US 3054614 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 18, 1962 F. E. DEAN QUICK-DRAW TIMING APPARATUS Filed Oct. 20, 1958 FIG I HOVAC INVENTOR.
FRANK E. DEAN BY PM-E/vr Aaau'r United States Patent 3,054,614 QUICK-DRAW TIMING APPARATUS Frank E. Dean, Los Gatos, Calif. Filed Oct. 20, 1958, Ser. No. 768,365 3 Claims. (Cl. 273-1) The present invention relates to timing mechanisms and more particularly, to apparatus for timing a gun drawing and shooting operation. Various timing mechanisms, some partially and some completely automatic, have been proposed to accurately indicate the time required for human responses and activities of many kinds. It is a general object of the present invention to provide an apparatus particularly adapted for timing the period required for drawing and shooting a gun in response to a given signal, such activity being commonly referred to as the quick-draw.
It is a feature of the invention to provide such a timing apparatus having an accuracy to the nearest one-one hundredth of a second.
A further feature of the apparatus is its capability of automatically recording the completion of a quick-draw operation only in response to an accurately directed shot.
A further feature relates to the arrangement of the apparatus so that such completion of the quick-draw is responsive to the firing of a blank cartridge wherefore injury to the gunman or any onlookers is positively preeluded.
These and other objects and features of the invention will become more apparent from a perusal of the following description of the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of a timing apparatus embodying the present invention including the associated electrical circuit, and
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary view of a particular switch structure that constitutes one portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.
With initial reference to FIG. 1, the illustrated embodiment of the invention includes an electric clock connected by a series circuit to a 110 volt alternating current source, indicated at 12. The clock 10 can be anyone of several commercially available units of high accuracy having indicia thereon for registering the passage of time to the nearest one-one hundredth of a second.
First and second switches 14 and 16 are included in the series circuit as well as a signaling device 18 in the form of an electric light which is energized along with the electric clock 10 when both of the switches 14, 16 are closed to complete the circuit. The first switch 14 is a manually operable one, while the second switch 16, as shown in detail in FIG. 2, constitutes a push-button switch normally held in open position by a compressed spring 20. The push-button 22 itself projects upwardly from the top of a vertically-adjustable standard 24 into the interior of a rigid metal rim 26 also mounted on such standard.
In accordance with the present invention, a member can be placed within the rim to hold the push-button 22 down wherefore the switch 16 is moved into closed position, but upon displacement of the member from its position within the rim 26, the spring 20 will cause the switch 16 to again open. Preferably, as shown in FIG. 1, the mentioned member constitutes a balloon 28 which can, upon inflation, be placed within the rim 26 to be encompassed and held thereby. In order to insure that enough Fatented Sept. 18, 1962 force to urge the push-button 22 downwardly to close the second switch 16 is derived, a small curved metal plate 30 is arranged for interposition between the balloon 28 and the push button 22 in the manner illustrated in FIG. 1. This plate 36 is connected to the metal rim by a short length of chain 32 so that when displaced from its position within the rim 26, it will still remain in the immediate vicinity for replacement on the push button 22 when another inflated balloon is inserted.
In operation of the described device, a balloon 28 is first inflated and then placed within the rim 26 together with the curved plate 30 so that the push button switch 16 will be urged into closed position. The light or other signalling device 18 is preferably placed in a position physically close to the standard 24 so that a gunman can readily see the light 18 and the balloon 28 at the same time. An attendant then closes the manual switch '14 to complete the series circuit, the push-button switch 16 having already been .closed, which at once energizes the electric clock 10 and the signal light 18. The gunman, then seeing the light energized, draws his gun and aims it towards the balloon 28 and fires. Even though a blank cartridge is in the gun, the balloon 28 will be broken if the gunman stands within 4 or 5 feet of the standard 24. When the balloon 28 breaks, the spring 20 moves the push button switch 16 into open position which, in turn, opens the circuit to de-energize the electric clock 10 as well as the signal light 18. The time registered on the face of the clock 10 then indicates to the nearest one-one hundredth of a second the period required between the energization of the signal light 18 and the breaking of the balloon 28. Since the balloon 28 will be broken only if an accurate shot is fired, the device indicates not only the speed of the gunman, but his accuracy as well.
Various modifications and/ or alterations can obviously be made without departing from the spirit of the invention, and the foregoing description of one embodiment is accordingly to be considered purely as exemplary and not in a limiting sense. The actual scope of the invention is to be indicated by reference to the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for timing a gun drawing and shooting operation which comprises an electrical circuit including an electric clock, a signaling device, and a pair of switches connected in series, the first of said switches being manually-operable, the second switch being spring-biased to a normally-open position, and means including an inflated balloon for holding said second switch in a closed position.
2. Apparatus for timing a gun drawing and shooting operation according to claim 1 wherein said switch holding means includes a rigid rim adapted to encompass said inflated balloon and said normally-open switch includes a push-button projecting into the interior of said rim.
3. Apparatus for timing a gun drawing and shooting operation according to claim 2 which comprises a plate disposable within said rim between an encompassed balloon and the end of said switch push-button.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 601,626 Brooks Apr. 5, 1898 1,993,949 Welser Mar. 12, 1935 2,370,141 Brunner Feb. 27, 1945 2,630,171 Allgaier Mar. 3, 1953