US 20080061509 A1
Firearm target assemblies and associated systems and methods are disclosed herein. In one embodiment, target assemblies are configured for accurately predicting projectile impact points for determining shooting accuracy and consistency. In another embodiment, a target system includes a target assembly having a substrate and a print layer. The substrate may have a low shearing response such that a projectile having a first major cross-sectional dimension transverse to a projectile path forms a hole in the substrate at an impact point in the projectile path. The hole may have an aperture with a second major cross-sectional dimension transverse to the projectile path, wherein the second dimension is approximately the same as the first dimension. The print layer may be at a first side of the substrate and may at least partially define a target image.
1. A target system, the system comprising:
a target assembly, the target assembly including
a substrate having a low shearing response such that a projectile having a first major cross-sectional dimension transverse to a projectile path forms a hole in the substrate at an impact point in the projectile path, the hole having an aperture with a second major cross-sectional dimension transverse to the projectile path, wherein the second dimension is approximately the same as the first dimension; and
a print layer at a first side of the substrate, the print layer at least partially defining a target image.
2. The system of
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21. A target system, the system comprising:
a plurality of firearm targets, the individual firearm targets including
a substrate having a first side and a second side facing opposite from the first side, wherein the substrate includes a synthetic polymer layer, and wherein the synthetic polymer layer prevents enlargement of a through-substrate aperture formed by a projectile traveling along a projectile path; and
a print layer positioned at least at the first side, the print layer at least partially defining a target image.
22. The system of
23. The system of
24. The system of
25. A method for manufacturing a firearm target assembly, the method comprising:
forming a substrate having at least a synthetic polymer layer and a first color, wherein the synthetic polymer layer prevents enlargement of a through-substrate aperture formed by a projectile traveling along a projectile path; and
applying a print layer on the substrate to at least partially define a target image, wherein the print layer includes a second color different from the first color.
26. The method of
27. The method of
forming a substrate includes providing a paper substrate and applying the coating to one or more surfaces of the paper substrate; and
applying a print layer on the substrate includes forming a print layer on the paper substrate before applying the coating, and wherein the coating is at least partially transparent.
28. The method of
This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/843,870, filed Sep. 11, 2006, which is entitled “TARGETS,” and incorporated by reference herein.
The present disclosure is directed generally to firearm target assemblies, firearm target systems and methods for manufacturing firearm targets. More specifically, the present disclosure is directed to target assemblies configured for accurately determining projectile points of impact.
Marksmen use firearms in a variety of professional (e.g., the military, law enforcement) and recreational pursuits (e.g., game hunting, sport shooting). Both professional and recreational shooters use firearm targets, for example at a firing range, to improve and practice their marksmanship skills as well as to assess firearm and ammunition accuracy at varying distances and under different environmental conditions. There is great variety in several aspects of ammunition (e.g., cartridge length, diameter, powder content, primer content, overall length, etc.). Each of these aspects can affect the accuracy and control the marksman has over his or her shot placement. Furthermore, desirable characteristics for a bullet flight path can differ depending on the firearm used, the number of rounds fired, the distance of the intended target, etc.
In many instances, marksmen may hand-load their own ammunition, producing dozens of different cartridges, varying in a variety of aspects (e.g., bullet weight/shape/size, powder composition, primer composition, cartridge length, and/or overall length). Whether using pre-loaded ammunition or hand-loaded cartridges, marksmen may test the accuracy and/or other shooting characteristics of several different ammunition cartridges using targets. Marksman may want to track the differences between the cartridges and their firing accuracy during target shooting sessions. In determining shooting accuracy and shot placement reproducibility, a plurality of rounds will be fired at a single target and the resultant impact points (e.g., bullet holes) can be measured as a group, with a group measurement being the distance between the two furthest holes. Factors such as target distance, experience level of the marksman, weather conditions, and equipment accuracy. affect shot placement and group measurements. In favorable conditions, the differences between consecutive group sizes can be minute, while measurement accuracy may need to be precise. Accordingly, targets and firearm target systems are important elements in tracking, practicing, and recording equipment accuracy and other marksman-related skills.
In the drawings, identical reference numbers identify similar elements or acts. The sizes and relative positions of elements in the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale. For example, the shapes of various elements and angles are not drawn to scale, and some of these elements are arbitrarily enlarged and positioned to improve drawing legibility. Further, the particular shapes of the elements as drawn are not intended to convey any information regarding the actual shape of the particular elements, and have been solely selected for ease of recognition in the drawings.
The following disclosure describes several embodiments of firearm target assemblies and associated systems and methods. One aspect of the disclosure is directed to target assemblies configured for accurately predicting projectile impact points for determining shooting accuracy and consistency.
In one embodiment, a target system includes a target assembly having a substrate and a print layer. The substrate may have a low shearing response such that a projectile having a first major cross-sectional dimension transverse to a projectile path forms a hole in the substrate at an impact point in the projectile path. The hole may have an aperture with a second major cross-sectional dimension transverse to the projectile path, wherein the second dimension is approximately the same as the first dimension. The print layer may be at a first side of the substrate and may at least partially define a target image.
In another embodiment, a target system may include a plurality of firearm targets, wherein the individual firearm targets include a substrate having a first side and a second side opposite the first side. The substrate may also include a synthetic polymer layer. The synthetic polymer layer may prevent enlargement of a through-substrate aperture formed by a projectile traveling along a projectile path. The individual firearm targets may further include a print layer positioned at least at the first side. The print layer may at least partially define a target image.
Another aspect of the invention is directed to a method for manufacturing a firearm target assembly. The method may include forming a substrate having at least a synthetic polymer layer. The synthetic polymer layer may prevent enlargement of a through-substrate aperture formed by a projectile traveling along a projectile path. The substrate may also have a first color. The method may also include applying a print layer on the substrate to at least partially define a target image. The print layer may include a second color different from the first color.
Specific details of several embodiments of the disclosure are described below with reference to firearm targets and target assemblies. Several details describing well-known structures or processes often associated with targets and manufacturing of targets are not set forth in the following description for purposes of brevity and clarity. Also, several other embodiments of the disclosure may have different configurations, components, or procedures than those described in this section. A person of ordinary skill in the art, therefore, will accordingly understand that the disclosure may include other embodiments with additional features and characteristics, or the disclosure may include other embodiments without several of the features and characteristics shown and described below with reference to
Where the context permits, singular or plural terms may also include the plural or singular term, respectively. Moreover, unless the word “or” is expressly limited to mean only a single item exclusive from other items in reference to a list of at least two items, then the use of “or” in such a list is to be interpreted as including (a) any single item in the list, (b) all of the items in the list, or (c) any combination of the items in the list. Additionally, the term “comprising” is used throughout to mean including at least the recited feature(s) such that any greater number of the same features and/or other types of features and components are not precluded.
B. Embodiments of Firearm Target Assemblies and Systems
As illustrated in
As illustrated in
One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the data entry regions 141 a and 141 b may include additional fields, fewer data fields, or data fields in other configurations. While the illustrated embodiment of
As illustrated in
In one embodiment, the substrate 110 may include a synthetic polymer such as a layer of vinyl (e.g., polyvinyl chloride). In another embodiment, the substrate 110 may include a layer of polypropylene (e.g., polypropylene film). In a further embodiment, the substrate 110 may include a layer of polyester film. In yet another embodiment, the substrate 110 may include a plurality of laminated layers, including one layer having a synthetic polymer. In some embodiments, the substrate 110 may have a matte finish with a writeable surface. One example of a suitable material for forming the substrate 110 is a Propel™ matte-finished, carbonated-filled, calendered polypropylene film manufactured by Mayna located in East Asia. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that additional synthetic polymers, grainless synthetic polymers (e.g., without synthetic or natural fibers), including thermoplastic polymers, and/or other synthetic stocks may be used for forming at least a portion of the substrate 110.
In other embodiments, the substrate 110 may include a core substrate material formed of an organic material (e.g., paper, cardboard, etc.) or synthetic fibrous material (e.g., Tyvek® material produced by DuPont of Wilmington, Del.) that has an exterior coating. In some embodiments, the exterior coating may penetrate the core substrate material; however, in other embodiments, the exterior coating may remain adhered only to an outer surface of the core substrate material. In one embodiment, the synthetic coating may include a polyurethane-based coating. In other embodiments, the coating may be any film-polymer coating (i.e., paint, stain, epoxy, synthetic plastic, varnish, etc.). In some embodiments, the coating may provide water-resistant or other protective features. In one embodiment, the coating may be at least partially transparent. In some arrangements, the core synthetic material may have a first shearing response that can be reduced to a second shearing response by the exterior coating.
The substrate 110, or core substrate material and exterior coating, may permit the projectile (not shown), having a first major cross-sectional dimension transverse to the projectile path, to penetrate the target assembly 100 and remove a portion (not shown) of the target assembly (which may include both a portion of the substrate 110 and a portion of the print layer 112). Following projectile impact, the projectile hole 150 may have smooth edges with a second major cross-sectional dimension (e.g., diameter) substantially equal to the first major cross-sectional dimension. For example, the substrate 110, with or without an exterior coating, may include a brittle material that permits the projectile to cleanly break the one or more target assembly layers at the impact point. The relationship between the major cross-sectional dimension of the projectile and the characteristics of projectile holes 150 are described in greater detail below with respect to a target assembly 200 illustrated in
The target assembly 200 includes the substrate 110 configured for accurately determining the location of projectile impact points (e.g., bullet holes). Specifically, the projectile 210 having a first major cross-sectional dimension D1 (e.g., diameter) transverse to a projectile path 212 may form a projectile hole 220 having an aperture with a second major cross-sectional dimension D2. In this embodiment, the second major cross-sectional dimension D2 is substantially equal to the first major cross-sectional dimension D1. For example, if the projectile 210 includes a first major cross-sectional dimension D1 of 0.22 inches, the projectile hole 220 may have a second major cross-sectional dimension D2 of 0.22 inches. Accordingly, in some arrangements, the synthetic material is configured to prevent enlargement of the through-substrate aperture (e.g., projectile hole 150) formed by the projectile. Furthermore, a surrounding region 222, proximal to the projectile hole 220, is generally unaffected (e.g., without wrinkles, tears, stretched areas, etc.) following projectile impact.
In another embodiment, illustrated in
The embodiments of the target assemblies 100 a-c illustrated in
Referring back to
Firearm target assemblies, such as the target assembly 100, which can provide accurate determination of projectile hole placement, may facilitate correct tracking of equipment performance. For example, after firing a group of projectiles, a marksman may locate the two projectile holes 150 with the greatest separation distance. To measure the group distance, the marksman may predict the center of each of these two projectile holes 150 and measure the intervening distance (e.g., measurements M1 and M2). Having projectile holes 150 formed with the major cross-sectional dimension D2 substantially equal to the major cross-sectional dimension D1 of the projectile may be beneficial for determining the center of the projectile hole 150. Conventional targets typically have enlarging holes and/or have damaged target regions proximal to an impact point. For example, conventional targets commonly tear, wrinkle, have jagged and/or torn edges around projectile holes, etc. following projectile impact. Furthermore, disruption of target integrity following one or more fired shots can impair target visibility for subsequent shots within a group. For example, an enlarged projectile hole near an intended point of impact may destroy visibility of the intended point of impact, or in another example, a torn region near one hole may impinge the marksman's site line of the intended point of impact.
In contrast, the target assembly 100 may maintain target integrity, including integrity of a remaining target image 120, following projectile impact. For example, a projectile hole 150 may have clean edges without tearing, wrinkling, enlarging and/or stretching in the surrounding regions 152 proximal to the projectile holes 150. Accordingly, measurements between projectile holes 150, including overlapping projectile holes, will have predictable centers that can be measured with dial calipers, for example. Moreover, visibility of the remaining target image 120 is undisturbed following projectile impact.
Additionally, the target assembly (e.g., the target assembly 100) may be provided with the data collection guide 140 for reliably tracking information pertaining to equipment and/or shooting conditions. The data collection guide 140 may be printed directly on the target assembly 100 or, in other embodiments, may be provided as labels that may be adhesively attached to the target assembly 100. A plurality of target assemblies 100 may be retained in a record-keeping system for tracking equipment characteristics (e.g., ammunition aspects, firearm make/model, etc.) and performance (e.g., MOA, group distance, etc.). The target assemblies 100 may be provided with pre-punched holes and/or reinforced regions for retaining in a protective covering.
A plurality of firearm target assemblies (e.g., the target assembly 100) may be packaged together, with or without a protective covering (e.g., protective covering 502), and sold as a kit. For example, the kit may provide target assemblies having different target images (e.g., geometric shapes, animal shapes, etc.) and/or target images printed in a plurality of sizes (e.g., a 4-inch bull's-eye, a 10-inch bull's-eye, etc.) for target shooting at varying distances. The kit may further include the protective covering or other retaining device for saving and tracking the target assemblies 100. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize other elements that could be beneficially included in the kit (e.g., a target stand, labels having the data collection guide or other data fields, permanent markers for data recording, etc.). In other embodiments, the target assemblies and record-keeping elements may be sold as separate units.
From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that specific embodiments of the disclosure have been described herein for purposes of illustration, but that various modifications may be made without deviating from the disclosure. Furthermore, aspects of the disclosure described in the context of particular embodiments may be combined or eliminated in other embodiments. Further, while features and characteristics associated with certain embodiments of the disclosure have been described in the context of those embodiments, other embodiments may also exhibit such features and characteristics, and not all embodiments need necessarily exhibit such features and characteristics to fall within the scope of the disclosure. Accordingly, the disclosure is not limited, except as by the appended claims.