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Publication numberUS20080061509 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/853,763
Publication dateMar 13, 2008
Filing dateSep 11, 2007
Priority dateSep 11, 2006
Publication number11853763, 853763, US 2008/0061509 A1, US 2008/061509 A1, US 20080061509 A1, US 20080061509A1, US 2008061509 A1, US 2008061509A1, US-A1-20080061509, US-A1-2008061509, US2008/0061509A1, US2008/061509A1, US20080061509 A1, US20080061509A1, US2008061509 A1, US2008061509A1
InventorsRussell Potterfield
Original AssigneeBattenfeld Technologies, Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Firearm target assemblies, target systems, and methods for manufacturing firearm targets
US 20080061509 A1
Abstract
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.
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Claims(28)
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 claim 1 wherein the substrate includes a synthetic polymer configured to maintain target integrity in a region proximal to the hole.
3. The system of claim 1 wherein the substrate includes a coating on one or more surfaces, the coating having a synthetic polymer configured to maintain target integrity in a region proximal to the hole.
4. The system of claim 3 wherein the coating includes polyurethane.
5. The system of claim 1 wherein the substrate includes an organic material and a non-organic material, the non-organic material positioned to at least partially coat the organic material such that a shearing response of the organic material is reduced to the low shearing response.
6. The system of claim 1 wherein the target assembly has a thickness of approximately 6 mil to approximately 12 mil.
7. The system of claim 1 wherein the substrate includes a layer of polypropylene.
8. The system of claim 1 wherein the substrate includes a layer of polyvinyl chloride.
9. The system of claim 1 wherein the substrate includes a plurality of laminated layers.
10. The system of claim 1 wherein the substrate includes a layer of polyester film.
11. The system of claim 1 wherein the print layer includes an ink layer disposed directly on the substrate.
12. The system of claim 1 wherein the print layer includes a separate print layer attached to the substrate with an adhesive.
13. The system of claim 1, further comprising a support member coupled to an edge of the substrate and configured to increase rigidity of the edge.
14. The system of claim 1 wherein the substrate includes an edge region having a pre-punched hole, the pre-punched hole configured to releaseably receive a fastener for retaining the target assembly in a protective covering.
15. The system of claim 1 wherein at least one of the substrate and the print layer includes a writeable surface.
16. The system of claim 1 wherein the target assembly is water-resistant.
17. The system of claim 1 wherein the first side has a first color and the print layer includes a plurality of ink layers having a second color different from the first color and configured to at least partially overlay the first color.
18. The system of claim 17 wherein the plurality of ink layers are printed with a double bumping printing process.
19. The system of claim 1 wherein the target image includes concentric circles.
20. The system of claim 1, further comprising a data collection guide to assist record keeping.
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 claim 21 wherein the individual firearm targets include a pre-punched hole along a first edge, and wherein the system further includes a protective covering having a fastener for releaseably engaging the pre-punched holes of the firearm targets.
23. The system of claim 21 wherein the synthetic polymer layer includes a synthetic polymer coating applied to an organic layer.
24. The system of claim 21 wherein the synthetic polymer layer includes a thermoplastic polymer.
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 claim 25 wherein forming a substrate includes applying a coating to one or more surfaces of a core material, the coating having one or more synthetic polymers configured to maintain target integrity in a region proximal to the hole.
27. The method of claim 26 wherein:
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 claim 25 wherein the projectile includes a first major cross-sectional dimension transverse to the projectile path and the through-substrate aperture includes a second major cross-sectional dimension transverse to the projectile path, and wherein the second major cross-sectional dimension is generally the same as the first major cross-sectional dimension.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

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.

TECHNICAL FIELD

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.

BACKGROUND

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.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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.

FIG. 1A is a front view illustration of a target assembly in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

FIG. 1B is a front view illustration of the target assembly of FIG. 1A having a plurality of projectile holes in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view illustration of a target assembly in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

FIGS. 3A-3C are cross-sectional views along line 3-3 in FIG. 1A of embodiments of the target assembly in accordance with the disclosure.

FIG. 4 is a top perspective view illustration of a plurality of fabricated target assemblies in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view illustration of a firearm target system in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating a method for manufacturing a firearm target assembly in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A. Overview

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 FIGS. 1A-6.

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

FIG. 1A is a front view illustration of a target assembly 100 for monitoring shot placement accuracy and consistency in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure. The target assembly 100 includes a substrate 110 and a print layer 112. The target assembly 100 may have the print layer 112 (e.g., an ink layer, a laser-printed surface, a painted surface, a printed photographic image, etc.) covering or at least proximal to the substrate 110 and facing in a direction generally opposite from the substrate 110 and visible by a shooter (not shown). The print layer 112 may at least partially define a target image 120. The print layer 112 may also at least partially define additional information related to the target assembly 100, such as a company name and contact information 130 and product information and/or a logo 132. Furthermore, the print layer 112 may include a data collection guide 140 for assisting record keeping. In one embodiment the print layer 112 may overlay portions of the substrate 110 such that a substrate color (e.g., white) and a contrasting print color (e.g., black) together at least partially define the target image 120.

As illustrated in FIG. 1A, the target image 120 may include one or more intended points of impact 121 a and 121 b. The target assembly 100 illustrates two independent points of impact 121 a and 121 b; however, in other embodiments, the target image 120 may include only a single intended point of impact or more than two intended points of impact. In the example illustrated in FIG. 1A, the target image 120 includes a plurality of concentric circles 122. The concentric circles 122 may by oriented to form one or more “bull's-eyes” 124 a and 124 b that defines the one or more intended points of impact 121 a and 121 b. The bull's-eyes 124 a and 124 b may include cross-hair lines 126. In other embodiments, the target image 120 may not include concentric circles 122, one or more bull's-eyes 124 a and 124 b, and/or cross-hair lines 126. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the target image 120 may include a variety of images (e.g., animal shapes, triangles, and other geometric shapes) that can be at least partially defined by the print layer 112.

FIG. 1B is a front view of the target assembly 100 illustrated in FIG. 1A after a plurality of projectile holes 150 (e.g., bullet holes) have been formed near and/or around the intended points of impact 121 a and 121 b. Referring to FIGS. 1A and 1B together, the data collection guide 140 may provide data entry regions 141 a and 141 b corresponding to the intended points of impact 121 a and 121 b. The individual data entry regions 141 a and 141 b may include data input fields for one or more variables. For example, the data entry region 141 a may provide a shot result data field 142 a. The shot result may include entry fields such as group size (e.g., number of projectile holes 150) and group distance measurement M1 (e.g., distance between the two farthest projectile holes 150). Likewise, data entry region 141 b may provide a shot result data field 142 b for recording group size and group distance measurement M2. The shot result data fields 142 a and 142 b may also include fields (not shown) for recording target distance and other distance accuracy information, such as minutes of angle (MOA).

As illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the data entry regions 141 a and 141 b may also include firearm information data fields 143 a and 143 b, e.g., for recording firearm make/model, caliber, scope magnification/model, etc. Other variables that may affect shooting accuracy and/or range conditions may include environmental conditions (e.g., date/time, sun/brightness level, wind speed/direction, humidity, temperature, etc.). These and/or other environmental variables may be recorded in range condition data fields 144 a and 144 b. Additionally, the speed that a projectile travels may affect the flight path of the projectile and, therefore, the location of impact on an intended target. Marksmen commonly use a chronograph to measure the velocity of each projectile as it leaves the firearm. The velocity of each projectile as well as group velocity statistics may be recorded in chronograph data fields 145 a and 145 b. As described above, ammunition can differ in a variety of aspects including, but not limited to, bullet weight/brand, powder weight/brand and/or powder composition, case brand/type, number of times a case has been loaded and/or trimmed, the case length, primer composition, and overall length of the loaded cartridge (can depend on depth of bullet seating within the case). One or more of these ammunition variables may be recorded in load data fields 146 a and 146 b.

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 FIGS. 1A and 1B show the data collection guide 140 at least partially defined by the print layer 112 of the target assembly 100, other embodiments may include the data collection guide 140 at least partially defined by a secondary print layer (not shown) on a back surface (not shown) facing opposite the front surface 102. Embodiments of target assemblies 100 having a data collection guide 140 may include a writeable surface for recording the data directly on the target assembly 100. In other embodiments, the data collection guide 140 and/or the data entry regions 141 a and 141 b may be separate labels (not shown) that are selectively attached (e.g., with an adhesive) to the target assembly 100 for record-keeping purposes.

As illustrated in FIG. 1B, and in one embodiment, the target assembly 100 may be configured for accurately determining the location of projectile impact points (e.g., projectile holes 150). For example, the substrate 110 may include a material having a low shearing response, such as a synthetic material that enables a projectile (not shown) to penetrate the target assembly 100 at an impact point along a projectile path (not shown) without substantially tearing, ripping, fragmenting, expanding, wrinkling, etc., a surrounding region 152 proximal to the impact points (e.g., projectile holes 150). In some arrangements, the synthetic material is configured to maintain target integrity in the surrounding region 152. In other arrangements, the synthetic material is configured to prevent enlargement of a through-substrate aperture (e.g., projectile hole 150) formed by the projectile traveling along the projectile path.

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 FIG. 2.

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the target assembly 200 illustrating a projectile 210 passing through the target assembly 200 in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure. The target assembly 200 is generally similar to the target assembly 100 illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B. In the illustrated embodiment, the assembly 200 differs from the assembly 100 in that the target assembly 200 has a different target image 201. When in use, the target assembly 200 may be positioned at any distance away from the shooter (not shown) and may be supported by a target stand 202. FIG. 2 illustrates the target assembly 200 supported by the target stand 202 in a plane that is generally transverse to the intended flight path of the projectile 210. The target stand 202 may support the target assembly 200 as shown, or in other embodiments, the target firearm assembly 200 may be supported by other features (e.g., a hanging wire with clips, a target backer to which the assembly is adhesively attached), or in additional embodiments, the target assembly 200 may be self-supporting. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize a variety of target stands and/or features for supporting targets in desired positions and orientations.

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.

FIGS. 3A-3C are cross-sectional views along line 3-3 in FIG. 1A of embodiments of the target assembly 100 (individually illustrated as 100 a, 100 b, and 100 c) in accordance with the present disclosure. Referring to FIGS. 3A-3C, the target assembly 100 may be generally planar and have a first side 302 and a second side 304 opposite the first side 302. In other embodiments, the target assembly 100 may have other configurations, such as curved, three-dimensional, folded, etc. The target assembly 100 may have a thickness T1 (individually illustrated as T1a, T1b, and T1c) that may be substantially equal to a thickness of the substrate 110; however, in other embodiments the thickness T1 can be greater than the thickness of the substrate. In one example, the thickness T1 can be approximately 0.006 inches (i.e., 6 mil gauge) to approximately 0.012 inches (i.e., 12 mil gauge). In one embodiment, the thickness T1 can be 0.008 inches (i.e., 8 mil gauge). However, in other embodiments the thickness T1 can be less than 0.006 inches or greater than 0.012 inches.

FIG. 3A illustrates an embodiment of the target assembly 100 a wherein the print layer 112 is applied directly onto the substrate 110. In this embodiment, the substrate 110 is a single layer, such as a synthetic polymer layer (e.g., a plastic sheet) that has a printable surface (not shown). In some embodiments, the substrate 110 may include a first color (e.g., white, orange, etc.), and the print layer 112 can include a second color (e.g., black, blue, etc.) different from the first color. In one embodiment, the first side 302 includes the print layer 112 wherein the print layer at least partially defines a target image (e.g., the target image 120 shown in FIG. 1A). In another embodiment, the substrate 112 may not have a printable surface but may include a printable overlay coating (not shown) to which the print layer 112 can be directly applied. For example, the print layer 112 may include one or more layers of ink. In one embodiment, the ink layers may be applied using a double bumping coating process. A double bumping coating process includes printing an image twice so that the image includes two layers of overlaid ink, for example, to can achieve greater ink density and color saturation. Accordingly, double bumping can yield higher gloss results and/or create a visual contrast between gloss and matte finishes, e.g., for better visibility or UV protection. In another embodiment, the second side 304 may include a second print layer (not shown).

In another embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 3B, the target assembly 100 b includes the substrate 110 as described above with respect to the target assembly 100 a (FIG. 3A). The target assembly 100 b differs from the assembly 100 a in that the target assembly 100 b includes a separate print layer 306. The print layer 112 may be printed on a sheet of paper, plastic, or other printable material to form the separate print layer 306 and may be attached to the substrate 110 with an adhesive (not shown) such as an adhesive film, epoxy, tape, paste, or other suitable material. In one example, a laminating process using heat and/or pressure can be used to form the bond between the separate print layer 306 and the substrate 110.

FIG. 3C is a cross-sectional view along line 3-3 of FIG. 1A illustrating another embodiment of a target assembly 100 c in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure. The target assembly 100 c differs from the target assemblies 100 a and 100 b in that the substrate 110 includes a core layer 308 and two exterior layers 310 a and 310 b. The exterior layers 310 a and 310 b may include a synthetic polymer or other material for permitting a projectile (not shown) to penetrate the assembly 100 c while maintaining target integrity in a surrounding region (e.g., the surrounding region 152 shown in FIG. 1B) proximal to the projectile hole (e.g., projectile hole 150 shown in FIG. 1B). In one embodiment, the core layer 308 may include a paper layer, a fiber-containing layer, or other similar organic and/or non-organic composite. The exterior layers 310 a, 310 b may include exterior coats having a synthetic material that prevents the core layer 308 from tearing, wrinkling, stretching, enlarging, etc., upon projectile impact. In another embodiment, the exterior layers 310 a and 310 b may include sheets of synthetic material configured to adhesively attach to the core layer 308. For example, the exterior layers 310 a and 310 b may include a synthetic polymer film (e.g., polypropylene, polyester, polyvinyl, polyolefin, etc.).

Referring to FIG. 3C, the print layer 112, in one embodiment, may be at least at the first side 302 of the target assembly 100 c. In this embodiment, at least the exterior layer 310 a includes a printable surface. In another embodiment, the core layer 308 may include a printable front side 312 and/or a back side 314 facing opposite the front side 312. In some arrangements, not shown, the core layer 308 may be pre-printed to form the print layer 112, prior to applying the exterior layers 310 a and/or 310 b. In one specific embodiment, the core layer 308 may be a conventional preprinted paper target. In this embodiment, the paper target can be treated by applying a transparent exterior coating to form the exterior layers 310 a and 310 b.

The embodiments of the target assemblies 100 a-c illustrated in FIGS. 3A-3C do not exhaustively illustrate all of the combinations of materials and layers that may be used to form the target assembly 100, but are set forth only as examples. Additionally, in some embodiments, the thickness T1 and/or the materials used may allow the target assembly 100 to be flexible. In other embodiments, these features may make the target assembly 100 rigid. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize additional combinations of materials and layers to form target assemblies 100 configured for accurately determining the location of projectile points of impact, for example, by limiting the projectile hole diameter to approximately no greater than a projectile diameter.

Referring back to FIGS. 1A and 1B, the target assembly 100 may include a plurality of pre-punched holes 160 along an edge region 162 of at least the substrate 110. One or more pre-punched holes 160 may be configured to releaseably receive a fastener for retaining the target assembly 100 in a protective covering (described in more detail below) and/or a stand used during a shooting round. In some embodiments, the edge region 162 may be reinforced with a support member 164 (shown in dotted lines in FIG. 1A) coupled to the substrate 110 at the edge region 162 to increase edge rigidity. In other embodiments, the target assembly 100 may not have one or more pre-punched holes 160. In some arrangements the target assembly 100 may be hole-punched by a user at any time and at any location on the target assembly 100.

FIG. 4 is a top perspective view illustration of a plurality of target assemblies 400 in accordance with a further embodiment of the disclosure. The target assemblies 400 may be fabricated, printed, or otherwise processed in an assembly-line process. In the illustrated embodiment, the plurality of target assemblies 400 having one or more target images 402, data collection guides 404, and/or other information may be produced simultaneously during a manufacturing process. Furthermore, other processing features, such as pre-punched holes 406, may also be provided for individual target assemblies 400. In some embodiments, and as illustrated in FIG. 4, a plurality of perforation lines 408 may be provided during the manufacturing process to facilitate separation of the assemblies 400 from one another. The fabricated material (e.g., the substrate 110 and/or the print layer 112) may be flexible and rolled, as illustrated in FIG. 4. In some embodiments, the assemblies 400 may be packaged and sold in a roll. In other embodiments, the assemblies 400 may be folded accordion-style before separation and packaged for sale, or in further embodiments, the assemblies 400 may be separated immediately and packaged for sale. Additionally, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the target assemblies 400 may be manufactured to any desirable size and shape.

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view illustration of a firearm target system 500 in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure. The system 500 can include a protective covering 502 (e.g., a binder) having one or more releasable fasteners 504 configured to releaseably retain one or more target assemblies 506. The target assemblies 506 can be generally similar to the target assembly 100 (FIG. 1A) and the target assembly 200 (FIG. 2). The target assembly 506 may differ from the assemblies 100 and 200 in that the assembly 506 includes a different target image 508. The target assemblies 506 may be provided with a plurality of pre-punched holes 510 (e.g., 3 prepunched holes 510) for accommodating the releasable fasteners 504. In many instances, marksmen will benefit from retaining accuracy and/or shot-consistency records generated under a plurality of environmental conditions, with different shooting range distances, and/or with different firearm equipment and ammunition. The firearm target system 500, including the protective covering 502, may provide a record-keeping and tracking system for the plurality of target assemblies 506 before and/or after shooting rounds.

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.

FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating an embodiment of a method 600 for manufacturing firearm target assemblies. The method 600 can include forming a substrate having at least a synthetic polymer layer (block 610). 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 600 may also include applying a print layer on the substrate to at least partially define a target image (block 620). The print layer may include a second color different from the first color.

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.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7712225 *Jan 10, 2008May 11, 2010Horus Vision LlcShooting calibration systems and methods
US7946048Apr 27, 2010May 24, 2011Horus Vision, LlcShooting calibration systems and methods
US8757626 *Apr 22, 2011Jun 24, 2014Arrowmat, LLCSelf sealing target
US20110218021 *Mar 5, 2010Sep 8, 2011Erik AndersonVisual image scoring
US20110260405 *Apr 22, 2011Oct 27, 2011Arrowmat, LLCSelf sealing target
US20120161396 *Dec 28, 2010Jun 28, 2012Munn Myron LTarget for patterning a shotgun
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/403, 273/408, 273/409, 283/67
International ClassificationF41J5/00
Cooperative ClassificationF41J1/01
European ClassificationF41J1/01
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 21, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: BATTENFELD TECHNOLOGIES, INC., MISSOURI
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:POTTERFIELD, RUSSELL A.;REEL/FRAME:020147/0016
Effective date: 20071120