US 3004533 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 17, 1961 M. J. RITZ GUN FOR UNDERWATER USE Filed June 6, 1960 United States Patent; Ofi
3,004,533 Patented Oct. 17, 1961 ice 3,004,533 GUN FOR UNDERWATER USE Maurice Jean 'Ritz,"4 Avenue Ren Samuel, Ulamar't, France Filed June-6, 1960,5er. No. 34,266 Claims priority, application France June 8, 1959 3 Claims. '(Cl. 124-27) This invention relates to guns especially though not exclusively suitable for use by skin divers for underwater shooting.
To alter for the popular sports of skin diving and underwater shooting, various types of weapons have been devised, in which a m'iss'ilein the form of a dart or herpoon is discharged from a gun or crossbow by mechanical energy which is usually stored as the tensioning of springs, elastic cables or the like, in a preliminary cocking operation. Since water is an incompressible medium it cannot conveniently be used to store the necessary energy for firing a missile, as is done for example in a conventional airgun. 'Cocking or tensioning the abovementioned resilient or elastic means prior to firing, is usually etfected by means of the missile itself as it is loaded into the gun. This renders both the loading operations, and the cocking operations, ditficult and strenuous to carry out especially underwater. These operations as they were heretofore performed, required the presence of a stable fulcrum surface against which the butt of the gun could be firmly applied 'for loading. This latter requirement prevented or limited the use of the gun in midwater which otherwise would provide enhanced attraction. Moreover, the power of the guns that were generally available had to be limited to correspond with .the muscular capacity of the average sportsman and could not exceed a definite -"limit. I
It is an object of this invention to provide an improved gun which will be free of the above limitations. It 'is consequently an object to provide a gun especially for underwater use which can be made tohave a greatly increased 'firing power than was heretofore possible without requiring increased muscular effort from the user, and to provide such an underwater gun which can be reloaded and cocked underwater without requiring 'a stable fulcrum surface. .An object is to provide a gun using spring tension energy for .the firing of a missile, in which the functions of loading the gun and of storing the spring energy, i.e. cocking the gun, will be separated from one another; and another object .is to utilize the surrounding medium, especially though not necessarily where this medium is water, for cocking a gun.
In accordance with an aspect of the invention .there .is provided a .gun, e.g. an underwater gun, including .tensionable spring means, means comprising a hand;pump for tensiouiug said spring means by the displacement of fluid derived from the surrounding medium, e.g. water,
which is compressed on displacement of the slider to a rearward position by means of a dart-like-missile engageable with said slider for loading: the gun from the muzzle thereof, and the slider being thereupon .releasably retained in its rearward position by the trigger-actuated mechanism. Defined behind .the piston in the barrel is a chamber into which fluid e.g. water from the surrounding medium can be forced by manual reciprocation of a handpump thereby to move the piston to a forward position in which it compresses both springs and thus imparts a high total compression to the combined spring means. Thereafter trigger action will ,propel the slider forward and Jfire the missile with .the full amount of the compression force stored in the spring means.
It will be appreciated that with the arrangement of the invention, the gun "is 'loaded'by inserting the dart into the barrel vfrom the muzzle and thereof against the moderate resistance of only one (e.g. a longer one) of said springs, which may be made relatively week so that the loading operation will be easy .to perform and will not require Iulcruming the gun but against a fixed surface as was heretofore required. 0n having loaded the gun, the user proceds to coc'k, or store energy into it and he does this by reciprocating the hand pump toforce water '(or other fluid) into the chamber behind the piston thereby-driving the piston forward and placing high compression against the spring means, e.g. compressing the strong short spring in addition to the long spring, where two unequally dimens'ioned springs are used. This energy-storing or cook ing operation does not require great muscular elfort either since it can be effected progressively by successive and trigger actuated mechanism for releasing the spring 4 tension to discharge a missile from the gun.
In another aspect there is provided a gun, e.g. an underwater gun, including tensionable spring means, for imparting to the spring means a first and moderate amount of tension on loadingamissile into the gun, fluiddisplaccment means comprising a hand pump imparting -additional and increased tension to the sp ing means by the displacement of fluid, cg. water derived ifrom the surrounding medium, and nigger-"actuated mechanism for suddenly releasing the total spring tension to --fire said missile.
In a preferred construction the gun may include a barrel with a slider displaceable in a front part and a piston slidable in a rear part thereof. The spring means comprise a pair of coaxial compression coil springs one of reciprocations oi the hand pump, and hence the stored firing energy can greatly exceed -the range of valuesiheretofore made possible.
An exemplary embodiment of the invention will now be described for purposes of illustration only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side view, partly in section;
FIG. 2 shows the rear par-t of the ,gun as seen on a plane displaced from that of FIGURE 1;
FIG. '3 isa'larger-scale view of the gun in section; and
FIG. 4 isxa section on line IV-IV of FIGURE .3.
As shown in the drawings, an underwater hunting gun comprises a grip portion 1 made of metal or molded plastic, and secured to a side of main tube or barrel '2. A conventional missile in the form of a dart or harpoon 3 is shown engaged in the front end of the barrel by means later described. Associated with the grip is a trigger-actuated gun-lock mechanism including a scar 4 pivoted at its forward end to the grip structure and pivoted at its free rear end to the front end of a trigger member 5 pivoted at an intermediate point to the grip structure. A tension spring 6 attached to a rear end of the trigger serves to bias the trigger to its idle position. A safety catch 77 is 'pivoted'to the grip structure and engages the rear end -of the trigger to prevent displacement thereof except when the catch is rotated by means of an external 'iever not shown.
A disk-shaped slider 8 is displaceahle in the barrel 2 and is formed with a socket in the centre of its forwardly directed face to receive the rear end or shaft of the dart Stherein. Said shaft is passed at an intermediate point thereof through a plug 9 stopping the front end of tubular barrel 2. "Ihe disk -8 has a boss 8a proiec'ting from the centre of its rear face and serving to seat the front ends of two separate coil springs 10 and 11, of unequal diameters, with the larger diameter spring 11 extending axially of the spring .10. Preferably, the smaller diameter spring 10 is substantially weaker thanspning .11. In the exemplary embodiment, shown, the weaker spring 10 is substantially donger, in relaxed 'lengt-h, than spring :11 and is permanently engaging the slider 8 whereas spring 3 11 does'not normally engage the slider 8. Both springs and 11 at their rear ends are seated against a piston 12 provided with a seal ring 13 slidable in the rear end section of the .tube 2. The rear end of the tube is sealed by a screw plug 14. Secured to the outer side of the plug 14 is a block 15 to which is secured the rear end of a further tube 16 which extends parallel to the main tube or barrel 2 and is secured thereto by means of a collar clamp 17 (see FIGS. 1 and 2).
Slidably mounted within the tube 16 is a piston 18 provided with a seal ring '19 and having a piston rod 20 extending forwardly from it. Secured to the outer end of rod 20 is a vane 21 which is of arcuate configuration in cross section so as to be capable of partly surrounding the main tube 2 on rotation of the vane 21, rod 20 and piston 1'8, and in its rotated position the vane 21 will not substantially project beyond the outer countour of the barrel tube 2. v
Mounted in a chamber of the block 15 is a first valve 22 which is urged by a spring 23 into sealing engagement with a hole 24 connecting the chamber 25 with the exterior space. A transverse passage 26 connects the chamber 25 with another chamber 27 formed in the plate 15 in axial alignment with the tube or pump body 16. Chamber 27 is connected by another passage 28 with a third chamber 29 formedin the plate 15 on the side remote from chamber 25 and extending generally transversely to chamber 27. A slide valve 30 in chamber 29 is biassed by a spring 31 into sealing engagement with passage 28. The chamber 29 is furthermore connected by a passage 32 with'a chamber defined in the rearmost portion 2a of barrel "tube2 behind the piston 12. Moreover, thechamber 29 communicates, through a passage not shown, with a vent port 33 (see FIG. 4) opening to the exterior. The vent 33 is normally sealed by a valve member 34 under the action of a spring 35. The valve member 34 can be displaced to a venting position by a trigger 5 will then disengage the catch 4 to release the slider 8, whereupon the stored mechanical energy will expand the springs 10 and 11 and. propel the dart 3 at high velocity from out of the gun. To recondition the gun for a fresh shot, the lever 36 is actuated to lift the vent valve 34, thus allowing the water in chamber 2a to escape, and the piston 12 to be pushed back to its rearmost initial position by the action of the springs 10' and 11. On release of lever 36, the valve 34 reengages its seat under the effect of spring 35 and the weapon can be reloaded by insertion of a dart 3. The action of safety catch 7 to latch the trigger 3 against unwanted displacement is conventional and need not be described in detail.
It will be understood that the invention may be embodied in a wide variety of forms other than the one specifically illustrated and described herein. While the invention is of especial use in connection with an under water gun, it is not necessarily restricted thereto since it would be clearly applicable to a weapon of the airgun type for use in ordinary atmospheric surroundings. In such case the fluid forced into the chamber 2a for driving the piston 13 to its forwardly displaced or cocked position would be air rather than water. Instead of using the fluid constituting the surrounding medium for this purpose, the invention may use an auxiliary fluid stored in a container attached to the pumping means. Where the fluid used is a compressible fluid such as air, compression thereof in the chamber 2a by pump action may serve to augment the energy stored by the tensioning of the spring means.
It will be understood that the expression spring tention and cognate expressions as used in the claims, are
, to be interpreted in their broad sense as designating the lever 36 pivoted on a cross-pin 37 and having a finger 38 portions, a slider displaceable in a front portion of the engageable with the valve 34. The underwater gun described operates as follows:
In the idle condition the rear tube chamber 2a is substantially under normal pressure, and both springs 10 and 11 are relaxed. The piston 12 is in its rearmost posi- A tion and the slider 8 is free to move in the front section of the barrel 'tube 2. When desired to use the gun, a dart 3 is inserted into the front end of the barrel 2 with the rear end of the dart shaft engaged in, the socket. of slider 8 positioned in engagement with the spring 10. The dart is pushed inwards with moderate muscular force against the weak spring 10, so as to engage the slider 8 behind an upper catch orprojection of sear 4, in latched condition. Both springs 10 and 11 are at this time compressed under moderate pressure. In order to cock the gun and compress springs 10 and 11 under full force, the user rotates the arcuate vane 21 to a convenient position as shown in FIG. 3, and reciprocates the vane in the fashion of a pump handle to pump water into the chamber 2a. On pulling vane 21 forward, a suction is created in pump body 16 behind piston 18, and this suction lifts valve 22 inwards against spring 23, drawing in water through the hole 24. As the vane 21 is thereafter pushed backards, the valve 22 seals against hole 24 by the action of spring 23, and the entrapped water is expelled into the chamber 2a of tube 2 by way of passage 28 through the valve 30 in opposition to the spring 31. Thus by a series of reciprocations on the vane 21 water is pumped into chamber 2a, progressively pushing the piston 12 forward against the springs 10 and 11 until the desired degree of spring tension has been achieved. The stroke of pump piston 18 may if desired be limited by a restriction in the tube 16. The springs 10 and 11 can be compressed to full pressure without excessive muscular effort on the user's part. The vane 21 is then rotated down over the side of barrel 2 as indicated in FIGURE 2. Action on.
mechanical energy storable by deformation of spring means, whether such deformation be in the nature of compression, tension or torsion.
What I claim is: 1. A gun comprising a barrel having front and rear barrel, a piston slidable in a rear portion of the barrel, a pair of springs in said barrel between said slider and said piston, said springs being coaxial and of unequal diameter and unequal length, said slider being displaceable to a rearward position by a missile engageable therewith to compress the longer spring, trigger-actuated mechanism for releasably retaining the slider in such rearward position, a chamber defined in the rear end of said barrel, and a hand pump manually operable to force fiuidinto said chamber to force the piston forwardly and thereby compress both of said springs, whereupon operation of the trigger to release the slider will cause the slider to be propelled forwardly of the barrel under the total compression of both springs to fire the missile.
2. A gun comprising a barrel having front and rear portions, a slider displaceable in a front portion of the barrel, a piston slidable in a rear portion of the barrel, a pair of springs in said barrel between said slider and said piston, said springs being of unequal length and spring rate, said slider being displaceable to a rearward position by a missile engageable therewith to compress the longer spring, trigger-actuated mechanism for releasably retaining the slider in such rearward position, a chamber defined in the rear end of said barrel, and a hand pump manually operable to force fluid into said chamber to force said piston forwardly and thereby compress both of said springs, whereupon operation of said trigger mechanism to release said slider will cause said slider to be propelled forwardly of said barrel under the total compression of both springs to fire the missile.
3. A gun comprising a barrel having front and rear portions, a slider displaceable in a front portion of the barrel, a piston slidable in a rear portion of the barrel, a pair of springs in said barrel between said slider and said piston, said springs being coaxial and of unequal diameter and unequal length, said slider being displaceable to a rearward position by a missile engageable therewith to compress the longer spring, trigger-actuated mechanism for releasably retaining the slider in such rearward position, a chamber defined in the rear end of said barrel, and a hand pump to force fluid into said chamber, said pump comprising a tubular pump body, a pump piston slidable in said body, a piston rod extending from said pump piston, and an actuating member attached to said piston rod for reciprocating said pump piston, a valve block secured to the rear end of said barrel, an inlet valve in said valve block communicating with the exterior thereof and with the rear end of said pump body, an inlet valve controlling such communication, an outlet chamber in said valve block communicating with the rear end of said pump body and with said barrel chamber, and an outlet valve controlling the last named communication, operation of said pump forcing fluid into said barrel chamber to force said piston forwardly to compress both springs whereupon operation of said trigger mechanism releases said slider to be propelled forwardly of said barrel under the total compression of both springs to fire the missile.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,381,639 Hess June 14, 1921 2,321,076 Gora et a1 June 8, 1943 FOREIGN PATENTS 425,555 Great Britain Mar. 18, 1935