably connected to another section, and said elastic member being coupled to said support base.
18. Apparatus as in claim 15 wherein said sling has two ends for attachment to said firearm, said base disposed on said sling in a position spaced from said ends.
19. Apparatus as in claim 15 wherein said cover is a sleeve surrounding a portion of said sling.
20. Apparatus as in claim 19 wherein said cover is elastic.
21. Apparatus as in claim 15 wherein said cover comprises a tube having a seam with seam edges releasably secured together by cooperating magnets in edges of said tube along said seam.
22. Apparatus as in claim 15 wherein said support base is of hemispherical shape, and has two concave sockets for movably receiving, respectively, ends of said sticks.
23. Apparatus as in claim 15 wherein each stick has an upper end proximate attachment to said base, said upper ends comprising support members engaging said sling beyond said base when said sticks are deployed.
24. Apparatus as in claim 23 wherein said support members form a concave trough in said sling when said sticks are deployed for receiving a portion of a firearm therein.
25. A shooting stick apparatus for use with a weapon, and including a sling attachable to said weapon, a collapsible shooting stick mounted to said sling and being extensible from said sling for providing a shooting support for a weapon when said sling is attached thereto, and a cover moveable along said sling to one position to hold said stick along said sling and to another position wherein said stick is extended away from said sling.
26. Shooting support apparatus for a firearm comprising, in combination:
a sling having two ends for attachment to a firearm;
a shooting support attachment to said sling at a position spaced from each of said ends;
a cover having at least a portion thereof movable with respect to said sling between one position holding said shooting support along said sling and another position spaced away from said shooting support.
27. Apparatus as in claim 26 wherein said shooting support is collapsible for disposition alongside said sling and is erectable for deployment in a position at an angle to said sling.
28. A support for an implement, the support comprising:
a support base having a leg socket therein;
at least one leg having an upper end;
an elastic member extending through said leg and said socket and operably connected to bias the upper end of said leg into said socket;
said leg socket receiving said upper end of said leg and accommodating movement of said leg with respect to said socket;
said support base adopted for coupling to said implement.
29. A support used in claim 28 wherein said elastic member is secured to said support base.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED AAPLICATIONS

Benefit is claimed of the filing date of Nov. 1, 2005 of applicant's co-pending expressly incorporated herein in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to shooting supports and more particularly, but not exclusively, to shooting sticks for use to steady a firearm for accurate shooting.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Shooting supports, known as shooting sticks, are well known in the art. Present shooting sticks are used with a weapon to support and hold steady the firearm, such as an elongated rifle, or other form of firearm, during firing. Known shooting sticks come in a variety of different configurations. For example, a shooting support can be in the form of a monopod, bipod or tripod configuration for example. These are either directly attached to a rifle by a variety of devices, or comprise separate support devices on which the rifle is rested. By placing the rifle on top of the shooting stick, the rifle fore end can be held relatively still. This allows the weapon to be steadied more than can be achieved with the user's own arm and hand without support. Body movements or other forces, such as pressing the trigger, are less likely to move the weapon during firing, improving its accuracy for each shot and from shot-to-shot.

Shooting sticks are made out of a variety of materials and come in a variety of designs. For example, in one common format, two sticks or rods are simply tied together to form a cross pattern. The end of the rifle is laid on and supported above intersection of the sticks. Shooting sticks may be collapsible for ease in transportation. These collapsible shooting sticks can be carried in a backpack or in a pocket of the user. Other designs allow the shooting sticks to be attached to a belt or to the user in other ways for easy access.

One drawback of using these collapsible shooting sticks is that the shooting sticks are easily lost. For example, when they are kept in a backpack or on the user's body they can fall out of the backpack or off of the user while traveling through a hunting area or the like. In addition, they can be misplaced during transport or simply laid down and forgotten. Furthermore, some shooting sticks take a substantial amount of time to assemble. By the time the shooting stick is assembled and deployed with the rifle, the hunted game, moving targets, or other opportunity may have passed.

In other formats, various shooting sticks, such as bipods, can be attached at the fore end or barrel of the rifle. These are typically pivoted to a storage position extending forwardly or to a deployed position extending downwardly for use in shooting. Such devices are provided primarily in bipod configurations, and tend to be relatively heavy and somewhat unwieldy, making the weapon harder to carry and to handle.

Accordingly, it is one objective of the invention to provide an improved shooting support for a firearm which is more easily carried and deployed than known weapon-mounted or separately carried shooting sticks.

Another objective of the invention is to provide an improved shooting support for a firearm which accommodates firearm movement without loss of support.

A further objective of the invention has been to minimize loss of shooting supports for firearms, yet which supports are lightweight and easily and quickly deployed for use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

To these ends and in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, a shooting support of monopod, bipod, or other configuration, including collapsible legs, is mounted directly to a sling used for carrying the weapon. The legs are quickly and easily erected to deployed configurations, and the weapon can be rested on the sling proximate the mounting structure for the legs for support. The sling includes a cover, sleeve, or pouch for housing the collapsed legs in stored or non-deployed condition on the sling. The sling is operatively coupled to the weapon for enabling conventional transport of the weapon by a user and the shooting support is operatively coupled to the sling, in stored condition but is quickly deployed for use.

The shooting support is preferably constructed with a base secured to the sling and having one or more concave sockets receiving the respective movable ends of one or more collapsible legs or sticks so that, when deployed, the rifle can be moved to follow a target without loss of support from the stick or sticks.

Alternate forms of legs or sticks can be used, together with alternate forms of engagement with the slings for particular uses.

In use, the cover is opened or removed, the legs or sticks are erected, the rifle is supported on the sling and the stick or sticks indirectly, and the rifle sighted and fired. For storage, the legs or sticks are collapsible, oriented along the sling and the cover closed or slid over the sticks for storage and carrying of the rifle by the sling. The rifle can be carried with support stored or deployed.

In another embodiment, upper ends of two shooting sticks are attached to the sling via a base with upper ends of the sticks defining projecting ears or support members. When deployed, these ears engage the sling and form a trough therein for receiving a weapon portion, such as the forearm of a rifle.

In another aspect of the invention a support base and leg combination includes a surface, a recess in the surface, a support leg having an end and an elastic member extending through the end, the elastic member extending from the leg end into the recess and beyond the surface, said elastic member resiliently biasing said leg end into said recess.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other objectives and embodiments will become readily apparent from the following detailed written description and from the drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, and of which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shooting stick and sling combination in deployed position supporting a weapon according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of portions of the shooting stick and sling combination of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2A is an exploded view of an alternate embodiment having an attachment plate to fix a support base to the sling;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the assembled shooting stick and sling combination of FIG. 2 illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view along line 4-4 of FIG. 3 illustrating a cross section of the support base illustrated in FIG. 3;

FIG. 4A is a perspective view of the support base of FIG. 4;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of an alternate embodiment of a support base having an attachment plate as in FIG. 2A for use with the shooting stick of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5A is a perspective view of the support base of FIG. 5;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the sling containing the shooting stick;

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view of the sling of FIG. 6 illustrating the shooting stick contained therein;

FIG. 8A is a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a leg for use with the shooting stick and sling combination of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8B is a cross sectional view of an alternative embodiment of one of the legs of the shooting stick and sling combination of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the endpiece used to capture the elastic member of the leg illustrated in FIG. 8A;

FIG. 10A is a cross sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the shooting stick and sling combination folded up during the carrying mode;

FIG. 10B is a cross sectional view of the deployed alternative shooting stick and sling combination embodiment of FIG. 10A;

FIG. 11 is an end view of the alternate embodiment of the shooting stick and sling combination of FIG. 10A; and

FIG. 12 is a cross sectional view of an alternative embodiment of a sling cover.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In all of the illustrations of the application, identical numeral reference characters are used to denote identical parts. In addition, for some of the embodiments the same numeric reference character with a prime (′) symbol added identifies parts that are very similar in structure and function, but not identical to parts of other embodiments.

As used herein, and unless otherwise defined, the terms “shooting stick” refers to a shooting support or support apparatus as described herein of monopod, bipod, tripod or other leg configurations.

While the invention finds particular use with elongated firearms such as rifles, it could be used with other forms of weapons or firearms, or other forms of user-manipulated elements or devices where steadiness is desired. These could range from optics, cameras, tools and many other devices.

FIG. 1 illustrates a support apparatus preferably comprising a shooting stick apparatus in a shooting stick and sling combination 30 according to one embodiment of the invention. The shooting stick and sling apparatus 30 is particularly suitable for supporting a firearm or a weapon 32 for firing a projectile. In the illustrated embodiment, the weapon 32 is a long firearm such as a rifle, however, this embodiment encompasses use of the invention for other weapons such as shotguns, cross-bows, or other projectile launching weapons. In addition, the shooting stick and sling combination 30 can be used to support a camera, range finders, binoculars, telescope or other optical instruments or tools.

The weapon 32 includes a front end 34 or forearm supported by shooting stick apparatus 30. The shooting stick apparatus 30 of the illustrated embodiment is in a bipod configuration, having two legs 40A, 40B operatively coupled to a sling 38.

Sling 38 is operatively coupled to the weapon 32 for carrying the weapon 32 during transport on the shoulder of a user. The sling 38 can be any device for carrying the weapon 32, such as strap or other structure. Slings may include single or multiple straps, padding and attachments, such as cartridge carriers. The slings used herein generally include two ends, 38 a, 38 b, defined by the position of the attachment to weapon 32. In the illustrated embodiment, the sling 38 comprises strap 46 connected to the weapon 32 through the use of front and rear attachments known as sling swivels of the fixed or quick detachable variety, however, those skilled in the art recognize that alternate methods of connecting the sling 38 or its ends 38 a, 38 b to the weapon 32 can be used in other embodiments.

As noted, the shooting stick apparatus 30 includes two preferably collapsible legs 40 a, 40 b in a bipod configuration. The legs 40 can vary in height depending upon the preferences of the user. For example, a shooter would want legs 40 that are shorter or longer than FIG. 1 shows in order to position the front end 34 of the weapon 32 to his eye level. Similarly, if stealth is important to the user, shorter legs 40 will enable the weapon 32 to be brought down to the eye level of a user who is kneeling or prone.

Legs 40 preferably rest upon a ground surface 42 and can be splayed in any number of directions. In alternate uses, the legs can be supported on a tree stand, the body of a user such as his legs or torso, or on other support surfaces.

The shooting stick apparatus 30 also includes a support base 44 that is operatively coupled to the sling 38. The support base 44 of the illustrated embodiment serves to couple the legs 40 to the sling 38 and allows the deployed legs 40 to move in a variety of rotational directions, directed at angles away from the sling. In addition, the support base 44 enables cooperation with legs 40 the weapon 32 to be moved to follow a moving target without repositioning the shooting stick apparatus 30 and without loss of support. Other embodiments, however, contemplate different types of structures to connect the shooting stick apparatus 30 to the sling 38, as will be described.

A cover 48 is disposed on sling 38. The cover 48 both conceals and contains the collapsible shooting stick apparatus 30 during transport. Cover 48 is moveable or slidable along the strap 46 between a first position securing the collapsed and stored legs alongside the sling 38 (FIG. 7 for example) and a second position on the sling 38 spaced from legs 40 so they can be deployed. Other embodiments contemplate a cover 48 that is fixed permanently into place and cannot slide along the length of the strap 46, but could be opened through the use of any suitable fastener, such as a snaps, hook and loop or quiet magnetic closures 90 (FIG. 12).

Referring now particularly to FIG. 2, an exploded view of the shooting stick and sling apparatus 30 of FIG. 1 is illustrated. Support base 44 is operatively coupled to the strap 46 using fasteners 50. The fasteners 50 can be screws, nails, rivets, or any other fastener readily apparent to those skilled in the art. In addition, the support base 44 can be coupled to the strap 46 using adhesive or other methods. Referring now to FIG. 2A, in an alternative embodiment, the fasteners 50 secure the support base 44 to the strap 46 by use of an attachment plate 54 on the other side of the sling. As illustrated by FIG. 2A, plate 54 is optional, screws or other fasteners alone can be used to secure base 44 to sling 38. Moreover, the attachment plate 54 could be additionally secured to the strap 46 by being sewn between different layers of a multiple layer sling strap 46. The fasteners 50 are received inside hollow pegs or bosses 56 of the support base 44 and its hemispherical shape defined by surface 52. The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2A has the attachment plate 54 with columns 110 that can be inserted into the hollow pegs 56 of the support base 44. In the illustrated embodiment, the insides of the hollow pegs 56 are designed to threadably engage the fasteners 50 to enable a firm attachment. In addition, the fasteners 50 pass through first apertures 58 formed in the attachment plate 54 and second apertures 60 formed in the sling strap 46. Other embodiments, could have the attachment plate with first apertures 58 and the fasteners 50 passing through the support base 44 and into columns 110 on the attachment plate 54. The attachment plate 54 provides a rigid surface to bear against the fasteners 50 when they are passed through the first and second apertures 58, 60 and through the hollow pegs 56. In addition, the attachment plate 54 also provides a level surface to support the weapon 32 when the shooting stick apparatus 30 is deployed.

FIG. 2 also illustrates that legs 40 are made up of a plurality of sections 62, joined elastically by an elastic cord 64 extending through sections 62. In the illustrated embodiment, the sections 62 are substantially equal in length, however, in other embodiments the sections 62 can vary in length and/or configuration. Cord 64 is preferably a stretchable or elastic material such as a bungee cord or a shock cord, however, other materials can be used. Cord 64 allows the sections 62 to be disassembled and reassembled by biasing them close together, in end-to-end fashion, each section having an end cooperating with an adjacent section.

The end of the cord 64 includes a knot or enlargement 66 (FIGS. 8A, 9B) received inside of the end cap 68. The end cap 68 of the illustrated embodiment includes two cap halves 70. Other embodiments can use other types of configurations for the end cap 68 and may have a one-piece end cap 68 or other type of design. The cap halves 70 close around cord 64 and end knot 66. The assembled end cap 68 is then inserted into one of the sections 62 to provide a surface for the legs 40 to contact the ground surface 42 (FIG. 1).

More particularly, and referring to FIG. 2, a single elastic member or cord 64 can be used for a bipod shooting stick configuration 30. For example, one end of cord 64 can be captured in one end cap 68. The member is then threaded through the section 62 making up one leg, through the support base 44, then through the sections 62 defining the other bipod leg and captured by its end cap 68.

In other embodiments, two cords 64 can be used, one extending between the end cap 68 in each leg and through the recess 92 and 94 (as will be described) past the surfaces defining the recess and into the support base where it can be captured by a knot or other suitable enlargement operably associated with the cord. In any event, the cord 64 is operably connected at one end, to the leg to bias it into the socket, and effectively operably connected with respect to the support base so the bias is applied to the leg toward the socket.

In use, the concept of a collapsible leg with one end biased into an enlarged socket by the same elastic member or cord 64 biasing the leg sections together provides a solid support but with high flexibility of freedom of movement so the supported weapon, tool, optic or the like can be moved to track a moving object.

Cover 48 preferably includes a pull-tab 72 (FIG. 2) for enabling the user to pull the cover 48 along the length of the strap 46 to respectively uncover the legs 40 a, 40 b for deployment, and to secure them for storage.

Referring now to FIG. 3, an assembled bipod shooting stick configuration is illustrated. A bipod configuration has two collapsible legs 40 a, 40 b connected with the support base 44 which is attached to the strap 46. The two legs 40 each have sections 62 that are selectively combined erected to form a rigid leg. In addition, the cord 64 biases the upper sections 62 of each leg into or toward the support base 44 together. Each section 62 includes a receiving end 74 that is designed to receive the insertion end 76 of an adjacent section 62. The insertion end 76 is slightly smaller than the receiving end 74. Receiving end 74 is tapered to fit around the insertion end 76 and allow the insertion end 76 to be captured and optionally frictionally held in receiving end 74. The cooperation of these surfaces and the tension applied by cord 64 holds the sections 62 together to provide a stable leg 40.

Referring to FIGS. 4, 4A, 5, and 5A, multiple features of the support base 44 are illustrated. The support base 44 is usually formed of a synthetic material such as ABS polycarbonate blend, however, other embodiments use other types of materials. Support base 44 has a first conical or concave recess or socket 92 and a second conical or concave recess or socket 94 receiving the upper ends of legs 40 of the shooting stick apparatus 30. In addition, the support base 44 includes a pair of fastening recesses 96 for receiving fasteners 50 for extension into the support base 44 and through the strap 46. Extending from each socket 92, 94 is a slot 102. These accommodate upper sections of the legs when in folded, stowed condition, allowing them to be positional flatly along the sling.

FIG. 4A illustrates that the support base 44 for a bipod configuration. It comprises an outer shell 98 of material with an outer hemispherical surface 52. Referring to FIG. 4A, the first socket 92 and the second socket 94 include a plurality of surfaces 100 defining the concave shape. This design allows the upper ends of legs 40 to rotate freely through a variety of positions when the ends of the legs 40 are resident in the sockets. Moreover, those skilled in the art recognize that other types of designs for the sockets 92, 94 can be used in other embodiments. To illustrate, a spherical recess, or other shaped recess can be used in alternate embodiments.

In addition, some embodiments could use a support base 44 that fixes the legs 40 rigidly into place. In other embodiments the support base 44 is a different shaped piece for coupling the legs 40 to the sling.

Referring now to FIG. 5, alternative embodiments of the support base 44′ are illustrated for use with the monopodal design. In such alternative embodiments, the shooting stick and sling combination 30 have a monopod configuration having only one leg 40. The monopod configuration has an advantage in simplicity. In addition, the monopod configuration requires less manufacturing and parts, while still providing a stable support. In such a configuration, support base 44 can be supplied with only one recess in socket and receiving the upper end of a leg 40. FIG. 5 illustrates a support base 44′ designed to be used with a shooting stick apparatus 30 having only one leg 40, or in other words a monopodal shooting stick apparatus 30. These fastening recesses 96 hold the head of the screws 50 away from the outer shell 98 for preventing the fasteners 50 from catching the cover 48 when the support base 44 is covered by it. In addition, the comfort of the user is increased because the fasteners 50 will not poke into the user's body during transport if the cover 48 comes into contact with the body.

Referring now to FIG. 5A, the support base 44′ also includes a groove 102′. This groove allows the leg 40 to be moved from a generally transverse position to the weapon 32 when deployed to a generally parallel position the sling 38 for easy storage. Thus, when stored, the leg 40 lies in the respective groove 102′. In this regard, sling bulk is reduced when the leg 40 is stored.

Referring now to FIG. 6, a top plan view of the strap 46 with cover 48 is illustrated. The strap 46 is made up of different sections and includes a shoulder pad 80. The shoulder pad 80 is wider in length than a connection portion 82 that is used to connect the strap 46 to the weapon 32. The shoulder pad 80 is usually padded in order to provide extra comfort to the user. In addition, the wide section of the shoulder pad 80 helps distribute the weight of the weapon 32 across the body of the user and assists with the ease of carrying. Cover 48 is of a dimension to conceal and completely enclose the legs 40 and support base 44 of shooting stick apparatus 30 (FIG. 7). The cover 48 has a stretch band 84 on one end. The stretch band 84 can be expanded outwardly from the shoulder pad 80 in order to open and wrap around the shooting stick apparatus 30 when it is collapsed and stored. In some embodiments, this stretch band 84 is made of any suitable stretchable or elastic material such as spandex. Some other embodiments include elastic garters or magnets to secure the ends.

Cover 48 is moveable or slidable along strap 46 in two directions as illustrated by the arrows. This allows the cover 48 to slide back along and even off the shoulder pad 80 to reveal and deploy the shooting stick apparatus 30 when needed. After the shooting stick apparatus 30 is no longer needed, it can be stored. Storage is accomplished by collapsing the sections 62 by pulling them apart, aligning them alongside one another, placing them along the sling strap 46 and sliding cover 48 over them.

FIG. 7, is a cross-section showing the collapsed legs 40. The different sections 62 of the shooting stick apparatus 30 are disassembled, aligned and positioned inside the cover 48 with the elastic cord 64 stretched, permitting all the sections 62 fitting inside of the cover 48. The strap 46, when used to carry a rifle, rests against the user's body on the side opposite to the portion of the cover 48 covering the shooting stick. The cover 48 keeps the sections 62 in relatively stable position after they have been enclosed. The sections 62 are able to move into this position because of the design of the support base 44 wherein the cord 64 or the upper ends of the legs 40 are accommodated in slots 102.

Referring now to FIG. 8A, a cross-sectional view of one lower end of the sections 62 is illustrated, together with a disassembled adjacent leg section. The sections 62 are usually formed from ABS polycarbonate blend, polypropylene, or other plastics or suitable material. In addition, metals, wood, and other types of materials can be used. The section 62 illustrated here in FIG. 8A will be referred to as the section 62 and is only intended to refer to the lower one of the sections 62, but not intended to confer a different meaning from the already established meaning of a plurality; it is simply referencing one single lower end section 62 of the leg 40. The illustrated embodiments have sections 62 that are identical. Other embodiments, however, can have sections 62 that are different in construction.

Cord 64 passes through the sections 62. The cord 64 also includes the end knot or enlargement 66. In addition, the shoulder 119 separates the lumen of the section 62 into two interior spaces, a first interior space 116 along the portion of the section 62 having a smaller diameter and a larger second interior tapered space 118 for the portion of the section 62 having a larger diameter. The first interior space 116 and the second interior space 118 are separated by the shoulder 119. The portion of the section 62 including along the first interior space 116 can be received into the second interior tapered space 118 of another section 62. In addition, the portion of the section 62 having the first interior space 116 can be received by the conical recesses 92, 94, and 98 of either type of the support base 44, 44′ that is used for coupling the mounting stick 36 to the sling 38. The second interior space 118 is designed to either receive another section 62 or to receive the end cap 68.

The end cap 68 includes two cap halves 70 a, 70 b that define an elongated space 120 and a rounded interior space 122. The rounded interior space 122 is designed to receive the knot or enlargement 66 on or in the cord 64 and restrain it therein. The elongated interior space 120 is designed to simply surround the cord 64 and allow cord stretching for the insertion or removal of end cap 68. The cap halves 70 a, 70 b also include either a nub 124 and a nub recess 126 that allow the cap halves 70 to be snapped together around the knot 66 and the cord 64. Then, the end cap 68 can be inserted into the second interior space 118 as illustrated in FIG. 8A. Accordingly, the end cap 68 the lower end of the cord 64 in order to keep the sections 62 together when the shooting stick is deployed as described.

Referring now to FIGS. 8B and 9, an additional embodiment of the end caps 68 is presented. FIG. 8B illustrates a lower portion of an assembled leg 40 positioned where the end cap 68 positioned with the lower section 62. The end cap 68 is usually composed of plastic or rubber, however, other materials can be used in other embodiments.

Referring now to FIG. 9, end cap 68 may include two cap halves 70 a, 70 b with at least one nub 124 more cap half and one nub recess 126, in another. Thus, combining the two cap halves 70 together enables each corresponding nub 124 to be received by each corresponding nub recess 126 for securing the cap halves 70 together to form the end cap 68.

In operation, the cover 48 hides the legs 40 and support base 44 during transportation. The cover 48 completely surrounds and contains the legs 40 and support base 44 inside and appears to be simply part of the sling 38. Thus, the shooting stick apparatus 30 is conveniently and easily stored, but easily and quickly accessed for deployment by sliding the cover 48 away and erecting the telescoping sections of each leg then resting the rifle on the sling above the support base. In addition, the design assures that the shooting stick apparatus 30 never becomes lost by laying it aside because it is always attached to the weapon 32.

Referring now to FIGS. 10A, 10B, 11, an alternative embodiment is illustrated. In this embodiment, a pair of pivoted butterfly supports 130 define the upper ends of legs 40 and are used to create a cradle in shoulder pad 80 to hold the weapon 32. Each one of the butterfly supports 130 rotate around a dedicated pivot pin 132 connected to a bracket 134. Bracket 134 is fixed to both the shoulder pad 8o and the connection portion 82 thereof using fasteners 136. Accordingly, the legs 40 can rotate around the axis of the pivot pins 132 throughout the arc created by such rotation. The bracket 134 includes tabs (not shown) that limit the rotation of the butterfly supports 130. The legs 40 are received inside of the butterfly supports 130 or are coupled thereto in any manner readily apparent to those skilled in the art.

In an alternate embodiment, the legs 40, also of collapsible sections and elastic cords 64 are removable from the butterfly supports 130, however, in the illustrated embodiment they are permanently affixed to one another to ensure proper rotation.

The butterfly supports 130 include projections or ears 138 which create the cradle-type shape in pad 80 so that the weapon 32 is well supported therein. Such embodiment includes collapsible legs 40 attached to the sling to provide similar storage and deployment advantages as described above.

Referring now to FIG. 12, an alternative embodiment is illustrated. The strap 46′ illustrated in FIG. 12 is generally identical to the strap 46 illustrated in FIG. 4A except that the cover 48′ does not move along the length of the shoulder pad 80. In addition, the stretch band 84′ is sewn through to fix the cover 48 to the shoulder pad 80. Cover 48′ has two edges comprising a first flap 86 and a second flap 88 defining a seam there between. The first flap 86 and the second flap 88 are operatively coupled together by overlapping a plurality of magnets go located in the edges of each of the flaps 86, 88. Using the magnets go to combine the first flap 86 and the second flap 88 together is advantageous because pulling the first flap 86 and the second flap 88 apart can be done silently, an advantage in a hunting environment. In addition, those skilled in the art recognize that other methods of securing the first flap 86 and the second flap 88 can be used. For example, velcro fasteners such as a hook and latch mechanism, zippers, buttons, or any other type of device to combine the flaps 86, 88 can be used.

Other embodiments use alternate methods to release the shooting stick apparatus 30 for deployment. For example, a trapdoor consisting of a single flap that could be pulled away from the remainder of the cover 48 can be used. In addition, the cover 48 could be one-piece with simply a zipper along the center.

While the present invention has been illustrated by description of various embodiments and while these embodiments have been described in considerable detail, it is not the intention of the applicant to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications will readily appear to those skilled in the art. The invention in its broader aspect is, therefore, not limited to the specific details, representative system, apparatus, and method, and illustrative example shown and described. Accordingly, departures may be made from such details without departing from the spirit or scope of the applicant's general inventive concept and the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7770320Apr 10, 2008Aug 10, 2010Tom BartakBipod rifle support
US7954272 *May 8, 2008Jun 7, 2011Battenfeld Technologies, Inc.Adjustable firearm supports and associated methods of use and manufacture
US8024883 *Sep 25, 2007Sep 27, 2011Richard Nils BoordFirearm support
US8176670Jan 14, 2009May 15, 2012Richard Nils BoordFirearm steady-rest
US8327570 *Apr 27, 2011Dec 11, 2012Battenfeld Technologies, Inc.Adjustable firearm supports and associated methods of use and manufacture
US20120085012 *Apr 27, 2011Apr 12, 2012Battenfeld Technologies, Inc.Adjustable firearm supports and associated methods of use and manufacture
US20140013645 *Jul 10, 2013Jan 16, 2014Wyatt SARGENTPortable support mount
Classifications
U.S. Classification42/85, 42/90, 224/150
International ClassificationF41C27/00, F41C23/02, F41C33/00
Cooperative ClassificationF16M11/38, F16M13/04, F16M11/242, F41C33/002, F41A23/02, F16M11/40, F16M11/16
European ClassificationF16M11/16, F16M11/40, F41A23/02, F41C33/00D