|Publication number||US3707794 A|
|Publication date||Jan 2, 1973|
|Filing date||Apr 16, 1963|
|Priority date||Apr 16, 1963|
|Publication number||US 3707794 A, US 3707794A, US-A-3707794, US3707794 A, US3707794A|
|Inventors||Livingston R, Rocha J|
|Original Assignee||Us Army|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (16), Classifications (14)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Rocha et al.
 CONCEALED SINGLE SHOT FIRING MECHANISM  inventors: John G. Rocha, Westfield; Richard W. Livingston, Springfield, both of Mass.
 Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army 22 Filed: Apri1l6,1963
211' App1.No.: 273,533
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,444,920 Davis et al ..42/69 Primary Examiner-Benjamin A. Borchelt Assistant Examiner-C. T. Jordan Attorney-Harry M. Saragovitz, Edward J. Kelly, Herbert Her] and Albert E. Arnold, Jr.
EXEMPLARY CLAIM for holding a cartridge in position to be fired, a for wardly biased striker longitudinally disposed in said housing for firing contact with the cartridge, a cylindrical sear secured to the rear end of said striker, a cocking rod disposed in said housing in simultaneous contact with the breech face of said barrel portion and the front face of said sear for retaining said striker in a cocked position, a firing ring surrounding the junction of said housing and said rod for rotatable and slidable movement thereon, and means for transferring the rotation of said firing ring to said sear to release said striker for movement into firing contact with the cartridge.
Claims, 12 Drawing Figures PATENTEUJANZ I973 3,707,794
SHEET 1 OF 4 INVENTOR.
John ELRD ch11 Richnmfl W Livigfslon A 111. 42m 2. M, ,h.
CONCEALEI) SINGLE SHOT FIRING MECHANISM The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government for governmental purposes without the payment to us of any royalty thereon.
This invention relates to means for firing lethal projectiles and is more particularly directed to a single shot mechanism adapted to be housed and fired in a manner which completely conceals the true nature of the mechanism.
Although firearm actions have been successfully incorporated in such innocuous items as fountain pens, clubs, and walking sticks, it is extremely difficult to prevent security-minded observers from suspecting the lethal nature thereof. For one thing, the designs of the prior art have not been able to sucessfully conceal all evidence of the required trigger or firing lever. In addition, the necessity for bringing the item into position to be aimed at the intended target frequently provides alert bystanders with an opportunity to forestall the firing thereof or at least with sufficient time to spoil the aim of the operator.
Accordingly, it is a basic object of this invention to provide a cartridge firing mechanism which can be concealed at any desired location within an elongated member normally utilized for some entirely different purpose and still permit the firing of a projectile at a selected target without revealing the existence of such mechanism.
It is another object of this invention to provide a firing mechanism of the aforesaid type which is simple, rugged, and functionally reliable.
An additional object of the present invention is to provide a projectile firing mechanism of the aforesaid type wherein the reloading of a live cartridge requires the complete removal of the barrel therefrom and thereby positions the parts so that the firing member is automatically cocked during the subsequent replacement of the barrel.
A further object of this invention lies in the provision of a single shot firing mechanism adapted to be concealed in an elongated rod in a manner which will permit positive control of the firing and safety functions in response to the actuation of a single ring encircling the exterior periphery of the rod.
A more specific object of this invention is to provide a single shot firing mechanism as aforesaid which can be completely concealed in one or all of the legs of a camera tripod and utilized to fire an aimed projectile without interference with the normal functions of the camera or the tripod.
In order to accomplish the foregoing objects, the firing mechanism of the present invention comprises a forwardly biased longitudinal firing member or striker slidably mounted in a tubular housing which includes a removable forwardly extending barrel portion. A cylindrical sear is fixedly secured to the rear end of the striker and normally serves to retain the latter in the cocked position thereof by abutment with the rear end of a cocking rod which bears in turn against a portion of the breech face of the barrel. In order to fire a cartridge chambered in the barrel portion, the sear must be rotated to align a peripheral notch therein with the rear end of the cocking rod. Normally, such rotation of the sear is prevented by a safety plunger rearwardly biased into engagement with the peripheral firing notch in the sear.
A firing ring is slidably mounted on the exterior periphery of the tubular housing for alternate longitudinal and rotary movement. During the forward actuation of the ring, the safety plunger is forced out of the peripheral notch in the sear and is replaced by a forwardly extending pin mounted on an inwardly directed arm of the ring. Thus, subsequent rotation of the firing ring in a counterclockwise direction rotates the sear to align the firing notch therein with the rear end of the cocking rod whereupon the firing member is freed to be biased forwardly and discharge the chambered cartridge.
The fired cartridge case can thereafter be replaced by a live cartridge at any convenient time by first unscrewing the barrel from the striker housing to permit the cocking rod to move forwardly out of blocking engagement with the sear and then actuating the firing ring in a clockwise direction to impart corresponding rotation to the freed sear. During this rotation of the sear, a forwardly extending follower pin thereon rides along an inclined arcuate cam surface in the tubular housing and cams the firing member rearwardly to the extent required to free the tip from the fired cartridge case which can then be removed from a fixed extractor in the front end of the tubular housing and replaced by a new cartridge.
As this clockwise rotation of the firing ring is concluded, such ring is automatically returned to the prefired position thereof. At the same time, the peripheral notch in the sear is again engaged by the safety plunger to prevent accidental rotation during the subsequent reassembly of the barrel which forces the cocking rod rearwardly against the sear to retract the firing member to the cocked position thereof.
The specific nature of the invention as well as other objects and advantages thereof will clearly appear from a description of a preferred embodiment as shown in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a longitudinal section showing the firing member or striker held in the cocked position by the cocking rod and showing the firing ring in the retracted position which permits the safety plunger to engage with the sear;
FIG. 2 is a transverse section taken along line 2-2 in FIG. 1 to illustrate the internal configuration of the firing ring and the relationship thereof to the striker and sear;
FIG. 3 is a similar transverse section taken along line 3-3 in FIG. 1 to illustrate the plunger means which imparts the rotation of the firing ring to the sear and to show the arcuate configuration of the inclined cam surface utilized to retract the firing tip of the striker out of engagement with the fired cartridge case;
FIG. 4 is a longitudinal section taken along line 4-4 in FIG. 2 to show the safety plunger in position to prevent rotation of the sear and the firing ring associated therewith;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 but limited to the rear end portion thereof to illustrate the manner in which the safety plunger is disengaged from the sear in response to the forward actuation of the firing ring;
FIG. 6 is a transverse section taken along line 6--6 in FIG. 5 to show the position of the firing ring at the instant the sear has been rotated to permit the release of the striker;
FIG. 7 is a longitudinal section taken along line 7-7 in FIG. 6 to show the striker in the fired position thereof;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view similar to that of FIG. 7 but showing the barrel removed from the striker housing and the striker partially retracted out of engagement with the fired cartridge case;
FIG. 9 is a transverse section taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 8 to show the position of the sear during the rotation imparted thereto for the partial retraction of the striker;
FIG. 10 is an exploded view of the firing mechanism in perspective;
FIG. 11 is a reduced perspective view showing the manner in which the firing mechanism of this invention may be incorporated in one or all of the legs of a conventional tripod utilized to support a camera; and
FIG. 12 is an enlarged perspective view of one type of end cap which may be utilized to conceal the tubular nature of the tripod legs.
The firing mechanism of this invention essentially comprises a longitudinal striker 12 slidably disposed within a tubular housing 14 designed to extend an elongated rod 16 so that it can be utilized for any normal purpose but preferably as one or more of the legs of a tripod 18 for the support of a camera 20 as shown in FIG. 11. The rear end of housing 14 is slightly reduced in diameter, as indicated at 22, and is terminally threaded at 24 to permit assembly thereof to the correspondingly threaded end of rod 16. While the exterior diameter of housing 14 and rod 16 may be equal, the preferred construction utilizes a slightly smaller diameter for striker housing 14 in order to provide a shoulder 26 for limiting the rearward movement of a firing ring 28 rotatably mounted thereon. The rear end of ring 28 is counterbored, as shown at 30, to fit over the exterior periphery of rod 16 and conceal the junction thereof with housing 14. In addition, the interior of ring 28 is annularly restricted, as shown at 32, to form a seat for the rear end of a spring 34 surrounding the reduced diameter portion 22 of housing 14. As a result of such construction, spring 34 normally urges firing ring 28 rearwardly into abutment with shoulder 26 on rod 16.
Striker housing 14 is provided with a central hole 36 therethrough which is counterbored at the rear end thereof, as shown at 38, to slidably receive a cylindrical sear 40 threadably secured in turn to the rear end of striker 12 and retained in place by both an internal key 41 and a suitable locking nut 42. The forward and smaller diameter portion of striker hole 36 is rearwardly threaded at 44 to receive an exteriorly threaded sleeve 46 for slidably supporting striker 12. The forward end of striker 12 terminates in a conventional firing tip 48 having an enlarged flange 50 which, in conjunction with sleeve 46, is utilized to properly guide striker 12 during the firing and retracting movements thereof. Striker 12 is normally biased forwardly to the fired position by a coil spring 52 surrounding the body thereof and seated between sleeve 46 and flange 50. The firing movement of striker 12 is adapted to be halted by the contact of sear 40 with the rear end of sleeve 46.
Projecting forwardly from striker housing 14 is a threaded extension 58 for releasably joining another tubular member which serves as the barrel 60 of the firing mechanism and includes a firing chamber 62 for seating a cartridge 64 of conventional shape in position to be fired by the forward movement of striker 12. In order to prevent the discovery of the concealed firing mechanism subsequent to the discharge thereof, cartridge 64 is preferably of the type in which a semirigid piston (not shown) is actuated by the propellant gases to provide the impact necessary to accelerate the projectile. The forward movement of this piston is also utilized to seal the propellant gases against escape along with the projectile and silence the customary sound produced by the firing of conventional cartridges. Further concealment of the true nature of barrel 60 is provided by an end cap 66 of resilient material in which a pair of crossed slits 68, as best shown inFlG. 12, permits the fired projectile to pass therethrough.
Sear 40 is peripherally notched, as best shown at 70 in FIG. 10, to receive the rear and reduced diameter end 72 of a safety plunger 74 slidably disposed in a longitudinal bore 76 in striker housing 14. The depth of notch 70 is slightly less than the larger diameter of plunger 74 to provide a stop 78 for halting the rearward movement imparted thereto by an internally mounted spring 80 which projects forwardly therefrom to seat against the forward end of bore 76.
Striker 12 is retained in the cocked position shown in FIG. 1 by a cocking rod 82 slidably seated in a longitudinal hole 84 formed in striker housing 14 to lie on an axis parallel to safety plunger 74 but displaced therefrom by substantially Cocking rod hole 84 is radially oriented in housing 14 so that the forward end of rod 82 bears against a portion of the breech face of barrel 60 while the rear end thereof abuts the front face of sear 40. Cocking rod 82 is provided with a forwardly extending internal bore having a coil spring 88 retained therein by a forwardly projecting lug 90 extending radially outward from a washer 92 threadably mounted on the exterior of sleeve 46 as best shown in FIG. 8. The wall of cocking rod 82 is longitudinally slotted, as indicated at 94, to provide passage for the neck of lug 90 during the longitudinal travel of cocking rod 82.
The interior of firing ring 28 is formed with a radial arm 96 of substantially rectangular configuration which projects inwardly from annular restriction 32 through a longitudinal slot 98 formed along the threaded rear end of striker housing 14. The free end of arm 96 carries a fixed pin 100 adapted to align with the rear end of safety plunger 74 prior to the firing rotation of ring 28. The forward end of slot 98 communicates with a peripheral slot 102 in striker housing 14 for the passage therealong of rectangular arm 96 during the rotation of firing ring 28. Also provided within the interior of ring 28 is a forwardly extending longitudinal channel 104 terminated by an upwardly inclined ramp 106 at the extreme forward end thereof as shown in FIG. 4. Channel 104 serves to slidably seat the outer end of a cup 108 containing a spring 110 bearing against a stepped pin 112 which projects into a longitudinal groove 114 formed into the periphery of scar 40 in diametrical opposition to notch 70 as best shown in FIG. 10. Thus, pin 112 serves to connect sear 40 with firing ring 28 for simultaneous rotation therewith after the latter has been advanced to the extreme forward position thereof. The wall of striker housing 14 is circumferentially slotted, as shown at 116 in FIG. 3, to provide for the passage of cup 108 and pin 112 during the rotation of firing ring 28.
The forward end wall of the larger counterbored portion 38 of striker housing 14 is formed with a rearwardly inclined arcuate cam surface 118 located in diametrical opposition to cocking rod hole 84 therein as best illustrated in FIG. 3. Cam surface 1 18 is adapted to act upon the enlarged head 120 of a follower pin 121 fixedly mounted in sear 40 to project the front face thereof substantially midway of the peripheral longitudinal groove 114 and the central striker hole 36.
The firing of a projectile from any of the legs 16 of tripod 18 may be readily accomplished while camera 20 is being carried on the shoulder of the operator in a conventional horizontal position with the legs pointed along the tripod leg containing a live cartridge 64 and then move firing ring 28 forwardly against the bias of spring 34. As best shown in FIG. 5, fixed pin 100 is thereby advanced to replace safety plunger end 72 and therebyfree sear 40 for subsequent counterclockwise rotation. Firing of cartridge 64 is accomplished when sear notch 70 is aligned with the rear end of cocking rod 82 to free striker 12 for forward movement in response to the bias of spring 52. If circumstances should render it necessary to postpone firing until a more opportune time, the rotation of firing ring 28 may be halted at any time prior to contact of arm 96 with the end wall of peripheral slot 102, whereupon the frictional engagement between cocking rod 82 and the face of sear 40 will maintain the parts in position to respond to any subsequent completion of the rotation of firing ring 28. Longitudinal movement of firing ring 28 is, of course, prevented by the engagement of arm 96 in slot 102.
Although sear notch 70 is designed to align with the rear end of rod 82 within substantially 90 or a quarter turn of ring 28, it should be understood that the firing rotation of the latter may be increased or decreased in accordance with the arcuate extent of peripheral slot 102. During the forward movement of striker l2, sear 40 thereon moves out of engagement with fixed pin 100 on firing ring 28. However, inasmuch as this forward movement of scar 40 brings longitudinal groove 114 thereon into position for engagement with pin 112 in housing 14, the required connection between sear 40 and firing ring 28 is continued for the subsequent partial retraction of striker 12 as will be hereinafter explained.
As previously mentioned, the resulting propellant gases accelerate a suitable piston pin (not shown) in cartridge 64 to strike the projectile with sufficient impact to drive the latter out of barrel 60 and toward the intended target. Since the projectile is retained in an opening formed in the interior of the case to substantially the same diameter as the piston pin, the entry thereof into such opening seals the propellant gases against exit from the case, thereby eliminating the visible and audible indications normally encountered in the firing of cartridges. Thus, the operator may continue to handle the tripod and camera in a normal fashion until he is presented with an opportunity to extract the fired cartridge case and reload a fresh cartridge in barrel 60.
forwardly. It is only necessary for the operator to sight 7 This is accomplished simply by unscrewing barrel 60 from striker housing 14, as best illustrated in FlG. 8, whereupon cocking rod 82 is released to move forwardly under the bias of spring 88 out of engagement with sear notch 70. Thus, sear 40 is now free to be rotated in a clockwise direction in response to the corresponding rotation of firing ring 28. During this manipulation of firing ring 28, the front end of rivet 120 rides along arcuate cam 118 and is forced rearwardly thereby to retract striker 12 sufficiently to withdraw firing tip 48 thereon out of engagement with cartridge 64. The fired cartridge case may now be removed from engagement with a fixed extractor claw 122 extending from the front end of striker extension 58 and a new cartridge 64 installed.
Clockwise rotation of firing ring 28 is terminated upon contact between arm 96 and the end wall of peripheral slot 102 whereupon arm 96 is again aligned with longitudinal slot 98 in striker housing 14 to permit ring 28 to return to the rearward prefired position thereof in response to the bias of spring 34. At the same time, sear notch has been rotated into position for engagement by the reduced diameter rear end 72 of safety plunger 74 thereby preventing any accidental rotation of striker 12 during the subsequent completion of reloading and cocking.
The latter action is accomplished simply be reassembling barrel 60 to striker housing 14 which serves to force cocking rod 82 rearwardly against the bias of spring 88 and into abutment with the front face of sear 40. The continued rearward movement of cocking rod 82 will retract striker 12 to the prefired position illustrated in FIG. 1 without interference by the engagement between safety plunger 74 and sear notch 70.
Accordingly, there is here provided a relatively simple and rugged firing mechanism adapted to be concealed in any tubular member, such as the legs of a camera tripod, and fired in a manner which is entirely consistent with the normal handling of the camera. The mechanism may be triggered or prevented from firing simply through the proper manipulation of a ring of innocuous appearance which fully conceals the junction between the different diameter sections of the tripod leg. Both the reloading and cocking of the concealed firing mechanism are extremely simple functions since it is only necessary to unscrew the portion of the tripod leg which serves as a barrel to expose the fired cartridge case for removal and thereafter replace the barrel portion to automatically cock the striker.
Although a particular embodiment of the invention has been described in detail herein, it is evident that many variations may be devised within the spirit and scope thereof and the following claims are intended to include such variations.
1. A single shot firing mechanism adapted to be concealed in an elongated rod normally utilized for an entirely different purpose comprising, a tubular housing forming a section of the rod, a barrel portion removably secured to the forward end of said housing for holding a cartridge in position to be fired, a forwardly biased striker longitudinally disposed in said housing for firing contact with the cartridge, a cylindrical sear secured to the rear end of said striker, a cocking rod disposed in said housing in simultaneous contact with the breech face of said barrel portion and the front face of said sear for retaining said striker in a cocked position, a firing ring surrounding the junction of said housing and said rod for rotatable and slidable movement thereon, and means for transferring the rotation of said firing ring to said sear to release said striker for movement into firing contact with the cartridge.
2. The combination defined in claim 1 wherein said sear is formed with a peripheral notch and said means for transferring the rotation of said firing ring thereto comprises an inwardly projecting arm with a forwardly extending pin engageable in said sear notch.
3. A single shot firing mechanism adapted to be concealed in an elongated rod normally utilized for an en- "'tirely'different' purpose comprising a tubular housing forming an extension of the rod, a barrel portion removably secured to the forward end of said housing for holding a cartridge in position to be fired, a forwardly biased striker longitudinally disposed in said housing for firing contact with the cartridge, a cylindrical sear secured to the rear end of said striker and formed with a peripheral notch therein, a cocking rod disposed between the breech face of said barrel portion and the front face of said sear for retaining said striker in a cocked position, a firing ring surrounding the junction of said housing and said rod for rotatable and slidable movement thereon, said ring having an inwardly projecting arm with a forwardly extending pin engageable in said peripheral notch in said sear during firing rotation of said firing ring whereby said sear is rotated to align said peripheral notch therein with the rear end of said cocking rod and thereby permit said striker to be biased forwardly into firing contact with the cartridge.
4. The combination defined in claim 3 including a safety plunger longitudinally disposed in said housing, and spring means for biasing said plunger rearwardly into engagement with said peripheral notch in said sear to block rotation thereof until said firing ring is ad vanced to substitute said forwardly extending pin thereon for the rear end of said safety plunger.
5. A single shot firing mechanism adapted to be concealed in an elongated rod normally utilized for an entirely different purpose comprising a tubular housing threadably secured in the rod, a barrel portion threadably secured to the forward end of said housing for continuing the exterior periphery thereof, said barrel portion having a firing chamber for seating a cartridge therein, a forwardly biased longitudinal striker disposed in said housing for slidable movement into firing contact with the cartridge, a cylindrical sear threadably secured to the rear end of said striker and formed with a peripheral notch therein, a cocking rod seated in said housing between the breech face of said barrel portion and the front face of said sear for retaining said striker in a cocked position, a safety plunger seated in said housing in substantially 90 displacement from said cocking rod and having a rear end of reduced diameter for entry into said peripheral notch in said sear to prevent the firing rotation thereof, a firing ring surrounding the junction of the rod and said tubular striker housing for longitudinal and rotational movement relative thereto, and means on said firing ring for sequentially inactivating said safety plunger and rotating said sear out of engagement with said cocking rod to release said striker for firing movement.
6. The combination defined in claim 5 wherein said last-mentioned means comprises an inwardly directed radial arm having a'forwardly projecting fixed pin insertable into said peripheral notch in said sear to displace said safety plunger therefrom whereby subsequent rotation of said firing ring is imparted to said sear.
7. The combination defined in claim 5 including an arcuate projection on the front face of said sear, and cam means in said striker housing engageable with said arcuate projection during clockwise rotation of said sear to retract the front end of said striker out of engagement with the cartridge.
8. A single shot firing mechanism adapted to be concealed in an elongated rod normally utilized for an entirely different purpose comprising a tubular housing threadably secured in said rod, a forwardly biased longitudinal striker slidably disposed in said housing, a cylindrical sear threadably secured to the rear end of said striker, a spring-biased cocking rod seated in said housing forwardly of and in contact with the front face of said sear, a barrel potion threadably secured to the forward end of said housing in position to displace said cocking rod rearwardly against said sear and thereby retract said striker for subsequent retention thereof in cocked position, said barrel portion having a firing chamber therein for holding a cartridge in firing alignment with said cocked striker, said sear having a substantially U-shaped peripheral notch and a diametrically opposed longitudinal peripheral groove, a firing ring surrounding the junction of the rod and said tubular striker housing for longitudinal and rotational movement relative thereto, an inwardly directed radial arm on said firing ring having a forwardly extending pin engageable in said U-shaped notch in said sear to impart the firing rotation of said ring thereto and align said notch with the rear end of said cocking rod whereby said striker is automatically biased into firing contact with the cartridge, and a spring-biased plunger pin radially disposed within the interior of said firing ring to project through said striker housing and engage in said longitudinal sear groove during the firing movement of said striker whereupon said sear is connected to said firing ring during the return rotation thereof to a prefired position.
9. The combination defined in claim 8 including a follower having an enlarged head projecting from the front face of said sear, a rearwardly inclined arcuate cam surface disposed in said striker housing in position to be contacted by said enlarged head on said follower at the conclusion of the firing rotation of said striker whereby the subsequent return of said firing ring to the prefired position thereof actuates said follower head along said cam surface to retract said striker from firing contact with the cartridge.
10. In a single shot firing mechanism adapted to be concealed in the elongated leg of a camera-supported tripod, the combination of a counterbored tubular housing forming a section of the tripod leg, a barrel of the same exterior periphery as said housing threadably secured to the forward end thereof to continue the tripod leg and also seat a cartridge in position to be fired, a longitudinal striker having an enlarged flange at the forward end thereof for slidable engagement in said tubular housing, a spring surrounding said striker to bear against said flange for urging said striker forwardly to fire a cartridge, a sleeve threadably mounted in the rear end of the smaller diameter portion of said counterbored tubular housing to retain said striker spring and cooperate with said flange for slidably supporting said striker, a cylindrical sear of larger diameter than said striker threadably secured to the rear end thereof for slidable movement in the larger portion of said counterbored housing, a cocking rod disposed between the breech face of said barrel and the front face of said sear for retaining said striker in the cocked position thereof, said cocking rod having a forwardly extending bore therein in communication with a parallel slot along the wall thereof, spring means seated in said bore for urging said cocking rod forwardly upon removal of said barrel from said tubular housing, a washer threadably secured to said striker spring retainer and having a radial arm with a forwardly extending lug for entry into said internal bore in said cocking rod to provide a rear seat for said spring means therein, said sear having a substantially U-shaped notch extending radially into the outer periphery thereof, a firing ring surrounding said tripod leg at the junction thereof with said tubular housing, and means on said firing ring for transferring the firing rotation thereof to said sear to align said U-shaped notch with the rear end of said cocking rod whereby said spring urges said striker forwardly into firing contact with the cartridge in said barrel.
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|U.S. Classification||42/1.9, 42/69.1, 42/1.14, 42/106, 42/52, 42/1.8, 42/1.16|
|International Classification||F41A19/39, F41A19/00, F41C9/00|
|Cooperative Classification||F41A19/39, F41C9/00|
|European Classification||F41A19/39, F41C9/00|