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Publication numberUS3250034 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 10, 1966
Filing dateAug 5, 1964
Priority dateAug 5, 1964
Publication numberUS 3250034 A, US 3250034A, US-A-3250034, US3250034 A, US3250034A
InventorsSimmons Ernest P
Original AssigneeSimmons Ernest P
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electric gun firing mechanism
US 3250034 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


a. MQ



United States Patent O 3,250,034 ELECTRIC GUN FIRING MECHANISM Ernest P. Simmons, 2510 Lafayette, Kansas City, Kans. Filed Aug. 5, 1964, Ser. No. 387,697 3 Claims. (Cl. 42-84) This invention relates to new and useful improvements in firearms, and has particular reference to the firing mechanisms of such rear-ms. While the invention is shown and describedin connection with a shotgun, it will be understood that it may be applied also to riiies and other weapons, especially shoulder arms.

The princip-alobject of the present invention is the provision of an electrically actuated firing mechanism for the gun.

Another object is the provision of an electric gun firing mechanism wherein the electrically operated element actuates the firing pin directly, rather than functioning simply as an electric trigger for actuating the usual sear-and-hammer iiring mechanism. This permits the elimination of many iinely machined precision parts, and also substantially increases the firing speed of the gun by reducing lthe time lapse between the actuation of the trigger and the actual firing of the shell or cartridge. A further object is the provision of a gun firing mechanism of the character described wherein the source of electric power, such .as dry-cell batteries, is carried in a case separate from the gun and connected to the gun itself by trailing wires detachably plugged into the g-un, whereby detachment of said wires from the gun automatically renders the gun safe from accidental firing.

Other objects are simplicity and economy of construction, efficiency and dependability of operation, and adaptability for use in a wide variety of types and styles of g-uns.

With these objects in view, as well as other objects which will appear in the course of the specification, reference will be had to the accompanying drawing, wherein:

FIG. l is a longitudinal vertical sectional View of the breech and stock portions of a shotgun including a firing mechanism embodying the present invention, w-ith parts left in elevation and partial-ly broken away,

iFIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on line II-II of FIG. 1, with parts left in elevation,

FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line III- III of FIG. l, and

FIG. 4 is a schematic wiring diagram of the iring mechanism.

Like reference numerals apply to similar parts throughout the several views, and the numeral 2 applies generally to a shotgun including a barrel 4, forepiece 6, frame 8, and stock 10. Frame 8 includes a breech block 12, and an upper tang 14 and a lower tang 16 Vextending rearwardly from said breech block in vertically spaced apart relation, said tangs being connected at their rearward ends by a vertically extending cross bar 18. Said frame is made of steel, and is hence electrically conductive. Barrel 4 has a chamber 20 formed in the rearward end thereof for receiving a shell 22, the base of said shell normally resting against the forward face of ybreech block 12. It will `be understood that the base of said shell is provided centrally with a tiring cap (not shown) adapted to be detonated by a tiring pin 24 disposed slidably in a passage 26 of the breech block. Barrel 4 is mounted in forepiece 6, and ispivoted in frame 8 at 28, whereby the rearward end of the barrel may be pivoted upwardly from the breech block to permit insertion and removal of shells into and out of chamber 20. The barrel is re'leasa'bly secured in its tiring position by a breech lock mechanism which is standard and is therefore not here illustrated. Stock 10, usually wood, is aiixed to the rearward end of frame 8 by an elongated screw 30 threaded into cross `bar 18 of the frame, and extends forwardly along the sides of tangs 14 and 16 to breech block 12, `as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The space between said rangs, and within the stock, constitutes a chamber 32 which normally contains the hammer, sear, cock-ing mechanism, and other elements of the usual firing mechanism.

According to the present invention, firing pin 24 is connected rigidly to and forms an axial extension of the armature 34 of an electric solenoid 36 mounted in chamber 32. In addition to said armature, said solenoid includes a tubular outer housing 38 secured to upper tang 14 by screws 40, a coaxial inner housing tulbe 42 disposed within said outer tube and extending rearwardly therefrom to form a housing 44, armature 34 being slidably mounted in said inner tube and housing, an end plate 46 closing the forward end of housing 38 and having an aperture 48 through which firing pin 24 extends, an end plate 50 closing the rearward end of housing 318, and a wire coil 512 substantially filling the annular space between housing members 38 and 42. A weak helical compression spring 54 is disposed about the firing pin, bearing at one end against armature 34 and at its opposite end against end plate 46, whereby to retract said firing pin away from shell 22. Whenever coil S2 is energized, armature 34 is advanced forwardly against spring 54 to iire t-he gun.

A trigger 56 of usual lever design is pivoted in lower .iframe tang 16 on a horizontal transverse pivot pin 58, extending rearwardly from s-aid pivot pin in a slot of said tang, being provided at its rearward end with a notch 60 engaging said tang to limit the vertical movement of the trigger. The depending finger piece 62 of the trigger is provided with a rearwardly extending lug 64 in which is mounted a vertically slidable pin 66 engaging the lower sunface of tang 16, said p-in being urged upwardly, whereby to bias the trigger downwardly, by a spring 68 mounted in lug 64, the tension of said spring being adjustable by a screw 70 threaded in the lug whereby to adjust the sensitivity of the trigger pull. If the gun is equipped with the normal trigger guard 72, said guard may have a hole 74 formed therein to provide access to screw 70.

Above tang 16, within chamber 32, trigger 56 carries an electric switch contact 76 which cooperates with a con-tact 78 mounted on tang 16 but insulated therefrom lby an insulating block 80. Contact 76 is normally spaced apart from contact 78, but is operable to be brought into engagement therewith by pulling the trigger. One terminus of solenoid coil 52 is connected by wire 82 to contact 78, so that when contacts 76-78 are closed by pulling t-he trigger, the coil is grounded to frame 8 through trigger 56 and pivot pin 58, the ground connection being indicated at 84 in FIG. 4. The other terminus of coil 52 has a wire 86 connected thereto. Wire 8 6, and another wire 88 grounded to frame 8 at 90, extends through a bore 92 of stock 10 into a cavity 94 formed in the lower end of the Igrip portion of said stock. Said cavity is covered [by a grip plate 96 secured to the stock by screws 98, and mounted in said plate is the socket portion of a two-channel phone jack 99. As diagrammed in FIG. 4, said socket includes a sleeve conductor 100 into which t-he plug of the jack may be inserted, and to which wire 88 is connected, and a prong conductor 102 insulated from sleeve 100 and to which wire 86 is connected. The plug of the phone jack includes a shank conductor 104 operable to engage sleeve 100 when the plug is inserted in the socket, and a tip conductor 106 insulated from lshank 104 and adapted to engage prong 102. As the plug is inserted, tip 106 3 springs prong 102 out of engagement with a second prong 108 carried by sleeve 100, said prong being provided with cooperating contacts 110 and 112, said contacts engaging when the plug is withdrawn. Contacts 110 and 112 form a shorting switch, as will be de.


Shank 104 and tip 106 of the phone jack are connected respectively by wires 114 and 116, enclosed in a exible cable 118, with the terminals of a battery of dry cells 120 carried in a container 122, the cable 118 being of such length that container 122 may conveniently be carried in the gunners pocket, or in any other convenient location, Wires 86 and 88 also have wires 124 and 126 connected respectively thereto, said latter wires extending rearwardly through a bore 12S in stock 10 from cavity 94 to a series of electrical condensers 130 carried in a cavity 132 formed in the shoulder end portion of the stock and accessible by removing the shoulder plate 134, which is secured to the stock by screws 136. Said condensers are connected in parallel across wires 124 and 126.

In operation, it will be seen that when the plug of phone jack 99 is inserted in its socket, the battery of cells 120 is connected across condensers 130 in a circuit from the battery through wire 116, plug tip 106, prong 102, wires 86 and 126, and condensers 130, wires 124 and 88, sleeve 100, shank 104 and wire 114, whereby said condensers are charged. After a few seconds during which condensers 130 become fully charged, the gun is ready to fire. Then, when trigger 56 is pulled, contacts 76 and 78 engage, completing a circuit from battery 120 and condensers 130 through wires 86 and 126, solenoid 36, wires 82, contacts 78 and 76, trigger 56, frame 8 and wires 124 and 88. Solenoid 36, thus energized by the battery, reinforced by the discharge of condensers 130, urges armature 34 and firing pin 24 forwardly to detonate the shell. The gun will of course be ready to fire again as soon as the condensers have had time to be recharged after trigger switch 76-78 is reopened. This normally requires only a few seconds. When the phone jack plug is withdrawn from its socket, the gun is entirely safe, because the battery is of course then disconnected, and also because when the plug is withdrawn, shorting contacts 110-112 of the jack socket come into engagement aspreviously described, forming a direct short circuit across the condensers 130 and causing them to be discharged. Were it not for this short-circuiting provision, the jack plug could be removed leaving the condensersfully charged, so that the gun could later be fired by accident if the trigger were pulled either inadvartently or in the belief that the gun was safe.

The solenoid replaces the entire complicated, nely machined and expensive firing mechanism usually operated by the trigger, including the sear, sear spring, hammer, hammer spring and hammer eocking mechanism, and my mechanism thus constitutes a substantial economy over previous guns. Another advantage is extreme ring speed, as little as five or six thousandths of a second elapsing between the time the trigger is actuated andthe time the gun actually fires. Perhaps three or four times this delay occurs in standard firing mechanisms, due to the time required for mechanical movement of parts, and inertia of springs and hammers. This added ring speed is particularly important when the gun is used by persons who have developed an involuntary anticipatory flinching whenever they pull the trigger, as such nching can cause the gun to move off-target before the gun actually lires. Re- -ducing the firing time as in the present device greatly reduces inaccuracy of aiming from this cause.

One problem which developed during the development of this invention was that with a solenoid small enough to be mounted in the limited confines of the gun frame, dificulty was experienced in providing a battery power pack sufficiently small and light enough in weight to be carried conveniently on the person, and still supply the momentary heavy surge of current necessary to develop the momentum of the armature 34 required to fire the gun positively. Condensers largely solved this problem by providing a momentary current volume much 'greater than could be supplied by the battery alone. Also for this reason, the ring pin is provided with a longer travel than is usual, to allow time for development of greater momentum and striking force.

Many changes of the structure illustrated could be made within the scope of the invention. For example, while trigger 56 is illustrated as having conventional lever form, it is in effect only the manual operating member vof what amounts to a simple electric switch. A simple push-button switch of any desired type could therefore be substituted for that shown. Condensers 130 could be mounted in container 122 externally of the gun along with battery 120, or the battery could be mounted in the stock together with the condensers. In the arrangement illustrated, the condensers are mounted in the stock in the interests of compactness and because they are light in weight and hence do not materially effect the balance of the gun, while the battery is carried in a separate container both because being somewhat heavy they would increase the weight of and-disturb the balance of the gun, and because of the ready safety feature provided by disconnection of the power source from the gun.

It is considered that all of the modications discussed above, as well as other -minor changes of structure and operation, could be made without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined by the scope of the appended claims.

What I claim is:

1. In combination with a gun including a firing pin movable from a retracted position to an advanced position wherebyto impinge against and detonate a shell carried by said gun, and electric firing mechanism comprising:

(a) electrically actuated operating means operable when energized to move said tiring pin to its advanced position,

(b) an operative electric circuit including, in series, a source of electric power, said operating means, and a manually operable, normally open trigger switch,

(c) one or more electrical condensers connected in said operative electric circuit in parallel with said source of electric power, and

. (d) a manually operable shorting switch operable when closed to form a direct short circuit across the terminals of said condensers, whereby said condensers may be discharged without energizing said operating means.

2. In combination with a gun including a firing pin movable from a retracted position to an advanced position whereby to impinge against and detonate a shell carried by said' gun, an electric firing mechanism comprising:

(a) electrically actuated operating means operable when energized to move said firing pin to its advanced position,

(b) an operative electric circuit including, in series,

a source of electric power, said operating means, and v a manually operable, normally open trigger switch,

(c) one or more electrical condensers connected in said operative electric circuit in parallel with said source of electric power, and

(d) manually operable switch means operable when actuated both to remove said source of electric power from said electric circuit, and also to form a direct short circuit across the terminals of said condensers.

3. An electric gun tiring mechanism as recited in claim 2 wherein said condensers are mounted in said gun and said source of electric power is disposed separately from said gun and has extending therefrom a flexible cable, and wherein said last named manually operable switch means constitutes a two-channel plug-and-socket connector, the plug portion of said connector being connected to the free end of said cable and being removably insertable in the socket portion of the connector, which is mounted in the gun, whereby said power source is inserted in said operative circuit, said condensers being connected across the terminals of said socket, said socket portion including a shorting switch operable when closed 1,540,494 6/ 1925 Olszowiec 42-84 1,875,941 9/1932 Schwartz 42-84 1,987,912 1/1935 Rady et al. 42-84 2,337,145 12/1943 Albree 42-84 X 2,780,882 2/19i57 Temple 42-84 BENJAMIN A. BORCHELT, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US1540494 *Apr 22, 1924Jun 2, 1925Staniszlaw OlszowiecGun
US1875941 *Jan 5, 1932Sep 6, 1932Charles SchwartzMeans for teaching marksmanship
US1987912 *Feb 27, 1933Jan 15, 1935Joseph RadyElectromagnetic gun
US2337145 *May 9, 1940Dec 21, 1943Norman Albree GeorgeFirearm
US2780882 *Nov 16, 1953Feb 12, 1957Olin MathiesonElectrically powered fire control mechanism for firearms
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U.S. Classification42/84
International ClassificationF41A19/00, F41A19/59
Cooperative ClassificationF41A19/59
European ClassificationF41A19/59