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Publication numberUS3888421 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 10, 1975
Filing dateApr 22, 1974
Priority dateApr 22, 1974
Also published asCA1008032A, CA1008032A1
Publication numberUS 3888421 A, US 3888421A, US-A-3888421, US3888421 A, US3888421A
InventorsChow Ho
Original AssigneeBeatrice Foods Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gun type fluid control device
US 3888421 A
Abstract
A gun type fluid control device comprises a gun body having a grip section and a barrel section extending forwardly of the grip section. Nozzle means secured to the barrel section include a valve system spring biased to a valve closing position and movable to a plurality of valve opening positions. Means for controlling the flow of fluid from the nozzle means include a trigger means operatively connected to the valve system and movable between an unactivated or valve closing position and a plurality of activated or valve opening positions; and a latch mechanism spring biased to an unlatching position and manually movable to a latching position operatively engaging and latching the trigger means in any one of the activated positions against movement towards the unactivated position, and releasable from the latching position merely by an incremental further activation of the trigger means. A fluid feed body disposed separate from the grip section and secured to the barrel section forwardly of the grip section provides means for transporting fluid from a fluid supply to the nozzle means without passage through the gun body.
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United States Patent 1 Chow [ GUN TYPE FLUID CONTROL DEVICE [75] Inventor: Ho Chow, River Edge, NJ.

[73] Assignee: Beatrice Foods Co., Chicago, Ill.

[22] Filed: Apr. 22, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 462,806

[52] US. Cl. 239/456; 239/526 [51] Int. Cl BOSb 1/32 [58] Field of Search 239/526 X, 583, 456, 375,

Primary Examiner-L1oyd L. King [57] ABSTRACT A gun type fluid control device comprises a gun body June 10, 1975 having a grip section and a barrel section extending forwardly of the grip section. Nozzle means secured to the barrel section include a valve system spring biased to a valve closing position and movable to a plurality of valve opening positions. Means for controlling the flow of fluid from the nozzle means include a trigger means operatively connected to the valve system and movable between an unactivated or valve closing position and a plurality of activated or valve opening posi tions', and a latch mechanism spring biased to an unlatching position and manually movable to a latching position operatively engaging and latching the trigger means in any one of the activated positions against movement towards the unactivated position, and releasable from the latching position merely by an incremental further activation of the trigger means. A fluid feed body disposed separate from the grip section and secured to the barrel section forwardly of the grip section provides means for transporting fluid from a fluid supply to the nozzle means without passage through the gun body.

38 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEI] JUN l 0 I975 SHEET FATENTEDJUH 10 I975 SHEET PATENTEDJUH 10 I975 SHEET FIG. I2

GUN TYPE FLUID CONTROL DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE lNVENTlON The present invention relates to gun type fluid control devices employable particularly as garden hose nozzles. Such devices typically have the general form of a gun body, including a barrel section terminating in a nozzle orifice and a handle or grip section terminating in a hose connection. A valve chamber is disposed in the barrel section and a hose connecting chamber is disposed in the bottom of the grip section, the two chambers being maintained in fluid communication by means of a fluid tight communicating member which may be either the gun body itself or a hose member disposed therein.

A valve for controlling the fluid flow from the valve chamber into the nozzle orifice is slidably mounted in the barrel section, operation of the valve being regulated by a movable member in the form of a trigger mounted on the gun body. The valve member and the trigger are interconnected with both parts being spring biased to a valve closing position and the trigger being manually operable to move the valve to an open position against the spring bias. Means are also provided to latch the trigger in a valve opening position so that it may be held without further manual effort against the spring bias until further movement of the trigger to a predetermined position releases the latching mechanism so that all the parts may return to a normal or closed valve position upon subsequent release of the trigger.

Devices of this type are described in US. Pat. No. 2,937.8l3, issued to the assignee of the present invention. While quite satisfactory in principle, devices of this type have not proven to be entirely successful in operation. One source of dissatisfaction with the known devices arises out of the techniques for latching and unlatching the trigger. For example, while movement of the valve between its fully valve closed and fully valve open position is substantially continuous in response to movement of the trigger. the number of open positions in which the trigger may be latched is generally extremely limited. In some cases, the trigger may be latched only in a single fully valve open position, although in other cases the trigger may be latched as well in a few partially valve open positions. This limitation on the number of latching positions arises out of the limited space available on the trigger for latchable teeth (where the latch mechanism acts directly on the trigger) or the limited diameter of a gear rotated directly by the trigger through a trigger teeth/gear teeth meshing engagement (where the latch mechanism acts directly on the gear). Similarly. release of the latching mechanism by direct action on the latching mechanism-for example, actuation of a release button is often inconvenient for the user and furthermore tends to result in an abruptjerking of the gun as the releasing motion is being performed. On the other hand, release of the latching mechanism by movement of the trigger to a latch-releasing position, typically located one step beyond the full flow position, requires the user to permit a momentary full flow condition to arise. Where delicate plants. fragile windows, and the like are in the path of flow, even a momentary full flow jet of fluid can have harmful results.

Another source ofdissatisfaction from the known devices arises out of a peculiar preference of some indi- LII viduals for an automatic latching mechanismv Instead of having to first actuate the latching mechanism once the desired flow level has been reached, such individuals prefer to initially actuate the latching mechanism prior to any flow and then to be able to merely release pressure from the trigger with maintenance of the flow at that level being maintained by the preactuated latching mechanism.

A variety of problems arise out of the fact that the fluid supply (i.e., the water hose used in connection with the device) is typically connected directly to the devices grip section. usually at the bottom thereof, As a result. either the entire gun body housing must be of fluidtight construction in order to prevent fluid leakage therefrom or a special fluid-tight member must be provided within the gun body for communication of the fluid from the bottom of the grip section to the valve chamber in the barrel portion. Where the gun body housing itself is used as the fluid tight member, the necessary passage of the fluid past all of the internal oper ating parts of the device additionally poses possible corrosion problems. Where the gun body is formed of metal and used about electrical equipment, the user may experience electrical shocks resulting from fluid leakage or condensation on the gun body.

Another disadvantage arising out of the prior art structure is that where it is anticipated that fluid being passed through the gun body will be either very hot or very cold, the fluid tight member must not only be able to withstand such temperature extremes without developing leaks due to expansion and contraction of the structural material employed therein, but also suitable thermal insulation must be provided to protect the hand of the user grasping the grip section from the temperature extremes therewithin.

Yet another difficulty arising out of the prior art structure is that the fluid passing upwardly through the grip section exerts a lifting force on the rear of the gun body which tends to lift the grip section out of the user's hand. To combat this force, the user must elench the grip section tightly, thus causing fatigue to adults and in some cases making the device unsuitable for operation by children.

Accordingly, one object of the present invention is to provide a gun type fluid control device wherein the trigger may be latched in an almost infinite number of partially valve opening positions, as well as a fully valve opening position, the number not being limited by the number of teeth on the trigger itself on the size of a gear operated directly by the trigger through a gear teeth/trigger teeth meshing engagement,

Another object is to provide such a device wherein the latch mechanism may be released by a manual adjustment of the trigger to the immediately next larger valve opening position, without passage through a fully valve open position.

A further object is to provide such a device wherein the latching mechanism may be actuated prior to actuation of the trigger and maintained in said actuated state during actuation of the trigger.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a gun type fluid control device which does not require a fluid-tight gun body or a fluid-tight member therein connecting the hose-connecting chamber of the device with the valve chamber of the barrel section.

It is another object to provide a device which may be utilized to dispense very hot and very cold fluids without requiring thermal insulation in or on the grip section.

it is a further object to provide such a device wherein the flow of fluid thercthrough tends to seat the grip section within the user's hand so that it may be employed by adults without fatiguing effect and even by those with weak grips.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It has now been found that the above and related objects of the present invention are obtained in a fluid control device generally comprising a gun body. nozzle means secured to the gun body. and a fluid feed means for transporting fluid from a fluid supply to the nozzle means.

in a preferred embodiment of the device. the nozzle means comprises a valve chamber and a valve slidably disposed at least in part in the valve chamber. the valve being spring biased to a valve closing position and movable from the valve closing position. through a plurality of partially valve opening positions. to a fully valve opening position. Means for controlling the valve setting. and hence the flow of fluid from the nozzle means. include trigger means having a manually actuatable portion for moving the trigger means between an unactivated position (corresponding to a closed valve position) through a plurality of partially activated positions (corresponding to partially open valve positions) to a fully activated position (corresponding to a fully open valve position); and connecting means operatively connecting the trigger means and the valve for movement therewith. Latch means within the gun body are spring biased to an unlatching position and manually movable to a latching position operatively engaging and latching the trigger means in any one of the plurality of activated positions against movement towards the unactivated position. Manually actuatable control means ac cessible from without the gun body are secured to the latch means within the gun body for moving the latch means to the latching position. Release means opera tively connects the trigger means and the latch means when the latch means is in the latching position. and is effective. when the trigger means is moved in the direction from the unactivated position to the fully activated position. to release the latch means and enable return of the latch means to the unlatching position. thereby releasing the trigger means and enabling return of the valve to the valve closing position and the trigger means to the unactivated position.

The latch means is typically an angled member pivotally mounted to the barrel section at a pivot point adja cent one end thereof (preferably a common pivot point with the trigger means) and having means such as a pawl for operatively engaging and latching the trigger means at the other end thereof. The latch means is sccured to the control means at a securing point between the engaging means and the pivot point, preferably the vertex of the angled member. The leg portion of the latch means between the pivot point and the securing point is substantially inflexible; however. the other leg portion includes a resiliently flexible portion between the engaging means and the securing point.

More particularly, the latch means is maintained in its latching position against its spring bias by the action of the valve acting under its spring bias through the connecting means. the trigger means and the release means The trigger means is movable incrementally in one direction (i.e.. by further manual actuation) beyond any given one of the activated positions wherein it is latched towards the immediately next of the activated positions (i.e.. the next more flowincreasing position) to automatically effect return of the latch means to the unlatching position. The co ns is secured to the latch means within the gun body for movement of the latch means from the latching position (as well as movement in the opposite direction). so that the latch means is movable from the latching position to the unlatching position either by manual movement of the trigger means or by manual movement of the control means.

In the latching position. the latch means is connected to the trigger means by the release means comprising a gear system having a pinion and a ratchet. The pinion and ratchet are coaxially disposed and interconnected for rotation as a unit, the trigger means having a rack portion at all times engaging only the point of the gear system. and the latch means having a pawl engaging the ratchet only when the latch means is in the latching po sition. Both pinion and ratchet are coaxially disposed within the grip section end of integral construction. the ratchet being of greater diameter than the pinion and having a larger number of teeth than the pinion.

In a special embodiment designed to facilitate actuation of the trigger means while the latch means is in the latching position. the latch means has a flexible portion between its connection with the control means and the pawl. and the grip section has an inwardly projecting member on the interior surface thereof. The inwardly projecting member abuts the latch means adjacent the pawl when the latch means is in the latching position to preclude additional flex or buckling of the flexible latch means portion in response to attempted rotation of the ratchet in a given direction (i.e.. a flowdiminishing ro tation) while permitting additional flex of buckling thereof in response to rotation of the ratchet in th opposite direction (i.e.. a flow-increasing rotation). M. .re particularly, the inwardly projecting imb-inner limits buckling of the flexible latch means porQ-rin response to manual release of the manually actuatable portion of the trigger means. whiltsimultaneously permitting such buckling in response to manual actuation of the manually actuatable portions. in other words. the inwardly projecting member limits upward and forward motion of the engaging pawl while permitting upward and rearward motion thereof. The latch means preferably has a bearing surface adjacent the pawl and extending in a downward and forward direction, the inwardly projecting member abutting the upper side of the bearing surface when the latch means is in the latching position.

It will be noted that the trigger may be latched in an almost indefinite number of partially valve opening positions. as well as a fully valve opening position. the number not being limited by the number of teeth on the trigger means itself or the size of a gear operated directly by the trigger through a gear teeth/trigger teeth meshing engagement. Furthermore, the latch mechanism may be released by a manual adjustment of the trigger to the immediately next larger valve opening position, without passage through a fully valve open position. The latching mechanism may also be actuated prior to actuation of the trigger and maintained in the actuated state during actuation of the trigger.

In another preferred embodiment of the device. the gun body has a grip section and a barrel section extending forwardly of the grip section. the nozzle means is secured to the barrel section. and the fluid feed means comprises a fluid feed body disposed separate from the grip section and secured to the barrel section forwardly of the grip section. More particularly. the fluid feed body has a lower portion located below the barrel section. and the device provides means for rigidly securing the lower portion to the grip section (for example. by means of a post generally normal to the axis of the grip section connecting and rigidly securing the lower portion to the lower portion of the grip section). A substantial length of the fluid feed body is preferably spaced from and is substantially parallel to the grip section. Thus the grip section, the barrel section. the fluid feed body and the post together define a central aperture for receipt of the fingers of the operator.

Typically. the device additionally contains means for controlling the flow of fluid from the nozzle means, the controlling means including a manually actuatable portion such as a trigger projecting into the space between the grip section and the fluid feed body. A forward surface of the grip section defines an aperture extending into the interior thereof for at least partial receipt in the grip section interior of the manually actuatable portion of the controlling means. The device further contains a valve chamber in fluid communication with the fluid body, the valve chamber being disposed within the nozzle means and having an aperture at the rear thereof for passage therethrough by a portion of the valve. The valve chamber aperture is sealed about the valve portion from the barrel section to prevent passage of fluid from the valve chamber into the interior of the gun body. The fluid feed body and the nozzle means are preferably of unitary metal construction and connected to or removed from the gun body as a unit.

The upper portion of the fluid feed body is preferably connected to the barrel section by the nozzle means. The nozzle means has a substantially horizontal axis and the fluid feed body is oriented to communicate fluid upwardly through the fluid feed body from a fluid supply into the valve chamber of the nozzle means. An essentially horizontally disposed surface, which may be a portion of the valve chamber, is provided forward of the grip section and secured to the barrel section for movement therewith. As the fluid feed body directs the flow of fluid therethrough against such bearing surface, the fluid flow impinging thereon urges the barrel section upwardly. thus at least partially balancing the weight of fluid in the valve chamber and under full flow operation exerting a torque which seats the grip section in the palm of the hand of the operator to facilitate holding of the device.

It will be noted that as the fluid never passes through the grip section, the grip section need be neither fluidtight nor contain a fluid-tight fluid communicating member. Furthermore, although the device may be utilized in conjunction with very hot or very cold fluids, no insulation is required in or on the grip section as the fluid does not pass through the grip section at all. Accordingly, the gun body may be formed substantially of any suitable plastic, and the fluid feed body may be formed substantially of metal without any insulation being provided for the fluid feed body, as the latter need not contact the users hand during use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is an isometric view ofa gun type fluid control device according to the present invention. a fluidtransporting hose being connected to the base thereof and the trigger being slightly depressed to provide a fine mist emanating from the nozzle means;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view, partially in cross section and to an enlarged scale. of the fluid control device of FIG. I with one side of the housing being removed to reveal details of internal construction and which the trigger being in its released or non-spray position;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevation view. partially in cross section and to an enlarged scale. of the fluid control device of FIG. 2. with a side of the housing being removed to reveal details of internal construction and the trigger set to a fully depressed or jet spray position by fingers shown in phantom line;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary side elevation view. partially in cross section and to an enlarged scale. similar to FIG. 3 except that the trigger is set and locked in a partially depressed or fine mist spray postion;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary top plan view. partially in cross section and to a slightly enlarged scale. of the fluid control device of FIG. 2 taken along the line 55 thereof;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary top plan view, in cross section and to a slightly enlarged scale, of the fluid control device of FIG. 2 taken along the line 6-6 thereof;

FIG. 7 is an elevation view. partially in cross section and to a slightly enlarged scale, of the fluid control de vice of FIG. 2 taken along the line 7-7 thereof;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary elevation view, partially in cross section and to a slightly enlarged scale. of the fluid control device of FIG. 2 taken along the line 88 thereof;

FIG. 9 is an exploded isometric view of the operating components of the fluid control device according to the present invention;

FIG. I0 is a fragmentary side elevation view. similar to FIG. 2, of a modified embodiment of the fluid con trol device according to the present invention;

FIG. II is a fragmentary side elevation view. similar to FIG. 3, of the modified embodiment;

FIG. I2 is a fragmentary side elevation view, similar to FIG. 4, of the modified embodiment; and

FIG. 13 is a perspective view partially in crosssection, of the locking member and a portion of the housing containing the projection which cooperates with the locking member.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawing. and in particular to FIG. 1 thereof. the gun type fluid control device of the present invention is generally designated by the nu meral I0 and comprises a gun body generally designated by the numeral 12 having a grip or handle section 14 and a barrel section I6 extending forwardly of the grip section 14. A nozzle means generally designated by the numeral 18 is secured to the barrel section 16. and a fluid feed body generally designated by the numeral 20 is disposed separate from the grip section I4 and secured to the barrel section I6 forwardly of the grip section 14 for transporting fluid from a fluid supply (such as garden hose 22) to the nozzle means 18. The manually actuatable trigger generally designated by the numeral 24 is shown in a slightly actuated or depressed position in FIG. 1 and. accordingly. a fine spray 25 of fluid emerges from the front of nozzle means 18. It will be noted that the fluid feed body 20 is spaced from the forward surface of the grip section 14 sufficiently so that [as illustrated in FIG. 3 in phantoniIineI fingers may be inserted in the aperture 26 provided without the fingers contacting the fluid feed body 20 and with an air gap being provided between the fingers and the fluid feed body to insulate the fingers from the temper ature prevailing on the surface of the fluid feed body 20. The enclosed nature of aperture 26 facilitates storage of the device It) in any orientation; for example by hanging the device ll) on a peg or hook inserted through the aperture 26.

Referring now in particular to FIGS. 24 and 9, the operative portions of the device include a manually actuatable lever-like trigger generally designated by the numeral 24 which projects into the gap 26 between the fluid feed body and the grip section 14. The uppermost portion of the trigger 24 defines an aperture 34 and is mounted on a pivot rod 36 for pivotal movement thereabout. the ends of the pivot rod 36 being disposed within barrel section 16. The bottommost portion of the trigger 24 is provided with a series of teeth 38 which act as an arcuate rack in connection with the rack and pinion arrangement to be described in detail hereinafter. Movement of the trigger to a fully actuated position corresponding to a full or jet spray of fluid from the device 10 is limited by the abutment of the rear tooth 38a against the rear wall of the housing 40 (see FIG. 3), while movement of the trigger to its released or non'spray position is limited by the abutment of the forward tooth 38h against the front wall of the housing 40 (see FIG. 2].

A concentric gear system generally designated by the numeral comprises a small pinion 52 engaged from above by the arcuate rack of trigger 24 and a relatively larger ratchet 54 which cooperates with the pawl of the locking mechanism to be described in detail hereinafter. The teeth of the pinion 52 are radially extending for interaction with the trigger teeth 38; on the other hand the teeth of the ratchet 54 are beveled in a clockwise direction as seen in the drawing. The concentric gear system 50 is a unitary one-piece molded construc tion mounted on pivot rod 56 for rotation as a unit thereabout. the ends of pivot rod 56 being disposed within grip section 14.

The forward portion 58 of the trigger 24 which nor mally projects into gap 26 when the trigger 24 is in a substantially released position is of generally U-shaped cross section, the opening of the U-shaped cross sec tion being adapted to receive a portion of ratchet 54 when the trigger 24 is in a substantially depressed posi tion. As the trigger 24 pivots about pivot rod 36 in either direction the trigger teeth 38 engaging pinion 52 cause it (and hence ratchet 54) to rotate about pivot rod 56, depression of trigger 24 causing a counter clockwise rotation of the concentric gear system 50 as seen in the drawing. and release of trigger 24 causing a clockwise rotation.

An elongated angled locking member generally dcsignated by the numeral 60 has a rigid forwardly extend ing leg 62 substantially disposed within the barrel sec tion 16 and a resilient downwardly and rearwardly extending leg 64 substantially disposed within the grip section 14. the legs 62, 64 forming an obtuse angle The forwardly extending leg 62 has an aperture 66 extending through the thickness thereof and a forwardly extending tab 68 of reduced dimensions at the front thereof and below the horizontal plane of aperture 66, the locking member 60 being pivotally mounted on the pivot rod 36 which passes through aperture 66. The downwardly and rearwardly extending leg 64 is resiliently flexible and provided adjacent the bottom thcrcof with a single locking tooth or pawl 70 adapted. upon actuation of the locking mechanism, to engage the teeth of ratchet S4 and prevent rotation thereof in a clockwise direction as seen in the drawing. A flange 72 on the side of pawl 70 bears at all times against a side of pinion 54 to maintain the pawl 70 in the same plane as the teeth of ratchet S4 and thus facilitates engagement therebetween upon actuation of the locking mechanismv A keyhole-like aperture extends throughout the thickness of locking member 60 precisely at the vertex formed by the angled legs 62, 64 thereof, which vertex incidentally coincides with the vertex of the axes of the gun body sections l4. l6. Axially aligned with the key hole like aperture 80 of the locking member 60 are a pair of locking buttons generally designated by the numeral 82, one button 82 being disposed on either side of the locking member 60. Each lock button 82 has an upper surface 84 disposed external to the housing 40 and configured to provide a convenient thumb rest for the user, and inwardly extending keyholedike flange 86 adapted to pass through the housing 40 and enter the keyhole-like aperture 80 of the locking member 60. The keyhole-like inner flange 86 of each locking button 82 is provided with an internally ridged aperture 88, and an externally ridged friction fastening member 90 passing through keyhole-like slot 80 is grippingly engaged within the locking button apertures 88 to secure them together and to the locking member 80., one on either side of the locking member 80. Accordingly, a convenient downward and forward motion of a thumb on the outer surface 84 of either locking button 82 causes a similar movement of the keyhole-like aperture 80 of the locking member 60 (and the other button 82) and results in a forward and downward movement of the leg 64 thereot until lllc pawl 70 engages the teeth of ratchet 54. In this position, the pawl 70 precludes clockwise rotation of the concentric gear system 50 and thus maintains the trigger 24 in its existing position, as illustrated in FIGv 4. even when manual pressure on the trigger 24 is subsequently released. Even after the thumb pressure on the locking button 82 is released, the pawl 70 is retained in position by its engagement with the teeth of ratchet 54 until the locking action is terminated as hereinafter described by further depression of trigger 24.

A coil compression spring has a rear end which fits over tab 68 of the forward leg 62 of locking member 60, and a front end mounted in the opening of a U- shaped projection 102 in the barrel section housing 40. The spring 100 bears rearwardly against the forward surface of the forward leg 62 about tab 68 (below the horizontal plane of pivot rod 36) and thus acts to move the locking member 60 to its release or non-locking position with the locking buttons 82 and the pawl 70 both being in their raised and backward position. Once the locking member 60 is in the locking position with ratchet S4 engaging the pawl 70, further depression of the trigger 24 causes a counterclockwise rotation of the gear system 50 which releases the engagement and in fact results in a slight upward and rearward movement of the pawl 70 as it cams along a ratchet tooth. At this point. spring 100 acts to cause a return of locking member 60 to its original position and hence a further retreat of the pawl 70 from the ratchet 54 and a return of both locking buttons 82 to their original upward and rearward position. It will be noted that full depression of the trigger 24 (resulting perhaps in an undesirable jet spray of fluid) is not required: any appreciable depression of the trigger 24 beyond the position in which it is locked will suffice to release the locking member 60 from the gear system 50, so that subsequent release of the trigger 24 will permit clockwise rotation of the gear system 50 and release of all operating parts to the positions illustrated in FIG. 2.

A valve generally designated by the numeral IIO passes through nozzle means l8 and engages trigger 24 for responsive movement therewith. More specifically. the valve I10 includes a valve stem H2, a valve head positioning ring I14. a valve head H6 and a valve extension 118. The valve stem H2 has the basic cross sectional configuration of a cross, an intermediate section 130 thereof adjacent the rear end being of rectangular cross sectional configuration and having a vertically extending rectangular aperture 132 therethrough. The uppermost portion of the trigger 24 extends upwardly through the rectangular aperture I32 so that pivotal movement of trigger 24 about pivot rod 36 is transformed into rectilinear movement of the valve stem II2 along the axis thereof. The forward and rear interior surfaces of the rectangular aperture 132 are beveled as illustrated in FIG. 2 to permit the required degree of free play for such a conversion.

A coil compression spring I34 is axially aligned with the valve stem 112, the rear end of spring I34 being seated in the opening of a U-shaped projection 136 of the housing 40 and the front end thereof extending over the rearmost portion of the valve stem I12 and bearing forwardly against the rear exterior surface of the enlarged rectangular section 130 of the valve stem 112. Thus spring 134 not only acts to maintain the valve stem 112 in a forward or valveclosing position. but also. through the interaction of enlarged valve stem section 130 and the upper portion of trigger 24, acts to maintain the trigger 24 in its released position extending into aperture 26.

The forward section 138 of valve stem I12 is of cir cular cross section and mounts a positioning ring 114 having three regularly spaced. outwardly extending tabs I40 which serve to position the forward section 138 within the nozzle means I8 (and. more particularly, to align the valve head I16 with a valve seat to be described hereinafter). The valve head 116 (see FIGS. 2-4) is a ring of resilient material fitted on a brass valve extension I18 extending forwardly from within the valve stem forward section 138 to which it is secured. The valve extension II8 includes a flange I42 which presses the valve head I16 against the forward surface of the positioning ring 140 and a spray head or deflector 144 at the forward tip thereof which interacts with the nozzle means 18 to vary the fluid spray pattern emerging therefrom during use of the device 10.

The nozzle means 18 comprises a horizontally extending housing or valve chamber I60 having a valve seat I62 of reduced diameter at the front thereof. an aperture I64 at the rear thereof through which the valve stem II2 passes. and an aperture at the bottom thereof which communicates with fluid flow body 20. A valve chamber segment 166 of reduced diameter immediately to the rear of valve seat 162 interacts with the tabs I40 of positioning ring l [4 to align the forward surface of valve head I16 with the valve seat 162. The upper exterior surface of the valve chamber I60 has a centrally apertured tab which is engaged by the housing projection I72 to secure the nozzle means I8 to the barrel section housing 40. The aperture I64 of the valve chamber 160 is scaled by an apertured gland member generally designated by the numeral I80 through which a short valve stem section I82 of cylindrical configuration freely passes. The gland member I80 comprises a flanged cylindrical member I84. a thin retaining ring 186 of corrosion-resistant metal which bears against the forward surface of cylindrical mem ber I84 and precludes forward motion of the gland member I80 by abutment against flanges 188 of the valve chamber 160. and a pair of inner and outer sealing rings I90 and 192. respectively. mounted on cylindrical member 184 between the flanges thereof and retaining ring I88. lnwardly and outwardly extending flanges on the cylindrical member I84 force the sealing rings I90. I92 against the retaining ring 188 with the outer ring 192 contacting the outer surface of the cylindrical member 184 and the inner surface of the valve chamber 160, and with the inner ring I90 contacting the inner surface of the cylindrical member 184 and the outer surface of the cylindrical valve stem section 182. Rearward motion of the cylindrical member 184 is precluded by projections 196 of the housing 40. while. as already noted. forward motion of the cylindrical member I84 is precluded by the abutment of the retaining ring 186 against flanges I88 of the valve chamber I60. The overall effect of the gland member is to seal the valve chamber aperture 164 about the valve stem 112 and thus preclude passage of fluid into the interior of the gun body 12.

Referring now to FIG. 2 in particular. the fluid flow body 20 is a hollow cylindrical metal tube generally normal to the axis of nozzle means I8 and having an upper portion 200, a lower portion 202, and a long intermediate portion 204 between the upper and lower portion 200, 202, a substantial length of the intermediate portion 204 being substantially parallel to the axis of the grip section 14 and spaced forwardly thereof. The upper fluid flow body portion 200 is rigidly secured to (and. as illustrated. integral with) the nozzle means 18, the aperture I65 in the bottom of the nozzle means 18 providing fluid communication between the interior of the fluid flow body 20 and the valve chamber I60 disposed within the nozzle means 18. The lower fluid feed body portion 202 contains a down wardly opening recess which acts as a hose connecting chamber 210, a gasket 212 being provided therewithin to insure leak proof connection of the hose 22 (see FIG. 1) within the hose connecting chamber 210. While the hose-connecting chamber 210 is shown as being internally threaded for convenient receipt and mounting of an externally threaded end of hose 22, ob viously other conventional means for securing the end of a hose 22 to the lower fluid feed body portion 202 may be provided. The lower portion 202 is rigidly secured to the bottom of the grip section I4 by means of a post 220 integral with the housing 40 which extends forwardly of the grip section I4 and normal to the axes 11 of the grip section 14 and fluid feed body 20. The bottom portion 202 is secured to the forward portion of the post 220 by means of a rcarwardly extending tab 222 having a central aperture engaged by a projection 224 of the post 220.

To reduce the possibilities of damage to the valve 110 ofthe nozzle means 18 in the event that the device is dropped. a rubbery front tip 230 is provided which covers the front end of the barrel section 16 as well as the front end of the nozzle means 18. The front tip 230 is provided with an aperture 232 in registration with the deflector 144 of nozzle means 18 and is removably secured to the front ends of barrel section 16 and nozzle means 18 by a series of inter-engaging recesses and projections Housing 40 of gun body 12 (including, for the purposes of this discussion, post 220) is formed of two half sections 236 which are joined together by the aforementioned friction fastener 90, and others 240 strategically placed throughout the housing 40 in inwardly extending housing projections 172, 224 and others 242 to join the housing half sections 236. Accordingly, the exterior surface of the housing 40 is substantially smooth with no protruding fastener heads to snag on clothing or to injure the hands of the user. The exterior surface of each housing half section 236 in the region of a lock button 82 defines a smoothly curving surface or ledge 250 adapted to facilitate placement and resting of the thumb ofthe user on the exterior surface 84 ofthe lock button 82. To simplify and economize on the manufacture and assembly of the device 10, the post 220 in formed as an extension of the housing 40 and integral therewith. The forward surface of the grip section housing 40 adjacent the exposed portion of trigger 24 defines an aperture through which the exposed portion may be at least partially passed into the gripped section interior.

The housing of fluid feed body 20 and nozzle means 18 (i.e.. the valve chamber 160) are conveniently of one piece construction to reduce the possibility of fluid leakage therefrom as well as to provide convenience and economy in the manufacture and assembly of the device [0. The housing 40 (including the post 220) is conveniently formed of rigid plastic and need not be of fluid-tight construction, while the unit composed of housing of fluid feed body 20 and nozzle means 18 of a fluid-tight construction conveniently formed of metal. With the exception of metal coil spring 100 and 134, mtal pivot rods 36 and S6, rubber gaskets 190 and 192. the corrosion-resistant metal retaining ring 186 and valve extension 118, the plastic valve head 116 and fastener 90, all of the operating components illustrated in FIG. 9 are conveniently formed of plastic, preferably a rigid plastic except for resiliently flexible locking member leg 64.

To operate the device 10, the externally threaded end of a hose 22 connected to a fluid supply (not shown) is screwed into the internally threaded hose connecting chamber 210 of the lower fluid feed body portion 202, compression of the gasket 212 therein in suring a leak proof connection. Fluid from the fluid supply passes upwardly through hose 22 and hose connecting chamber 210, past the intermediate and upper portions 204 and 200 of the fluid feed body 20, through nozzle means aperture 165, and into valve chamber 160. With the trigger 24 in the non-activated (released) or non'flow position illustrated in FIG. 2, the fluid entering valve chamber 160 is trapped therein, the gland member 180 precluding the flow of fluid into the interior of the gun body 12 and the coaction of valve head 116 and valve seat 162 under the bias of spring 134 5 precluding the flow of fluid forward out of the nozzle means 18. Depression of the trigger 24 to the intermediate partially activated or fine mist position illustrated in FIG. 4 results not only in a counterclockwise rotation ofthe gear system 50 about rod 56, but also a rearward motion of the valve stem 112 against the bias of spring 134 and a resilient retreat of the valve head 116 from the valve seat 162, thus permitting escape of a fine mist spray from the nozzle means 18 through the registering apertures 232 of rubbery tip 230.

If desired at this point. either one of the locking buttons 82 may be actuated with a forward and downward motion of the thumb which causes the locking member 60 to pivot about rod 36 until pawl 70 engages the teeth of the ratchet 54. Thereafter, both the trigger 24 and the lock button 82 may be released from the manual pressure, the engagement of pawl 70 and the ratchet 54 acting against the bias of coil springs 134 and 100, to prevent return of either the trigger 24 or the locking buttons 82 to their original positions. When it is desired to change the spray pattern, the trigger 24 need only be further depressed until counterclockwise rotation of the ratchet 54 exerts a rearward and lifting action on the pawl 70, the slight change in position of locking member 60 being sufficient to permit its return to its original position under the influence of the spring 100. (This action also causes the return of the locking button 82 to their original position.) Thereafter the trigger 24 may be released and all operating parts will return to their original position under the influence of coil spring 134 and fluid flow will terminate. Alternatively, the further depression of trigger 24 may be continued until a fully activated or jet spray condition illustrated in FIG. 3 is obtained.

While the operating procedure described above is the recommended procedure. it is recognized that many users will probably maintain actuating pressure on the lock button 82 even as they are depressing trigger 24. As pawl 70 of locking member 60 only precludes clock wise or flow-diminishing rotation of the gear system 50 and not the counterclockwise or flow-increasing rotation thereof resulting from depression of trigger 24, this is a feasible method of operation. To reduce the noise and vibration resulting from this method of operation, and also to reduce the possibility of breakage of locking member leg 64, the leg 64 is provided with a limited degree of resilient flexibility; for example by providing a segment of reduced cross-section (as illustrated), Such resilient flexibility permits the pawl 70 at the end of leg 64 to be momentarily forcibly displaced rearwardly and upwardly from its locking engagement with the teeth or ratchet 54 as ratchet 54 rotates in the counter clockwise or flowincreasing direction in response to forcible actuation of trigger 24. Obviously. however, there is a limit to the degree of flexibility which can be imparted to leg 64 to facilitate flow-increasing or counterclockwise rotation of ratchet 54; leg 64 must still remain sufficient rigidity so that in the locking position it maintains the pawl 70 at the end thereof continually engaged with the ratchet teeth in such a manner as to preclude flowdiminishing or clockwise rotation of ratchet 54. Hence the leg 64 must have sufficient rigidity in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-9 to prevent buckling thereof which would result in pawl 70 being displaced forwardly and upwardly from its meshing engagement with the ratchet teeth.

Referring now to FIGS. -12, therein illustrated is a fluid control device 10' modified to further reduce noise. vibration and the chance of locking member breakage when the device is operated according to the non-recommended procedure. The device 10' is basically similar to that illustrated in FIGS. 1-9 and described above; however, as shown in FIG. 13 the locking member leg 64' is considerably more flexible (i.e., bucklable) and provided with a bearing surface 73, and the housing 12 is provided with an internal projection 74, the bearing surface 73 and the internal projection 74 interacting when the locking member 60 is in the locking position to preclude undue buckling of locking member leg 64'. More particularly, the downwardly and rearwardly extending leg 64' is provided adjacent the bottom end thereof with a single downwardlyextending locking tooth or pawl 70 for engaging ratchet 54, a flange 72 abutting pawl 70 on one side and extending in a plane transverse to the width thereof, and a linear bearing surface 73 abutting the other side of flange 72. The flange 72 on the side of pawl 70 is of sufficient size to bear at all times (i.e.. in both the latching and unlatching positions) against the side of ratchet 54 thereby to maintain the pawl 70 in the same plane as the teeth of ratchet 54 and thus facilitate engagement therebetween upon actuation of the locking mechanism. The bearing surface 73 extends outwardly from flange 72 towards housing 40 in a plane transverse to the plane of flange 72, and extends axially downwardly and forwardly.

The internal projection 74 extends inwardly from a half section 236 of the housing 40 towards the flange 72 and terminates in the plane of the bearing surface 73. One end of the internal projection 74 is integral with a circular housing projection 242 about a friction fastener 240, and the free end is disposed adjacent the ratchet 54, the intermediate length extending axially downwardly and rearwardly in a direction generally normal to the axis of bearing surface 73. In the unlocked position illustrated in FIGS. l0-I I, the free end is adjacent, but preferably slightly spaced from, the bearing surface 73. Upon actuation of the locking mechanism, as illustrated in FIG. 12, the bottom end moves downwardly and forwardly to enter between the ratchet 54 and the housing projection 74. It will be noted that preferably mere actuation of the locking mechanism does not by itself cause contact between the bearing surface 73 and the housing projection 74, a slight clearance preferably being provided to reduce frictional effects. However, once the pawl 70 is engaged by the ratchet 54, in the absence of manual actuation of trigger 24, the tendency of ratchet 54 to flowdecreasing or clockwise rotation under the bias of spring 134 causes a slight buckling of leg 64' through a forward and upward movement of the pawl 70 at the bottom end thereof. This slight buckling causes a corresponding upward movement of the bottom end sufficient to bring the bearing surface 73 in contact with the housing projection 74, and thereafter further buckling of leg 64 is precluded by the abutment of the upper and forward side of bearing surface 73 against the bottom and rearward end of housing projection 74, which abutment restrains any upward and forward motion of the free end. Thus in the latching position illustrated in FIG. 12, the pawl engages the teeth of ratchet 54 and prevents rotation thereof in a flow-decreasing or clockwise direction (as seen in the drawing), the housing projection 74 precluding retreat of the pawl 70 from the teeth of ratchet 54 by further buckling of leg 64' In effect, the free bottom end of leg 64' is wedged between the ratchet 54 below (acting on pawl 70) and the housing projection above (acting on hearing surface 73). advancing upward motion of the bottom end being blocked while retreating upward motion thereof is permitted.

The locking member 60 is conveniently formed of plastic in a single molding operation. The forwardly extending leg 62 is formed of sufficient thickness to preclude buckling thereof and render it substantially rigid and inflexible. By way of contrast, the downwardly and rearwardly extending leg 64' is substantially a thin strip of material provided along portions of the length thereof with an upstanding spine 75 which renders such portions substantially inflexible and precludes buckling ofsuch portions, while leaving at least one flexible portion 76 (characterized by the absence of the spine 75) between its ends. The ability of leg 64' to flex and buckle enables the latching mechanism to be maintained in its latching position during actuation of the trigger 24 and resultant rotation of the gear system 50 in the flow-increasing or counter-clockwise direction (as seen in the drawing) with a minimum of noise and vibration and with minimal structural damage to the locking member 60. Despite the provision ofthe bucklable portion 76, the leg 64' still acts to preclude rotation of the ratchet 54in a flowdecreasing or clockwise direct on (as seen in the drawing) as the housing projection 74 bears downwardly on the bearing surface 73 in such a manner as to restrain upward and forward movement of the bearing surface 73 and hence preclude disengagement of the pawl 70 from the teeth of ratchet 54 by unrestrained buckling of the leg 64',

In both embodiment, the latching mechanism may also be released by manually forcing one of the two control buttons 82 upwardly and rearwardly back to its original position. In the modified embodiment this action causes a corresponding upward and rearward (as opposed to upward and forward) movement of the bottom end of locking member leg 64' so that the bearing surface 73 thereof retreats from its wedged position between internal ho'using projection 74 and ratchet S4, and thus enables retreat of pawl 70 from its engagement with the teeth of ratchet 54. Thus in both embodiments the latching mechanism may be thus released without any manual actuation of the trigger means 24, although a very slight rotation of gear system 50 in the flow-increasing or counter-clockwise direction (as seen in the drawing) will occur as the manual force exerted on the control button 82, acting through locking member 60 on pawl 70, overcomes the spring bias of the valve system, acting through trigger 24 on the gear system 50.

To summarize, a gun type fluid control device is de' scribed in which the trigger means may be locked in an almost infinite number of different valve opening positions because the gear member acted on by the latching mechanism is of greater diameter than the gear member acted on by the trigger means. Additionally, means are provided for releasing the latching mechanism from its latching position merely by incremental depression of the trigger to the valve opening position immediately beyond the one in which it is currently latched. without requiring passage through a jet or full valve opening position. A further feature of the device is that the latch ing mechanism may be initially actuated either once the desired flow condition is achieved or at any time prior thereto. the provision of a flexible portion in the locking member 60 acting to reduce the noise. vibration and damage otherwise resulting from the latter method of operation.

Furthermore. the fluid is conducted directly to the nozzle means without passage through the gun body. Accordingly fluids of extreme temperatures may be sprayed without gloves and without providing insulating about the gun body grip section. because the users hand is not in contact with the fluid feed body. As the users hand contacts only the plastic of the housing. trigger and lock buttons. the danger of electrical shock resulting front fluid leakage or condensation on the gun body is also reduced. Perforation of the gun body does not result in leaks as there is no fluid flowing through the gun body. The device is scientifically shaped and balanced so that the water pressure flowing upwardly through the fluid feed body into the generally horizontal nozzle means strikes a member forward of the grip section and secured to the barrel section for movement therewith tie. the upper interior surface of the valve chamber) and thus exerts a torque pushing the barrel section upwardly and the grip section downwardly against the user's hand to aid him in holding the gun during use without fatigue.

Now that the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described in detail. various modifications and improvements thereon will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art. Ac cordingly. the spirit and scope of the present invention is to be considered as defined by the appended claims. and not by the foregoing disclosure.

1 claim:

I. A gun type fluid control device comprising A. a gun body;

B. nozzle means secured to said gun body and comprising a valve chamber and a valve slidably disposed at least in part in said valve chamber. said valve being spring biased to a valve closing position and movable from said valve closing position through a plurality of partially valve opening positions to a fully valve open position;

C. fluid feed means for transporting fluid from a fluid supply to said valve chamber; and

D. means for controlling the flow of fluid from said nozzle means including i. trigger means having a manually actuatable portion for moving said trigger means between an unactivated position through a plurality of partially activated positions to a fully activated posi tion.

ii. connecting means operatively connecting said trigger means and said valve for movement there with;

iii. latch means within said gun body spring biased to an unlatching position and manually movable to a latching position operathely engaging and latching said trigger means in any one of said activated positions against movement towards said unactivated position;

iv. manually actuatable control means secured to said latch means within said gun body for movement of said latch means; and

a release means opcratively connecting said trigger means and said latch means when said latch means is in said latching position and effective. when said trigger means is moved in the direction from said unactivated position corresponding to the valve closing position toward said fully activated position corresponding to a fully valve open position. to release said latch means and enable return of said latch means to said unlatching position. thereby releasing said trigger means and enabling return of said valve to said valve closing position and said trigger means to said unaetivated position.

2. The device of claim I wherein said connecting means operatively connects said trigger means and said valve for movement therewith. including movement of said valve to one of said plurality of valve opening positions in response to movement of said trigger means to one of said plurality of activating positions. and move ment of said trigger means to said unactivated position in response to movement of said valve to said valve closing position responsive to its spring bias.

3. The device of claim I wherein said trigger means is movable in said direction beyond any given one of said activated positions wherein it is located by said latch means in said latching position to the immediately next of said activated positions to automatically effect return of said latch means to said unlatching position.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein when said latch means is in said latching position. said valve. said connecting means. said trigger means. and said release means are operatively connected to apply the spring bias of said valve against the spring bias of said latch means to maintain said latch means in said latching position.

5. The device of claim I wherein said control means is secured to said latch means within said gun body for movement of said latch means from said latching posi' tion to said unlatching position. whereby said latch means is movable from said latching position to said unlatching position both by manual movement of said trigger means and by manual movement of said control means.

6. lo a gun type fluid control device comprising A. a gun body;

l3. nozzle means secured to said gun body and comprising a valve chamber and a valve slidably disposed at least in part in said valve chamber. said valve being spring biased to a valve closing position and movable from said valve closing position through a plurality of partially valve opening positions to a fully valve open position;

C. fluid feed means for transporting fluid from a fluid supply to said valve chamber: and

D. means for controlling the flow of fluid from said nozzle means including i. trigger means having a manually actuatable portion for moving said trigger means between an unaetivated position through a plurality of partially activated positions to a fully activated position;

ii. connecting means operatively connecting said trigger means and said valve for movement therewith.

iii. latch means within said gun body spring movable between an unlatching position and latching position operatively engaging and latching said trigger means in any one of said activated positions against movement towards said unactivatcd position;

iv. manually actuatable control means secured to said latch means within said gun body for movement of said latching means; and

v. release means operatively connecting said trig ger means and said latch means when said latch means is in said latching position and effective. when said trigger means is moved in the direction from said unactivated position corresponding to the valve closing position toward said fully activated position corresponding to a fully valve open position, to release said latch means and enable return of said latch means to said unlatching position, thereby releasing said trigger means and enabling return of said valve to said valve closing position and said trigger means to said unactivated position;

the improvement wherein said release means comprises a gear system having a pinion and a ratchet. said pinion and said ratchet being interconnected for rotation as a unit; and wherein said trigger means has a rack portion engaging only said pinion of said gear system; and wherein said latch means has a pawl engaging said ratchet when said latch means is in said latching position.

7. The device of claim 6 wherein said pinion and said ratchet are coaxially disposed.

8. The device of claim 7 wherein said pinion and said ratchet are of one piece molded construction.

9. The device of claim 6 wherein said ratchet has a larger number of teeth than said pinion.

10. The device of claim 6 wherein said ratchet is of greater diameter than said pinion.

11. The device of claim 6 wherein said pinion and said ratchet are coaxially disposed and of integral con struction. said ratchet being of greater diameter than said pinion and having a larger number of teeth than said pinion.

12. The device of claim 6 wherein said latch means has a flexible portion between its connection with said control means and said pawl. and wherein said gun body has an inwardly projecting member on the interior surface thereof. said inwardly projecting member abutting said latch means adjacent said pawl when said latch means is in said latching position to preclude flex of said flexible latch means portion in response to attempted rotation of said ratchet in a given direction while permitting flex of said flexible latch means portion in response to rotation of said ratchet in the opposite direction.

IS. The device of claim 12 wherein said latch means has a bearing surface adjacent said pawl and extending in a downward and forward direction, and wherein said inwardly projecting member abuts the upward and forward of said bearing surface when said latch means is in said latching position.

14. The device of claim 6 wherein said latch means and said trigger means are pivotably mounted within said gun body and have a common pivot point.

15. The device of claim 14 wherein said gun body has a barrel section and said common pivot point is disposed in said barrel section.

16. In a gun type fluid control device comprising A. a gun body;

B. nozzle means secured to said gun body and comprising a valve chamber and a valve slidably disposed at least in part in said valve chamber. said valve being spring biased to a valve closing position through a plurality of partially valve opening positions to a fully valve open position;

C. fluid feed means for transporting fluid from a fluid supply to said valve chamber; and

D. means for controlling the flow of fluid from said nozzle means including i. trigger means having a manually actuatablc portion for moving said trigger means between an unactivated position through a plurality of partially activated positions to a fully activated position;

ii. connecting means operatively connecting said trigger means and said valve for movement therewith;

iii. latch means within said gun body movable between an unlatching position and a latching posi tion operatively engaging and latching said trigger means in any one of said activated positions against movement towards said unactivated position;

iv. manually actuatable control means secured to said latch means within said gun body for movement of said latch means; and

v. release means operatively connecting said trigger means and said latch means when said latch means is in said latching position and effective. when said trigger means is moved in the direction from said unactivated position corresponding to the valve closing toward said fully activated position corresponding to a fully valve open position. to release said latch means and enable return of said latch means to said unlatching position, thereby releasing said trigger means and enabling return of said valve to said valve closing position and said trigger means to said unactivated position;

the improvement wherein said latch means is an angled member pivotally mounted to said gun body at a pivot point adjacent one end thereof and having means for operatively engaging and latching said trigger means at the other end thereof. said latch means being secured to said control means at a securing point between said engaging means and said pivot point.

17. The device of claim 16 wherein said latch means includes a resiliently flexible portion between said engaging means and said securing point.

18. The device of claim 17 wherein the portion of said latch means between said pivot point and said securing point is substantially inflexible.

19. The device of claim 16 wherein said control means is secured to said latch means at the vertex of the angle thereof.

20. The device of claim 17 wherein said engaging means comprises a pawl.

21. The device of claim 17 wherein said gun body includes an inwardly projecting member on the interior surface thereof, said inwardly projecting member operatively abutting said engaging means when said latch means is in said latching position and precluding flex of said flexible latch means portion in a given direction.

22. in a gun type fluid control device comprising A a gun body. Bi nozzle means secured to said gun body and comprising a valve chamber and a valve slidably disposed at least in part in said valve chamber. said valve being spring biased to a valve closing position through a plurality of partially valve opening positions to a fully valve open position;

C. fluid feed means for transporting fluid from a fluid supply to said valve chamber; and

D. means for controlling the flow of fluid from said nozzle means including i. trigger means having a manually actuatable position for moving said trigger means between an unactivated position through a plurality of partially activated positions to a fully activated position;

ii. connecting means operatively connecting said trigger means and said valve for movement therewith;

iii, latch means within said gun body movable between an unlatching position and a latching position operatively engaging and latching said trigger means in any one of said activated positions against movement towards said unactivated position.

iv, manually actuatable control means secured to said latch means within said gun body for movement of said latch means; and

v, release means operatively connecting said trigger means and said latch means when said latch means is in said latching position and effective, when said trigger means is moved in the direction from said unactivated position corresponding to the valve closing position toward said fully activated position corresponding to a fully valve open position. to release said latch means and enable return of said latch means to said unlatching position thereby releasing said trigger means and enabling return of said valve to said valve closing position and said trigger means to said unactivated position;

the improvement wherein said latch means is an anwherein said gun body includes an inwardly projecting member on the interior surface thereof said inwardly projecting member operatively abutting said engaging means when said latch means is in said latching position and precluding flex of said flexible latch means portion in a given direction,

said inwardly projecting member being disposed upwardly and forwardly of said engaging means when said latch means is in said latching position. thereby to limit forward buckling of said flexible latch means portion in response to manual release of said manually actuatablc portion in response to manual release of said manually actuatablc portion of said trigger means while simultaneously permit ting rearward buckling of said flexible latch means portion in response to manual actuation of said manually actuatable portion of said trigger means 23. The device of claim 21 wherein said inwardly projecting member limits upward and forward motion of said engaging means while permitting upward and rearward motion of said engaging means,

24. In a gun type fluid control device comprising A. a gun body having a grip section and a barrel section extending forwardly of aid grip section;

B. nozzle means secured to said gun body and comprising a valve chamber and a valve slidably disposed at least in part in said valve closing position and movable from said valve closing position through a plurality of partially valve opening positions to a fully valve open position:

C. fluid feed means for transporting fluid from a fluid supply to said valve chamber; and

D. means for controlling the flow of fluid from said nozzle means including i. trigger means having a manually actuatable portion for moving said trigger means between an unactivated position through a plurality of partially activated positions to a fully activated position:

ii. connecting means operatively connecting means said trigger means and said valve for movement therewith;

iii. latch means within said gun body spring movable between an unlatching position and a latching position operatively engaging and latching said trigger means in any one of said activated positions against movement towards said unactivated position;

iv. manually actuatable control means secured to said latch means within said gun body for move ment of said latch means; and

v. release means operatively connecting said trigger means and said latch means when said latch means is in said latching position and effectn e when said trigger means is moved in the direction from said unactivated position corresponding to the valve closing position toward said fully acti vated position corresponding in a fully valve open position, to release said latch means and enable return of said latch means to said unlatching position, thereby releasing said trigger means and enabling return of said valve to said valve closing position and said trigger means to said unactivated position;

the improvement wherein said release means comprises a gear system having a pinion and a ratchet, said pinion and said ratchet being interconnected for rotation as a unit; and wherein said latch means is an angular member having a first leg at second leg, and an intermediate portion connecting said first and second legs, said first leg being pivotally mounted to said barrel section at a pivot point adjacent the free end thereof said intermediate portion being secured to said control means at a securing point. said second leg having adjacent the free end thereofa bearing surface and means for operatively engaging and latching said ratchet. and said second leg further having a resiliently flexible portion be tween said free end thereof and said intermediate portion.

25. The device of claim 24 wherein said gun body has an inwardly projecting member disposed on the interior surface thereof acting on said bearing surface when said latch means is in said latching position to preclude motion of said free end of said second leg in a given direction.

26. The device of claim 25 wherein said bearing surface extends axially in a forward and downward direction and said inwardly projecting member limits upward and forward motion of said free end of said second leg from said latching position.

27. The device of claim 25 wherein said inwardly projecting member acts on said bearing surface to maintain the engagement of said pawl with said ratchet, thereby to preclude rotation of said ratchet in a direction effecting movement of said trigger means towards said unactuated position.

28. The device of claim 25 wherein said free end of said second leg is wedged between said inwardly projecting member and said ratchet when said latch means is in said latching position and said trigger means is in an unactivated position.

29. in a gun type fluid control device comprising A. a gun body;

B. nozzle means secured to said gun body and comprising a valve chamber and a valve slightly disposed at least in part in said valve chamber, said valve being spring biased to a valve closing position and movable from said valve closing position through a plurality of partially valve opening positions to a fully valve open position;

C. fluid feed means for transporting fluid from a fluid supply to said valve chamber; and

D. means for controlling the flow of fluid from said nozzle means including i. trigger means having a manually actuatable portion for moving said trigger means between an unactivated position through a plurality of partially activated positions to a fully activated position;

ii. connecting means operatively connecting said trigger means and said valve for movement therewith;

iii. latch means within said gun body movable between an unlatching position and a latching position operatively engaging and latching said trigger means in any one of said activated positions against movement towards said unactivated position;

iv. manually actuatable control means secured to said latch means within said gun body for movement of said latch means; and

v. release means operatively connecting said trigger means and said latch means when said latch means is in said latching position and effective, when said trigger means is moved in the direction from said unactivated position corresponding to the valve closing position toward said fully activated position corresponding to a fully valve open position, to release said latch means and enable return of said latch means to said unlatching position. thereby releasing said trigger means and enabling return of said valve to said valve closing position and said trigger means to said unactivated position.

the improvement wherein said gun body has a grip section and a barrel section extending forwardly of said grip section; said nozzle means are secured to said barrel section; and said fluid feed means comprises a fluid feed body disposed separate from said grip section and secured to said barrel section forwardly of said grip section for transporting fluid from a fluid supply to said nozzle means.

30. The device of claim 29 wherein a substantial length of said fluid feed body is spaced from and sub stantially parallel to said grip section.

3]. The device of claim 29 wherein said fluid feed body has a lower portion located below said barrel scc tion and additionally including means rigidly securing said lower portion to said grip section.

32. The device of claim 31 wherein said means rigidly securing said lower portion to said grip section cornprises a post generally normal to the axis of said grip section connecting and rigidly securing said lower por tion and said grip section; said grip section, said barrel section. said fluid feed body and said post together defining a central aperture for the receipt of the fingers of the operator.

33. The device of claim 31 wherein said lower por tion is connected to said grip section adjacent the lower portion of the latter, and said fluid feed body has an upper portion connected to said barrel section by said nozzle means.

34. The device of claim 29 wherein said gun body is formed substantially of plastic. and said fluid feed body is formed substantially of metal.

35. The device of claim 29 wherein said fluid feed body and said nozzle means are an integral unit.

36. The device of claim 29 wherein said valve chamber is in fluid communication with said fluid feed body and has an aperture at the rear thereof for passage therethrough by a portion of said valve, said valve chamber aperture being sealed about said valve portion from said barrel section to prevent passage of fluid from said valve chamber into the interior of said gun body.

37. In the device of claim 29, an essentially horizon tally disposed bearing surface forward of said grip section and secured to said barrel section for movement therewith, said fluid feed body being oriented to direct the flow of fluid therethrough against said bearing sur face, thereby to urge said barrel section upwardly.

38. The device of claim 29 wherein said manually actuatable portion of said trigger means project into the space between said grip section and said fluid feed body; and wherein said grip section has a forward surface defining an aperture extending into the interior of said grip section for at least partial receipt in said grip section interior of said manually actuatable portion.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification239/456, 239/526
International ClassificationB05B9/01, B05B1/30, B05B9/00
Cooperative ClassificationB05B12/002, B05B9/01, B05B1/308
European ClassificationB05B1/30D3, B05B12/00M, B05B9/01
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 7, 1994ASAssignment
Owner name: MELNOR INC., NEW JERSEY
Free format text: RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST RECORDED ON DECEMBER 3, 1992 AT REEL 6314, FRAME 0725;ASSIGNOR:HELLER FINANCIAL, INC.;REEL/FRAME:007013/0720
Effective date: 19940222
Jun 7, 1994AS25Release of security interest
Free format text: MELNOR INC. ATTENTION: C. BRYANT NICKERSON, TREASURER ONE CAROL PLACE MOONACHIE, * HELLER FINANCIAL, INC. : 19940222
Apr 23, 1993AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: MELNOR INC. A VA CORPORATION F/K/A MELNOR ACQUISIT
Owner name: MELNOR INDUSTRIES, INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION
Effective date: 19921106
Apr 23, 1993ASAssignment
Owner name: MELNOR INC., A VA CORPORATION, NEW JERSEY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MELNOR INDUSTRIES, INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:006487/0274
Effective date: 19921106
Dec 3, 1992ASAssignment
Owner name: HELLER FINANCIAL, INC., AS AGENT, ILLINOIS
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MELNOR ACQUISITION CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:006314/0725
Effective date: 19921124
Dec 3, 1992AS06Security interest
Owner name: HELLER FINANCIAL, INC., AS AGENT 500 WEST MONROE S
Effective date: 19921124
Owner name: MELNOR ACQUISITION CORPORATION
Oct 11, 1991AS01Change of name
Owner name: HUNTER - MELNOR, INC.
Effective date: 19910911
Owner name: HUNTER FAN COMPANY A CORPORATION OF DE 2500 FRISCO
Oct 11, 1991AS06Security interest
Owner name: HELLER FINANCIAL, INC.
Owner name: MELNOR INDUSTRIES, INC., A CORPORATION OF DE
Effective date: 19910923
Oct 11, 1991ASAssignment
Owner name: HELLER FINANCIAL, INC.
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MELNOR INDUSTRIES, INC., A CORPORATION OF DE;REEL/FRAME:005895/0739
Owner name: HUNTER FAN COMPANY A CORPORATION OF DE
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:HUNTER - MELNOR, INC.;REEL/FRAME:005895/0800
Effective date: 19910911
Owner name: MELNOR INDUSTRIES, INC. A DE CORPORATION, NEW J
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:HUNTER FAN COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF DE;REEL/FRAME:005895/0723
Effective date: 19910923
Oct 11, 1991AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: HUNTER FAN COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF DE
Owner name: MELNOR INDUSTRIES, INC. A DE CORPORATION ONE CAROL
Effective date: 19910923
Dec 19, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: HELLER FINANCIAL, INC., A DE. CORP.
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HUNTER-MELNOR, INC.;REEL/FRAME:005023/0295
Effective date: 19880930
Owner name: HUNTER-MELNOR, INC., TENNESSEE
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANK OF NEW ENGLAND, N.A.;REEL/FRAME:005023/0287
Feb 25, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: BANK OF NEW ENGLAND, N.A., 28 STATE STREET, BOSTON
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HUNTER-MELNOR, INC.,;REEL/FRAME:004830/0968
Owner name: BANK OF NEW ENGLAND, N.A., A NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HUNTER-MELNOR, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004830/0545
Owner name: BANK OF NEW ENGLAND, N.A., THE
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HUNTER-MELNOR, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004831/0283
Effective date: 19871229
Owner name: BANK OF NEW ENGLAND, N.A., THE,STATELESS
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HUNTER-MELNOR, INC.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100528;REEL/FRAME:4831/283
Owner name: BANK OF NEW ENGLAND, N.A.,MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HUNTER-MELNOR, INC.,;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100525;REEL/FRAME:4830/968
Owner name: BANK OF NEW ENGLAND, N.A., A NATIONAL ASSOCIATION,
Feb 25, 1988AS06Security interest
Owner name: BANK OF NEW ENGLAND, N.A., 28 STATE STREET, BOSTON
Owner name: HUNTER-MELNOR, INC.,
Effective date: 19871229
Dec 21, 1987AS03Merger
Owner name: HUNTER-MELNOR, INC.
Owner name: JET STREAM, INC.,
Effective date: 19861219
Dec 21, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: HUNTER-MELNOR, INC.
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:JET STREAM, INC.,;REEL/FRAME:004818/0853
Effective date: 19861219
Dec 14, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: JET STREAM, INC., 100 WEST 10TH STREET WILMINGTON,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST. NUNC PRO TUNC;ASSIGNOR:MELNOR INDUSTRIES, INC. A NJ CORP;REEL/FRAME:004340/0633
Effective date: 19831228
Owner name: JET STREAM, INC.,DELAWARE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MELNOR INDUSTRIES, INC. A NJ CORP;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASEUPDATED:20100524;REEL/FRAME:4340/633
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MELNOR INDUSTRIES, INC. A NJ CORP;REEL/FRAME:004340/0633
Jan 9, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: MELNOR INDUSTRIES, INC.
Free format text: CERTIFICATE BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE OF NEW JERSEY SHOWING MERGER OF ASSIGNORS AND CHANGE OF NAME OF THE SURVIVING CORPORATION FILED JAN. 21, 1982 AND OCT. 19, 1983.;ASSIGNORS:MELNOR INDUSTRIES, INC. (INTO);S P R INC. (CHANGED TO);REEL/FRAME:004206/0113
Effective date: 19831208
Apr 19, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: MELNOR INDUSTRIES INC., 1 CAROL PLACE, MOONACHIE,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:BEATRICE FOODS CO. A CORP. OF DE.;REEL/FRAME:003979/0818
Effective date: 19820414