US 3089476 A
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May 14, 1963 M. P. WOLVERTON PROJECTILE'APPARATUSES' 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 7, 1960 INVENTOR, Wife/WE fl/Vm/Mm/v BY 3; Z
May 14, 1963 M. P. WOLVERTON PROJECTILE APPARATUSES 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 7. 1960 W R A. .MW w 2 n 5 v w M w M 3,089,476 Patented May 14, 1963 3,989,476 PROIECTILE APPARATUSEES Marcine P. Wolverton, Franklin kark, ill, assignor to Midway Mannfactnring (30., Franklin Park, 111., a corporation of Illinois Filed Nov. 7, 1360, Ser. No. 67,663 4 Claims. (Cl. 124-11) My invention relates to novel improvements in projectile apparatuses. More specifically, the invention has to do with a novel and efiective arrangement for delivering a ball or like projectile from a storage position to and from a ball director preferably in the form of a simulated gun, with a maximum degree of velocity.
It is an object of the invention to accomplish this novel feature by dispensing with the usual and conventional compressor and storage tank, using in lieu thereof a motor-driven blower for lifting the ball or like projectile from a remote point to the barrel of the gun and for projecting the same through the latter with a maximum degree of speed.
Other objects will appear hereinafter.
The invention consists in the novel combination and arrangement of parts to be hereinafter described and claimed.
The invention will be best understood by reference to the accompanying drawings showing the preferred form of construction, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view ofa cabinet showing my invention associated therewith;
FIG. 2 is a sectional detail view taken substantially on line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional detail view taken substantially on line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 schematically illustrates a suggested circuit for the invention.
The cabinet with which my invention is to be associated may be of any preferred type. My invention may be used with the conventional open type target range or shooting gallery without anymaterial modifications. In either case, a deck or supporting plate It is provided: On this plate 1% there is movably mounted in any suitable manner, as at 11, a swivel carriage 13 which pivotally supports as at 14 a ball director 14 in the form of a simulated rifle, pistol or the like. Such device 14 in the present instance is shown in the form of a pistol and includes the usual trigger 15 which controls an electric circuit hereinafter referred to.
Communicating with the barrel 16- of the pistol 14 is a conduit 17 which extends through an enlarged opening 18 formed in the deck plate it and has its lower end portion 19 disposed a predetermined distance below the deck plate 10. The conduit 17 is of flexible construction so as to be adapted to conform to the movements of the carriage 13, and may be formed of such material as will best serve the purpose. Such conduit 17 together with the barrel 16 forms an unobstructed passage for the ball, the barrel serving to direct the ball in the direction of the target at which it is aimed. Secured to a wall 20 is a hopper 21 into which spent balls are received. The base of the hopper 21 communicates with an outlet tube 22 to which is secured an end portion of a conduit 23 which in the present instance is flexible and formed of any suitable material.
Mounted on a bottom wall 24 is a base plate 25. This base plate 25 has a central opening 26 which communicates with a blower generally indicated at 27 and mounted on the base plate 25. Communicating with the opening 26 is an outlet passage 28 formed in the plate 25 and extending in the direction of one edge thereof.
Formed in the base plate 25 and communicating with the blower 27 is an intake slot 29 which in turn communicates with an intake passage 30 extending in the general direction of the passage 28.
The blower 27 may be of any approved construction, including a suitable motor 26' arranged within the housing 25' and mounted within the blower tank 27 for creating the intake and outlet flow from the blower. The blower 27 is activated each time the trigger 15 is pulled. Communicating with the intake side of the blower 27 is an intake tube 31. The passage 28 communicates with an opening 32 formed in an elongated mounting plate 33. This plate 33 has a second opening 34 which communicates with the outer end of the intake passage 30 of the blower.
The lower end portion of the conduit 23 connects with a sleeve 35 having communication with the ball stacking tube 36 connected in any suitable manner to a collar 37 provided by a plate 38 supported by posts 39 in spaced relation with respect to the plate 33. Suitably arranged beneath the plate 38 between the posts 39 is an elongated slide 43. One end portion 41 of such slide is connected as at 42 to a plunger 43 of an electromagnetic solenoid 44 having circuit wires 45 which are connected with suitable power buses H and N and which circuit is controlled by a suitable switch TRZ in turn actuated by a trigger relay TR controlled by a trigger switch TS actuated by trigger 15 of the gun 14. A suitable timing circuit including a switch TRl actuated by trigger relay TR may be used to control the period of operation of the gun.
The opposite end portion of the slide 40 is connected by means of a depending pin 46 to one end portion of a spring 47 in turn connected to a post 48 carried by the plate 33. The spring 47 retains the slide 40 normally in a retracted position against the action of the solenoid 44.
A tube 49 is carried by the slide 40 for movement therewith and in its retracted position opens communication between the opening 34 and the tube 36. When moved from its retracted position to a position to the left, as viewed in FIG. 2, the tube 49 then communicates with a tube 50 to which the end portion of the conduit 17 is connected.
The tube 36 extends into the lower portion of the sleeve 35 with its top end portion 51 disposed above the opening of the intake 31. The end portion 51 is provided with spaced openings '52 which communicate with the intake 31. This arrangement prevents the balls descending through the sleeve 35 from being drawn into the intake portion of the blower 27. The blower 27 may be secured to the base plate 25 in any suitable manner.
In operation the spent balls which have been projected by the gun 14, find their way into the-hopper 21. From the lower end portion of the hopper 21, the balls, under suction created through the intake conduit 23 by the blower 27, are drawn into the tube 36. The balls successi'vely pass into the tube 49. In this tube 49* is arranged a transversely extending pin 53 which prevents the balls from dropping into the intake opening 34. When the solenoid 44 is energized, the slide 40 will be moved from the position shown in FIG. 2 with the tube 40' in communication with the tube 36, to a position where the tube 4%) will register with the tube 50, each ball being successively transferred from position beneath the stacking tube 36 through the firing tube 50 from whence the ball under pneumatic pressure created by the blower 27 is delivered through the conduit 17 to the barrel 16 and thence with a maximum speed projected toward the target. The movement of the slide 40 by the electromagnetic solenoid 44 is effected each time the trigger 15 is pulled.
An important feature of my invention resides in the fact that the ball or like projectile is received from the conduit 17 at a point remote from the barrel 16. This results in the ball retaining its maximum speed under the pneumatic pressure created by the blower 27 at the time that the ball emerges from the barrel 16. When the slide 40 is shifted to position the tube 49 beneath the tube 50, it will be noted that the intake to the blower 27 through the intake tube 36 is closed by the slide and short-cutted by providing an intake directly through the opening 34. This results in an increased amount of intake into the tank 27, with a corresponding increased air pressure from the tank and through the tube 17. By comparison I have found that the velocity of the ball or other projectile when projected from a gun by the arrangement disclosed herein, is substantially greater than by the heretofore known methods of utilizing a compressor and storage tank which projects a ball at a point directly from the gun rather than, as in the case of my arrangement, from a point therebelow and nearest the outlet of the blower. The blower of my invention may be compared with that used in connection with vacuum cleaners.
By the arrangement herein disclosed, the ball falls freely from the receiving hopper to the slide and, with the aid of utilizing the intake of the blower, the speed of the ball or balls to their position in the stacking tube is substantially increased. While the slide provides a convenient arrangement for moving the ball from the stacking tube to the firing tube, it also serves, as hereinbefore pointed out, to provide a by-pass for the intake to the blower, thus providing an intake, which will not be restricted by the balls in the stacking tube, as would be the case with respect to the intake 31.
From the foregoing, it will be apparent that I have provided a novel arrangement for receiving spent balls from a. receiving hopper to a position where the balls are successively moved to a firing tube at a point closely adjacent the blower and remote from the barrel of the gun, resulting in greater velocity of the balls and aifording a maximum degree of accuracy.
My invention may be associated with coin-controlled amusement machines or target practicing apparatuses or open shooting galleries.
An important feature of my invention resides in the fact that during the period of time that it takes for the tube 49 to move from position beneath the ball stacking tube 36 to a position in communication with the firing tube, the blower 27 will have started to operate so that by the time that the tube 49 reaches its position beneath the firing tube 17 a sufficient pressure has been created for projecting the ball through the firing tube and thence through the barrel 16. It will be noted that the passage through the firing tube =17 and barrel 16 is unobstructed.
While I have illustrated and described the preferred form of construction for carrying my invention into effect, this is capable of variation and modification without departing from the spirit of the invention. I, therefore, do not wish to be limited to the precise details of construction set forth, but desire to avail myself of such variations and modifications as come within the scope of the appended claims.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:
1. In combination, a spent ball receiving tube, a firing 'tube, a blower having an intake and an outlet, means providing a connection between said intake and said ball receiving tube, means providing a connection between said :firing tube and said outlet, a ball director having communication with said firing tube, means for successively transferring balls from said ball receiving tube to said firing tube for projection therethrough and through said ball director by pneumatic pressure generated by said blower, said blower having a second intake providing a 'by-pass thereto, and means provided by said transfer means for controlling air passage through said by-pass intake when a ball has been transferred by said means to said firing tube, said transfer means including an electromagnetically operated solenoid and a transfer slide operatively connected thereto and having a ball receptacle for receiving the ball from said receiving tube for transfer to said firing tube.
2. The device of claim 1 further characterized by the inclusion of a hopper for receiving spent balls and communicating with said ball receiving tube for delivering said spent balls to said ball receiving tube.
3. In combination, a blower including an intake and an outlet, said intake including two openings spaced from each other and one providing a by-pass to said blower, a hopper adapted to receive spent balls, tube means connecting said hopper to said intake, a ball director including a barrel, a firing tube connecting said barrel with said outlet, a movable slide having a ball receiving tube normally in communication with said intake, means for moving said slide from communication with said intake to a position in communication with said outlet for transferring a ball from said ball receiving tube to said firing tube for projection through the latter under pneumatic pressure from said blower, said slide having means for opening said by-pass intake when in ball delivery position to said firing tube.
4. In combination, a blower including an intake and an outlet, a hopper adapted to receive spent balls, a tube connecting said hopper to said intake, a ball director including a barrel and a trigger and a switch actuated by the latter, a firing tube connecting said barrel to said outlet, a movable slide having a ball receiving tube normally in communication with said intake, means for mov ing said slide from communication with said intake to a position in communication with said outlet for transferring a ball from said ball receiving tube to said firing tube for projection through the latter and through said barrel under pneumatic pressure from said blower, electromagnetic means for moving said slide, and circuit means including a motor for said blower and said switch and controlled by the latter for simultaneously actuating said blower motor and said electromagnetic means.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS