FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The invention relates to weapon slings. More particularly, the invention relates to a sling for tactical weapons that includes a pull tab attached to a quick release clip that allows a weapon to be quickly and reversibly attached to a user.
Weapon slings have been used for centuries in order to provide a mechanism for a user to carry and better control a long weapon such as a rifle, assault rifle, sub-machine gun, light machine gun, machine pistol or shotgun. While convenient, conventional weapon slings can sometimes be an impediment when used in a tactical setting. For example, in close combat, when a soldier or police officer engages a hostile party, a struggle for control of the soldier's or officer's weapon can ensue. This struggle can prevent the weapon from being used and can also jostle the solider or police officer such that he or she has difficulty drawing a secondary weapon. With a conventional sling, the operator may attempt to cut away the sling with a knife in order to free himself from the weapon such that he regains the mobility to draw his secondary weapon. The several seconds that this operation takes can result in a tragic outcome.
Conventional weapon slings are also less than ideal in tactical application because they can impede removal of, or access to, a wounded soldier or police officer from a dangerous site because of interference from the attached weapon. Even after the weapon is removed, to prevent its recovery by a hostile opponent, it must be carried away by other personnel—a situation that increases the risk of sustaining another casualty.
The invention is based on the development of a revolutionary new weapon sling that includes a quick release clip which can be easily actuated to release or attach a weapon to a user. In a preferred variation, a sling for attaching a long weapon (e.g., a rifle or shotgun) to a user (e.g., via a bullet-proof vest or the like) can include an elastic bungee cord wrapped with a nylon sheath, a connector for reversibly attaching the sling to the weapon secured to one end of the wrapped bungee cord, a quick release clip for reversibly attaching the sling to the user or operator at the other end of the wrapped bungee cord, a pull tab attached to the quick release clip, and a polymer ball attached to the end of the pull tab. Pulling the ball applies tension to the pull tab which causes the clip to open and free the sling and weapon. Releasing the ball reverses the tension and causes the clip to close. The pull tab is designed to open the quick release clip with a single pulling action in almost any direction. The polymer ball can be large enough to easily operate and is brightly colored for enhanced visibility. The polymer ball is preferably colored red because it is the one color that the human brain continues to perceive under the stress of combat. The connector and quick release clip are fastened to the bungee using stainless steel ring snaps and an adhesive heat shrink. A tactical weapon attached to the user via the quick release clip can therefore easily and quickly be removed or attached to the user.
A major advantage of the weapon sling of the invention is that it allows the user to quickly and easily release the attached weapon when it is grabbed by a threat, such that the user can regain the mobility to draw his secondary weapon and eliminate the threat without first having to cut the sling. For example, the threat can be a criminal, a suspect, or an enemy combatant. Because the threat will most likely grab the weapon by the barrel end, the time it takes to reorient the weapon (wherein the brain must first recognize, access, and engage the threat, aim it, and fire it should exceed the time for the weapon sling user to draw and fire his secondary weapon.
Another major advantage of the weapon sling of the invention is that it allows an injured user to be quickly separated from his weapon so that he can more easily be removed from a dangerous site or so that a medic can have unimpeded access to the injured user. Where the medic or other personnel are also using the sling of the invention, the removed weapon can quickly be attached to them so it is not left for the hostile party to recover.
Accordingly, the invention features a weapon sling including a bungee, a device for attaching the sling to a weapon at one end of the bungee, a quick release clip for attaching the sling to a user at the other end of the bungee, and a pull tab attached to the quick release clip, wherein pulling of the pull tab opens the quick release clip. The weapon sling might further include a durable material wrapped around at least a portion of the bungee, a connector attached to the quick release clip, and/or a ball (e.g., one about 0.5 to 2 inches in diameter and colored red) attached to the pull tab.
The invention also features a weapon sling that can include a first attachment means, a second attachment means, an elongated element, a connector, and a quick release mechanism. The first attachment means can be capable of removably connecting to a weapon, and the second attachment means can be capable of removably connecting to a connector worn by a user. The elongated element can feature a first end to which the first attachment means may be secured and a second end to which the second attachment means may be secured. The quick release mechanism can be connected to the second attachment means and may be manually actuated to permit the second attachment means to be disconnected from the connector so as to detach the weapon sling and weapon from the user.
In another aspect the invention can feature the first attachment means including a snap release, a swivel hook trigger snap, or any other fastener capable of being mechanically or manually configured to attach to and to detach from the weapon.
In another aspect the invention can feature the second attachment means including a quick release clip.
In another aspect the invention can feature the elongated element including an elastic cord.
In another aspect the invention can feature the elongated element including an inelastic tether.
In another aspect the invention can feature the second attachment means including a loop that features a spring-loaded catch.
In another aspect the invention can feature the quick release mechanism including a manual release tab capable of being grasped and pulled to open the spring-loaded catch so as to detach the second attachment means from the connector worn by the user.
In another aspect the invention can feature the manual release tab including a free end comprising a visual marker.
In another aspect the invention can feature the manual release tab including a free end comprising a tactile marker.
In another aspect the invention can feature the manual release tab including a free end comprising a red sphere that is highly visible and easily located by touch by the user.
In another aspect the invention can feature the connector being attached to a garment, a belt, a harness, a vest, a MOLLE (modular lightweight load-carrying equipment) system, or PPE (personal protective body armor) worn by the user.
In another aspect, the invention features a method for reversibly attaching a long weapon to a user. This method includes the steps of: (a) providing a weapon sling including a bungee, a device for attaching the sling to a weapon at one end of the bungee, a quick release clip for attaching the sling to a user at the other end of the bungee, and a pull tab attached to the quick release clip, wherein pulling of the pull tab opens the quick release clip; (b) attaching the weapon sling to a user; and (c) attaching the weapon sling to a user by pulling the pull tab to open the quick release clip, attaching the quick release clip to a user via a connector, and releasing the pull tab to close the quick release clip. This method can further include the step of detaching the weapon sling from the user by pulling the pull tab to open the quick release clip and detaching the weapon sling from the quick release clip.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Unless otherwise defined, all technical terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Although methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, suitable methods and materials are described below. All publications, patent applications, patents and other references mentioned herein are incorporated by reference in their entirety. In the case of conflict, the present specification, including definitions will control.
FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of a weapon sling of the invention.
FIG. 2 is a schematic view of the parts used to make the weapon sling of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a schematic view of the weapon sling of FIG. 1 attached to a harness on a user.
FIG. 4 is a schematic view of the weapon sling of FIG. 1 attached to a user using a MOLLE system.
The invention encompasses weapon slings with a quick release clip and methods of using such slings. The below described exemplary embodiments illustrate adaptations of these devices and methods. Nonetheless, from the description of these embodiments, other aspects of the invention can be made or practiced based on the description provided below.
Referring to the figures, in one embodiment of the invention, a weapon sling includes a device for attaching the sling to a weapon, a bungee, hollow core webbing wrapped around the bungee, a pull tab, a polymer ball, adhesive heat shrink, a connector, a trigger snap release, a quick release clip, and a plurality of ring snaps. The device for attaching the sling to a weapon is fastened to one end of the wrapped bungee and can take the form of any device suitable for fastening the sling to a weapon, e.g., a swivel hook trigger snap as shown in the drawings.
The quick release clip is attached to other end of the wrapped bungee. The quick release clip can take the form of any quick release device suitable for attaching to the bungee to a user, e.g., via a vest, harness, MOLLE (modular lightweight load-carrying equipment) system, or PPE (personal protective body armor). In the figures, the quick release clip is made of anodized metal and includes a first loop for attaching to the bungee, a second loop of attaching to the connector, and a spring-loaded catch for opening and closing the second loop and having a device for attaching to the pull tab. The connector can take the form of any device suitable for attaching the quick release clip to a user. In the figures, the connector includes an ABS loop for attachment to the quick release clip and a slot for attaching a MOLLE attachment strap. The MOLLE attachment strap can be fastened to an acceptor on a user. In the embodiment shown in the figures, one end of the pull tab is connected to the spring-loaded catch and the other end is attached to the polymer ball. While the dimensions and parts of the weapon sling can vary, preferably they are selected such that the overall length of the sling is about 8¾ inches unstretched and about 13¾ inches stretched (+/−5, 10, 15, 20, or 25%) which was determined to be ideal for most long tactical weapons.
The sling shown in the figures may be assembled by securing the first loop of the quick release clip to one end of the bungee. This can be accomplished by folding over the end of the bungee to create a loop that is closed using the hog snaps. The hollow core webbing is then threaded onto the bungee from its other end far enough to cover the hog snaps. A section of heat shrink is then threaded over the hollow core webbing and positioned just over the area where the quick release clip engages the end of the bungee. It is then heated to form a tight bond. Next, the swivel hook trigger snap is attached to the other end of the bungee in the same manner. The distances between the portion of the bungee adjacent to the heat shrink and (1) the quick release clip, and (2) the swivel hook trigger snap are both about 3.5 inches (+/−5, 10, 15, 20, or 25%). The polymer ball/pull strap and the connector/MOLLE attachment strap are then attached to the quick release clip as shown in the figures.
- OTHER EMBODIMENTS
The sling shown in the figures is suitable for ambidextrous use. To attach a weapon to a user with the sling, the sling is attached to the user by fastening the quick release clip (e.g., via a suitable connector) to the user's vest, a MOLLE system, PPE, or harness. The quick release clip is operated by pulling the polymer ball to open the second loop on the quick release clip. A connector for attaching the sling to a user can then be attached to the second loop, and the polymer ball can then be released to close the second loop of the quick release clip. To detach the weapon sling from the user, the polymer ball is pulled to cause the second loop of the quick release clip to open.
It is to be understood that while the invention has been described in conjunction with the detailed description thereof, the foregoing description is intended to illustrate and not limit the scope of the invention, which is defined by the scope of the appended claims. Other aspects, advantages, and modifications are within the scope of the following claims.