US 3655192 A
A light-emitting target gun and a cooperative target corner reflector. The gun and target accurately simulates target practice with live ammunition and is adaptable for amusement use. The target gun has a light projector housed in the gun barrel which can be momentarily activated by pulling the trigger of the gun. The light source is illuminated at a first light level and thereafter at a second level lower than the first level. The diameter of the light beam projected from the gun can be adjusted by moving a selected size hole of a multi-hole plate into a lens system within the barrel. The target reflector is located at a fixed distance from the operator of the weapon and is adapted to reflect the impinging light pulse. An improved circuit and light projector are also provided to cause, respectively, activation of the light source and provide an efficient, accurately defined light beam.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
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United States Patent Hall et a1.
 3,655,192 [451 Apr. 11, 1972 [541 LIGHT RAY PROJECTOR AND TARGET 221 Filed: Nov. 4, 1969 21 Appl. No.: 873,844
 U.S. Cl ..273/l0l.1, 240/6.4 l 200/34  Int. Cl. ..A63i 9/02  Field oiSearch ..273/10l.l;240/6.41;200/34  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Strauss Jim/101.1
OTHER PUBLICATIONS General Electric SCR Manual 4th Edition 1967 P. 299
Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Marvin Siskind Attorney-Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks 5 7] ABSTRACT A light-emitting target gun and a cooperative target corner reflector. The gun and target accurately simulates target practice with live ammunition and is adaptable for amusement use. The target gun has a light projector housed in the gun barrel which can be momentarily activated by pulling the trigger of the gun. The light source is illuminated at a first light level and thereafter at a second level lower than the first level. The diameter of the light beam projected from the gun can be adjusted by moving a selected size hole of a multi-hole plate into a lens system within the barrel, The target reflector is located at a fixed distance from the operator of the weapon and is adapted to reflect the impinging light pulse. An improved circult and light projector are also provided to cause, respectively, activation of the light source and provide an efficient, accurately defined light beam.
15 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures Patented April 11, 1972 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Mum 70w W m Y 0% Patented April 11, 1972 3,655,192
3 Sheets-Sheet 2 WWW/MM v Patented April 11, 1972 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 06%;! 6/ 3%7w 9W 96g, WWI/MM Y LIGHT RAY PROJECTOR AND TARGET SUBJECT MATTER OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a target practice device, and in particular to a light-emitting gun and target.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Conventional target guns used for police, military, or amusement target practice are dangerous and consume expensive ammunition. Further, the results can be evaluated only by manual, time consuming means.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a prime object of the present invention to provide a target practice gun.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a target practice system wherein a plurality of practice guns can be used with one target.
It is also an object of the present invention to provide an improved target practice device that is safe to use and does not require the use of ammunition, but nonetheless realistically simulates live ammunition target practice.
Another object of the present invention is to provide improved light projecting means for a light-emitting target practice device.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide means for easily and quickly adjusting sights of a light-emitting target gun.
These and other objects are satisfied with the apparatus embodying the present invention wherein a target gun has a light projecting means housed in the gun barrel. These means can be momentarily activated by pulling the trigger of the gun. A target reflector, preferably of the multiple corner reflector type, is located a fixed distance from the operator of the weapon and is adapted to reflect the impinging light pulse. Improved circuit means and light projecting means are also provided to cause, respectively, activation of the light source and provide an efficient, accurately defined light beam.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS Reference is directed to the accompanying drawings in which:
. FIG. 1 is a side view of a target gun according to thepresent invention showing the tubular barrel in cross section.
FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of one embodiment of the circuit means of the present invention.
FIG. 3 shows a variable aperture slide. FIG. 4 shows a part of the reflector means of FIG. 1 as seen by the operator of the weapon.
FIG. 5 is a electro-mechanical embodiment of the target FIG. 6 shows a target system for use with a target reflector.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of target gun 10 including barrel section 11 in cross section. Target gun It) also includes a handle 40, trigger 35, and hammer 42, as shown. One embodiment of the circuit means adapted for use with the target weapon of FIG. 1 and usually contained in handle 40 is shown in FIG. 2.
The barrel section 11 has housed therein a-lamp 24 which actually forms a part of the circuit means of FIG. 2. One suitable lamp is a standard tungsten flashlight bulb. Photo diode 26 is located adjacent to lamp 24 within barrel section 11. Diode 26 is adapted to sense the light from lamp 24 and trigger an indication to the circuit means. Lenses 16 and 18 are also aligned in barrel section 11 with lamp 24. Both of these lenses are high speed, f/0.8 double convex condensing lenses, in the particular embodiment of FIG. 1. Disc 22, having an aperture centrally located therein, is located within barrel section 11. Lamp 24 and disc 22 are located at the focal point of lenses 16 and 18, respectively. A third lens 20, located at the end of barrel section 11, is a medium speed f/8 positive meniscus lens.
The light pulse emitted by lamp 24 when trigger 35 is depressed impinges upon lenses l6 and 18. These high speed lenses from a real image of the source at the aperture and are adapted to collect as much light as possible from the source in the short optical path length. The aperture in the disc 22 then becomes the effective source for lens 20. Lens 20, which usually has a long focal length, directs the light rays 21 toward reflector 12. The diameter of the light beam (spot) that is reflected from reflector 12 is a function of the focal length of lens 20 (length f) and also the diameter (b) of the aperture in disc 22. In order to simulate the size of a bullet, the length f should be much greater than the diameter b. This ratio of b/f can be adjusted by providing for an adjustable aperture slide 22A, as shown in FIG. 3. This slide 22A is designed to fit in grooves 22C of disc 22. Grooves 22C have a series of recesses that mate with dimples 22B of slides 22A, allowing for the different size holes in slide 22A to be slid over the hole in disc 22 to cause varying aperture sizes. Such can be accomplished by the operator of the gun. For rifle applications, the distance f can be made quite long thereby providing a well defined light reflection of bullet size.
The light that is emitted by target gun 10 is for the most part reflected back towards the operator of the target weapon by using a multi-cube comer reflector 12, as shown in FIG. 1, 7
thereby enabling the operator to determine if he has hit the reflector 12. One reflector used was circular in shape. A part of the reflector is shown in FIG. 4 and includes a myriad of small corner reflectors 12A, each approximately a sixteenth inch in overall dimension and abutting each other. These reflectors may provide polished or highly reflective surfaces intersecting at angles in the order of Conventional bicycle reflectors may be used.
Referring to FIG. 2, there is shown a circuit means for use with the target weapon 10. The circuit means can be adapted to provide both pulsed and continuous light. The DC battery 38 is housed in the handle 40 of FIG. 1, as is the remainder of the circuitry in FIG. 2. The trigger switch 34 is mechanically coupled to trigger 35 in a conventional manner to allow switch 34 to close when trigger 35 is depressed. The resistors 30 and 32 connect between the gate electrode 28A of silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) 28 and one side of trigger switch 34. The other side of trigger switch 34 couples to the negative terminal of battery 38. Lamp 24 couples across SCR 28 and resistor 29, which can be variable, while photo diode 26 connects from one side of resistor 32 to the positive terminal of battery 38 and resistor 29.
In operation, when switch 34 is closed, the potential of battery 38 is applied across lamp 24. This causes a bright flash of light for a fixed interval. The interval is determined by the time that it takes photo diode 26 to detect the light from lamp 24 and, in turn, cause the conduction of SCR 28. When photo diode 26 conducts, gate electrode 28A goes positive and SCR 28 is turned on rapidly. The current that was delivered to lamp 24 is now shunted by SCR 28 and resistor 29, which is relatively small in size.
The same operational sequence can be used for adjusting the sights on the gun. Here, the trigger 35 is kept depressed. When the SCR 28 conducts, resistor 29 has been adjusted so that the resistance of resistor 29 and conducting SCR 28 is comparable to that of lamp 24. Lamp 24, therefore, assumes a second, continuous light level, less bright than the pulse level. The light may then be directed on target and maintained there. A full light level may also be caused by closing switch 35A, thereby connecting the battery across the lamp 24. Switch 35A can be suitably mounted in the gun apparatus. For example, a safety switch could be used.
FIG. 5 shows an electromechanical embodiment of the light gun 10. In FIG. 5, reference numerals, similar to those used in FIG. 1, are employed. Instead of the circuit means of FIG. 2, there is shown a dashpot arrangement that provides momentary switch contact.
The optical system may be similar to that shown in FIG. 1. The weapon generally includes handle 40, trigger 35, barrel 1 1 and hammer 42. The dashpot 46 is fixed at the lower end in handle 40 and the stem 51 is freely movable to an extended position by means of pin 53 on hammer 42. The hammer is shown in a cocked position with the dashpot 46 in its extended position and trigger assembly 35A retaining the hammer 42 in this cocked position. Dashpot 46 includes cylinder housing 48, which has piston 50 contained therein. Spring 52 surrounds piston 50 between one end of cylinder 48 and ridge 51A on piston 50 and forces the piston to travel at a fixed speed as the air is forced from chamber 55 through air bleeder outlet 54. A contact 60 is contained on piston 50 and a second contact 56 is attached to cylinder 48. Fixed contact 56 has a leaf 58 protruding therefrom that slides along moving contact 60 when the dashpot 46 is released from its restrained position.
When the operator of the gun depresses trigger 35, switch 61 closes and with the dashpot 46 in the extended position, a closed circuit occurs from battery 38 to lamp 24, thereby illuminating lamp 24. At the time that trigger 35 is depressed, trigger assembly 35A rotates about pin 35C to a position wherein end 358 disengages with hammer 42. A spring (not shown) returns hammer 42 to an uncocked position and at the same time pin 53 of hammer 42 disengages with dashpot stem and allows the piston 50 to fall under the force of spring 52. Leaf 58 disengages from contact 60 after a predetermined time interval. By varying the size of the contact 60 or the tension of spring 52, it is possible to adjust the time of contact of leaf 58 to contact 60. This is the time that the lamp should be illuminated.
One feature of the electromechanical embodiment is that the trigger switch 61 depression time is independent of the illumination time. Thus, if the switch 61 is held depressed, the circuit is still opened by the sliding switch arrangement in the dashpot. Also, to recock the weapon one only has to pull down on the hammer 42; and the stem 51 of dashpot 46 is pulled to its restrained position by pin 53.
Another feature of this arrangement is that steady-state operation is easily provided by depressing trigger 35 while holding hammer 42 cocked. This can be accomplished by using the thumb and forefinger. For that mode of operation both switches remain closed.
In FIG. 6 there is shown a plan view of a target gun system employing more than one target gun. With the use of a large array of small corner reflectors 12A, it is possible for a plurality of target guns to direct light rays 21 towards the reflector and receive the rays therefrom. This can also be accomplished without any interference from one gun to the next because the reflections from one gun cannot be seen by an operator of a second gun.
A larger lens can be used for application with amusement devices and other toys. For example, lens 16 could be a high speed f/0.8 double convex lens; while lenses 18 and 20 could be respectively, medium speed f/4 double convex and positive meniscus lenses.
In one form of the invention a reflective target can be constructed of rather small cubic reflectors that can be fabricated in the form of a vest, gun belt, holster, etc. It is contemplated that all operators of the weapon would wear this target reflective material as part of their attire. In this way other operators could determine whether their aim was accurate.
For military applications, the concepts of the present invention can be used with a laser as a light source. Artillery, airborne weapons and guns on ships could make use of this technique for target practice. Variables such as range and windage may be present in the device so that proper firing techniques are simulated. This is especially attractive in an airborne application where a reflective target can be mounted on the fuselage of the aircraft. When a direct hit occurs, the return energy can easily be viewed by the pilot.
For police applications the firing range can be provided with a comer reflector having bullseyes. The operator sights his weapon by holding the light on steady. After it is aligned, the pulsed light is used to simulate actual firing. In one embodiment a weight-spring arrangement is used to simulate the kick of the weapon. In another embodiment, photodetectors can be used for automatic target scoring, readout and visual or audible alarms.
Another feature of the invention is that the apparatus is readily adaptable to existing hand guns, rifles and other types of firearms.
Having now described the invention, certain modifications and variations of the embodiments disclosed herein can be made all of which are contemplated as falling within the spirit and scope of the present invention, as set forth in the appended claims.
1. A target practice apparatus comprising;
a gun-type housing including a barrel section,
a light source disposed in said housing near an end of said barrel section,
a lens arrangement disposed inside said barrel section for confining the light from the light source to a beam,
circuit means including energy storage means associated with the light source,
a trigger switch operatively coupled to said energy storage means and said light source and adapted, when actuated, to cause illumination of said light source,
said circuit means also comprising photo-electric sensing means disposed adjacent said light source for receiving light directly therefrom and current shunting means,
said current shunting means being coupled across said light source and coupled to said photo-electric sensing means,
whereby upon actuation of said trigger switch said light source is illuminated at a first light level and thereafter said photo-electric sensing means conducts causing said current shunting means to conduct and thereby shunt current away from said light source which in turn causes said light source to be illuminated at a second light level lower than the first light level,
and reflector means remote from said light source for reflecting said light beam substantially only in a direction parallel to the direction of said beam back toward said housing.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said current shunting means includes a gate-controlled semiconductor means having its control gate coupled to said photo-electric sensing means.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said circuit means includes a first resistive means and said gate-controlled semiconductor means includes a silicon controlled rectifier having said first resistive means coupled in series therewith.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said circuit means includes a second resistive means coupled between the gate electrode of said silicon controlled rectifier and said photoelectric sensing means.
5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said circuit means includes a third resistive means coupled in series with said photo-electric sensing means.
6. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said first resistive means includes a variable resistor to adjust said second light level.
7. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said photo-electric sensing means includes a photo-diode.
8. The apparatus of claim 1 including a separate switch means coupled to said light source actuated to illuminate the light source for a predetermined interval at the first light level which interval is longer than the time period that the light source is illuminated at the first light level by actuation of said trigger switch.
9. A target practice gun having a barrel and trigger and comprising;
a light source disposed in said gun near one end of said barrel,
a lens arrangement disposed inside said barrel for confining the light from the light source to a beam,
energy storage means associated with the light source,
said trigger having a trigger switch associated therewith and operatively coupled to said energy storage means and said light source and adapted, when actuated, to cause illumination of said light source,
said lens arrangement comprising first and second lenses spaced along said barrel and a disc having a centrally located aperture therein,
said light source being substantially disposed at the focal point of said first lens and the aperture of said disc being disposed at the focal point of said second lens,
means disposed adjacent said disc for varying the width of said beam including a plate having a plurality of different diameter holes disposed therein and means located external of said barrel for moving the plate with reference to the disc to enable different diameter holes to align with said aperture,
and reflector means remote from said light source for reflecting said light beam substantially only in a direction parallel to the direction of said beam back toward said gun.
It). The apparatus of claim 9 wherein said lens arrangement includes a third lens located at the other end of said barrel,
said first and second lenses being convex lenses and said third lens being a positive meniscus lens.
11. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein said first and second lenses are high speed lenses and said third lens is a medium speed lens.
12. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein said third lens has a focal point coincident with the location of the aperture in said disc.
13. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein the focal length of said third lens is much greater, on an order of magnitude of at least 10 to one, than the diameter of said disc aperture.
14. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein said plate has its holes in line and said gun has a slit in a bottom of its barrel for receiving said plate which is moveable in a generally vertical direction to vary the beam diameter.
15. The apparatus of claim 14 wherein said disc has at least two grooves and said plate has a series of dimples for mating with said grooves to fix said plate relative to said disc in one of a number of different positions.