US 3895803 A
A laminar firearms target comprising a brightly-colored backing sheet, a transparent plastic film bonded to the backing sheet, and a conventional target pattern printed in a black and white ink layer on the front side of the plastic film so as to completely obscure the brightly-colored backing sheet. The properties of the ink layer, plastic film, and backing sheet are such that when the target is struck by a firearm projectile, a substantially larger-than-projectile-size portion of the ink layer is removed at the impact point, while a smaller-than-projectile-size hole is made in the plastic film and backing sheet. Thus a substantially larger-than-projectile-size area of the brightly-colored backing sheet is revealed, causing the point of impact to appear highly enlarged and in a brightly contrasting color, thereby providing a substantially more visible hit indication at target range distances. In lieu of the ink layer, a mosaic of paper stickers, which are removed individually upon bullet impact, can be provided and the target pattern formed thereon.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Lee [ 1 July 22, 1975 LAMINAR INDICATING TARGET  Inventor: James M. Lee, 27 School Ln.,
Willow Grove, Pa. 19090 22] Filed: Aug. 22, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 390,584
 US. CL... 273/102 R; 273/102 A; 273/DIG. 24  Int. Cl. F4lj 1/02  Field of Search.. 273/102 R, 102 PM, 102.1 R, 273/1021 C, 102.1 CM, 102.4, DIG. 22, 102
A, 102 AF; 73/167 Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Marvin Siskind Attorney, Agent, or FirmD. R. Pressman  ABSTRACT A laminar firearms target comprising a brightlycolored backing sheet, a transparent plastic film bonded to the backing sheet, and a conventional target pattern printed in a black and white ink layer on the front side of the plastic film so as to completely obscure the brightly-colored backing sheet. The properties of the ink'layer, plastic film, and backing sheet are such that when the target is struck by a firearm projectile, a substantially larger-than-projectile-size portion of the ink layer is removed at the impact point, while a smaller-than-projectile-size hole is made in the plastic film and backing sheet. Thus a substantially larger-than-projectile size area of the brightlycolored backing sheet is revealed, causing the point of impact to appear highly enlarged and in a brightly contrasting color, thereby providing a substantially more visible hit indication at target range distances. In lieu of the ink layer, a mosaic of paper stickers, which are removed individually upon bullet impact, can be provided and the target pattern formed thereon.
11 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures 1 LAMINAR INDICATING TARGET BACKGROUND 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a target for firearms which, by means of a built in indicator mechanism, produces a substantially more visible indication of the point of projectile impact on the target than prior art targets.
2. Description of the Prior Art Common firearms targets comprise generally a sheet of paper having the usual concentric circles and bullseye printed thereon. When punctured by a speeding bullet, a slightly srnaller-than-bulletsized hole is pro duced in the paper sheet. At conventional target range distances the location of the hole is very difficult to determine because of its small size and lack of contrast with the rest of the target. This lack of hole visibility is especially pronounced when using rounds of small caliber, e.g., 0.22 inch in diameter.
So called indicating targets have become available in recent years. These have included a stretched rubber membrane which, when punctured, revealed a contrasting-colored backing sheet. Another type used a re siliently deformable material mounted behind an inelastic paper target sheet. A third type relied upon the action of fluid released by projectile puncture of a capsule. Other types used further relatively complex schemes. While providing improved visibility vis-a-vis the simple paper target, prior art indicating targets suffered from the drawbacks of high cost due to expensive materials or complex assembly requirements, lack of operating reliability, and/or had difficulty of of mass production, again resulting in high cost. As a result, no relatively inexpensive, reliable, high visibility indicating targets are yet available, to the best of my knowledge.
PRESENT INVENTION The present invention overcomes the drawbacks of the prior art indicating targets by employing a construction which can be duplicated substantially entirely by processes currently in use in the printing industry. It is therefore extremely inexpensive to produce, yet produces a very high contrast indication of the point of bullet impact.
Accordingly, several objects of the present invention are to provide an indicating target which overcomes the drawbacks of prior art indicating targets, which is inexpensive to produce, which has high operational reliability, which is amenable to mass production techniques, and which provides a high contrast indication of the point of bullet impact. Additional abjects and advantages will become apparent from the ensuing description thereof.
DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side sectional view of a portion of a target according to the invention, taken at line l-1 in FIG. 2.
FIG. 2 is a front cutaway view of said target.
FIG. 3 is a front view of a mosaic sticker embodiment of the invention and FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken at 4-4 in FIG. 3.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT (FIGS. 1-2) FIGS. 1 and 2 show a preferred form of an indicating target according to the invention. The target comprises a laminar assembly including a brightly colored paper backing sheet 10. Bonded to the front surface of sheet 10 is a transparent plastic film 12. To the front surface of plastic film 12 is applied a white ink layer 14 having a conventional target pattern 16 printed thereon in black ink. A congruent pattern 18 is printed on backing sheet 10.
The preferred materials and fabrication procedures for the target areas follows. Backing sheet 10 preferably is fabricated of common low cost bond (no rag content) writing paper approximately 0.1 millimeter thick and dyed or inked with a brightly-colored fluorescent dye or ink, e.g.; with an orange or red dye, as indicated by the lining in FIG. 2. Plastic film 12 preferably is 0.075 millimeter thick and is heat bonded to backing sheet 10. Film 12 preferably is a resin of the ionomer type made by E. I. duPont de Nemours and Co. of Wilmington, Del. and sold under the trademark Surlyn, but any other type or brand which operates satisfactorily may be used. Preferably, film 12 has been corona etched on its rear surface so that the proper bond strength can be achieved at relatively low bonding temperature. A suitable ionomer film derived from Surlyn ionomer which is corona etched on one side is sold under the trademark Surflex by Flex-O-Glass Inc., 11 North Cicero Ave., Chicago, Il. Bonding the corona etched side of film 12 to the backing sheet 10 at a temperature of about C and a pressure of about 2O0gm/cm was found to produce a satisfactory bond.
Targets produced in this manner will produce a relatively large hit indication, i.e., of about 2 cm diameter for a cal. .22 bullet. If a higher strength bond is provided between film l2 and backing sheet 10, (i.e., through the use of greater heat and pressure) the diameter of the hit indication will decrease.
Ink layers 14 and 16 are preferably of the heavybodied type, normally used for printing directly on metal containers, and are applied by conventional printing processes such that layer 14 is about 0025mm thick and such that black ink portions 16 are thick enough to mask the portions of white ink layer 14 that lie thereunder. For use on a 50 yd rifle range, the target size should be about 9 inches by 7 inches, as recommended by the National Rifle Association, Washington, D.C.
DESCRIPTION OF ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS (INCL. FIGS. 3&4)
While certain specific features of the invention have been shown and discussed in the above embodiment, whose operation has been presently found to be superior in terms of the foregoing objectives, various other omissions, substitutions, and changes in the form and details of the device illustrated and in their operation may be made within the scope of the invention, as illustrated by the following examples:
I. Backing sheet 10 can be eliminated if plastic film 12 is dyed in a bright color to provide high contrast to ink layers 12 and 14. However the use of a colored backing sheet 10 and transparent film 12 are recommended to allow control over the area of the hit indication.
2. Plastic film 12 can be omitted and ink layer 14-16 printed directly on backing sheet 10. In this modification, ink layer 12 should have a reduced bond (lower peel strength) with backing layer 10.
3. Sheet can be mounted in spaced relationship behind, rather than adherent to, film 12.
4. A chipable ink layer similar to 14-16 can be provided on either the front or back surface of plastic film 12 and no additional ink or backup paper is employed. The ambient background light is relied upon to show through any removed portion to provide contrast.
5. Paint can be substituted for ink layer 14-16. Lacquer type paint is recommended.
6. (FIGS. 3-4) A mosaic of hexagonal paper discs 30 having pressure sensitive adhesive on the back thereof may be substituted for the entire ink layer 14-16, with the discs being white and the target pattern printed thereon as indicated at 16. The side-to-side dimension of each disc preferably is about /2 inch for use with cal. .22 bullets. A mosaic of square, triangular, or circular discs may also be used. Also the target could be as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 except that a disc could be substituted for the ink layer solely at the bullseye.
OPERATION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT When a bullet passes through the target of FIGS. 1 and 2, a substantially larger-than-bullet-size hole will be made in ink layers 14-16, as illustrated at 20, and a somewhat smaller-than-bullet-size hole will be made in film 12 and colored backing sheet 10, as illustrated at 22. The smaller diameter hole 22 is of course formed in the conventional manner, but the large removed ink area is formed in a manner which I do not fully understand at present, but which I believe to be as described in the next two paragraphs.
When the bullet strikes the target it elastically deforms the plastic film in the immediate area around the point of impact, creating a conical depression thereat. Paper backing sheet 10, being substantially inelastic, sustains multiple tears radiating from the point of impact. The bond between sheets 10 and 12 is also substantially destroyed at the point of impact. Ink layers 14 and 16, also being inelastic, are cracked radially and circumferentially around the point of impact and also become unbonded from plastic film 12, forming loosely adherent separate flakes.
When the bullet stretches film 12 to the limit of elastic deformation, film 12 ruptures, forming a bulletsized hole through which the bullet passes. Thereafter, due to the elasticity of film 12, it snaps back to planar form. This snap back action is rapid enough to cause loosened portions of ink layer 14-16 to be thrown off the surface of film 12 around the impact point. Backing 10, being inelastic, acts to limit the area over ,which elastic deformation of film 12 occurs, thus limiting the size of the hit indication. Backing sheet 10 also returns to substantially planar form but is left separated from film 12 around the point of impact, as illustrated at 24.
The resulting visual effect, as shown at 20 in FIG. 2, is that each bullet impact area comprises a large removed ink area which reveals a substantially largerthan-bullet-size portion of brightly-colored backing sheet 10. Thus the point of bullet impact is highly visible at target range distances. For example a 0.22 inch diameter bullet was found'to produce a brightly- OPERATION OF ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS Operation of the alternative embodiments is similar to the foregiong, with a large portion of ink layers 14-16 being thrown off upon bullet impact, except for the embodiments of FIGS. 3 and 4. In these embodiments, the entire disc penetrated by the bullet is thrown off as illustrated at 32, revealing a substantially largerthan-bullet-size portion of the backup sheet 10. If the bullet penetrates the border area between two adjacent discs, both will be thrown off. The discs are believed to be thrown off in a manner similar to that applicable for FIGS. 1 and 2; i.e., the bond is weakened by the initial stretching and the disc is thrown off upon snapback.
While the above description contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limitations upon the scope of the invention but merely as an exemplification of several preferred embodiments thereof. The true scope of the invention is indicated by the subject matter of the appended claims and their legal equivalents.
1. A target comprising substrate means and target pattern means formed on one side of said substrate means in a layer substantially covering said one side of said substrate means, said substrate means and said target pattern means being mutually contrasting visually, said substrate means and said target pattern means being arranged such that when struck by a high speed projectile, a substantially larger-than-projectile-size portion of said target pattern means at the projectiles point of impact will be physically separated and removed from the rest of said target pattern means, and a hole, of a size smaller than said removed portion of said target pattern means, will be made in said substrate means, whereby a portion of said substrate means around said hole will be exposed by the impact ofsaid projectile.
2. The target of claim 1 wherein said substrate means is contrastingly colored to said target pattern means by means of a fluorescent dye.
3. The target of claim 1 wherein said substrate means comprises a transparent film backed by a layer of material having a contrasting color to said target pattern means.
4. The target of claim 1 wherein said substrate means comprises an ionomer resin and said target pattern means comprises an ink layer.
5. The target of claim 4 wherein said ionomer resin is transparent and is backed by a layer of material having a contrasting color to said target pattern means.
6. The target of claim 4 wherein said ionomer resin has a contrasting color to said target pattern means.
7. The target of claim 1 wherein said substrate means has a target pattern congruent with the target pattern on said target pattern means.
8. The target of claim 7 wherein said substrate means comprises a transparent film backed by a layer of material having a contrasting color to said target pattern means, said congruent target pattern being formed on said layer of material.
9. The target of claim 8 wherein said layer of material is paper which is dyed with a brightly-colored fluorescent ink.
10. The target of claim 1 wherein said target pattern means comprises at least one substantially larger-thanbullet-size flat member adhesively secured to said substrate means.
11. The target of claim 1. wherein said target pattern means comprises a mosaic of substantially larger-thanbullet-size flat members adhesively secured to and covering said substrate means and carrying a target pattern thereon.
UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION PATENT NO. 3,895,803 D E 1 July 22, 1975 INV ENTOR(S) James M. Loe
It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
On the abstract page, change inventor's address from "27 School Lane, Willow Grove, Pa. 19090" to 6712 E. Presidio, Scottsdale, Arizcna [SEAL] A ttest:
RUTH C. MASON Arresting Ojlficer fourteenth Day Of October 1975 C. MARSHALL DANN Commissioner ojPatenrs and Trademarks