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Publication numberUS3915454 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 28, 1975
Filing dateJun 28, 1974
Priority dateJun 28, 1974
Publication numberUS 3915454 A, US 3915454A, US-A-3915454, US3915454 A, US3915454A
InventorsCharles A Saunders, Thomas A Saunders
Original AssigneeSaunders Archery Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Marksmanship target including pivoting target arms
US 3915454 A
Abstract
A target assembly presenting targets to view by competing marksmen on opposed lateral sides of a standard. When a marksman strikes a target on the side assigned to him, that target shifts to the side assigned to his opponent. Each target is provided with a suction cup adapted to grip temporarily a plate behind the shield, thereby precluding rebound of struck targets to their original positions. A weight is suspended between arms holding the targets by means of resilient tensioning bands, to provide more positive action when targets shift from one position to another. A pivot assist provides added impetus for shifting the arms when the target assembly is used with small missiles.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Saunders et a1.

[ Oct. 28, 1975 [54] MARKSMANSHIP TARGET INCLUDING PIVOTING TARGET ARMS [75] Inventors: Charles A. Saunders; Thomas A.

Saunders, both of Columbus, Nebr.

[73] Assignee: Saunders Archery Company,

Columbus, Nebr.

[22] Filed: June 28, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 484,287

[52] U.S. Cl ..273/102.l R; 273/127 R; 273/DIG. 25; 273/l02.1 B [51] Int. Cl. A63B 71/02 [58] Field of Search 273/95 R, 102 R, 102 S, 273/lO2.1 R, 102.1 C, 102.4, 127 R, 127 D, DIG. 25

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,967,712 1/1961 Breitenfeldt... 273/102.1 R 3,036,834 5/1962 Zalkind 273/D1G. 25

3,814,429 6/1974 Lienhard 273/102.1 R

PrimaryExaminer-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Marvin Siskind Attorney, Agent, or FirmGlenn E. Klepac [5 7] ABSTRACT A target assembly presenting targets to view by competing marksmen on opposed lateral sides of a standard. When a marksman strikes a target on the side assigned to him, that target shifts to the side assigned 7 to his opponent. Each target is provided with a suction cup adapted to grip temporarily a plate behind the shield, thereby precluding rebound of struck targets to their original positions. A weight is suspended between arms holding the targets by means of resilient tensioning bands, to provide more positive action when targets shift from one position to another. A pivot assist provides added impetus for shifting the arms when the target assembly is used with small missiles.

13 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures US. Patent Oct. 28, 1975 Sheet 2 of 3 3,915,454

US. Patent Oct. 28, 1975 Al/ I=IEICEI Sheet 3 of 3 MARKSMANSHIP TARGET INCLUDING PIVOTING TARGET ARMS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to missile targets. used in competition between marksmen employing slingshots, bows and arrows, air rifles, and the like. I

Several prior art target assemblies have been developed in which missile impacts produce a visible reaction. However, such assemblies suffer from several disadvantages making them less than completely suitable for simultaneous competition between marksmen.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a target assembly suitable for simultaneous use by competing marksmen.

It is a related object of the invention to provide a target assembly including sets of target pairs pivotally shiftable between rest positions on opposed lateral sides of a target standard upon being struck by missiles.

It is another object of the invention to provide a target that responds to missile impacts by shifting in 'position, and that remains in its new position until another target paired with that target is struck by a missile.

A further object is to provide a motion-assist assembly for the target assembly, to preclude stoppage of the targets between their rest positions.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a target structure that will cushion impacts of missiles, thereby prolonging the useful life of the assembly and of fragile missiles such as arrows.

Other and further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following specification, taken in conjunction with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a' preferred embodiment of the target assembly of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the target assembly shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the target assembly, taken along the lines 33 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of the target assembly, taken along the lines 44 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of the target assembly, taken along the lines 55 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary top plan view of a second embodiment of the target assembly of the invention;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along the lines 7--7 of FIG. 6 and FIG. 8 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along the lines 88 of FIG. 6.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the target assembly 10 of the invention includes four pairs of targets 11a, 1 lb mounted on a support standard 12 which in turn is firmly affixed to a stable base 13. A protective shield targets are struck by missiles, they shift pivotally to opposite lateral sides of the shield 14.

For competitive shooting, two marksmen stand side by side facing the target assembly 10. Initially, two targets lla, 1 lb are exposed to view on each side of the shield 14, as shown in FIG. 1. Each marksman attempts to impel missiles at targets on an assigned side of the shield as rapidly as possible, with the object of the competition being to shift all four exposed targets onto the opponents side at the same time.

In FIG. 2 it is seen that the target pairs 11a, 11b are mounted on arms 19a, 19b pivotally supported on an axle 20. An axle support 21 holds the axle on the support standard 12. The integrally formed arms 19a, 19b extend outwardly from the axle 20 in a V-shaped pattern. The outer portions of the arms 19a, 19b hold the faces 22 of the target pairs 11a, 1 lb at right angles to one another.

Each target face 22 is surrounded by a narrow circumambient rim or lip 23 extending forwardly of the face. The targets are integrally formed from a durable plastic material in the preferred embodiment shown. If desired, the target faces 22 can be fabricated from metal so that they will emit a recognizeable sound when struck by missiles. A coil spring 24 is interposed between each target face 22 and the corresponding arm to cushion impacts of missiles. The spring 24 cushioning each target 11 is fastened to its corresponding target arms 19 by means of a clamp 25 gripping diametrically opposed portions of a coil of the spring 24. Sponge, foam plastic, and other shock absorbing materials are also useful for cushioning the targets.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, a spring extends between a loop 31 affixed to an upright support 32, and a bar 33 pivotally supported about a pin 34 placed on a sectorlike hub 35 extending between the axle 20 and the arcuate juncture of the arms 19. This spring 30 biases the arms 19a, 19b in a first rest position, illustrated in FIG. 2. When a missile strikes a first target 11a with sufficient force to overcome the spring 30, that target will shift in an arcuate path to a second rest position (not shown). In this second rest position a suction cup facing rearwardly of the first target 11a is in contact with a flat metal plate 41. The impact force needed to overcome the bias of the spring 30 can be adjusted by varying the length of the bar 33, and by using different types of springs.

In competitive shooting it is desirable for the targets 11 to be highly sensitive to missile impacts so that they will shift position rapidly upon being struck. With this objective in mind, the arms 19 and targets 11 are relatively light in weight and the biasing force of the spring 30 is small. Objectionably, this great sensitivity of the targets 11 also makes it possible for the targets 11 to rebound or bounce away from their second rest positions after being struck by missiles.

In order to prevent such rebound, bounce or recoil, each target 1 l is provided with a rearwardly facing rubber suction cup 40 adapted to engage a laterally facing plate 41. A suction cup 40 in grippingengagement with a metal plate 41 is shown in FIG. 2. In order to free the targets 11 from the plates 41, each plate is etched or grooved with a shallow air-bleeding channel 42 extending from a zone of the plate covered by the suction cup to an area not so covered. In the preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 3, this groove is sized to allow release of the suction cup 40 from the metal plate 41 Within 0.1

second after the time initial contact is made. The targets 11 are then free to change positions again when struck by missiles impelled by a marksman standing on the other side.

Referring now to FIGS. 2-5, the laterally facing plates 41 are mounted on a rod 50. This rod 50 rests upon the axle support 21, and it is pivoted for limited angular movement about the same axle about which the target arms 19 swing. A metal envelope 51 extends laterally from both sides of the bar 50, as shown in FIG. 4. This envelope 51 is filled with a spongy plastic material 52. When a suction cup 40 strikes a corresponding metal plate 41 the rod 50 causes this material 52 to abut against a U-beam 53 fixed to, depending from and extending along the axle support 21, further cushioning the shock of a missile impact and thereby preventing rebound of the suction cup 40 away from a corresponding plate 41.

A motion-assist assembly for the target assembly of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 68. The motionassist assembly consists of a weight 60 pivotally supported by a beam 61 about the axle 20, and two resilient bands 62,63 tensioned between the beam 61 and the respective target support arms 19a, 19b. When a missile strikes the first target 110, the arm 19a carrying that target 1 la is displaced toward the weight 60 to reduce the tension on the band 62 between that arm 19a and the weight 60. The arm 19b carrying the other band 63 is displaced away from the weight 60, thereby increasing tension forces on that band 63. The weight 60 does not move as quickly as the arms 19a and 19b because of its inertia.

Because of the tensions applied to the bands 62, 63 as described above, the beam 61 and affixed weight 60 are soon set in motion in the same direction as the arms 19a, 19b. This motion of the weight 60 and beam 61 acts to assist the arms 19a, 19b in moving from a first to a second rest position, thereby preventing the target assembly from stopping at a position intermediate the two rest positions.

If desired, the damping means of FIGS. 25 and the motion-assist assembly of FIGS. 6 and 7 can each be used with single targets rather than with target pairs. When single targets are employed, the scores of marksmen can be tabulated by'electronic calculators connected to the targets.

The target assembly 10 of the invention can be made more sensitive to impacts of small missiles such as the small pellets shot from air rifles, by use of a pivot assist 70. As shown in FIGS. 2-5, one such pivot assist 70a is situated between the first target arm 19a and the shield 14. The pivot-assist 70a is triggered by a switch 76 including a sensor 72a in contact with and sensitive to slight movement of the arm 19a in its rest position. When a small pellet strikes a target 1 1a the corresponding arm 19a is moved, thereby closing the switch 71a. The switch 710 in turn activates a solenoid operated plunger 730 or a manually set spring (not shown) to assist the target arm 19a in pivoting from its first to its second rest position. Although not shown in the drawings, a pivot assist is also used in connection with the second target arm 19b as well as the first 19a.

With the foregoing detailed description of the invention in mind, numerous equivalents of the preferred embodiments described will occur to persons skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit and scope of the claims. For example, the motion-assist assembly of FIGS. 6 and 7 may be combined with the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. l-S. The invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments only and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom.

What is claimed is: 1. In a target assembly including a target support standard, first and second targets, arm means including a pair of angularly extending arms pivotally supporting said targets on said standard, means rigidly interconnecting said arms with one another to ensure concordant movement therebe' tween, biasing means for holding said arm means relatively fixed in each of a first and a second rest position in each of which rest positions the face of one of said targets is presented to the view of a marksman, said arm means being shiftable through an arc about said standard and being responsive to the force of a missile striking one of said targets to overcome said biasing means and to pivot about said standard from said first to said second rest position; the improvement comprising a motion-assist assembly to obviate objectionable stoppage of said arm means at any travel position intermediate said rest positions, thereby to ensure complete shift of said arm means between said rest positions, said motion-assist assembly including weight means disposed between said arms of said target, and resilient tensioning means interconnecting said weight means with each of said target support arms of said target assembly, whereby upon impact of a missile against one of said targets the arm carrying that target is displaced toward said weight to reduce tension forces between the weight and that arm and, simultaneously, the arm carrying the other target is displaced away from said weight to increase tension forces between the weight and the arm carrying that other target, said weight in cooperation with said tensioning means constituting anti-inertia means to assist the target-carrying arm means to complete each pivotal shift between said rest positions when a target is struck by a missile. 2. In a target assembly including a target support standard, a target including a target face, arm means including an arm pivotally supporting said target on said standard, said arm means being responsive to the force of a missile striking said target face to pivot about said standard, and biasing means for holding said arm means relatively fixed in each of a first and a second rest position, the face of said target being presented to view of a marksman in said first rest position; the improvement comprising pivot assist means to assist said arm means to overcome said biasing means and thereby to shift from said first to said second rest position, said pivot assist means comprising switch means including sensing means in contact with said arm means in its first rest position, said switch means being operative to close in response to relatively slight movement of said sensing means in response to movement of said arm means, and

striker means and means supporting said striker means adjacent said arm means in its first rest position, said striker means being operative to strike said arm means forcefully in response to closure of said switch means, thereby to overcome said biasing means and to shift said arm means pivotally from said first to said second rest position.

3. The improvement of claim 2, wherein said striker means includes a solenoid-activated plunger.

4. In a target assembly including a target support standard,

first and second targets,

arm means including a pair of angularly extending arms pivotally supporting said targets on said standard,

means rigidly interconnecting said arms with one another to ensure concordant movement therebetween, biasing means for holding said arm means relatively fixed in each of a first and second rest position in each of which rest positions the face of one of said targets is presented to the view of a marksman,

said arm means being shiftable through an arc about said standard and being responsive to the force of a missile striking one of said targets to overcome said biasing means and to pivot about said standard from said first to said second rest position;

the improvement comprising damping means to preclude rebound of said arm means from each rest position after a missile impact on a target, said damping means comprising:

first coupling means comprising a suction cup carried by each said arms and directed rearwardly of said targets; and

second coupling means comprising a cup-engaging plate disposed rearwardly of said target support standard and in the line of movement of said suction cup, said plate being adapted to engage said suction cup upon pivotal shiftingof said arm means, and wherein said plate is formed with an air bleeding channel adapted to communicate with an area of said plate covered by said suction cup when said cup engages said plate;

whereby upon impact of said cup against said plate to establish a zone of partial vacuum therebetween air passes through said channel into a zone between said plate and said suction cup, thereby to equalize the air pressure on opposed sides of said suction cup and to effect a controlled release of said suction cup from engagement with said plate.

5. The target assembly as set forth in claim 4, wherein each said target is bordered by a narrow circumambiant lip extending forwardly thereof.

6. The target assembly as set forth in claim 4, and further comprising a protective shield extending laterally of said target standard and rearwardly of a viewing position of each target face, said shield comprising a barrier precluding impacts of missiles upon said arm means.

7. The target assembly as set forth in claim 6, wherein said first and second targets each comprise a plurality of targets carried by said standard.

8. The target assembly of claim 4, and further comprising shock absorber means interposed between each said arm means and said targets.

9. The target assembly of claim 4, wherein each of said targets includes an outer surface emitting a recognizeable sound upon impact of a missile therewith.

10. The target assembly of claim 4, wherein said pair of arms are integrally formed.

11. The target assembly as set forth in claim 4, wherein said damping means further comprises a rod supporting said plate, said rod being pivotally supported upon said assembly to permit arcuate shifting of said plate upon impacts of said suction cup therewith.

12. In a target assembly including a target support standard,

first and second targets,

arm means including a pair of angularly extending arms pivotally supporting said targets on said standard,

means rigidly interconnecting said arms with one another to ensure concordant movement therebetween, biasing means for holding said arm means relatively fixed in each of a first and second rest position in each of which rest positions the face of one of said targets is presented to the view of a marksman,

said arm means being shiftable through an arc about said standard and being responsive to the force of a missile striking one of said targets to overcome said biasing means and to pivot about said standard from said first to said second rest position;

the improvement comprising damping means to preclude rebound of said arm means from each rest position after a missile impact on a target, said damping means comprising:

first coupling means comprising a suction cup carried by each said arms and directed rearwardly of siad targets;

said coupling means comprising a cup-engaging plate disposed rearwardly of said target support standard and in the line of movement of said suction cup, said plate being adapted to engage said suction cup upon pivotal shifting of said arm means; and a rod supporting said plate, said rod being pivotally supported upon said assembly to permit arcuate shifting of said plate upon impacts of said suction cup therewith.

13. In a target assembly including a target support standard,

first and second targets,

arm means including a pair of angularly extending arms pivotally supporting said targets on said standard,

means rigidly interconnecting said arms with one another to ensure concordant movement therebetween, biasing means for holding said arm means relatively fixed in each of a first and second rest position in each of which rest positions the face of one of said targets is presented to the view of a marksman, said arm means being shiftable through an are about said standard and being responsive to the force of a missile striking one of said targets to overcome said biasing means and to pivot about said standard from said first to said second rest position, and

damping means to preclude rebound of said arm means from each rest position after missile impacts upon respective said targets;

the improvement wherein each of said targets is bordered by a narrow circumambient lip extending forwardly thereof, and wherein each of said targets includes an outer surface emitting a recognizeable sound upon impact of a missile therewith, and shock absorber means interposed between each of said arms and said targets.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3, 915, 5 Dated October 28, 1975 Inventor(S) Charles A. Saunders et al It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 6, line 51 "siad" should be said Column 6, line 55, "said" should be second Signed and Scaled this ninth Day of March 1976 [SEAL] A ttest:

RUTH C. M A SON C. MARSHALL DANN Atrestmg OffICP) Commissioner qfPatents and Trademarks

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2967712 *Jul 22, 1959Jan 10, 1961Breitenfeldt Clarence NRifle target
US3036834 *Dec 22, 1959May 29, 1962Albert M ZalkindNovelty game
US3814429 *Nov 1, 1972Jun 4, 1974Lienhard JMoving pivoted indicating target
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3979118 *Oct 20, 1975Sep 7, 1976Saunders Archery CompanyMarksmanship target including pivoting target arms
US4155553 *Aug 2, 1976May 22, 1979Lin Shi TronBall storing target and projector
US5263721 *Jul 15, 1992Nov 23, 1993Carl J. LowranceEnd of game feature for a pop target game
US20120025468 *Oct 5, 2011Feb 2, 2012Eod Technology, Inc.Military target system
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/388, 273/DIG.250, 273/127.00R
International ClassificationF41J7/04
Cooperative ClassificationY10S273/25, F41J7/04
European ClassificationF41J7/04