US 3085360 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 16, 1963 L. c. ROBBINS ETA]. 3,085,360
SAFETY DEVICE FOR REVOLVERS Criginal Filed Nov. 26, 1958 INVENTORS Zen/Z5 6 k056i) Leslie & 5 i270 BTW 3,085,350 SAFETY DEVICE FGR REVOLVERS Lewis C. Robbins, Washington, D.C., and Leslie Gordon Smith, Bannethoot, Viet-Nam; said Smith assignor to said Robbins Original application Nov. 26, 1958, Ser. No. 776,480, now Patent No. 2,997,802, dated Aug. 29, 1961. Divided and this application Mar. 8, 1961, Ser. No. 195,839
1 Claim. (Cl. 42--66) The present invention relates to safety devices for firearms and is particularly directed to devices for small arms such as pistols and revolvers.
This application is a division of application Serial No. 776,480, filed November 26, 1958, now issued as Patent No. 2,997,802.
It is widely known that a large number of persons are killed or injured each year because of gun accidents. This continuing condition has been the subject of a number of studies, such as the Uniform Hunters Casualty Report, a research project conducted under the auspices of the National Rifle Association of America.
In its wider aspects the safety problem respecting small arms involves consideration not only of the possibility of accidents in the field where guns are carried for purposes of hunting or target practice, but those that can occur at any place Where guns are accessible, inclusive especially of certain hazards which are of a type that is so common as to have become known as unloaded gun accidents. In these cases the person discharging the weapon, often with tragic consequences, acts on the assumption that no cartridge is in the chamber.
It is clear that educational programs are of great importance but at the same time are subject to limitations. Despite all that has been done to disseminate information, accidents continue to happen. This shortcoming is illustrated by the fact that many unloaded gun acci dents are caused by children and others who are beyond the reach of instructional programs, and further, even persons who are well aware of the necessary precautiolns, too frequently are lax in observing simple safety ru es.
One factor that contributes to the high frequency of gun accidents lies in the circumstance that the effort required to check the loading condition is just enough so as to cause the shooter to guess whether the gun is loaded rather than to determine this by opening the action. Further, precautions such as keeping the firing chamber open, are more often than not either inconvenient or impossible. For example a revolver with outswung cylinder cannot be carried conveniently. With these considerations in mind applicants have turned their attention. to a comparatively unexplored phase of the problem, namely the possibility of providing a visual means that will positively and at all times prove the condition of a gun with respect to loading.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a visual means that will direct attention of those responsible for, or involved in the handling of revolvers and pistols, to the condition of the arm with respect to loading.
A further object of the invention is to provide means that will serve in a campaign for the protection of the public against the danger of loaded firearms, and that will enable the bystander to protect himself, since it has been shown that the bystander is a casualty of hunting accidents several times as often as the shooter.
A further object of the invention is to provide means whereby the danger period of a firearm can be reduced thereby permitting the shooter to concentrate his safety measures and attention on that period when he is firing or is about to fire the arm, rather than attempting to maintain maximum alertness at all times. The unloaded "ice period for the gun will vary with different conditions of use. r
A filrther object of the invention is to provide means whereby a number of firearms can be readily and rapidly inspected as by a group supervisor in order to distinguish between those arms which are positively identifiable as unloaded and those which are in questionable condition.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a simple device inexpensive to produce and that will be well within the resources of any individual gun owner, or interested organization.
A further object is to provide means that will be small, light weight, and sufficiently compact to be conveniently carried in the pocket when removed from the weapon.
A further object of the invention is to protect the action by excluding dust and dirt from the breech opening.
General Description The safety device according to our invention comprises a device having a firing chamber plugging element and an exterior visible element. The firing chamber plugging element is of a length sufiicient to insure that when the device is in place there cannot be a cartridge in the chamber, and is of a thickness for at least part of its length slightly less than the diameter of the chamber. The visible element is firmly attached to the plugging element and is of such dimensions as to be readily visible on cursory inspection of the arm. Extending between the plugging element and the visible element there is an intermediate bridging portion or neck connecting the two elements in relatively fixed relationship.
The said elements are preferably formed from a material that is softer than the metal parts of the firearm whereby scarring or scratching of the firearm parts is avoided. We have found that aluminum is suitable, and it will be clear to those skilled in the art that other materials may be used. For the visible element in certain embodiments, we prefer to use a suitable plastic material. In general it is desirable to form the safety device from light weight materials.
The safety device according to our invention may be formed wholly of a single suitable material, as will hereinafter be fully described and, especially in the case of a device adapted to use on revolvers, may advantageously consist entirely of metal.
Where the visible element comprises a plastic material this may be clear and transparent or in any desired color. Fluorescent or phosphorescent plastic material, or a color coating, may be provided. In any event whether of metal, plastic or other material, the visible element is preferably of such appearance as to be readily distinguishable. In size also the visible element is such as to serve as a flag or signal to indicate the loading condition of the firearm.
The device as a whole is of such conformation and proportions as to be readily applied, and with equal facility removed from the firearm. In general it is preferable that the overall dimensions of the device do not substantially exceed the combined length of the chamber and breech opening, and, as will be noted in connection with the following description, in the case of a revolver especially, may be even less than the length of the chamber. When properly designed the safety device will remain securely in place without any further holding means regardless of the position in which the gun is held merely as a result of the locking fit of the essential elements to the chamber and adjacent portions of the arm.
The objects and advantages of the invention will be understood from the following specifications in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a safety device according to our invention, same being shown in engagement on a revolver.
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the embodiment of .the safety device according to the invention, illustrated in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 is a view in longitudinal section .of the embodiment illustrated in FIGURES 4 and 5, the section being indicated by line 33 in FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 4 is a view in section showing the cooperation of the firing pin with the safety device illustrated in FIG- URES 1 to 3.
Referring to the drawing, there is shown a safety device generally designated as 23b adapted to use on a revolver. Inasmuch as the cylinder of the revolver is provided with six cartridge chambers, the device is provided with six plug elements 25b. It will be understood that the number of plug elements 25b may" vary. For example certain small bore revolvers are provided with more than six chambers, and the number of plug elements would correspond. Although the device could have limited utility even if provided with fewer plug elements than the number of chambers, it is preferred that all of the chambers be plugged to insure that no cartridge is in the weapon. In addition to the plug elements the device 23b is provided with two visible elements 27b, interconnected to the plug elements by neck 29b. The latter has the general conformation of a circular ring or disc, the visible elements 27b preferably being integrally attached and disposed at approximately ninety degrees thereto. The visible elements 2711 are arcuate in shape and conform generally to the shape of a section of a cylinder, and to the outer diameter of the cylinder 15. The embodiment illustrated in the figures of drawing may be made wholly of sheet metal. Any metalmay be used but it is preferred to use a metal that is softer than the metal parts of the revolver in order to avoid scratching or scarring the surfaces thereof. It will be understood that a single visible element 27b may be provided, but a pair of elements oppositely disposed of the cylinder usually will be more satisfactory. An opening 49 is provided centrally in the neck 2% to receive the engaging detents commonly provided on revolvers, and to permit the neck portion 29b to be settled into close engagement with the adjacent portion of the revolver cylinder; With the safety device in place on the cylinder as shown in FIGURE 1, the cylinder may be swung back into normal position, whereupon the revolver may be inserted if desired in a holster. It will be understood that in such condition there willbe displayed to cursory inspection the visible elements 27. These may be further marked by suitable bright color.
In the embodiment shown in the drawing the plug elements 25b need only be of a length to render impossible emplacement of the device'when a cartridge is in one of the chambers. It is however desirable that these shallow plug elements be hollow in order to permit the firing pin to move to its furthest forward position. In FIGURE 4, the hammer is shown in its furthest forward position, the firing pin 57 protruding far enough to engage the cap of a cartridge, if the latter were in the chamber, or to enter the depression of member 25b when the latter is in place as illustrated.
It will be understood thatthe foregoing embodiments are by Way of illustration and not limitation. What we claim and desire to protect by grant of Letters Patent is as follows:
In combination with a revolver having a firing pin and acylinder provided with a plurality of firing chambers, a safety device for visually indicating when said revolver is in disarmed condition, said device comprising a pluarlity of firing chamber plugging elements insertable in said firing chambers, and. a visible element offset with respect to said plugging elements, said visible element extending substantially wholly outside said firing chambers and outside said cylinder when said plugging elements are inserted in said firing chambers, and means interconnecting said plugging elements and said offset visible element, the shape and alignment of said visible elements being in the shape of a section of a cylinder substantially co-axial with said first-named cylinder, and extending along the outside of said first-named cylinder.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 223,100 Bell Dec. 30, 1879 516,942 Prideaux Mar. 20, 1894 1,181,034 Prideaux Apr. 25, 1916 1,326,721 Glasser -Dec. 30; 1919 1,655,624 Nelson Jan. 10, 1928 2,113,822 Barros Apr. 12, 1938 2,327,334 Parker Aug. 17, 1943 2,637,930 Mason May 12, 1953 2,887,807 Santangelo May 26, 1959 2,896,353 Hunt July 28, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 387,041 Great Britain Feb. 2, 1933