US 3557768 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Howard L. Lake  References Cited P.0. BOX 672, Bettendori, [0W3 UNITED STATES PATENTS 211 A l No. 756,766 f Sept 3, 1968 1,905,932 4 1933 Foster 124/31x  Patented Jan. 26, 1971 Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkharn Assistant ExaminerWilliam R. Browne AttorneysClarence A. OBrien and Harvey B. Jacobson  T PROPELIfING DEvICE ABSTRACT: A launching or propelling device for darts, bolts, 8 Chums 7 Drawmg or arrows that has a handle and an elongated tubular shaft at- [521 US. Cl 124/5, tached thereto wi h h bje t b la nched or pr p lled in- 124/31, 124/41, 273/1065 serted into a gripping mechanism on the end of the shaft that is  Int. Cl F4lb 3/04 tu te at the handle end of the device The long shaft allows  Field of Search l24/4-8, the O jec to be launched with a great speed by virtue of 21 31,41, 42 43 casting type delivery much as in a fishing rod.
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DART PROPELLING DEVICE Heretofore, whether for use in games or hunting, the launching of darts and other small missiles has been accomplished by spring-loaded guns, slingshot-type launchers, or a crossbow type launcher. These devices not only have parts that can deteriorate or malfunction, but produce such power as to be unacceptable for a game type use, orif suited to use in games would be unsuitable for hunting.
The present invention relates to a propelling device for darts and other such missiles which is simple in construction and allows the user to determine the velocity and power of the trajectory of the dart of other missile. The device has a handle with an elongated shaft or rod attached thereto with a gripping means on the end of the rod that is actuated at the handle unit. The missiles to be launched are constructed with a hollow tail or feathered end so that they may be'sli'pped over the end of the rod and engaged by the gripping means. The elongated rod attached to the handle provides for a delivery much like the casting of a fishing lure with the dart being released in a swinging type motion. The launching of the missile being as described herein, the user can determine the velocity and power behind the missile by the length of the arc and the strength expended by his am in the delivery.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a simple but unique and efiective propelling device for darts and other missiles. a
It is a further object of this invention to provide a propelling device for darts that allows them to be cast with a greater force than can be generated by the users arm.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an elongated propelling device for darts having a gripping means on the end thereof to hold the dart until in a position to launch.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide an elongated propelling device for darts with a gripping means for the darts at one end and a handle at the other to release the gripping means and the dart when the dart is in a position to be launched.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. I is a perspective view of a person with the propelling device prior to casting the dart.
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the device with a dart held on the end thereof.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 3 showing the dart shortly after release from the end of the device.
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 5-5 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of the propelling device and the dart used therewith.
FIG. 7 is an enlarged plan view of the gripping means on the end of the propelling device.
Referring now to the drawings, numeral 10 generally indicates the launching or propelling device, with the numeral 12 indicating the handle unit, the numeral 14 the shaft unit, numeral 16 the gripping or clutching unit and numeral 18 the dart.
The handle unit 12 consists of an elongated bulbous type end 20 which provides a convenient grasping means for the hand of the user. Immediately forward of the bulbous end 20, on the lower side thereof, is a trigger-type abutment 22 around which the index finger of the user is placed to prevent inadvertent release or loss of the device when launching. An enlarged abutment 24 with a flat front surface 26 thereon is attached to the handle unit 12 forward of the bulbous handle portion 20 and above the trigger-type abutment 22. The flat front surface 26 has an elongated bore 28 drilled therethrough along the upper surface thereof to a point beyond the trigger type abutment 22. The handle as just described is a comfortable unit which can be firmly engaged by the user's hand and may be formed of any convenient material such as wood, plastic or metal. 1
The shaft unit 14 comprises an elongated tubular shaft 30 whose outside diameter is substantially the same as the diameter of the bore 28 in the handle unit 12 so as to be grippingly received therein. An enlarged circular abutment 32 is located on the circumference of the tubular shaft 30 near the free end thereof. The abutment 32 serves as a stop for the hollow end of the dart as well as a reinforcement for the gripping means which is located on the tubular shafi beyond the abutment 32.
The gripping or clutch unit 16 utilizes the portion of the tubular shaft 30 beyond the abutment 32 and has two diametrically opposed slits 34 along the tube from the free end to a point adjacent the abutment 32. The slits 34 divide the shaft into two semicircular sections 36 which allow the tube to be circumferentially expanded at that point thereby providing the basis for the gripping action. The tube 30, being thus divided into two semicircular sections 36, is expanded by a conicalshaped abutment 38 attached to the end of an elongated rod 40 which extends concentrically within the hollow tube 30. Rod 40 extends within the shaft 30 to a point inside the enlarged abutment 24 of the handle portion where it terminates in an upwardly extending abutment 42. The abutment 42 extends through an elongated slot 44 which is cut from the upper surface of the handle through the tubular member 30. The slot 44 extends longitudinally of the handle to permit the abutment 42, and therefore the rod 40, to be moved longitudinally of the tubular shaft 30. A knoblike projection 46 is provided on the free end of the abutment 42 to allow the shaft 40 to be moved .easily within the tubular shaft 30. From this it can be seen that when the abutment 42 is in a rearward position such as in FIG. 3, the cone-shaped abutment is drawn within the semicircular sections 36 thereby forcing them to expand to the diameter of the base of the cone-shaped abutment 38. When the abutment 42 is moved to the forward position, as shown in FIG. 4, the conical abutment is moved free of the semicircular sections 36 thereby allowing them to return to their initial position, which is the launching position. From this it can be seen that the coordination of the launching is relatively simple in that when the abutment is in the rear position the gripping means is engaged and when the user moves his hand through an arc the button 46 is moved forward at the desired trajectory point.
The launching device as above disclosed is suitable for use with any number of missiles desired to be launched, requiring only a hollow tail portion with an inner diameter substantially the same as the outside diameter of the tubular shaft 30. The dart 18 represents a suitable type missile to be used with this propelling device. The dart 18 has a main cylindrical body portion 48 which has an inside diameter, as set forth above, substantially the same as the outside diameter of the tubular shaft 30. A series of three stabilizing fins 50 are mounted near the rear portion of the body 48 and spaced apart around the circumference of the body much like the feathers on an arrow. Inserted in the front end of the body 48 is a nose weight 52 which has an outside diameter substantially the same as the body portion 48, and a cylindrical extension 54 on the rear thereof. The cylindrical extension 54 has an outside diameter substantially the same as the inside diameter of the body portion so that it may be grippingly received therein with the body portion 48 abutting against the main nose weight 52 to present a smooth exterior appearance. Any sort of target-engaging means may be mounted on the front of the nose weight 52 such as a steel point, or a suction cup as illustrated in the drawings. The suction cup 56 has a screw 58 at the rear thereof to facilitate fastening to the front of the nose weight 52. As thus described, the dart with the nose weight at the front end and the stabilizing fins $0 at the rear will have the proper nose first flight characteristics when released from the propelling device 10. From this it can be seen that any projectile desired to be thrown need only have the hollow rear shaft of appropriate diameter and a suitable nose weight to assure proper momentum and length of flight. The stabilizing fins are not necessary but enhance the trajectory of the missile.
The operation of the propelling device is simple and straightforward, as can be seen from the above disclosure of the device. When it is desired to use the device the abutment 46 is pushed into the forward position as shown in FIG. 4 so that the semicircular halves 36 of the tubular shaft 30 will be in an initial position of approximately the same diameter as the tubular shaft 30. The hollow cylindrical body 48 of the dart is then slipped onto the end of the launching device until the rear of the body seats against the circular abutment 32. The abutment 46 is then pulled into the rear position, as shown in FIG. 3, thereby forcing the cone-shaped abutment 38 between the semicircular halves 36 and expanding them to grippingly engage the inside surface of the cylindrical body 48 of the dart. The dart is now locked onto the end of the propelling device and is ready for launching. The user then grasps the handled portion of the device by wrapping his palm around the bulbous type end with his index finger engaging the triggerlike abutment 22, and the thumb aligned along the top of the handle device resting on the abutment 46 as shown in FIG. 6. The device is then suspended behind the users body, such as shown in FIG. 1, which is a sort of back swing, and then vigorously swung to the front of the users body whereupon the user will move the abutment 46 forward to release the dart at whatever point in the arc of the swing of the propelling device desired. As mentioned hereinbefore, coordination of the release of the dart during the arc of the swing of the launcher is relatively easy as the abutment 46 is moved forward when it is desired to release the dart. As can be seen from the operation of the device the speed, power and distance of the trajectory can be easily controlled by the vigor imparted by the user to the arc of his swing.
From the description of the device and its operation it is easy to see that the device is usable as a toy and as a weapon. As a toy the projectile could be shaped as an airplane, rocket, or suction cup tipped dart, as shown in the drawings. Similarly, for the more sports minded hunter the device is usable much as the crossbow or long bow wherein the dart would be a more lethal dart with a hunting type tip on the nose thereof. The device, then, is versatile and lends itself to modifications to suit the particular need of the user or purpose to which the device is to be put.
1. A propelling device for projectiles, comprising: a projectile, an elongated member with a handle assembly at one end, to be held by a user, and a gripping assembly at the other end to releasably hold the projectile thereon, said elongated member being hollow with the one end thereof being received in said handled assembly, an abutment mounted on the outer surface of the hollow member near the other end thereof, said gripping assembly including two diametrically opposed slits cut into the other end of said hollow member beyond said abutment thereby dividing said hollow member into two opposed sections, said gripping assembly further including an elongated rod slidably received within said hollow member having means at one end to be engaged by the user and further means at the other end to expand said opposed sections and grip the projectile.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein said means to be engaged by a user is an abutment extending through a longitudinally extending slot in the hollow member and handle assembly whereby movement of said abutment along said slot will move the rod longitudinally within said hollow member.
3. The device of claim 2 wherein the means to expand the opposed sections is a conical shaped abutment having a narrow end and a wide end, said narrow end of said conicalshaped a abutment being attached to the end of said rod remote from the user engaging abutment with said wide end of said conical-shaped abutment outward thereof, whereby, when in a first position, said conical-shaped abutment will be exterior of said hollow member and when in a second position will be within said hollow member and engaging said opposed sections, said conical-shaped abutment s expanding said opposed sections to gri said projectile.
4. The device 0 claim 3 wherein said projectile has a weighted end and a hollow end, the hollow end being slidably received on said opposed sections when said conical abutment is in said first position, and said hollow end being releasably gripped by said opposed sections when said conical abutment is in said second position.
5. A propelling device for projectiles having hollow mounting ends; said propelling device comprising an elongated hollow member having a handled assembly at one end thereof to be held by a user, and a projectile gripping assembly at the other end of said member to releasably retain a projectile having the hollow mounting end thereof telescopingly received over the projectile gripping assembly, said other end of said elongated member being selectively outwardly expansible so as to wedgingly engage with the mounting end of a projectile received thereover, said expansible end comprising a portion of said gripping assembly, said gripping assembly further including end expanding means selectively receivable within said expansible other end of said member for a selective expansion outwardly of this end, and control means engaged with said expanding means and extending therefrom to said handle assembly for direct control of the expansion of said other end from said handle assembly by the user.
6. The device of claim 5 wherein the expansible other end of the hollow member is defined by a plurality of longitudinal slits cut therein so as to form end sections laterally movable relative to each other.
7. The device of claim 5 wherein the expanding means is a conical-shaped abutment having a narrow end and a wide end, the wide end of said abutment being, in a first position, orientated outward of said projectile gripping assembly and the other end of the member with the narrow end of said abutment being inwardly directed toward the said other end, said abutment, in a second position, being located in said projectile gripping assembly with the wide end portion of the abutment engaging and outwardly expanding said expansible end for gripping engagement with a received projectile.
8. The device of claim 7 wherein the control means comprises an elongated rigid rod extending longitudinally through said hollow member, the inner end of said rod being accessible at said handle assembly, and the outer end of said rod being fixed to the narrow end of said conical-shaped abutment.