US 3261342 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 19, 1966 ER ET AL 3,261,342
TOY MORTAR Filed May 20, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 46 l I David 5. Harper n George W Lescher 22 560/96 I4. Dunbar 48 5| 48 INVENTOR5 6 20 @MM/ZMW THEIR PATENT AGENT D. R. HARPER ET L July 19, 1966 TOY MORTAR 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 20, 1964 8 I r a mb m.s n H WW R a Mmm www D66 9 INVENTORS I mmMaw m7 THEIR PATE NT AGENT United States Patent 3,261,342 TOY MORTAR David R. Harper, George W. Lescher, and George W. Dunbar, Nashville, Tenn., assignors to Kusan, Inc., Nashville, Tenn., a corporation of Kentucky Filed May 20, 1964, Ser. No. 368,909 14 Claims. (Cl. 124-29) This invention relates generally to toy firearms of the cannon or mortar type and more particularly to such a toy which can mechanically fire a harmless projectile.
Toy firearms of this type are known in the art but are usually characterized by one or more undesirable features. Among these are: a danger of harm to children from the projecting means employed or from the force and nature of the projectile; a difficulty of manipulation so as to result in an early lack of interest therein by a child; a lack of sturdiness so as to result in early breakage of the firearm or its missile-ejecting mechanism; an excessive cost where a realistic simulation of a firearm is embodied; and a complexity of design resulting in impractical manufacturing, assembling and packaging costs.
Accordingly the main object of the present invention is to provide an improved toy firearm of the mortar type which will obviate the above and other undesirable features characterizing known structures.
An important object of the present invention is to provide an improved toy mortar which will mechanically fire a light resilient projectile such as a ball in a vertically arched trajectory with unusually high efficiency and per formance.
Another important object of the present invention is to provide an improved toy mortar wherein the angle of the initial trajectory may be readily varied to thereby educationally instruct children in the effects resulting therefrom as to range and angle of the final trajectory during their play.
A further important object of the present invention is to provide an improved toy firearm of the type described which comprises a projectile receiving barrel and spring actuated projectile ejection or propulsion means formed of complementary rigidly joined barrel halves each including complementary and cooperating portions forming a projectile support and guides and reactive surfaces for the propulsion means, the spring actuated plunger being movable in said complementary guides to forcibly engage and eject the projectile from the barrel which is supported by its lower end and provided with an intermediate barrel-angle-adjusting support.
A still further important object of the present invention is to provide an improved toy firearm which is simple of construction, rugged and of long life in use, and susceptible of ready and economic manufacture.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the course of the following description.
In the drawings we have shown two embodiments of the invention, in these showings:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of one form of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a muzzle end elevational view thereof;
FIGURE 3 is an elevational view to a reduced scale of the inner side of one of the complementary halves of the firearm barrel;
FIGURE 4 is a top plan view thereof;
FIGURE 5 is a transverse sectional view thereof to an enlarged scale taken on the line 55 of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 6 is a side elevation of the plunger and its actuating spring; 1
FIGURE 7 is a top plan view thereof;
Patented July 19, 1&66
FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary elevational view of the inner side of one of the complementary halves of a modified form of the toy firearm;
FIGURE 9 is a transverse sectional view thereof taken on the line 9-9 of FIGURE 8;
FIGURE 10 is a top plan view of a modified form of the plunger; and
FIGURE 11 is an end elevational view thereof.
Referring to FIGURES 1 to 7 of the drawings, numeral 15 designates the toy firearm as a whole which comprises a pair of identical but symmetrically opposite complementary halves 17 and 18 of a suitable plastic such as polystyrene, rigidly joined as by gluing or heat fusion along the central longitudinal vertical plane of the firearm 15 which simulates a mortar, an intermediate support 20, and a restraining device 22 adjustably connecting the base of the mortar 15 and the support 20.
Since the two longitudinal and complementary halves 17 and 13 are identical, only one need be described in detail. Each half includes a barrel portion 24 having an intermediate, inner semi-circular strengthening rib 25 and being substantially closed at its inner end by a bulkhead 26 (FIGURE 5), the barrel otherwise opening into and being angularly disposed to the base 27 of the mortar 15, the outer base contour being arcuate as shown at 28 (FIGURES 1-4).
The bulkhead 26 is provided with a strengthening rib 30, a semi-circular slot 32 and a rectangular slot 33 which defines a latch or trigger holding member 34 as will be further described. Adjacent the bulkhead, the barrel is formed with a longitudinally extending gun-sight-simulating shoulder 35, the inner surface 36 of which functions as a guide for the spring actuated plunger. The barrel 24 is also provided in its side with a longitudinally extending slot 37 which terminates at its forward end in an enlarged rectangular portion 38 in which a cushioning means 40 such as rubber is permanently mounted.
The mortar half 17 is provide with a lug 42 having a bayonet-type aperture 43 and both of the halves are provided with journal members 44, 45 for the reception of hub portions 46, 47 formed at the upper ends of the webconnected legs 48 of the intermediate support 20. The web 50 is also provided with a bayonet-type aperture 51 and it will be apparent that different lengths of the restraining device 22, which may be a beaded chain as shown, may be secured in the bayonet apertures 43, 51 so as to adjust the angularity of the intermediate support 20 and hence the vertical angularity of the barrel 24 of the toy firearm 15 and hence the trajectory of the missile to be fired or ejected therefrom.
As disclosed in FIGURES 6 and 7, a rodlike plunger 54 having a missile engaging and ejecting head 55 and two pairs of axially spaced, laterally projecting shoulders 56, 57 whose ends 58 engage the inner sides of the slots 37 as guides, is provided with a pair of enlarged laterally extending cocking wings 59 with finger recesses 60 formed in their forward edges which cooperate with laterally projecting, fixed finger lugs 61 to facilitate the cocking movement. A combined latch and trigger member 62 extends upwardly and rearwardly from the cocking wings 59 and terminates in an inclined trigger surface 63 which, in the cocking operation, deflects it under the latch holding member 34 which is then latchably engaged by its forward vertical face 64.
As indicated in FIGURES 3 and 4 of the drawings, the complementary halves 17 and 18 are assembled in perfect, cooperating alignment by means of spaced holes and mating pins 65. Prior to such assembly, a compression spring 67 is slipped over the rodlike plunger 54 which is extended through and guided at its aft end in its reciprocal movement in the mortar 15 by the-aperture formed by the two cooperating semi-circular slots 32 in the bulkheads of the two halves 17, 18. Similarly, the inner surfaces 36 of the shoulders 35 of the two mortar halves guide and bear against the side faces of the combined trigger latch 63, 64, the two rectangular notches 33 of the halves defining the opening through which the trigger latch passes.
It will now be readily apparent that assembly of the toy firearm or mortar comprising the present invention is readily and simply effected by placing the spring 67 over the plunger 54, inserting a cocking wing 59 through its corresponding slot in a barrel half 17 or 18, and laying the aft or inner end of the plunger in the semi-circular slot 32 where it will be lightly held by the engagement of the inner end of the spring against the outer face of the bulkhead 26 surrounding the slot. The other barrel half is now placed over the other cocking wing 59 by its guide slot 37 and the mating holes and pins 65 interfitted so as to align and permanently connect the halves 17 18 into an integral unit.
In operation, to prepare the mortar for firing or ejection of a missile, the cocking wings 59 and finger lugs 61 are squeezed by the fingers to retract the plunger 54 against the action of the spring 67 until the trigger 63 is deflected downwardly by the latch holding member 34 and passes it to allow the trigger 63 to spring upwardly with its latch face 64 engaging the member 34. This is the cocked or ready to fire position.
At this time, or prior to the cocking step, a missile may be dropped into the barrel. This should preferably be of only slightly less diameter than the mortar barrel so that it is supported in firing position therein by the circular rib 25 where it will be struck by the plunger head 55 when the mortar is fired. Desirably, the missile comprises a harmless, resilient, spherical hollow ball such as a ping pong ball.
The angle of inclination of the intermediate support 20 is adjusted to obtain the desired missile trajectory and the mortar is then aimed at the desired target. To fire the mortar (effect the ejection of the missile), the trigger 63 is depressed until it clears the holding member 34 upon which the spring 67 rapidly forces the guided plunger forwardly so that the head 55 forcibly strikes the missile to eject it from the barrel.
The plunger is arrested at the end of its firing movement forwardly or outwardly by the contact of the forward edges of the cocking wings 59 with the cushion members 40 in the forward ends 38 of the guide slots 37, which effectively absorb the deceleration energy so as to avoid shock damage to the toy over a long period of use.
A modified form of the cushioning members is disclosed in FIGURES 8 to 11 wherein parts similar to those of the just described embodiment bear similar numerals. In the modified form, the cushion members 40 are dispensed with and the plunger 54 is provided with a circular bumper 70 spaced axially rearwardly of and larger than the plunger head 55.
As shown in FIGURES 8 and 9, each of the halves 17, 18 of the toy firearm 15 is provided at a point rearwardly spaced from the missile supporting ribs 25, with transversely disposed quadrant sections or leaves 73, 72 which are spaced from each other as at 74 to permit passage therebetween of the cocking wings 59. The radially inner edge portions of the quadrant leaves are arcuate and unsupported to define a circular opening (when the halves 17, 18 are assembled) for the passage of the bumper 70 which is of slightly greater diameter than the opening.
The leaves 72, 73 being of plastic, their inner unsupported edges are slightly flexible so that when struck by the bumper 7 when the mortar 15 is fired, they absorb a substantial part of the deceleration energy of the plunger. The remaining energy is absorbed by the ends 38 of the slots 37 when struck by the forward edges of the cocking wings 59. Thus, either form of deceleration energy absorber is highly effective in preventing breakage of the barrel and in ensuring long life of the toy.
It is to be understood that the forms of our invention herewith shown and described are to be taken as preferred examples of the same and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departure from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the subjoined claims.
1. A toy firearm for firing a projectile comprising, in combination, a barrel open at its outer end for the reception of a projectile and formed of two connected longitudinal, symmetrically opposite complementary halves terminating in an arcuate, ground engaging and integral support closing the other end of said barrel, means connected to an intermediate portion of the barrel to support and stabilize the front end thereof, a spring actuated plunger guided by portions of said barrel and movable forwardly therein to engage and eject a projectile therefrom, and a latch formed integrally with said plunger and releasably engaging a fixed portion of said barrel to hold said plunger in cocked position against the action of said spring.
2. The combination recited in claim 1, and a trigger forming a part of said latch and operable to disengage it from said barrel portion to release said spring actuated plunger to eject the projectile.
3. The combination recited in claim 1, longitudinally extending slots formed in the sides of said barrel cocking wings fixed to said plunger and extending laterally through said slot, and finger lugs fixed to the sides of said barrel to be grasped by the fingers of one hand simultaneously with said wings to facilitate cocking of the spring actuated plunger of said toy mortar against the action of the spring.
4. The combination recited in claim 1 wherein said intermediate support means is pivotally connected to said barrel and includes web-connected legs adjustably spaceable from said arcuate support to vary the vertical angle of inclination thereof so as to vary the trajectory of the fired missile.
5. The combination recited in claim 1, and transversely disposed, arcuate ribs formed intermediate the length of and integrally with said barrel halves and cooperatively operable to support a projectile in position in said barrel to be struck by said plunger when the mortar is fired.
6. The combination recited in claim 1, and means for absorbing acceleration energy of said plunger at the end of its forward movement.
7. The combination recited in claim 6 wherein said absorbing means comprises resilient cushion members.
8. The combination recited in claim 6 wherein said absorbing means comprises separate arcuate slightly flexible members defining an aperture fixed to said barrel adjacent to the limit of movement of said plunger, and a bumper fixed to said plunger for engagement with edge portions of said flexible members upon movement of said plunger through said aperture.
9. A toy firearm for firing a projectile comprising, in combination, an open "barrel terminating in a transversely disposed reinforcing bulkhead defining the other end of the barrel; a slot formed in said bulkhead; a transversely disposed, circular reinforcing rib intermediate the length of the barrel to support a projectile in position to be struck and ejected from the barrel; a slot formed in each side of said barrel and extending longitudinally from said rib toward said bulkhead; a plunger slida-bly mounted in said bulkhead slot and terminating at its forward end in a pair of cocking wings projecting laterally through and slidable in said side slots; and a spring mounted on said plunger against said wings and acting against said bulkhead to move said plunger against a projectile seated on said rib.
10. The combination recited in claim 9 wherein said barrel is formed of two connected longitudinal, symmetrically opposite complementary halves each defining one half of said rib, said bulkhead and said bulkhead slot.
11. The combination recited in claim 9, a second slot in said bulkhead spaced from said first slot, and a resilient latch projecting from said plunger in alignment with said second bulkhead slot, said latch being engageable with a side of said second slot upon compression of said spring to hold said plunger in cocked position.
12. The combination recited in claim 11 wherein a simulated gunsight is formed on said barrel, the inner sides of said sight comprising a guide for said latch.
13. The combination recited in claim 9, and a resilient cushion mounted adjacent the forward ends of said side slots to absorb deceleration energy of said plunger at the end of its forward movement.
14. The combination recited in claim 13 wherein said cushion comprises separate, arcuate, slightly flexible members defining an aperture fixed to said barrel, and 'a bumper fixed to said plunger and engageable with edge portions of the aperture of said flexible members upon movement of said plunger through said aperture.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 739,942 10/ 1903 Stewart 27369 920,565 5/ 1909 Greenwood 12421 1,102,948 7/ 1914 Norton 12429 1,151,663 8/1915 Carter. 1,430,813 10/1922 Jon'assen 12427 2,282,764 4/ 1942 Lazzari 124-26 2,500,509 3/1950 Bailey 124--35 X 2,569,604 10/ 1951 Hall. 2,600,768 1 /1955 Gladen 124-29 2,725,868 12/1955 Foster 12413 2,888,004 5/1959 Steiner 12437 X 2,888,768 6/1959 Taylor 124-27 X 20 RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.
W. R. BROWNE, Assistant Examiner.