US 3747247 A
A firearm device or powerhead for use underwater by a diver and is especially useful for killing sharks etc. The powerhead is attached to a rod that serves as a handle. It is used in a manner similar to a spear. Upon contact, a cartridge is exploded and enters the target.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 McNair 1 July 24, 1973 POWERHEAD  Inventor: Rhett McNair, 4343 Puu Panini St.,
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816 [22I Filed: Dec. 15, I970 [211 Appl. No; 98,354
 [1.8. CI. 42]] L, 102/38, 102/43 R, 102/48, 102/493, 102/921 151] Int. (11...... F4lc 27/00, F42b 9/10, F4213 13/54  Field of Search 42/1 L; 102/48  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,300,888 1/1967 Belcher et a1. 42/1 L 3,274,936 9/1966 Messina et a1. 42/1 1. 3,145,494 8/1964 Willcox cl a1... 4211 L 3,210,877 10/1965 Libcralnre 42/1 1.
Primary Examiner Benjamin A. Borchelt Assistant Examiner-C. '1. Jordan Attorney-James C. Wray  ABSTRACT A firearm device or powerhead for use underwater by a diver and is especially useful for ki11ing sharks etc. The powerhead is attached to a rod that serves as a handle. It is used in a manner similar to a spear. Upon contact, a cartridge is exploded and enters the target.
16 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTED Jul24'973 3. 747. 247
INVENTOR RHETT M NAIR POWERHEAD A firearm device or an explosive working device and which is adapted for general use but which has a special use in underwater operations, for instance: in the sea for killing sharks and other kinds of dangerous fish. Swimming persons, divers and undersea explorers and undersea workers can use this invention and find it a great aid, not only as a weapon for defense but also as a useful tool for small demolition work etc. A power head device is provided that can easily puncture a target and thus can be an intrument of warfare under certain conditions.
The weapon has advantages over other types and kinds of powerheads, for instance: it can be easily and speedily reloaded in that only I or 2 seconds is required for the reloading rather than 20 seconds or more generally required by present known weapons for undersea operations. The cartridge in applicant's device is muzzle loaded instead of breech loaded as in common undersea weapons. The device is simple and dependable in operation because it has no moving pans and furthermore, the weapon is not subject to jamming because of corrosion and/or mineral deposits. A clear space tolerance is maintained at all times between the cartridge and the bore or the wall of the firing chamber.
Because of the unique design of the forward casing head, the weapon fires easily at various angles with respect to the target. The cartridge can dig into the surface of the target. In this invention the cartridge is in fact a rocket. The entire cartridge is a projectile and acts in a manner similar to a bullet from ordinary firearms in addition to being a rocket.
A principal object of this invention is to present an effective firearm to be used as a weapon and/or a work device which has a head that can enter into the surface of a target in and out of water, and which is designed and constructed that it is economical to make and manufacture.
Another object is to provide a combination projectile and firing chamber means which can be used manually and wherein the striking of the projetile upon the target causes the projetile to explode and thus shoot from the firing chamber with great force.
Still another object is to provide a rocket-like device which can be shot from a gun barrel, or a bow type gun barrel employing an elastic.
Other objects will become apparent upon careful reading of the specification and the drawings which are part and parcel hereof.
In the drawings:
F IG. 1 is a vertical elevational view of the powerhead with a portion thereof broken away;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a vertical view of the powerhead and the cartridge in the loaded position with the powerhead mostly in sectional view, and the cartridge with portions thereof broken away;
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the cartridge of FIG. 6;
FIG. 6 is an elevational view of the main body of the cartridge;
FIG. 7 is a vertical view of the primer section of the cartridge with a part broken away;
FIG. 8 is a bottom plan view of FIG. 7.
The invention is a firearm device, or weapon, or an explosive working device of the general classification known as powerheads. [t is specifically adapted for use in underwater operations, but could be modified to perform equally well as a surface weapon or tool. Swimmers, divers, and undersea workers can use this invention and find it a great aid as a defense against sharks and other dangerous marine life, or as a useful tool for small demolition work etc.
For purposes of easy identification of parts, the device illustrated in FIG. I will be referred to here as a powerhead. The combined units illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 will be referred to as a cartridge.
The powerhead is usually attached to a suitable pole or rod or shaft (not shown) of 4 or 5 feet in length and the entire unit is carried by the swimmer, or diver, as a defense against sharks, for instance. The weapon is carried unloaded until such time as it is needed. Upon seeing the need to fire the weapon, the swimmer or diver inserts the cartridge 9 into the bore 2 from the muzzle end 23 to the position shown in FIG. 3. When the forward end of the weapon is jabbed against a target the protruding head 21 of the cartridge 9 strikes the surface of the target and forces the cartridge to quickly slide down into the bore and slap against the firing pin 22 with sufficient impact to detonate the primer l3; and this action ignites the gun powder 11 and thus fires the cartridge. The main body of the cartridge 9 then becomes a projectile and it penetrates the surface of the target.
The powerhead in its present form is made in two pieces indicated by l and 5 for ease of manufacture, but these parts are assembled in a fixed position by means of a set-screw 20 or by welding or by machine pressing operations to form essentially a one-piece unit. As seen in FIG. 3, the upper end of the threaded rod forms the firing pin means which has a frusto-conical base portion 16 and a similar upper portion 22 which merges into a point; and this point protrudes into the firing chamber as indicated clearly in FIG. 3. This unique shape is designed to offer the greatest strength possible to the firing pin means while allowing a clear passage for displaced water through the open channel 17 and yet large enough at the level of the adjacent shoulder 18 to prevent the primer 13 from being blown out of the primer-piece 12 and thus splitting or breaking over the firing pin point which may jam the weapon.
The open channel 17 and the multiple holes 7 allow for rapid displacement of water from the bore 2 and at the firing chamber thereof. This construction allows the cartridge to move towards the firing pin rapidly enough to furnish the necessary impact to detonate the primer when the loaded weapon is thrust against the surface of a target. At the instant of firing, the rapidly expanding gasses within the cartridge causes separation of the two maln parts of the cartridge and thus propell them in opposite directions.
The protruding point of the firing pin 22 impresses itself into the primer l3 and the rim of the primer-piece 24 seats itself on the shoulder 18 at the base of the firing chamber. This in effect seals off the lower end of the bore and thus causes the gas expansion to find exit through the muzzle end 23 of the weapon. The remaining primer-piece may then be removed from the bore 2 by simply allowing it to fall out. A clear tolerance of space is allowed for this purpose. The weapon may be reloaded simply by inserting another cartridge into the bore from the muzzle end 23.
The design of this weapon utilizes the non-compressibility of water as a means to allow for a clear tolerance between the cartridge 9 and the walls of the bore 2; thus making possible the very rapid muzzle loading. Since loading is made only underwater, the space between the cartridge and the wall of the bore is filled with water. Since water is incompressible, the lateral restriction offered by the walls of the bore is extended to the walls of the cartridge by means of the intervening water; thus a negligible amount of power is lost as a result of the relatively large tolerance.
The bevelled plane 6 at the muzzle end of the powerhead is to allow the cartridge head 21 to strike a target with full impact at angles up to 45. The annular grooves and the resultant sharp protruding rings have been machined into the head 21. This construction facilitates full impact when struck at an angle relative to the surface of the target, and it is effective by digging into the surface and preventing slippage.
The powerhead 1 is made of stainless steel or some other non-corrosive material. The cartridge, as can be clearly seen in FIGS. 6, 7 and 3, is made of two basic parts. The main body 9 and the primer-piece 12 may be separated when fired. The body 9 in its present form is a modified version of the well known 30-30 rifle cartridge case and which has been taken from the manufacturers assembly line before it is punched through for the firing hole at the primer end and the opposite end necked down to fit the bullet. The annular sharp grooves are then turned into the rim end 21 and form the protruding sharp rings as shown at 15 in drawing FIG. 3.
Silicone, or other elastic or rubber-like lumps 10 are then bonded to the sides of the cartridge and serve to hold the cartridge in position in the firing chamber while allowing it to slide back rapidly upon impact with a target. These resilient lumps also serve to automatically space the cartridge primer a sufficient distance from the firing pin point to allow the necessary travel of the cartridge to achieve maximum impact. This spacing is achieved by pushing the cartridge down to make light contact with the firing pin. When the cartridge is released the silicone surfaces which have been angled away from the firing pin because of pressure upon their resilient surfaces will then rebound to their original positions and thus push the cartridge away from the firing pin to form the needed space for firing movement.
The primer-piece 12 is a modification of the well known .38 caliber pistol cartridge casing and primer. The only modification has been to cut it off short from the open end so that only the rim and primer remain.
The main body of the cartridge 9 is filled with gunpowder ll and then is joined with the primer-piece 12 in a manner which renders the cartridge waterproof at great depths and pressures. In its present form, this is achieved by sealing the two pieces together with epoxy or other suitable adhesives and by crimping the lower end of the main body into the annular groove at the base of the primer-piece. The primer 13 is also sealed into the primer-piece with a suitable adhesive.
Certain novel features and details of this invention are disclosed herein, and in some cases in considerable detail, and this is in order to make the invention clear in at least one form thereof. However, it is to be clearly understood that the invention as disclosed is not necessarily limited to the exact form and details disclosed since it is apparent that various modifications and changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as described and claimed.
Having thus described my invention, what is claimed and believed new and which is desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
l. A firearm device comprising a casing having a cartridge-receiving fixed barrel with a bore for directly receiving a cartridge with a cylindrical wall of the cartridge directly opposite a wall of the bore, a fixed firing pin means at one end of the bore, a fixed shoulder mounted in the casing and encircling the firing pin means for supporting a base of a cartridge when exploded, an opening at the other end of the bore, the casing having a passage opening about the firing pin means, and fluid conducting means from said passage opening to outside of the casing.
2. The device recited in claim I wherein a rod extends from the firing pin means to a point outside of the casing and wherein the firing pin means is fixed to said rod.
3. The device recited in claim 1 wherein a cartridge is positioned in said bore, the cartridge having a primer at one end near the firing pin means and the other end of the cartridge having a head which extends a short distance beyond the opening of the bore.
4. The device recited in claim 1 wherein a cartridge is positioned in the bore and which cartridge has a primer at one end near the firing pin means and a closure head at the other end of the cartridge, said head having a sharpened perimeter for ease in striking and entering a target.
5. The device recited in claim 4 wherein the cartridge and the bore have cooperative means to position the primer and the firing pin means in spaced relationship.
6. The device recited in claim 1 wherein the firing pin means is spaced from the shoulder and wherein the passage is an annular passage between the firing pin and shoulder, the firing pin means having a point which is spaced a short distance above the said shoulder.
7. The device recited in claim 1 wherein said shoulder is positioned about the firing pin means so that when the cartridge is fired a base of the cartridge forms a closure means in the passage about the firing pin means.
8. The device of claim I further comprising a cartridge mounted directly in the casing spaced from the bore and having a base spaced from the shoulder and a primer spaced from the firing pin means, a head end of the cartridge exposed from the casing and having means integrally formed therewith for facilitating gripping a surface ofa target upon striking the target with the head of the cartridge.
9. The device of claim 8 wherein the head of the cartridge has a larger dimension than a corresponding transverse dimension of the bore.
10. The device of claim 8 further comprising compressible means connected to a cylindrical wall of the cartridge and extending to an opposite wall of the bore.
11. A firearm device comprising a casing with a bore therein, a firing pin means at one end of the bore, an opening at the other end of the bore, the casing having a passage opening about the firing pin means, and fluid conducting means from said passage opening to outside of the casing, a cartridge is positioned in the bore and which cartridge has a primer at one end near the firing pin meansand a closure head at the other end of the cartridge, said head having a sharpened perimeter for ease in striking and entering a target, the outside surface of the cartridge having spaced apart portions of elastic sections fixed thereto.
12. The device recited in claim 11 wherein the forward end of the casing has a bevelled perimeter so that the device will function effectively when the casing is jabbed at a target at various angles.
13. The device recited in claim 11 wherein means is provided for attachment of a handle means.
14. The device recited in claim 11 wherein the firing pin means is conical in shape and the casing has a shoulder with an opening providing a passage for water, the firing pin means having a point which is spaced a short distance above the said shoulder.
15. The device recited in claim 1] wherein said opening about the firing pin means has a shoulder so that when the primer is fired it forms a closure means about the firing pin means.
16. The method of firing an underwater powerhead comprising loading a cartridge in a rigid barrel having a firing pin fixed in a proximal end, spacing a primer end of the cartridge from the firing pin, exposing a head end of the cartridge from the barrel, and holding the cartridge in the barrel, striking the head of the cartridge against a target, exhausting fluid from the barrel, driving the primer end against the firing pin, igniting the primer, separating the primer end from the cartridge and propelling the cartridge and head into the target.
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