US 3901208 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
llited States Patent Laporte et al.
[ 51 Aug. 26, 1975 MANUAL TARGET THROWING DEVICE Inventors: Jean-Michel Laporte; Jean-Claude Laporte, both of Pont de la Braque, 06600 Antibes, France Filed: June 26, 1974 Appl. No.: 483,426
Foreign Application Priority Data July 9, 1973 France 73.25087 us. Cl 124/5; 124/43 rm. cm F41B 3/04 Field of Search 124/5, 6, 7, 8, 43, 41 R,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1906 Lindcrman 124/43 852,123 4/1907 Leggctt 124/43 1,607,874 11/1926 Darton 124/5 2,124,738 7/1938 .lohnscn... 124/5 3,428,036 2/1969 Parker r 124/5 Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-William R. Browne 5 7 ABSTRACT A device for use in target shooting for assisting the manual throwing of clay pigeons. The throwing apparatus comprises a resilient arm defining, at one end, a retaining stop and a target supporting notch extending inwardly from the stop toward a handle. The apparatus also has a support member which extends outwardly from the arm to terminate in a target receiving channel spatially displaced from the notch in the arm. The target receiving channel may be adjusted longitudinally of the resilient arm.
10 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures MANUAL TARGET THROWING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION:
1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to the throwing of generally disc-shaped objects. More specifically, this invention is directed to apparatus for use in the manual release of plates, known in the art as clay pigeons," as required in target or trap shooting. Accordingly, the general objects of the present invention are to provide a novel and improved method and apparatus of such character.
2. Description of the Prior Art Manual plate throwing devices for use in target shooting are well known. Such prior art throwing devices are exemplified by the apparatus of US. Pat. No. 2,124,738 and include an elongated bar, formed atone end into a support for a plate to be thrown, and resilient retaining means mounted adjacent the free end of the bar for engagement with the plate to be thrown. The prior art manual plate throwing devices are employed by vigorously swinging, by means of an integral handle, the bar so that the plate will be freed from contact with the retaining means at the moment the amplitude of movement is at its maximum. Thus, in order to impart the greatest possible speed to the plate, it has been necessary that the retaining means grip the plate sufficiently firmly to insure that it would not escape from the support at the beginning of the throwing stroke. Thus, prior art manual clay pigeon throwing devices have been characterized by a rigid bar or arm; such rigidity being dictated by the desire to control the direction of travel of the plate. Restated, if the bar on which the plate was supported was resilient, deformations occurring during the throwing stroke would be sufficiently great tocause premature release of the target thus rendering control of the trajectory of the plate impossible.
Also in accordance with the prior art, the plate to be thrown is typically gripped between a resilient pad and a rectilinear portion of the elongated bar which defines the plate support of the throwing device. During a throwing stroke the friction between the lower edges of the plate and the supporting portion of the bar and also between the upper surface of the plate and a shoulder provided on the rectilinear part of the support bar results in an undesirable braking action. i
In the interest of imparting greater speed to the targets, spring assisted manual plate throwing devices have been proposed. Such devices include a handle and a helicoidal spring. The spring extends between the handle and a'plate support comprising thrust bearings. Such spring assisted throwing devices are unable to direct the plates being thrown in a st'raight trajectory. This deficiency results from the fact that the throwing devices, when employed, are held in the right hand and the users arm is swung vigorously from right to left. During the first portion of the throwing stroke the spring will be deflected in a direction opposite to the movement ofthe device and, when the movement of the device ceases, the spring will tend to deflect in the opposite direction. The stop finger which holds the plate in the thrust bearings will, under the influence of the centrifugal force generated during the swinging of the device, move awayfrom the plate thus releasing the plate and causing it to rotate. However, the plate does not obtain a sufficient rotational speed and the gyroscopic effect is thus very limited and variations in trajectory may result. Furthermore, the spring, in the course of its various deformations, vibrates. These vibrations are transmitted, in an amplified form, to the support for the plate and thus further results'in an inability to control the trajectory. As a further deficiency of spring assisted manual clay pigeon throwing devices, these devices are necessarily heavy and therefore very fatiguing to use.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention overcomes the above briefly discussed and numerous other deficiencies and disadvantages of the prior art by providing a novel and improved manual throwing device for fragile articles such as targets employed in trap shooting. This invention, which enables plates or clay pigeons to be thrown at high speeds along rectilinear trajectories, comprises a handle which is integral with an elongated'resilient arm. A support for individual plates to be thrown is affixed to the resilient arm intermediate its ends. The support extends outwardly from the arm defines a generally U-shaped channel which opens in the direction of the arm. The resilient arm, adjacent its free end, is provided with a notch in its upper edge. The bottom of this notch is at the same level as the lower side surface of the channel in the support whereby a plate to be thrown may be positioned in the support channel and supported on the notch in the resilient arm. The resilient arm is also provided, at the end of the notch adjacent the free end of the arm, with a retaining stop which holds the plate on the throwing device until sufficient throwing force has been generated by the user.
Apparatii in accordance with the present invention have the attributes of ease of manufacture, light weight and inexpensiveness. Additionally, a plate throwing device in accordance with the invention enables plates to be thrown a greater distance and at a higher speed than has been possible with prior art devices of similar character. In addition to enhanced speed and distance, the present invention allows clay pigeons to be projected along straight trajectories in a controllable manner.
A particularly significant feature of the present invention resides in the fact that the throwing device comprises an elastic blade which is flexible at the moment of release of the target, the blade extending vertically on edge, whereby no vertical vibrations are generated and transmitted to the plate. Accordingly, the problem of oscillation during movement which has I characterized the prior art is avoided. The controllable trajectory of the plates thrown with the present invention is further enchanced by the fact that, since the plates are guided in a channel, considerable rotation is imparted thereto thereby providing a gyroscopic effect which resists deviations in trajectory.
In accordance with a further feature of the invention the channel in the support includes a notch which assists in the accurate positioning of the plates on the throwing device. In one embodiment of the invention the support is longitudinally movable with respect to the resilient arm whereby the support notch can be positioned relative to the stop, which functions as a thrust bearing, thus enabling the device to accommodate target plates of different diameter.
In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention the support is, like the arm. comprised of a resilient material; the support consisting of a channel defining portion and a web portion in the form ofa bent strap which interconnects the channel defining portion to the arm. In embodiments characterized by the ability to adjust the position of the support, the strap is provided with an elongated slot which may be engaged by a fastener which passes through the arm. The strap will further include a pair of flanges which engage the opposite edges of the arm thereby enhancing the mechanical integrity of the device and precluding the possibility of undesired relative movement between the support and the notch in the resilient arm.
A further feature of the present invention consists of the employment of the second or inwardly disposed end of the notch in the resilient arm as a second thrust bearing for supporting a plate.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The present invention may be better understood and its numerous objects and advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art by reference to the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. I is a perspective view of a plate throwing device in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 showing a target plate mounted thereon for throwing;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 4 is a further perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 3.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS:
With reference now jointly to FIGS. 1 and 2, a manual target throwing device in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention comprises a gripping portion or handle 1. The handle I is affixed to an elongated resilient blade or arm 2 so as to be integral therewith. The resilient blade 2 is provided with a notch 3 in its upper edge. A pair of rounded shoulders or lugs 4 and 5 are provided at the opposite ends of notch 3 through the expedient of forming respective slots 6 and 7 as extensions of the notch. The lugs 4 and 5 form retaining means which assist in holding a plate, such as plate 8 of FIG. 2, on the throwing device. The lug 4 also func tions as a thrust bearing.
The target throwing device of FIGS. 1 and 2 further comprises a guide support 9 which is attached to the blade 2 intermediate its ends. Guide support 9 extends outwardly from blade 2 as shown and includes, adjacent its free end, a plate receiving channel; the channel being defined by a pair of flanges 10 and 11 which extend from the opposite edges of a web member 12 toward the blade 2. The guide support 9 is preferably comprised of resilient material and the channel defining portion thereof is connected back to the blade 2 by means of a resilient strap 13 which is a prolongation of the web 12. The strap 13 is bent, as indicated at 14, whereby the end 15 thereof can be affixed to blade 2 by means of rivets 16.
A further notch, in the form of an arcuate cut-out I8, is provided in flange 10 for the purpose to be described below.
As may be seen from FIG. 2, a plate 8 to be thrown is positioned so that it rests both on the flange II and on the edge of the blade 2 within notch 3. In such position the plate 8 is engaged by the stops 4 and 5 which are separated by a distance less than the diameter of the plate. As may best be seen from FIG. 4, plates or clay pigeons of the type which are to be thrown employing the present invention are provided with an upper ring portion of smaller diameter than the main body portion thereof. The outer diameter of this upper ring portion is, with the plate installed on the throwing device, in contact with the side of the arcuate cut-out 18 in flange 10.
In order to throw a plate the device is held in the right hand and rapidly moved from right to left. During such movement, as a result of the flexing of the components, the plate escapes from behind the stop 4 and slides on the flange l1. Similtaneously, the upper ring portion of the plate interacts with the flange 10 thus causing the plate to rotate.
The embodiment of the invention depicted in FIGS. 3 and 4 consists of a resilient blade 20 provided, at a first end, with an integral handle 21. The blade 20 is provided, adjacent the end disposed oppositely to handle 21, with an elongated notch 22. Notch 22 terminates, at the end thereof disposed outwardly with respect to handle 21, in an upward projection which forms the support for an anti-slip pad 23. The pad 23 may, for example, be comprised of a hard rubber cap. The blade 20 is also provided, at a point intermediate its two ends, with an aperture. For purposes which will be described below, a screw 24 passes through the aperture in blade 20 and is engaged by a wing nut 25.
As may best be seen from FIG. 4, the aforementioned screw 24 passes through a longitudinal slot 29 in a strap 27. The strap 27, as in the case of the end 15 of web member 13 of the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, is provided with a pair of rolled over edge portions 28 which engage the edges of blade 20.
The strap 29 is integral with an outwardly extending channel defining member 31. Member 31 comprises a resilient arm extension 30 of strap 27. The outwardly disposed end of resilient arm 30 is formed into a pair of shoulders 31 and 32, interconnected by a web 34, which project toward the blade 20. Thus, the shoulders 32 and 33 and the web 34 define a channel which receives the clay pigeon targets or plates such as the plate 38 as shown in phantom in FIG. 4. The edge of flange 33 of the channel defining member 31 is cut away, from the outwardly disposed end thereof, so as to define a ramp 35 which terminates in an arcuate segment 36.
The embodiment of FIGS. 3 and 4 possess the capability of accepting and throwing plates of different diameter. Thus, in use, the wing nut 25 is loosened and the channel defining member 31 adjusted, relative to the end of blade 20 which supports pad 23, commensurate with the diameter of the plate to be thrown. The plate 38 is then positioned so that its upper ring portion 39 will be engaged by the arcuate segment 36 of the ramp 35 on upper flange 33 of the channel defining member. The plate will also, at this time, be in contact with the pad 23 at the end of blade 20; the plate resting on the upper edge of the blade 20 within notch 22 and on the lower flange 32 of the channel defining member 31. When the device is swung from left to right, the plate will roll over ramp portion 35 of the upper flange 33 of the channel defining member as it escapes the stop pad 23.
While preferred embodiments have been shown and described, various modifications and substitutions may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is to be under- I stood that the present invention has been described by way of illustration and not limitation.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for assisting in the manual throwing of generally disc-shaped objects comprising:
a resilient blade directly connected at a first end to said handle, said blade having a free end, said blade having a thickness which is substantially less than its width, said blade being provided with an elongated notch cut out of the upper edge thereof and extending inwardly from said upper edge, said notch terminating adjacent said free end;
supporting means mechanically coupled to said blade and cooperating with the edge of said blade in said notch for supporting an object to be thrown, said supporting means being rigidly attached to said blade to permit flexing of said supporting means with respect to said blade, said supporting means extending outwardly from said blade intermediate said handle and said free end, said supporting means including a generally U-shaped object receiving channel which opens toward said blade; and
a first retaining stop affixed to said blade at the end of said notch disposed away from said handle.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising:
means for adjusting the longitudinal position of said supporting means relative to said blade.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the bottom of said notch in said blade is situated at the level of the object supporting portion of the channel in said supporting means.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said supporting means further comprises:
a retaining notch in the side wall of said channel portion of said supporting means disposed oppositely to the side of the channel which supports object to be thrown.
5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said supporting means retaining notch has an arcuate portion which engages the objects to be thrown.
6. The apparatus of claim 4 further comprising:
means for adjusting the longitudinal position of said supporting means relative to said resilient blade.
7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said supporting means comprises:
a resilient web member, said web member being connected at a first end to said blade; and
a channel defining extension of said web member,
said extension consisting of a prolongation of a second end of said web member and a pair of flanges extending outwardly therefrom generally transverse thereto.
8. The apparatus of claim 7 further comprising:
means for adjusting the longitudinal position of said web member relative to said blade, said adjusting means including a slot in said web member and fastening means cooperating with said slot and said blade to connect the web member to the blade.
9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the bottom of said notch in said blade is situated at the level of the object supporting portion of the channel in said supporting means.
10. The apparatus of claim 9 further comprising: a second retaining stop, said second retaining stop consisting of a shoulder formed on said resilient blade at the opposite end of said notch from said first retaining stop.