US 2977580 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 28, 1961 I R. F. SPRECHER FLASH ATTACHMENT FOR STARTER'S PISTOL Filed Aug. 18, 1958 INVENTOR. RODNEY F SPRECHER aq/fi W A T TORNE VS United States Patent FLASH ATTACHMENT FOR STARTERS PISTOL Rodney F. Sprecher, 1160 Ridgeley Drive, Campbell, Calif.
Filed Aug. 18, 1958, Ser. No. 755,778
1 Claim. (Cl. 340-321) The present invention relates to a flash attachment for a starterspistol of the type used in starting foot races. In starting foot races at athletic meets, it is common practice to employ a pistol firing a blank cartridge. Such pistol usually is aimed along the starting line over the backs of the runners, and is fired at the for the race.
The timers for timing the race are stationed at the finish line, and this finish line frequently is 100 yards or more from the starting line. Since there is an appreciable lapse of time between the firing .of the starting pistol and the time the sound waves therefrom arrive at the finish line, the starters must depend upon seeing the 'flash' from the pistol in order to start their watches simultaneously with the firing of the pistol.
In order to increase the flash effect, most modern starting pistols are of the revolver type, and have the cylinter thereof shortened, and employ a solid barrel, with a pointed projection thereon directed toward the chamber in the cylinder from which the blank cartridge is fired. This arrangement has the effect of spreading the burning powder and exposing it to view, but even this arrangement provides only a feeble flash from a hundred yards or more away. It frequently happens therefore, that one or more of the timers will miss seeing this flash, with the result that such starter is unable to properly time the race.
The present invention provides a combined starters pistol, and a highly visible flash mechanism arranged to fire simultaneously with a blank cartridge in such pistol, whereby the flash from the flash mechanism may be directed in the general direction of the finish line when the pistol is fired along the starting line of a race.
A further object of the invention is to discharge a highly visible flash of light simultaneously with the firing of a starting pistol.
These, and other objects and advantages of the invention, will be apparent from the following description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:
Fig. 1 is a side elevational view of a starters pistol having a flash mechanism embodying the present invention mounted thereon.
Fig. 2 is a rear end elevational view of the assembly shown in Fig. 1.
Fig 3 is a fragmentary view showing the striking hammer of the pistol shown in Fig. 1 as it appears in cocked position.
Fig. 4 is a wiring diagram showing the flash circuit of the combination shown in Figs. 1-3.
Briefly, the illustrated form of the invention comprises a generally conventional, revolver type of starting pistol A, having a mounting block 10 secured by screws 11 to the top of the pistol frame 12. A conventional type of photo-flash mechanism B is mounted on the block 10, and is secured thereto by a positioning stud 13 and a thumb screw 14, which latter also electrically connects one terminal of the electrical circuit C (Fig. 4) of a flash bulb 15, mounted in the photo-flash mechanism B,
starting signal lQC to the pistol frame 12. A spring contact member 17 is mounted in the path of the hammer 18 of the pistol A, and is connected to the other terminal of the flash circuit C so as to fire the flash bulb 15 simultaneously with the firing of a blank cartridge 19in the pistol.
The flash bulb 15 is of a conventional type wherein the material which causes the brilliant flash of light produced thereby burns out the filament of the bulb. This of course opens the circuit across the bulb, and the circuit remains open until the bulb has been replaced with a fresh one.
Referring to the drawings in detail, the starting pistol A is of a conventional revolver type designed for the shooting of blank ammunition exclusively. It comprises a usual frame 12, hand grip portion 20, trigger 21, trigger guard 22, cylinder 23, cylinder pivot pin 24, hammer 18, and solid barrel 25.
As is customary in modern starting pistols, the cylinder 23 is shorter than the opening 27 therefor in the frame 12, and a pointed projection 28 extends co-axially from the solid barrel 25 toward the cylinder 23 so as to spread the burning powder emitted by the firing of the blank cartridge 19 to thereby increase the visibility of the powder flash.
The mounting block 10 for the flash attachment B is mounted on the pistol frame 12, the under side of this block 10 being fitted to seat solidly on the upper side of said frame. The block 10 is secured firmly to the cylinder frame 12 by the screws 11, which are inserted in holes provided therefor in the mounting block, and are screwed into threaded holes 30 provided therefor in the frame 12.
A hole 31 also is provided in the block 10 to receive closely therein the mounting stud 13, which is provided on the under side of the flash mechanism housing 32 of a generally conventional photo-flash attachment B of a type commonly used in photography. The housing 32, which preferably is of molded plastic material, is constructed to receive a usual electric dry cell battery 26 (indicated diagrammatically in Fig. 4) for igniting the usual photo-flash bulb 15. The housing 32 also has a hole 33 therethrough to receive freely therein the mounting screw 14, which is in electrical contact with a brass collar 34 (Figs. 1 and 2) bonded into the housing 32.
A conductor 36 (Fig. 4) connects one terminal of the battery 26 to one terminal of the lamp socket 38 to form one side of the circuit C. The other side of the circuit C comprises a conductor 35 connected from the other side of the socket 38 to the collar 34 and thence to the mounting block 10, pistol frame 12 and hammer 18. The hammer 18 and spring 17 act as electric switch means, and when closed, or in firing position as shown in Fig. 1, and in broken lines in Fig. 4, complete this other side of the circuit C through the stud 40 and a conductor 41 to the other terminal of the battery 26.
The photo-flash attachment B has a usual lamp socket 38 thereon to receive a conventional type of photo-flash bulb 15 therein, and also is provided with a reflector 39 adapted to reflect light rays from the flash bulb 15 in the direction in which the light bulb 15 is pointed.
When the hammer 18 is cocked, as shown in Fig. 3, the flash circuit C is open, as indicated in solid lines in Fig. 4. Upon pulling the trigger 21 to release the hammer 18 and allow it to move under usual spring impulse to the firing position shown in Fig. l, the hammer 18, engages the latter at substantially the instant when the hammer 18 strikes the usual firing pin (not shown) to fire a blank cartridge 19 in firing position within the cylinder 23. A screw 42 preferably is provided on the top of the hammer 18 to more positively engage the spring 17 when the hammer moves to firing position. Engagement of the contact spring 17 by the pistol hammer 18 (as shown in broken lines in Fig. 4) closes the electrical flash circuit C as follows: from the spring 17 and contact pin 40, through the conductor 41 to the usual battery 26 provided in the flash attachment housing 32, thence through the flash bulb 15, firing it, and the conductor 35 to the mounting screw 14. The circuit is completed through the pistol frame 12 and hammer 18 of the starting pistol to the contact spring 17.
In using the invention, with the mounting block secured to the pistol A, the flash mechanism B is mounted on the mounting block 10 with the positioning stud 13 seated in the hole 31 in the block. The mounting screw 14 is screwed into the threaded hole 33 and is drawn down snugly to secure the flash attachment B firmly to the mounting block. A blank cartridge 19 is inserted in a chamber of the cylinder 23 and is moved to firing position by rotating the cylinder in a well known manner. Upon cocking the hammer 18 as shown in Fig. 3, and inserting a usual photo-flash bulb 15 in the socket 38, the device is ready for firing.
When the runners are in position on the starting line, the pistol A is aimed generally along the firing line, and over the backs of the runners, and with the flash bulb 15 directed generally toward the finish line where the usual timers are stationed. Upon firing the pistol A by pulling the trigger 21 the blank cartridge 19 is fired substantially simultaneously with the closing of the electrical flash circuit C by engagement of the contact spring 17 by the hammer 18 as described previously herein. Thus, the flash from the bulb 15 will be clearly visible to the timers simultaneously with the firing of the cartridge 19 which starts the race.
The invention provides an easily assembled and inexpensive combination, since the starting pistol A is of a conventional type and requires only the provision of a mounting block 10 thereon adapted to receive the flash attachment B, while the latter may be of a generally conventional type, except for the provision of a contact member 17 positioned to be engaged by a moving element of the firing mechanism of the pistol A.
While I have illustrated and described a preferred embodiment of the present invention, it will be understood, however, that various changes and modifications may be made in the details thereof without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.
Having thus described the invention, what I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is defined in the following claim.
A light flashing attachment for a starters pistol for firing a blank cartridge, such pistol having a metal frame, and having also a trigger actuated firing hammer mounted on said frame and in electrical contact therewith; said attachment comprising an insulative casing for holding an electric battery, an electrically conductive mounting block fixedly secured to the top of the pistol frame and in electrical contact therewith, the underside of the casing and the-upper side of the block being shaped for closely superposed, interfitted relation, screw means for releasably securing the casing on the block, the rear end of the casing extending rearwardly over, and spaced upwardly from, the hammer of such gun when mounted on said block, the forward end of said casing extending forwardly of said block when so mounted, a photo flash bulb socket on a side of the forward portion of said casing,an electrical flash lamp firing circuit including an electric battery mounted in said casing and comprising first conductor means for connecting one side of such battery to one side of said socket, second conductor means for connecting the other side of the socket to said block and thereby to the pistol frame, a contact spring mounted on the under side of said insulative battery casing above, and out of reach of the hammer of such gun when the hammer is cocked, and in the path of movement of the hammer when the latter is trigger actuated, and conductor means electrically connecting said contact spring to the other side of such battery, whereby the circuit from the battery through said socket is opened by a cocking of the pistol hammer, and is closed by a trigger actuation of said hammer, and whereby a photo flash bul'b inserted in said socket with the hammer of such gun is cocked, is fired by a flow of electricity through said circuit simultaneously with the firing of a cartridge by the pistol.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,646,560 Kroeger July 21, 1953