US 3455554 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1969 T. P. RADEMACHER 3,455,554
AIR GUN SHOT ARRESTING TARGET Filed Oct. 19, 1965 36 35 r 24 (S i 1 22 22 g 37 FIG. I 37 ,3 I 1 g5; 33 I---= 2o IO\4I J A 1 Slb 33 fix 60 I7 11" A A 51 INVENTOR. THOMAS P. RADEMACHER BY a ATTORNEYS 3,455,554 AIR GUN SHOT ARRESTING TARGET Thomas P. Rademacher, Medina, Ohio, assignor to Hamlin Products, Incorporated, Akron, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed Oct. 19, 1965, Ser. No. 497,829 Int. Cl. A63b 63/00 U.S. Cl. 273102.4 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A shooting range for arresting and collecting air gun shot having a resilient, reboundless target and a plurality of baflle elements, each freely vertically suspended from an angularly positioned backdrop and overlapping and displaced laterally from its lower adjacent baflie element, which are restrained from outward lateral displacement when rolled upwardly to enfold a contacting air gun shot, whereby shot contacting the target or the battle elements is arrested and released to a catch basin disposed there below.
The present invention relates generally to an indoor shooting range for air guns. More particularly, the invention relates to an indoor shooting range having a target and bafiles which safely restrain and collect shot fired from an air gun.
In recent years, there has been a rapidly expanding interest in indoor target shooting which is free of wind and other extreme weather conditions. In order to provide an absolutely safe range for firing rifles, shotguns, or other heavy arms indoors, it is necessary to provide a large area which is entirely backed by sandbags or other suitable absorbent material which will stop the projectiles employed. Ranges of this type require considerable space due to the nature of the firearms and are characteristically permanently placed because of the weight and extent of the energy absorbent backstop material.
The extreme cost and space requirements of the above discussed target ranges have prompted increased interest in air guns firing low velocity, less lethal shot or other projectiles. The shot fired from an air gun can be safely contained by a small thickness of wood or fibrous material. Some lighter materials such as muslins have a tendency to wear through or tear after only limited use. Other hard surfaced or resilient materials tend to deflect the shot and disperse them over large areas. However, no safe, simple material or apparatus for retaining and collecting air gun shot has been suggested.
Accordingly, a principal object of the present invention is to provide a shooting range for air guns which can be safely used indoors in limited confines.
Another object of the invention is to provide a target constructed of a material which is impervious to penetration by shot fired from an air gun, yet absorbs the energy of the shot so that it is harmlessly dropped without rebound or ricochet.
An additional object of the invention is to provide a sus pended bafile arrangement around the target which is strong enough to resist penetration by air gun shot, yet sufficiently flexible to absorb the energy of the shot and controllably drop it without danger of rebound or ricochet.
A further object of the invention is to provide a collector or catch basin which accumulates shot which strikes and is dropped from the target or baffles.
Another object of the invention is to provide an indoor range having a target and baflies suspended in front of a backdrop which deflects stray shots.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an indoor range having a light weight tubular frame which may atent Patented July 15, 1569 be collapsed for compact storage or transporting to another location.
Another object is to provide an indoor range which may be quickly and easily assembled by hand without the necessity of tools of any type.
Various other objects and advantages will appear from the following description taken in conjunction with the attached drawings, and the novel features will be particularly pointed out in conjunction with the appended claim.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an indoor range in accordance with the present invention with the parts fully assembled in readiness for firing.
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the indoor range depicted in FIG. 1, particularly showing the orientation of the principal upright member with respect to the vertical.
An indoor range according to the invention has a baflie area which is suspended from supporting elements with the bafl le means having predetermined partial lateral restraint. A target is provided in association with the batfle area as an aim point to which the air gun shot is directed. Air rifle shot contacting either the target or the baflle is arrested and discharged harmlessly downwardly.
Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, the indoor range, generally indicated by the numeral 10, is depicted fully assembled in readiness for firing. The principal support and positioning component of the indoor range is a frame, generally indicated by the numeral 11, which may preferably have a rectangular upright member, generally indicated by the numeral 12.
The rectangular upright member 12 of frame 11 may be constructed of a series of telescoping members which are readily collapsible for compact storage or transporting to another location. As shown, the rectangular upright member '12 has a U-shaped base rod 13 having short upwardly projecting hollow sockets or receptacles 14 at either extremity. Lower extension rods 15 having tapered, reduced diameter bottom ends 16 are telescopingly mated into the sockets 14 of base 13. The lower extension rods 15 have tapered, reduced diameter top ends 17 which telescopically engage upper extension rods 20, and specifically, lower ends 21 thereof. Upper extension rods 20 have a tapered top end 22 which may engage a U-shaped top rod 23 having downwardly projecting hollow sockets or receptacles 24.
The top rod 23 and base rod 13 may be identical and interchangeable for ease of erection. Each of the sides of rectangular upright member 12, composed of lower extension rod 15 and upper extension rod 20, could be formed as a single integral unit; however, for ease of erection and transportation, the more compact two piece construction is advantageous. The reduced diameters may be formed on either of the various mating parts and other known methods of reasonably rigid connection can be employed equally well.
The rectangular upright member 12 of frame 11 is positionally supported by angularly projecting legs 25, one attached to each of the lower extension rods 15. Legs 25 at the point of contacting the lower extension rods 15 may have curved and inwardly dished or contoured ends 26 which achieve a mating engagement. Bolts 27 and wing nuts 28, or other comparable fastening means, are employed to selectively secure the ends 26 of legs 25 to the lower extension rods 15. Legs 25 have a second end 29 which is adapted to contact a floor or other supporting surface S on which the base rod 13 is also positioned.
If desired, the legs 25 may be reinforced by the use of struts 30 extending from the legs 25 to the lower extension rods 15 at a point which is preferably below the juncture of the legs 25 and the lower extension rods 15.
For ease of positioning and attachment, ends 31 and 32 of each strut 30 may be curved and dished in a manner similar to the ends 26 of legs 25. Selective securement of the struts 30 at both ends 31, 3-2 is accomplished by bolts 33 and wing nuts 34 which may be identical to the bolts 27 and nuts 28 employed to attach the legs 25. The legs 25 are of such a length and attached in a manner so that the upright member 12 of frame 11 is inclined with respect to the vertical at an angle 6 of approximately (FIG. 2) for a purpose to be hereinafter described. Although the entire frame 11 may be made of a number of available materials, tubular aluminum is particularly suitable due to its light weight and ease of fabrication.
Suspended within the rectangular upright member 12 and preferably positioned in the upper portion thereof is a backstop or backdrop, generally indicated by the number 35, which serves the purpose of stopping, or at least reducing the velocity of any stray or wild shots. For ease of assembly and for a purpose to be described in detail hereinafter, the backdrop is attached at its upper extremity to the top rod 23 of frame 11. An extension or overhang battle 36 is formed in the backdrop material by stitching, or otherwise attaching, the corners 37 at a short distance down from the top.
The backdrop 35 may be tailored to a width slightly less than the distance between upper extension rods as spaced by the top rod 23 for ease of securement. String ties 38, or comparable simple attachment means, are provided along the edges of the backdrop for adjustable lateral attachment to the upper extension rods 20. For normal indoor and short range outdoor use, a backdrop 35 of approximately 3 feet by 3 feet has been found to be of sufficient size to contain nearly all misdirected shots, yet maintain practical dimensions. The backdrop 35 is constructed of muslin, light canvas, or a similar material of sufficient strength to stop an air rifle shot, even if fired at short range. Although an air rifle shot may rebound a short distance from the backdrop 35 due to the suspension, it will have lost enough velocity to pose no danger to a person or other object in the near vicinity.
Located near the center of the backdrop 35 and suspended a short distance outwardly therefrom is a target 40 at which the air gun shot is to be directed. The target 40 is attached at an upper loop or protuberance 41 to a flexible suspension arm 42 which may be of twine, hemp, or other similar material having suflicient tensile strength. The suspension arm 42 has an upper end 43 which may be attached to the backdrop 35 or the top rod 23 of frame 11 to achieve any desired positioning. The target 40 may be of any desired geometric configuration having a limited thickness to maintain a space between it and the backdrop 35, which exists due to the inclination of the frame 11 at an angle 6 to the vertical. A four inch. circular target 40 has been found to be compatible with indoor usage and the other dimensions of the indoor range 10. The target 40* is made of a material which is impervious to shot fired from an air gun, yet of sufficient resilience to absorb the energy and harmlessly drop the shot without rebound or ricochet. One material which meets these requirements is polyvinyl chloride, as disclosed in applicants copending United States application Ser. No. 482,708, filed Aug. 26, 1965.
In order to restrain air rifle shots which miss the target 40 but are in close proximity thereto, an arrangement of baflles, generally indicated by the numeral 50, is installed in the area of the target 40. The bafiles 50 are preferably composed of a plurality of freely suspended bafiie elements 51 in addition to the overhang baffle 36 of backdrop 35; for exemplary purposes, three vertically aligned elements 51 are shown, including a top element 51a, 2. middle element 51b and a lower element 510. The b-atfle elements 51a, 51b and 510 are each freely suspended from vertically spaced attachment points, 52a, 52b and 520 on the backdrop 35, as by transverse stitching or other similar means of securement.
When contacted by a shot from an air rifle, the battle elements 51 are free to displace slightly toward the backdrop 35 into the space formed by the inclination of the frame 11 at an angle 0 to the vertical. The inherent give of the material and the rearward displacement or swing dissipate much of the impact energy possessed by the'air rifle shot. Simultaneously with the rearward swing of the baifle elements 51, there is an upward coiling or rolling from the bottom to a position approximating 510' of baflle element 51c which enfolds or wraps the shot to positively restrain rebound or ricochet. The bafile elements 51 then tend to recoil or swing outwardly from the backdrop 35 which might tend to flip or throw the entrapped shot, except that the coiled or rolled portion is restrained from outward motion by its upwardly adjacent baflle element. Referring to FIG. 2, this outward restraint is evidenced by the bafile 51c in its rolled position 51c which is laterally behind the baffle element 51b. In a similar manner, baflle element 51b reacts and is restrained by baffle element 51a; and bafiie element 51a reacts and is restrained by the overhang bafile 36 of backdrop 35. A gravity force then acts on the rolled baffle element 51 and entrapped shot to return the battle to its suspended position and drop the shot downwardly.
In order to provide baffle elements 51 having sufiicient durability to withstand thousands of air gun shots without permanent damage thereto, yet being light and fast-acting enough for the rolling function, the material must be carefully selected. One material which has been found to meet these requirements is composed of viscose rayon yarn having a denier of 150. This yarn is processed into a finished fabric having a thread count of 118 threads per inch in warp and 64 threads per inch in fill, a weave of 2 and l twill, a weight of 3.5 ounces per square yard, a thickness of .0065 of an inch, and a tensile strength of 112 pounds per inch in warp and 66 pounds per inch in fill.
A baffle area 50- of approximately 2 feet by 2 feet has been found to be of sufficient size to restrain and drop most shots fired at the target 40 which are near-misses in the indoor environment for which the range 10 is designed. A larger or smaller bafile area 50 using more or fewer bafile elements 51 may be employed, as dictated by the intended use. For best operational consistency, each baflle 51 is overlapped by its upper adjacent bafile on the order of 2 to 4 inches, depending upon the dimensions of other elements.
Shots fired from an air gun which strike the target 40 or the baffles 50 and drop downwardly are accumulated in a catch basin, generally indicated by the numeral 60. Below the extremity of the lower bafile 51, a substantially lateral trough 61 extends outwardly from the upright frame 12. The trough 61 may be a continuation of the backdrop 35, as disclosed herein, or a separate piece of material tautly afixed at its rear ends between the vertical members of frame 11. The laterally outward extremity of the trough 61 may be provided with a loop 62 which is supported by a rod 63. The rod 63 is spaced and positioned outwardly of the frame 11 by means of arms 64 which are removably attached to the lower extension rods 15. The arms 64 may have a Z-shaped end 65 which rests against the upper extension rods 20 and penetrates a hole 66 therein, or other suitable simple attachment means.
In lieu of the rod 63, the arms 64 may be attached only to the corners of the trough 61 as by a conventional hole and grommet arrangement. The arms 64 and rod 63, if used, can be constructed of any light weight material such as a spring wire. The peripheral support provided to trough 61 is sufficient to cause the air rifle shot dropped on the catch basin 60 to accumulate near the center of the trough 61.
The above described indoor range 10 provides an air rifle target which can be used outdoors or indoors with complete safety. The air rifle rounds can be visually observed striking the target 40 and can be heard striking the baflles 50. along with the rolling action of the baflle elements 51. Expended rounds, which are reusable, are conveniently accumulated in the catch basin 60 for subsequent reloading in the air gun.
A preferred form of the invention has been shown and described in sufiicient detail to enable one skilled in the art to practice the invention. Since various modifications in details, materials, and arrangements of parts are within the spirit of the invention herein disclosed and described, the scope of the invention should be limited solely by the scope of the attached claim.
What is claimed is:
1. An indoor shooting range for arresting and collecting air gun shot comprising, frame means, a backdrop removably attached to said frame means and positioned at a predetermined angle to the vertical, a plurality of bafiie elements freely vertically suspended from said backdrop and constructed of a rayon twill material which is impervious to air gun shot and sufiiciently light and fast-acting to roll and enfold contacting air gun shot, each of said bafile elements overlapping its lower adjacent bafile element and displaced laterally therefrom, an overhang baflle of said backdrop overlapping and displaced laterally from the uppermost baffle element, whereby each of said bafile elements is restrained from outward lateral displacement when rolled upwardly to enfold a contacting air gun shot, a resilient reboundless target suspended from said backdrop in the area of said baffie elements, and a catch basin disposed below said target and said baflles to collect air gun shot released therefrom.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,069,822 2/1937 Douglas 273102.4 2,074,850 3/1937 McCullough et al. 273102.4 2,397,921 4/1946 Cole 273102.4 2,899,208 8/1959 Wallsteiner 273103 X 3,100,115 8/1963 Breneman 273102.4 3,197,207 7/1965 Sanzare 273102.4 3,203,698 8/1965 Saunders 273102.4 3,319,960 5/1967 Wilcox 273-102.4
ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner M. R. PAGE, Assistant Examiner