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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
EQUIPMENT FOR SHOOTING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1990/003548
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An installation of equipment in a defined terrain, typically including a route (5) and natural cover such as scrub (6), woods (7), hedgerows (8), or buildings (11), includes target-generating means such as clay pigeon launchers at concealed sites (21). Typically the user carries a coded transmitter, and a sensor-receiver on a nearby launcher as the user progresses round the park picks up the signal and launches a target in a manner programmed e.g. by a computer at control centre (23), in accordance with the handicap skill or other requirements of that particular coded user. The terrain can be divided into sections with centrally-controlled sequential access for safety purposes. If desired, the launcher can give an audible warning and orienting signal just before launching with randomised delay thereafter. Many other modes of use are possible.

Inventors:
Davey, Michael
Application Number:
PCT/GB1989/001139
Publication Date:
April 05, 1990
Filing Date:
September 27, 1989
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
Davey, Michael
International Classes:
F41J11/00; (IPC1-7): F41J1/18; F41G3/26; F41J9/16
Foreign References:
US3680863A
DE2748985A1
US3914879A
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Claims:
CLAIMS
1. An assembly of equipment in a defined terrain having indicated upon it a route with a start and finish position, the assembly comprising a plurality of target generating means and a plurality of sensors linked to the target generating means in such way that a target is » generated dependent Ca) upon arrival of the user within a defined area, and/or (b) proximity of the user to a specific targetgenerating means or other defined area, any such individual targetgenerating means being in a location concealed from the point at which the sensor iβ actuated.
2. An installation of equipment as claimed in Claim 1 in which the terrain is waste land or scrub and the route is loopshaped.
3. An installation of equipment as claimed in Claim 1 in which the terrain is based upon disused railway land and the route is elongate and linear.
4. An installation of equipment as claimed in Claim 3 or 4 in which the route is marked by a path joining target encounter areas.
5. An installation of equipment as claimed in any one preceding claim in which the targetgenerating means are clay pigeon launchers.
6. An installation of equipment as claimed in Claim 5 in which there are more launcher sites prepared and available than there are launchers in use, to allow selective repositioning as desired.
7. An installation of equipment as claimed in Claim 5 in which some or all of the launchers are mounted on movable and/or tiltable platforms.
8. An installation of equipment as claimed in any one preceding claim in which the sensors are adjustable as to sensitivity and/or range.
9. An installation of equipment as claimed in any one preceding claim in which the sensor includes a transmitter portable by the user for interaction with a receiver at the launcher or like equipment or at a separate location.
10. An installation of equipment as claimed in Claim 9 further comprising one or more governing computers to control circumstances of launching.
11. An installation of equipment as claimed in Claim 9 or 10 in which the said transmitters are programmable to give different signals and thereby identify different users.
12. An installation of equipment as claimed in Claim 11 in which the said sensorreceivers are programmable or linked to a programmable control to generate targets of varying degrees of difficulty in dependence upon the transmitted signal.
13. An installation of equipment as claimed in Claim 12 comprising for each user or group of users a transmitter capable of transmitting an identification code; an initiator means for the transmitter, e.g. an inductive loop, positioned for switching on the transmitter only when the user is in a desired user position; a receiver at one or more targetgenerating means, or at some other signal pickup point; and a link from each such means, or pickup point, to a central computer for targetgenerating instructions based on a transmitter identification.
14. An installation as claimed in Claim 13 wherein each targetgenerating means is provided with initial warning equipement.
Description:
EQUIPMENT FOR SHOOTING

THIS INVENTION relates to sport or leisure activity, and more particularly to leisure or competitive shooting,

Shooting of game birds, while a challenge to the enthusiast because of the skills required in different habitats and for different game, is an extremely specialised expensive pastime. Upkeep of habitats such as grouse moors, coupled with the relatively short shooting season, ensures that each days shooting is extremely expensive. Moreover, there is a growing current of feeling against such blood sports, which again tends to reduce opportunities for exercise of such skills.

It is of course well known, as a substitute for shooting of game birds, to provide shooting targets. Stationary targets are more usually used for revolver or rifle practice, but for shot gun practice it is commonplace to provide clay pigeon shoots. Clay pigeons are effectively a disc of dried and/or fired ceramic material. They are launched into the air from a launcher which is capable of launching in varying directions and with varying forces. Also, the launcher can be

controlled so that the exact moment of launching is unpredictable. The shot gun user stands at some distance from the clay pigeon launcher (usually called a "trap") and waits until the projectile, or in some cases more than one projectile simultaneously or in quick succession, is launched. Sometimes, the projectile will be launched in a direction towards the shot gun user, at a low trajectory which makes it very difficult to hit. Sometimes the projectile will rise high and in a direction away from the shot gun user which gives it a trajectory constituting an easy target.

While some variability is thus given many users find that, after some time, the situations arising are essentially similar. Similar problems of overfamiliarity can also arise with any form of target shooting whether the target is moving, transient, or stationary.

The present invention sets out to provide a target shooting outdoor pastime of considerably increased variability and interest to the users, but not based upon blood sports or upon expensive maintenance of game.

In one aspect the invention consists in an assembly of equipment in a defined terrain having indicated upon it a route with a start and finish position, the assembly comprising a plurality of target generating

means and a plurality of sensors linked to the target generating means in such way that a target is generated dependent (a) upon arrival of the user within a defined area, and/or (b) proximity of the user to a specific target-generating means or other defined area, any such individual target-generating means being in a location concealed from the point at which the sensor is actuated.

From the above definition of the general nature of the invention it will be apparent that a user of the system will enter the predetermined terrain, follow a signed or otherwise indicated route around the terrain and unexpectedly encounter from time to time, in dependence upon his own movements, a launched or moving or transiently positioned target generated by equipment which is located in a position of which the user is until that time unaware.

The terrain upon which the target-generating means is to be installed can be widely variable. Typically, it will be a suitable area of countryside or waste land. There is no specific lower limit to the size of the terrain, but preferably it will need to extend from say from 4 hectares or so and upwards. We have found, for example, that disused, and marginal farming land, possibly containing outbuildings, scrub, copses, natural hummocks or depressions, and totalling say 60

to 100 hectares in extent represents a useable terrain.

Of course, the terrain need not be based on farming land, and there are many areas of waste land and scrub which lend themselves readily to such positioning of suitable target-generating means. The presence of derelict or ruined buildings is no disadvantage since they will provide a natural concealment for any such target-generating means.

The terrain can be compact, with a loop-shaped route from start to finish, or can be generally elongate and linear, e.g. the section of disused railway land.

It is envisaged that a form of path will be marked around the terrain. This could be a relatively broad track, subject to adequate maintenance to define its limit, or could be a relatively narrow footpath leading to larger areas of encounter with the target. The exact course of the track and/or interrelationships of such encounter areas will of course be selected with a view to safety, to enable where possible more than one user to transverse the terrain simultaneously.

The target-generating means to be used could be any of the well known types of equipment which generate a moving ground target or a transient raised target. Most

preferably, however, the target-generating means are clay pigeon launchers, since then the targets are projected upwards i.e. away from any other user as far as possible. It is thus envisaged according to the invention in this preferred form to position concealed clay pigeon launchers at intervals all around the terrain, again in positions selected so as to not to endanger other users or the surrounding land owners.

There may be more concealed launcher sites prepared and available than actual launchers, so that from time to time the launchers can be re-positioned to give variety. Moreover, some or all of the actual launchers can be mounted on movable and/or tiltable platforms so as to provide yet further variability and unexpected target locations.

The sensors can be mechanical, inductive, optical, infra-red or of any other form (a particularly preferred version is discussed below). They could, for example, be sensitive to mere entry of a user into a defined area, possibly with a time delay, or they could be sensitive to proximity to a defined point, e.g. a point at the target-generating means itself or elsewhere. They offer a further degree of variability, since their sensitivity and range could be adjusted and/or a delay system, possibly itself randomised as to elapsed time, could be

incorporated.

A preferred form of sensor, however, involves the use of a transmitter carried by the user for interaction (as to distance, direction and/or intensity of signal) with a suitable sensor receiver at the launcher or like equipment or at a separate (usually concealed) location, preferably linked to a central computer to govern the subseqent launching. Thus, the invention further extends to the installation as described above in further combination with one or more signal-transmitters adapted for personal portability by users and capable of actuating one or more receiver-sensors controlling operation of the target-generating means, and preferably comprising one or more governing computers to effect such co.ntrol.

The signal-generating transmitters can be programmable to give different signals. Possibly, therefore, different target-generating means can be operated by different users, thus allowing for a handicap system . It is however more particularly envisaged to equip the target-generating means with programmable sensors, so that differently programmed transmitters generate targets of varying degrees of difficulty, again for handicap, or skill-progression purposes.

The man skilled in the art will realise that very many sensing and control schemes are possible, at varying degrees of complexity, the more realistic utilising for example transmitters, sensors, and a central computer to control the target generation. A particularly useful embodiment envisages the combination, for each user or group of users, of a transmitter capable of transmitting an identification code; an initiator means for the transmitter, e.g. an inductive loop, positioned for switching on the transmitter only when the user is in a desired user position; a receiver at one or more target-generating means, or at some other signal pick-up point; and a link from each such means, or pick-up point, to a central computer for target-generating instructions based on a transmitter identification.

Most preferably each target-generating means is provided with initial warning equipment, normally audible. For example, sensed proximity of the user can firstly generate a few seconds of fluttering or similar noise from an audio tape, to orient the user in the right general direction, and only thereafter (e.g. after a random delay) cause the target to be generated.

The invention will be further described with

reference to the accompanying single figure of drawing, which shows a possible mode of setting up the installation of equipment upon a given terrain. It will be appreciated by the man in the art that there are very many ways of setting up equipment, and very many different expanses of terrain upon which such equipment can be set. However, the examples shown in the drawing illustrate, without limiting the scope of the invention, certain aspects of preferred procedure.

The drawing shows a typical expanse of terrain 1 surrounded by a security fence 2 typically carrying at intervals warning notices. Security fence 2 is provided with an entry or starting gate 3 and a finishing gate 4. Within the defined terrain there is a route 5 which is marked out in a suitably clear fashion by posts, other upstanding markers, or suitable clearance of a broad path. Generally speaking, the terrain will be subject to minimum maintenance to permit users to follow the route although it is desirable to leave the major part of the terrain with only mininal attention so that rough shooting country is simulated.

Typically the terrain will also comprise copses, trees, or areas of scrub such as shown diagrammatically at 6; general areas of woodlands such as shown at 7, perhaps including clearings 8; hedgerows 9; ravine 10 or

other topographical features; and derelict buildings 11. Not all of these are necessary or will necessarily occur in any given terrain. The route 5 should pass by the various items listed, and for example, traverse any clearings in general areas of woodland.

The terrain is subdivided to some extent by naturally occurring hedges and like features, and to some extent by zone-marker fences 12. These extend across the grassland and within the woodland and are provided for safety reasons as described in more detail below. Thus, the whole terrain can be considered as being divided into zones A, B, C, D, E, F, G. H, I to which access is successively obtained from starting gate 3 and thereafter by intermediate gates 13, 14, 15, 16.17. 18. 19, 20 respectively.

Upon the terrain are defined a number of concealed launcher sites 21. There will be at least one such site in each zone, and some or all of the sites (again usually at least one in each zone) will be occupied by an actual launcher for clay pigeons.

Typically, moreover, there will be defined along the route certain regions of proximity to the launchers, referenced at 22a to 22k, provided at least one in each zone A, B, C, etc, on the defined route. Each sensor

region is relevant to, i.e. controls launches from, one or more of the launch sites 21. This is shown diagrammatically by the dotted communicating lines in the Figure. The sensor region can be defined by an inductive loop.

Outside of the security fence is typically provided a clubhouse, and control centre 23. This can be a source of hired guns, portable transmitter unit, or like equipment, and also provide a central computerised monitoring system for controlling use of the terrain and for general electronic control and programming of the equipment.

The use of the installation described above can be effected in various modes, but one particular mode, described by way of example is as follows:-

Typically, individual users or groups of users will register at club house 23, hire guns if necessary and be allocated signal transmitters mounted e.g. on a waist belt. These transmitters can be issued one each, or one per group. When actuated they transmit an identification code.

The users start on their route.Gate 3 will open only if gate 13 has sensed exit passage of a previous

individual, or groups, from zone A.

The users progress along the route, with transmitters inactive and arrive at sensor-actuating region 22a (e.g. inductive loop). The transmitter is then switched by the loop. Its signal will then reach any launcher present on one or more of those three sites 21 linked to 22a. These are linked to the central computer. They relay the indification signal and the computer commands a launch suitable to the previously agreed handicap (or requirements) of the player or players.A typical sequence of events is then to initiate an audio signal, to alert the user in a general manner; then to provide a random delay; then to launch a clay pigeon in a computer commanded, and safe, direction and trajectory consistent with the handicap of the signalled user. Software can provide for sequential shots for different users; different launches with different arbitrary delays,and any other desired similar effect, to increase the variability of the game and test the skill of the user.

After the possibilities of region 22a are exhausted (if desired a signal, or understood maximum duration,or specified number of targets can be provided) the users move on. Unexpectedly, they will encounter a second sensor-actuating region 22b, with associated launching

sites 21 where linked by dotted lines. This will also go through its sequence of warning, delivery and launching, as programmed.

The user then pass through gate 13; this liberates gate 3 for the next group.

They thereafter encounter sensor-actuating region 22c, with two possible launching sites as linked by dotted line, behind a small copse in ravine 10.

After passing gate 14 (which act liberates gate 13 for the following party) they immediately and unexpectedly encounter regions 22d, with its unexpected position of launchers, and thereafter region 22e with its widely different launching sites, including those concealed behind derelict buildings.

The route continues through woodland 7 via clearings 8, in which the sensors are actuated. Access to each zone A - I is controlled by prior exit from the relevant exit gate, so that only one party is in each zone at one time. Finally, the party passes zones H and I to the exit 4 to return to the clubhouse 23 e.g. behind safety wall 24.

General orientations of fire are selected for safety

reasons. Typically, shots are fired outward from the terrain, e.g. into uninhabited surrounding country,but topographical features such as hills or hummocks, or robust derelict buildings, may permit a proportion of possible shots inwards of the terrain without risk to others.

Of course, not all possible sites 21 need contain a launcher at any given time; but it will be found preferable if enough possible sites 21 are present to allow variability of position from time to time. Suitable programming may alter the effective position of proximity sensor-actuating areas 22, or the delay or angle of operation of the launcher.

Although clay pigeon launchers have been illustrated, ground movement targets, (e.g. from behind derelict walls) can be used in partial or total substitution of such launched projectiles.