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Title:
A LOCKING DEVICE FOR A FIREARM AND A LOCK MECHANISM FOR THE LOCKING DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/135228
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A locking device for a firearm having a firing chamber and an extractor, comprising: a cartridge-mimicking member configured to be inserted into the firing chamber and having a cartridge wall with an outer surface, a distal portion, and a proximal portion formed with an extraction rim, said extraction rim being configured to engage said extractor so as to allow pulling the cartridge-mimicking member at an extracting direction along a longitudinal axis extending between said proximal portion and said distal portion; a tightening mechanism comprising a resilient tube integrated in said cartridge wall, said tightening mechanism being configured for outwardly expanding said tube from a non-expanded state to at least one expanded state in which an outermost face of the tube protrudes with respect to said outer surface to an extent greater than at said non-expanded state; a locking mechanism switchable between an unlocked state in which said tube is at said non-expanded state so that pulling said extraction rim in the extracting direction allows extraction of said cartridge-mimicking member from the firing chamber, and a locked state in which pulling said extraction rim at the extracting direction relative to said tube entails expansion of said tube by said tightening mechanism to at least said one expanded state; and a processor in communication with the locking mechanism for switching the state of the locking mechanism at least from said locked state and said unlocked state.

Inventors:
FISHBEIN, Yalon (44/3 Tchernichovsky Street, 22 Jerusalem, 9258522, IL)
KOFMAN, Guni (M.P Misgav, 00 Moshav Ya'ad, 2015500, IL)
HOROVITZ, Daniel (20 Hadar Street, 00 Kfar Tavor, 1524100, IL)
Application Number:
IL2019/050012
Publication Date:
July 11, 2019
Filing Date:
January 03, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ZORE LIFE SHAPING SOLUTIONS LTD. (Building No. 1, Jerusalem Technology Park, 01 Jerusalem, 9695801, IL)
International Classes:
F41A17/44; F41A17/04; F41A17/06; F41A17/16; E05B73/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LITVAK, Dima (Reinhold Cohn & Partners, P.O.B. 13239, 62 Tel-Aviv, 6113102, IL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A locking device for a firearm having a firing chamber and an extractor, comprising:

a cartridge-mimicking member configured to be inserted into the firing chamber and having a cartridge wall with an outer surface, a distal portion, and a proximal portion formed with an extraction rim, said extraction rim being configured to engage said extractor so as to allow pulling the cartridge-mimicking member at an extracting direction along a longitudinal axis extending between said proximal portion and said distal portion; a tightening mechanism comprising a resilient tube integrated in said cartridge wall, said tightening mechanism being configured for outwardly expanding said tube from a non-expanded state to at least one expanded state in which an outermost face of the tube protrudes with respect to said outer surface to an extent greater than at said non- expanded state;

a locking mechanism switchable between an unlocked state in which said tube is at said non-expanded state so that pulling said extraction rim in the extracting direction allows extraction of said cartridge-mimicking member from the firing chamber, and a locked state in which pulling said extraction rim at the extracting direction relative to said tube entails expansion of said tube by said tightening mechanism to at least said one expanded state; and

a processor in communication with the locking mechanism for switching the state of the locking mechanism at least from said locked state and said unlocked state.

2. The locking device of Claim 1, wherein said tightening mechanism further comprises one or more rigid segments integrated in said tube, and wherein each of said segments has an outermost segment face constituting at least a portion of said outermost face of said tube.

3. The locking device of Claim 2, wherein the outermost segment faces of the segments constitute said outermost face.

4. The locking device of Claim 2 or 3, wherein, at said non-expanded state, said outermost face protrudes with respect to said outer surface.

5. The locking device of any one of Claims 2 to 4, wherein said tightening mechanism further comprises: a movable member connected to said proximal portion and configured for displacing along said longitudinal axis together with said proximal portion and comprising one or more first channels, each of said segments further has an inner segment face with a second channel facing its respective first channel; and one or more rigid rolling members, each disposed between its respective said first channel and said second channel; wherein pulling said extraction rim at the extracting direction entails rolling of each of said rolling members on its first channel toward said distal portion and on its said second channel toward said proximal portion while outwardly radially pressing and displacing said segments, thereby switching said locking mechanism from said non- expanded state to at least said one expanded state.

6. The locking device of Claim 5, wherein said segments are characterized by an elastic modulus greater than an elastic modulus of said tube.

7. The locking device of Claim 5 or 6, wherein, at least at said non-expanded state, each of said second channels has a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion and forming a second acute angle with said longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side of the respective rolling member of the second channel.

8. The locking device of any one of Claims 5 and 6, wherein, at least at said non- expanded state, each of said second channels has a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion, so that said second channel axes converge with said longitudinal axis in the direction of said proximal portion.

9. The locking device of any one of Claims 5 to 8, wherein, at least at said non- expanded state, each of said first channels extends toward said proximal portion along a first channel axis forming a first acute angle with said longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side excluding said rolling members.

10. The locking device of Claim 9, wherein the first channel axis and its respective second channel axis are substantially parallel to each other.

11. The locking device of any one of Claims 5 to 10, wherein said movable member is connected to said proximal portion by a ball-and-socket joint.

12. The locking device of any one of Claims 5 to 11, wherein said tightening mechanism further comprises a positioning mechanism extending within said cartridge- mimicking member between said rolling members and said distal portion and configured for biasing said rolling members toward said proximal portion at both said non-expanded state and at least said one expanded state.

13. The locking device of Claim 12, wherein said positioning mechanism comprises a spring loaded positioning member having one or more rounded engaging surfaces for respectively engaging each of said rolling members.

14. The locking device of any one of Claims 5 to 13, wherein said movable member has a distal portion including said plurality of first channels and made of a rigid material.

15. The locking device of any one of Claims 2 to 14, wherein, at least at said non- expanded state, one or more of said segments is surrounded by respective portions of the tube.

16. The locking device of any one of the preceding claims, wherein said tube can be made of a material comprising an elastic polymer.

17. The locking device of any one of the preceding claims, wherein said locking mechanism comprises: a first actuator in electric communication with said processor; an auxiliary wall disposed within said cartridge-mimicking member and connected to said tube; and a locking member movable between a first position corresponding to said unlocked state, in which said locking member is configured for restricting movement of said proximal portion at said extracting direction with respect to said auxiliary wall, and a second position corresponding to said locked state, in which said movement of said proximal portion at said extracting direction with respect to said auxiliary wall is unrestricted by the locking member; and wherein said first actuator is configured for displacing said locking member from said second position to said first position.

18. The locking device of Claim 17, wherein said auxiliary wall comprising a first recess configured for receiving a locking end of said locking member at said locked state.

19. The locking device of Claim 18, wherein said cartridge wall comprising a second recess allowing passage of said locking member therethrough.

20. The locking device of any one of Claims 17 to 19, wherein said locking mechanism comprises a second actuator in mechanical communication with said locking member for displacing said locking member from said first position to said second position.

21. The locking device of any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a controlling unit including said processor and connected to said cartridge-mimicking member by a bridging member, said bridging member being connected to said cartridge wall between said tube and said extraction rim.

22. The locking device of Claim 21, when dependent on Claim 19, wherein said locking member extends along said bridging member and via said second recess.

23. The locking device of any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a biasing mechanism configured for normally causing said tightening mechanism to assume at least said one expanded state.

24. The locking device of Claim 23, wherein said biasing mechanism is configured to be compressed by a pushing force applied by a slide of the firearm on the proximal portion, for causing said tightening mechanism to assume said non-expanded state.

25. The locking device of Claim 23 or 24, wherein said biasing mechanism is a compression spring disposed in said cartridge-mimicking member and having a first spring end connected to said tube and a second spring end connected to said cartridge wall.

26. The locking device of any one of Claims 23 to 25, further comprising a securing mechanism configured for preventing and allowing switching said locking mechanism from said unlocked state to said locked state.

27. The locking device of any one of Claims 24 to 26, when dependent on Claim 17, wherein said securing mechanism comprises a groove formed in said locking member, configured, at the normally biasing operation of the biasing mechanism, for receiving a portion of said auxiliary wall that forms said first recess, thereby preventing movement of the locking member from the first position to the second position.

28. The locking device of Claim 26 or 27, wherein said securing mechanism is configured for operating in conjunction with said biasing mechanism, so that upon normal biasing operation of said biasing mechanism, at least when said extraction rim is disengaged from said extractor and at least when said locking mechanism is switched to said unlocked state, said securing mechanism prevents switching said locking mechanism from said unlocked state to said locked state, and upon compression of said biasing mechanism, at least when said extraction rim is engaged with said extractor and at least when said locking mechanism is switched to said unlocked state, said securing mechanism allows switching said locking mechanism from said unlocked state to said locked state.

29. The locking device of any one of the preceding claims, wherein said tube is surrounded by respective portions of said cartridge wall.

30. A locking device for a firearm having a firing chamber and an extractor, comprising: a cartridge-mimicking member configured to be inserted into the firing chamber and having a cartridge wall with an outer surface, a distal portion, and a proximal portion formed with an extraction rim, said extraction rim being configured to engage said extractor so as to allow pulling the cartridge-mimicking member at an extracting direction extending from said distal portion to said proximal portion and along a longitudinal axis extending between said proximal portion and said distal portion;

a tightening mechanism configured for radially expanding from a non-expanded state to at least one expanded state in which an outer face of the tightening mechanism protrudes with respect to an exterior surface of said outer surface to an extent greater than at said non-expanded state;

a locking mechanism switchable between an unlocked state in which said tightening mechanism is at said non-expanded state so that pulling said extraction rim in the extraction direction allows extraction of said cartridge-mimicking member from the firing chamber, and a locked state in which pulling said extraction rim at the extracting direction with respect to said outer face entails expansion of said tightening mechanism to at least said one expanded state;

a processor in communication with the locking mechanism for switching the state of the locking mechanism at least from said locked state to said unlocked state; and a biasing mechanism configured for normally causing said tightening mechanism to assume at least said one expanded state.

31. The locking device of Claim 30, wherein said biasing mechanism is configured, at least when said extraction rim is engaged with said extractor, to be compressed by a pushing force applied by a slide of the firearm on the proximal portion, for causing said tightening mechanism to assume said non-expanded state.

32. The locking device of Claim 30 or 31, further comprising a securing mechanism configured for preventing and allowing switching said locking mechanism from said unlocked state to said locked state.

33. The locking device of Claim 32, wherein said securing mechanism is configured for operating in conjunction with said biasing mechanism, so that upon normal biasing operation of said biasing mechanism, at least when said extraction rim is disengaged from said extractor and at least when said locking mechanism is switched to said unlocked state, said securing mechanism prevents switching said locking mechanism from said unlocked state to said locked state, and upon compression of said biasing mechanism, at least when said extraction rim is engaged with said extractor and at least when said locking mechanism is switched to said unlocked state, said securing mechanism allows switching said locking mechanism from said unlocked state to said locked state.

34. The locking device of any one of Claims 29 to 33, wherein said locking mechanism comprises: a first actuator in electric communication with said processor, an auxiliary wall disposed within said cartridge-mimicking member and connected to said tube, and a locking member movable between a first position corresponding to said unlocked state, in which said locking member is configured for restricting movement of said proximal portion at said extracting direction with respect to said auxiliary wall, and a second position corresponding to said locked state, in which said movement of said proximal portion at said extracting direction with respect to said auxiliary wall is unrestricted by the locking member; and wherein said first actuator is configured for displacing said locking member from said second position to said first position.

35. The locking device of Claim 34, wherein said auxiliary wall comprising a first recess configured for receiving a locking end of said locking member at said locked state.

36. The locking device of Claim 35, wherein said cartridge wall comprising a second recess allowing passage of said locking member therethrough.

37. The locking device of any one of Claims 34 to 36, wherein said locking mechanism comprises a second actuator in mechanical communication with said locking member for displacing said locking member from said first position to said second position.

38. The locking device of any one of Claims 34 to 37, when dependent on Claim 32, wherein said securing mechanism comprises a groove formed in said locking member, configured, at the normally biasing operation of the biasing mechanism, for receiving a portion of said auxiliary wall that forms said first recess, thereby preventing movement of the locking member from the first position to the second position.

39. The locking device of any one of Claims 30 to 38, wherein said tightening mechanism comprises a resilient tube integrated in said cartridge wall, and wherein said tightening mechanism is configured for outwardly expanding said tube from said non- expanded state to said at least one expanded state in which an outermost face of the tube protrudes with respect to said outer surface to an extent greater than at said non-expanded state; and at said unlocked state, said tube is at said non-expanded state so that pulling said extraction rim in the extracting direction allows extraction of said cartridge- mimicking member from the firing chamber, and at said locked state, pulling said extraction rim at the extracting direction entails expansion of said tube by said tightening mechanism to at least said one expanded state.

40. The locking device of Claim 39, wherein said tightening mechanism further comprising one or more rigid segments integrated in said tube, and wherein each of said segments has an outermost segment face constituting at least a portion of said outermost face.

41. The locking device of Claim 40, wherein, at said non-expanded state, said outermost face protrudes with respect to said outer surface.

42. The locking device of any one of Claims 40 or 41, wherein said outermost face protrudes with respect to said outer surface at said non-expanded state.

43. The locking device of any one of Claims 40 to 42, wherein said tightening mechanism further comprises: a movable member connected to said proximal portion and configured for displacing along said longitudinal axis together with said proximal portion and comprising one or more first channels, each of said segments further has an inner segment face with a second channel facing its respective first channel; and one or more rigid rolling members, each disposed between its respective said first channel and said second channel; wherein pulling said extraction rim at the extracting direction entails rolling of each of said rolling members on its first channel toward said distal portion and on its said second channel toward said proximal portion while outwardly radially pressing and displacing said segments, thereby switching said locking mechanism from said non- expanded state to at least said one expanded state.

44. The locking device of Claim 43, wherein said segments are characterized by an elastic modulus greater than an elastic modulus of said tube.

45. The locking device of Claim 43 or 44, wherein, at least at said non-expanded state, each of said second channels has a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion and forming a second acute angle with said longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side of the respective rolling member of the second channel.

46. The locking device of any one of Claims 43 to 45, wherein, at least at said non- expanded state, each of said second channels has a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion, so that said second channel axes converge with said longitudinal axis in the direction of said proximal portion.

47. The locking device of any one of Claims 43 to 46, wherein, at least at said non- expanded state, each of said first channels extends toward said proximal portion along a first channel axis forming a first acute angle with said longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side excluding said rolling members.

48. The locking device of any one of Claims 43 to 47, wherein said movable member is connected to said proximal portion by a ball-and-socket joint.

49. The locking device of any one of Claims 43 to 48, said tightening mechanism further comprises a positioning mechanism extending within said cartridge-mimicking member between said rolling members and said distal portion and configured for biasing said rolling members toward said proximal portion at both said non-expanded state and at least said one expanded state.

50. The locking device of Claim 49, wherein said positioning mechanism comprises a spring loaded positioning member having one or more rounded engaging surfaces for respectively engaging each of said rolling members.

51. The locking device of any one of Claims 43 to 50, wherein said movable member has a distal portion including said plurality of first channels and made of a rigid material.

52. The locking device of any one of Claims 40 to 51, wherein one or more of said segments is surrounded by respective portions of the tube at least at said non-expanded state.

53. The locking device of any one of Claims 39 to 52, wherein said tube can be made of a material comprising an elastic polymer.

54. The locking device of any one of Claims 39 to 53, further comprising a controlling unit including said processor and connected to said cartridge-mimicking member by a bridging member, said bridging member being connected to said cartridge wall between said tube and said extraction rim.

55. A locking device for a firearm having a firing chamber, comprising:

a cartridge-mimicking member configured to be inserted into the firing chamber and having a cartridge wall with an outer surface, a distal portion, a proximal portion, and a longitudinal axis extending between said proximal portion and said distal portion; a tightening mechanism comprising: at least one resilient member integrated in said cartridge wall; and one or more rigid segments integrated in said resilient member, each of said segments having an outermost segment face, said tightening mechanism being configured for outwardly expanding said resilient member from a non-expanded state to at least one expanded state in which said outermost segment faces protrude with respect to said outer surface to an extent greater than at said non-expanded state.

56. The locking device of Claim 55, wherein, at said non-expanded state, each of said outermost segment faces protrudes with respect to said outer surface.

57. The locking device of Claim 55 or 56, wherein said segments are characterized by an elastic modulus greater than an elastic modulus of said resilient member.

58. The locking device of any one of Claims 55 to 57, wherein, at least at said non- expanded state, one or more of said segments is surrounded by respective portions of the resilient member.

59. The locking device of any one of Claims 55 to 58, wherein at least at said non- expanded state, at least said one resilient member is surrounded by respective portions of the cartridge wall.

60. The locking device of any one of Claims 55 to 59, wherein said resilient member can be made of a material comprising an elastic polymer.

61. The locking device of any one of Claims 55 to 60, wherein said resilient member is a resilient tube.

62. The locking device of any one of Claims 55 to 61, wherein said proximal portion comprises an extraction rim being configured to engage an extractor of said firearm so as to allow pulling the cartridge-mimicking member at an extracting direction extending from said distal portion to said proximal portion and along said longitudinal axis; and wherein said locking device further comprises: a locking mechanism switchable between an unlocked state in which said resilient member is at said non-expanded state so that pulling said extraction rim in the extracting direction allows extraction of said cartridge- mimicking member from the firing chamber, and a locked state in which pulling said extraction rim at the extracting direction relative to said rigid segments entails expansion of said resilient member by said tightening mechanism to at least said one expanded state; and a processor in communication with the locking mechanism for switching the state of the locking mechanism at least from said locked state and said unlocked state.

63. The locking device of Claim 62, wherein said tightening mechanism further comprises: a movable member connected to said proximal portion and configured for displacing along said longitudinal axis together with said proximal portion and comprising one or more first channels, each of said segments further has an inner segment face with a second channel facing its respective first channel; and one or more rigid rolling members, each disposed between its respective said first channel and said second channel; wherein pulling said extraction rim at the extracting direction entails rolling of each of said rolling members on its first channel toward said distal portion and on its said second channel toward said proximal portion while outwardly radially pressing and displacing said segments, thereby switching said locking mechanism from said non-expanded state to at least said one expanded state.

64. The locking device of Claim 62, wherein, at least at said non-expanded state, each of said second channels has a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion and forming a second acute angle with said longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side of the respective rolling member of the second channel.

65. The locking device of Claim 62 or 63, wherein, at least at said non-expanded state, each of said second channels has a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion, so that said second channel axes converge with said longitudinal axis in the direction of said proximal portion.

66. The locking device of any one of Claims 62 to 65, wherein, at least at said non- expanded state, each of said first channels extends toward said proximal portion along a first channel axis forming a first acute angle with said longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side excluding said rolling members.

67. The locking device of Claim 66, wherein the first channel axis and its respective second channel axis are substantially parallel to each other.

68. The locking device of any one of Claims 62 to 67, wherein said movable member is connected to said proximal portion by a ball-and-socket joint.

69. The locking device of any one of Claims 62 to 68, said tightening mechanism further comprises a positioning mechanism extending within said cartridge-mimicking member between said rolling members and said distal portion and configured for biasing said rolling members toward said proximal portion at both said non-expanded state and at least said one expanded state.

70. The locking device of Claim 69, wherein said positioning mechanism comprises a spring loaded positioning member having one or more rounded engaging surfaces for respectively engaging each of said rolling members.

71. The locking device of any one of Claims 62 to 70, wherein said movable member has a distal portion including said plurality of first channels and made of a rigid material.

72. The locking device of any one of Claims 62 to 71, wherein said locking mechanism comprises: a first actuator in electric communication with said processor, an auxiliary wall disposed within said cartridge-mimicking member and connected to said resilient member, and a locking member movable between a first position corresponding to said unlocked state, in which said locking member is configured for restricting movement of said proximal portion at said extracting direction with respect to said auxiliary wall, and a second position corresponding to said locked state, in which said movement of said proximal portion at said extracting direction with respect to said auxiliary wall is unrestricted by the locking member; and wherein said first actuator is configured for displacing said locking member from said second position to said first position.

73. The locking device of Claim 72, wherein said auxiliary wall comprising a first recess configured for receiving a locking end of said locking member at said locked state.

74. The locking device of Claim 73, wherein said cartridge wall comprising a second recess allowing passage of said locking member therethrough.

75. The locking device of any one of Claims 72 to 74, wherein said locking mechanism comprises a second actuator in mechanical communication with said locking member for displacing said locking member from said first position to said second position.

76. The locking device of any one of Claims 62 to 75, further comprising a controlling unit including said processor and connected to said cartridge-mimicking member by a bridging member, said bridging member being connected to said cartridge wall between said resilient member and said extraction rim.

77. The locking device of any one of Claims 62 to 76, further comprising a biasing mechanism configured for normally causing said tightening mechanism to assume at least said one expanded state.

78. The locking device of Claim 77, wherein said biasing mechanism is configured, at least when said extraction rim is engaged with said extractor, to be compressed by a pushing force applied by a slide of the firearm on the proximal portion, for causing said tightening mechanism to assume said non-expanded state.

79. The locking device of Claim 78, wherein said biasing mechanism is a compression spring disposed in said cartridge-mimicking member and having a first spring end connected to said resilient member and a second spring end connected to said cartridge wall.

80. The locking device of Claim 78 or 79, further comprising a securing mechanism configured for preventing and allowing switching said locking mechanism from said unlocked state to said locked state.

81. The locking device of Claim 80, when dependent on Claim 72, wherein said securing mechanism comprises a groove formed in said locking member, configured, at the normally biasing operation of the biasing mechanism, for receiving a portion of said auxiliary wall that forms said first recess, thereby preventing movement of the locking member from the first position to the second position.

82. The locking device of Claim 80 or 81, wherein said securing mechanism is configured for operating in conjunction with said biasing mechanism, so that upon normal biasing operation of said biasing mechanism, at least when said extraction rim is disengaged from said extractor and at least when said locking mechanism is switched to said unlocked state, said securing mechanism prevents switching said locking mechanism from said unlocked state to said locked state, and upon compression of said biasing mechanism, at least when said extraction rim is engaged with said extractor and at least when said locking mechanism is switched to said unlocked state, said securing mechanism allows switching said locking mechanism from said unlocked state to said locked state.

83. A locking device for a firearm having a firing chamber, comprising:

a cartridge-mimicking member configured to be inserted into the firing chamber and having a cartridge wall with an outer surface, a distal portion, a proximal portion and a longitudinal axis extending between said proximal portion and said distal portion; a tightening mechanism comprising:

a movable member connected to said proximal portion and configured for displacing along said longitudinal axis together with said proximal portion and comprising one or more first channels;

one or more rigid segments integrated in said cartridge wall, each comprising an inner segment face with a second channel facing its respective first channel, and an opposite outermost segment face; and

one or more rigid rolling members, each disposed between its respective said first channel and said second channel; wherein displacement of said movable member toward said proximal portion is configured for entailing rolling of each of said rolling members on its first channel toward said distal portion and on its said second channel toward said proximal portion while outwardly radially pressing and displacing said segments with respect to said cartridge wall from a non-expanded state of said tightening mechanism to at least one expanded state of said tightening mechanism in which said outermost segment faces, constituting an outermost face of the tightening mechanism, protrude with respect to said outer surface to an extent greater than at said non-expanded state.

84. The locking device of Claim 83, wherein, at least at said non-expanded state, each of said second channels has a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion and forming a second acute angle with said longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side of the respective rolling member of the second channel.

85. The locking device of Claim 83 or 84, wherein, at least at said non-expanded state, each of said second channels has a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion, so that said second channel axes converge with said longitudinal axis in the direction of said proximal portion.

86. The locking device of any one of Claims 83 to 85, wherein, at least at said non- expanded state, each of said first channels extends toward said proximal portion along a first channel axis forming a first acute angle with said longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side excluding said rolling members.

87. The locking device of Claim 86, when dependent on Claim 85, wherein the first channel axis and its respective second channel axis are substantially parallel to each other.

88. The locking device of any one of Claims 83 to 87, wherein, at said non-expanded state, said outermost face protrudes with respect to said outer surface.

89. The locking device of any one of Claims 83 to 88, wherein said movable member has a distal portion including said plurality of first channels and made of a rigid material such as metal.

90. The locking device of any one of Claims 83 to 89, wherein said tightening mechanism further comprises at least one resilient member integrated in said cartridge wall, and said segments being integrated in said resilient member; and wherein said tube has said non-expanded state and at least said one expanded state, so that the displacement of said movable member toward said proximal portion is further configured for outwardly expanding said resilient member from said non-expanded state to at least said one expanded state.

91. The locking device of Claim 90, wherein said segments are characterized by an elastic modulus greater than an elastic modulus of said resilient member.

92. The locking device of Claim 90 or 91 , wherein, at least at said non-expanded state, one or more of said segments is surrounded by respective portions of the resilient member.

93. The locking device of any one of Claims 90 to 92, wherein said tube can be made of a material comprising an elastic polymer.

94. The locking device of any one of Claims 90 to 93, wherein said resilient member is surrounded by respective portions of said cartridge wall.

95. The locking device of any one of Claims 90 to 94, wherein said resilient member is a resilient tube.

96. The locking device of any one of Claims 83 to 95, wherein said movable member is connected to said proximal portion by a ball-and-socket joint.

97. The locking device of any one of Claims 83 to 96, wherein said tightening mechanism further comprises a positioning mechanism extending within said cartridge- mimicking member between said rolling members and said distal portion and configured for biasing said rolling members toward said proximal portion at both said non-expanded state and at least said one expanded state.

98. The locking device of Claim 97, wherein said positioning mechanism comprises a spring loaded positioning member having one or more rounded engaging surfaces for respectively engaging each of said rolling members.

99. The locking device of any one of Claims 83 to 98, wherein said proximal portion is formed with an extraction rim configured for engaging an extractor of said firearm, so as to allow pulling the cartridge-mimicking member at an extracting direction extending from said distal portion to said proximal portion and along said longitudinal axis; and wherein said locking device further comprises: a locking mechanism switchable between an unlocked state in which said tightening mechanism is at said non-expanded state so that pulling said extraction rim in the extracting direction allows extraction of said cartridge-mimicking member from the firing chamber, and a locked state in which pulling said extraction rim at the extracting direction relative to said rigid segments entails expansion of said tightening mechanism to at least said one expanded state; and a processor in communication with the locking mechanism for switching the state of the locking mechanism at least from said locked state and said unlocked state.

100. The locking device of Claim 99, wherein said locking mechanism comprises: a first actuator in electric communication with said processor, an auxiliary wall disposed within said cartridge-mimicking member and connected to said distal portion, and a locking member movable between a first position corresponding to said unlocked state, in which said locking member is configured for restricting movement of said proximal portion at said extracting direction with respect to said auxiliary wall, and a second position corresponding to said locked state, in which said movement of said proximal portion at said extracting direction with respect to said auxiliary wall is unrestricted by the locking member; and wherein said first actuator is configured for displacing said locking member from said second position to said first position.

101. The locking device of Claim 100, wherein said auxiliary wall comprising a first recess configured for receiving a locking end of said locking member at said locked state.

102. The locking device of Claim 101 , wherein said cartridge wall comprising a second recess allowing passage of said locking member therethrough.

103. The locking device of any one of Claims 100 to 102, wherein said locking mechanism comprises a second actuator in mechanical communication with said locking member for displacing said locking member from said first position to said second position.

104. The locking device of any one of Claims 99 to 103, further comprising a controlling unit including said processor and connected to said cartridge-mimicking member by a bridging member, said bridging member being connected to said cartridge wall between said tube and said extraction rim.

105. The locking device of any one of Claims 99 to 104, further comprising a biasing mechanism configured for normally causing said tightening mechanism to assume at least said one expanded state.

106. The locking device of Claim 105, wherein said biasing mechanism is configured, at least when said extraction rim is engaged with said extractor, to be compressed by a pushing force applied by a slide of the firearm on the proximal portion, for causing said tightening mechanism to assume said non-expanded state.

107. The locking device of Claim 105 or 106, wherein said biasing mechanism is a compression spring disposed in said cartridge-mimicking member and having a first spring end connected to said tube and a second spring end connected to said cartridge wall.

108. The locking device of any one of Claims 105 to 107, further comprising a securing mechanism configured for preventing and allowing switching said locking mechanism from said unlocked state to said locked state.

109. The locking device of any one of Claims 106 to 108, when dependent on Claim 98, wherein said securing mechanism comprises a groove formed in said locking member, configured, at the normally biasing operation of the biasing mechanism, for receiving a portion of said auxiliary wall that forms said first recess, thereby preventing movement of the locking member from the first position to the second position.

110. The locking device of Claim 108 or 109, wherein said securing mechanism is configured for operating in conjunction with said biasing mechanism, so that upon normal biasing operation of said biasing mechanism, at least when said extraction rim is disengaged from said extractor and at least when said locking mechanism is switched to said unlocked state, said securing mechanism prevents switching said locking mechanism from said unlocked state to said locked state, and upon compression of said biasing mechanism, at least when said extraction rim is engaged with said extractor and at least when said locking mechanism is switched to said unlocked state, said securing mechanism allows switching said locking mechanism from said unlocked state to said locked state.

111. A locking device for a firearm having a firing chamber, comprising:

a cartridge-mimicking member configured to be inserted into the firing chamber and having a cartridge wall with an outer surface, a distal portion, a proximal portion and a longitudinal axis extending between said proximal portion and said distal portion; and a tightening mechanism comprising a movable member disposed within said cartridge-mimicking member and connected to said proximal portion by a ball-and-socket joint, said tightening mechanism configured, upon displacement of said movable member along said longitudinal axis, for radially expanding from a non-expanded state to at least one expanded state in which an outer face of the tightening mechanism protrudes with respect to an exterior surface of said outer surface to an extent greater than at said non- expanded state.

112. A locking device of Claim 111, wherein said ball-socket joint is constituted by as a ball-like member connected to the movable member, and a socket member being part of the proximal portion, said socket member comprises a socket shoulder formed with an opening therein and extending between the ball member and a rear face of the proximal portion.

113. A locking device of Claim 112, wherein said ball member is part of a proximal portion of the movable member which made of a deformable material, said ball member has a diameter greater than a diameter of the opening, so that upon said impact, the ball member is configured to be deformed, so that its diameter is shortened, allowing the ball member to pass through the opening, thereby, allowing the movable member to be displaced toward the proximal portion of the cartridge-mimicking member.

114. The locking device of any one of Claims 111 to 113, wherein said proximal portion is formed with an extraction rim configured to engage said extractor so as to allow pulling the cartridge-mimicking member at an extracting direction extending from said distal portion to said proximal portion and along said longitudinal axis; and wherein said locking device further comprises: a locking mechanism switchable between an unlocked state in which said tightening mechanism is at said non-expanded state so that pulling said extraction rim in the extraction direction allows extraction of said cartridge- mimicking member from the firing chamber, and a locked state in which pulling said extraction rim at the extracting direction relative to said outer face entails expansion of said tightening mechanism to at least said one expanded state; a processor in communication with the locking mechanism for switching the state of the locking mechanism at least from said locked state to said unlocked state.

115. The locking device of Claim 114, further comprising a biasing mechanism configured for normally causing said tightening mechanism to assume at least said one expanded state.

116. The locking device of Claim 115, wherein said biasing mechanism is configured, at least when said extraction rim is engaged with said extractor, to be compressed by a pushing force applied by a slide of the firearm on the proximal portion, for causing said tightening mechanism to assume said non-expanded state.

117. The locking device of Claim 115 or 116, further comprising a securing mechanism configured for preventing and allowing switching said locking mechanism from said unlocked state to said locked state.

118. The locking device of Claim 117, wherein said securing mechanism is configured for operating in conjunction with said biasing mechanism, so that upon normal biasing operation of said biasing mechanism, at least when said extraction rim is disengaged from said extractor and at least when said locking mechanism is switched to said unlocked state, said securing mechanism prevents switching said locking mechanism from said unlocked state to said locked state, and upon compression of said biasing mechanism, at least when said extraction rim is engaged with said extractor and at least when said locking mechanism is switched to said unlocked state, said securing mechanism allows switching said locking mechanism from said unlocked state to said locked state.

119. The locking device of any one of Claims 112 to 118, wherein said locking mechanism comprises: a first actuator in electric communication with said processor, an auxiliary wall disposed within said cartridge-mimicking member and connected to said tube, and a locking member movable between a first position corresponding to said unlocked state, in which said locking member is configured for restricting movement of said proximal portion at said extracting direction with respect to said auxiliary wall, and a second position corresponding to said locked state, in which said movement of said proximal portion at said extracting direction with respect to said auxiliary wall is unrestricted by the locking member; and wherein said first actuator is configured for displacing said locking member from said second position to said first position.

120. The locking device of Claim 119, wherein said auxiliary wall comprising a first recess configured for receiving a locking end of said locking member at said locked state.

121. The locking device of Claim 120, wherein said cartridge wall comprising a second recess allowing passage of said locking member therethrough.

122. The locking device of any one of Claims 119 to 121, wherein said locking mechanism comprises a second actuator in mechanical communication with said locking member for displacing said locking member from said first position to said second position.

123. The locking device of any one of Claims 119 to 122, when dependent on Claim 117, wherein said securing mechanism comprises a groove formed in said locking member, configured, at the normally biasing operation of the biasing mechanism, for receiving a portion of said auxiliary wall that forms said first recess, thereby preventing movement of the locking member from the first position to the second position.

124. The locking device of any one of Claims 112 to 123, wherein said tightening mechanism comprises a resilient tube integrated in said cartridge wall, and wherein said tightening mechanism is configured for outwardly expanding said tube from said non- expanded state to said at least one expanded state in which an outermost face of the tube protrudes with respect to said outer surface to an extent greater than at said non-expanded state; and at said unlocked state, said tube is at said non-expanded state so that pulling said extraction rim in the extracting direction allows extraction of said cartridge- mimicking member from the firing chamber, and at said locked state, pulling said extraction rim at the extracting direction entails expansion of said tube by said tightening mechanism to at least said one expanded state.

125. The locking device of Claim 124, wherein said tightening mechanism further comprises one or more rigid segments integrated in said tube, and wherein each of said segments has an outermost segment face constituting at least a portion of said outermost face.

126. The locking device of Claim 125, wherein, at said non-expanded state, said outermost face protrudes with respect to said outer surface.

127. The locking device of any one of Claims 125 or 126, wherein said outermost face protrudes with respect to said outer surface at said non-expanded state.

128. The locking device of any one of Claims 125 to 127, wherein said movable member comprises one or more first channels, and each of said segments further has an inner segment face with a second channel facing its respective first channel; and wherein said tightening mechanism further comprises one or more rigid rolling members, each disposed between its respective said first channel and said second channel; wherein pulling said extraction rim at the extracting direction entails rolling of each of said rolling members on its first channel toward said distal portion and on its said second channel toward said proximal portion while outwardly radially pressing and displacing said segments, thereby switching said locking mechanism from said non-expanded state to at least said one expanded state.

129. The locking device of Claim 128, wherein said segments are characterized by an elastic modulus greater than an elastic modulus of said tube.

130. The locking device of Claim 128 or 129, wherein, at least at said non-expanded state, each of said second channels has a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion and forming a second acute angle with said longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side of the respective rolling member of the second channel.

131. The locking device of any one of Claims 128 to 130, wherein, at least at said non- expanded state, each of said second channels has a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion, so that said second channel axes converge with said longitudinal axis in the direction of said proximal portion.

132. The locking device of any one of Claims 128 to 131, wherein, at least at said non- expanded state, each of said first channels extends toward said proximal portion along a first channel axis forming a first acute angle with said longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side excluding said rolling members.

133. The locking device of any one of Claims 128 to 132, wherein said tightening mechanism further comprises a positioning mechanism extending within said cartridge- mimicking member between said rolling members and said distal portion and configured for biasing said rolling members toward said proximal portion at both said non-expanded state and at least said one expanded state.

134. The locking device of Claim 133, wherein said positioning mechanism comprises a spring loaded positioning member having one or more rounded engaging surfaces for respectively engaging each of said rolling members.

135. The locking device of any one of Claims 128 to 134, wherein said movable member has a distal portion including said plurality of first channels and made of a rigid material.

136. The locking device of any one of Claims 125 to 135, wherein one or more of said segments is surrounded by respective portions of the tube at least at said non-expanded state.

137. The locking device of any one of Claims 124 to 136, wherein said tube can be made of a material comprising an elastic polymer.

138. A lock mechanism for engaging a locking member within a housing such that said locking member is lockably engagable within said housing, the mechanism comprising a processor, a power supply, a memory, a transducer and an actuator; the transducer having a stator and rotator, such that the rotator is fixedly coupled by a stem to a dial for rotating the rotator with respect to the stator; the transducer comprising a flange having conductive and insulating areas on an inner face, and an array of contact pins coaxially aligned with the flange such that rotation of the dial causes relative motion between the flange and the array of contact pins about the axis, thereby selectively contacting the contact pins with the insulating and conductive areas on the inner face for data entry; said face of the flange comprising a first ring that is conductive, at least one partially conductive second ring having conductive areas that are connected to the first circle and insulating areas that are non-conductive, and a third ring with contact positions at regular intervals having radial symmetry with each other, that are separated by insulating positions; the face of the flange being kept in compressive contact with the array of contact pins which includes a ground contact pin, an array of contact pins arranged asymmetrically around at least one second circle for providing up to 2n alternatives for a digit in a combination of digits, and a third circle with a first contact pin that alternatively connects to conducting and insulating areas of the third ring of the flange during relative rotation of the rotator with respect to the stator, and a clicking mechanism that ensures that a dial that is not physically restrained from turning engages a position where the first contact-pin in the third circle contacts an insulating area, providing no signal to the processor and drawing no power from the power supply; such that said processor is configured for receiving signals from said transducer as it is rotated, for analyzing said signals and for sending an instruction to the actuator to engage or disengage the locking member when an appropriate signal comprising a sequence of forward and backward rotations, each corresponding to chains of discrete clicks of the dial corresponds to a stored combination in the memory.

139. The lock mechanism of claim 138, wherein the power supply is a dry battery cell.

140. The lock mechanism of claim 138 or 139, wherein the click mechanism comprises a radially symmetrical ring of ball bearings providing a pivot, the ring of ball bearings being pressed by a Hookian element against the distal face of the flange having an array of concave sockets, each having a radius of curvature at least equal to that of the ball bearings, such that the radially symmetrical ring of ball bearings entering and leaving sockets of the array provides a user with a tactile clicking sensation as the dial is rotated, and, on release of the dial by a user, the Hookian element urges the ring of ball bearings to rotate into the array of sockets, thereby rotating the flange to assume a position where the first contact-pin of the third circle contacts the insulating area.

141. The lock mechanism of any one of Claims 138 to 140, wherein n pins provides up to 2n signals and the combination for activating the actuator is a combination of digits in a base between 2n_1and 2n.

142. The lock mechanism of claim 141, wherein n is 3 providing up to 8 separate signals that are encoded in binary as D000 001 010 011 100 101 110 111 D and the combination for activating the actuator is a combination of digits in any base from base 4 to base 8 depending on level of redundancy.

143. The lock mechanism of any one of Claims 138 to 141, further comprising a second, shorter pin opposite the third ring, that is at an angle to the first contact-pin in the third ring such that it is opposite a conducting region of the third ring when the rotatable transducer is in a released rest position, but does not contact the third ring, by virtue of it being shortened; such that pushing on the dial causes the flange to contact the said second shorter contact-pin and to send a signal to the processor.

144. The lock mechanism of claim 143, further comprising at least one lamp coupled to the processor, the short outer pin and the power supply such that pressure for a first time interval on the dial causes the at least one light lamp to emit a signal indicative of level of power available from the power supply.

145. The lock mechanism of any one of Claims 138 to 144, wherein in addition to a preprogrammed unlocking combination, a user may program at least one additional combination.

146. The lock mechanism of any one of Claims 138 to 145, wherein the lock mechanism further comprises a reset function comprising pressing the rotatable switch inwards.

147. The lock mechanism of claim 143, wherein pressure on the dial for a second time interval causes the second shorter pin facing the third ring to contact the flange and to signal to the processor that a new combination is to be inserted; said new combination being insertable by rotation of the dial back and forth a number of times and by numbers of clicks determined by the user, followed by a further pressing on the dial to enter the new combination into the memory.

148. The lock mechanism of claim 147, wherein lock mechanism is configured to require the combination to be immediately reentered to provide a confirmation and the confirmation is indicated by a lamp being illuminated.

149. The lock mechanism of any one of Claims 138 to 148, further comprises at least one alternative signal input means for inputting an alternative signal, the alternative signal means being coupled to the processor selected from the group comprising a signal receiver for receiving remote signals for unlocking the lock by transmission of the sequence, a biometric identifier of a user from an appropriate reader and a token.

150. The lock mechanism of claim 149, wherein at least alternative signal input means comprises a signal receiver for receiving remote signals that are transmittable from a device utilizing a mobile phone communication protocol.

151. The lock mechanism of claim 149, wherein the at least one alternative signal input means comprises a token that communicates via Bluetooth transceiver or RFID reader.

152. The lock mechanism of claim 149, wherein the at least one alternative signal input means comprises a token that further comprises a keypad.

153. The lock mechanism of claim 149, wherein whilst signals are being received at the processor from both the transducer and from at least one alternative signal means the signals from the transducer takes precedent.

154. The lock mechanism of any one of Claims 138 to 153, wherein the actuator is selected from the group comprising dc linear motors, stepper motors and electromagnets.

155. The lock mechanism of claim 149 wherein the sequence of digits entered by rotation of the rotatable dial is compared with a combination stored in a look up table.

156. A method of entering a combination to a lock mechanism for engaging a locking member within a housing such that said locking member is lockably engagable within said housing; the mechanism comprising a processor, a power supply, a memory, a transducer and an actuator, the transducer comprising a rotator and a stator having a common axis; the rotator being coupled to a dial by a fixed axle stem, one of said rotator and stator comprising an array of pins arranged in three rings, and the other of said rotator and stator comprising a flange having a face opposite said array of pins that is divided into conductive areas and insulating areas, the face of the flange being in physical contact with pins of the array for data entry; the face comprising a first ring that is conductive, at least one second ring comprising conductive areas that are connected to the first ring and insulating areas that are non-conductive, and a third ring with contact positions at regular intervals having radial symmetry separated by insulating positions; said face being in compressive contact with the array of contact-pins; the array of contact pins comprising a ground pin, an array of n contact-pins in said at least one circle for providing up to 2n alternatives for a digit in a combination of digits, and a first contact pin facing the third ring that alternatively connects to conducting and insulating areas of the third ring of the flange as it is rotated, and a clicking mechanism for ensuring that a dial not physically restrained from turning will assume a position where said first contact-pin contacts an insulating area, providing no signal to the processor and drawing no power from the power supply; such that said processor is configured for receiving signals from said transducer as it is rotated, for analyzing said signals and for sending an instruction to the actuator for engaging or disengaging the locking member when a signal comprising a sequence of forward and backward clicks of the dial corresponds to a stored combination in the memory; the sequence being enterable via the dial of the electronic lock mechanism by first rotating the dial in a first direction by a first number of clicks to enter a first digit; then rotating the dial in a counter direction for a second number of clicks to enter a second digit; and by reversing directions and turning for a preset number of clicks, entering each subsequent digit of the combination until the entire combination is inserted, such that rotating the dial by less than a first click of the first digit in the sequence causes a signal from the first contact pin facing the third ring to activate the processor.

157. The method of claim 156, wherein a first digit inputted from the rotating transducer by the user rotating the dial is received by the processor and is compared with a first digit of the correct combination code stored in the memory; such that if there is no match, the data input has to be started from the beginning, and if there is a match, a next digit of the data is inputted by rotating the dial a number of clicks in an opposite direction, the number inputted being compared by the processor with a next digit of the correct combination code stored in the memory, such that if there is no match, the data input has to be started from the beginning, and if there is a match, the user has to input the second next digit of the sequence, and if the inputted digit is matched with the final digit of the combination, a signal is sent by the processor to the actuator to engage or disengage the locking member.

158. The method of claim 156 or 157, wherein reading the signals from the second ring upon initiating the movement of the dial and conducting an additional reading of the second ring signals upon reaching a following position allows the processor to determine the direction of the move of each and every single click of the dial turn.

159. The method of any one of claims 156 to 158, wherein the initial direction of rotation of the dial is irrelevant.

160. The method of any one of claims 156 to 159, wherein as long as the final digit of the input sequence equals or exceeds the final digit of the combination in the memory, the actuator is enabled.

Description:
A LOCKING DEVICE FOR A FIREARM AND A LOCK MECHANISM FOR

THE LOCKING DEVICE

TECHNOLOGICAL FIELD

The presently disclosed subject matter relates to a locking device for a firearm, which is insertable into the firearm for dysfunctioning the firearm.

BACKGROUND

Safe storage of firearms became a high priority issue in recent years. A study made in the year 2000 on firearm storage patterns of families having children that has at least one firearm in a possession of the parents yield that, 55% of the families reported to have one or more firearms in an unlocked place and 43% reported keeping guns without a trigger lock in an unlocked place (Mark A. Schuster et al., Firearm Storage Patterns in U.S. Homes with Children, 90 Am. J. Pub. Health 588, 590 (Apr. 2000)).

Unsafe storage of unlocked firearms can lead to deadly accidents involving children, parents and other people. Even at security or military organizations, where the use of firearms is widely common and done by professionals, deadly accidents due to unsafe storage or earless use of firearms occasionally happened.

A solution for unsafe storage of firearms is the use of a reliable locking device for locking each of the firearms one has in his possession. The locking device should be easy to operate, should be safe and should ensure that only the person authorized to use that firearm can unlock the locking device. There are several known locking devices, most of them use various mechanical locks that lock the trigger, block the firing chamber or block a magazine from being inserted into the firearm.

For example, WO 2016/103249 discloses a locking device for a firearm. The locking device comprises a locking cartridge adapted to be inserted into a firing chamber of the firearm. The locking cartridge includes a cartridge-like housing and a locking mechanism located in the cartridge-like housing.

A lock is a mechanical or electronic fastening device that is released by a physical object (such as a key, keycard, fingerprint, RFID card, security token, coin etc.), by supplying secret information (such as a key code or password), or by a combination thereof.

Locks are used on doors and safes for holding valuables and directly for securing articles such as handguns, automobiles and bicycles.

Traditional locks are mechanical and are opened with physical keys. These require the physical key to open them. The mechanism usually involves levers, tumblers or pins, and most locks are variations of those designed by Chubb, Yale and Bramah.

Pin tumbler locks are unlocked by rotating a plug. Without a key in the lock, driver pins are pushed downwards, preventing the plug from rotating. In the pin tumbler lock, a set of pins prevents the lock from opening unless the correct key is inserted. The key has a series of grooves on either side of the key's blade that limit the type of lock the key can slide into. As the key slides into the lock, the horizontal grooves on the blade align with the wards in the keyway allowing or denying entry to the cylinder. A series of pointed teeth and notches on the blade, called bittings, then allow pins to move up and down until they are in line with the shear line of the inner and outer cylinder, allowing the cylinder or cam to rotate freely and the lock to open.

A wafer tumbler lock is similar to the pin tumbler lock and works on a similar principle. However, unlike the pin lock (where each pin consists of two or more pieces) each wafer is a single piece. The wafer lock is relatively inexpensive to produce and is often used in automobiles and cabinetry. In wafer tumbler locks, without a key in the lock, the wafers are pushed down by springs. The wafers nestle into a groove in the lower part of the outer cylinder preventing the plug from rotating.

The disc tumbler lock or Abloy lock is composed of slotted rotating detainer discs. They are considered very secure and almost impossible to pick.

The lever tumbler lock uses a set of levers to prevent the bolt from moving in the lock. In its simplest form, lifting the tumbler above a certain height will allow the bolt to slide past.

In tubular locks, the key pins and driver pins are pushed towards the front of the lock, preventing the plug from rotating. The tubular key has several half-cylinder indentations which align with the pins. Warded locks use a set of obstructions, or wards, to prevent the lock from opening unless the correct key is inserted. The key has notches or slots that correspond to the obstructions in the lock, allowing it to rotate freely inside the lock.

There are also mechanical combination locks, which rely on direct rotation of a dial or a series of disks to release the locking member. To open requires knowledge of the code, i.e. the sequence of numbers or letters that opens the lock.

An electronic lock works by means of an electric current and is usually connected to an access control system. In addition to the pin and tumbler used in standard locks, in electronic locks the bolt or cylinder is moved by an actuator such as a motor within the door or lock housing that is controlled by a processor.

Types of electronic locks include keycard locks which are operated with a flat card having the size and shape of a credit card. In order to open the door, one needs to successfully match the code within the keycard to that of the lock. These are widely used in hotels, for example.

Smart locks are electromechanical locks that receive instructions to lock and unlock from an authorized device using a cryptographic key and wireless protocol or a biometric identification sensor. Smart locks have begun to be used more commonly in residential areas, and are often controlled with smart phones. Smart locks are widely used in shared workspaces and offices to enable keyless office entry. Biometric identification is user specific. To authorize additional users to open a lock with a biometric identifier, requires reprogramming the lock to accept the additional users. Thus unlike codes or keys which can be given by authorized personnel to someone, biometric identification cannot. This has advantages and disadvantages.

The sidebar lock operates using fins on a radial key that actuate sidebars that align with a cylindrical code bar within the lock. This type of master key technology has been developed by the Australian Lock Company. The keys and the code bar are cut using a computer numerical control (CNC) machine.

As a metaphor, data is secured using encryption which is encrypted and decrypted using one or more strings of data that are often referred to as keys.

Despite the wide range of locks and keys available, there is a need for a transducer and mechanism for a quick release lock that does not require a physical key, whether mechanical or electronic, and which can be operated reliably in the dark and in any environmental condition and do not have the disadvantages of biometrics based identification systems. The presently disclosed subject matter provides such a lock.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The presently disclosed subject matter is related to a locking device configured for preventing unauthorized use of a firearm (e.g., a semi-automatic pistol, an automatic pistol, a self-loading pistol). The locking device comprises a cartridge-mimicking member configured to be inserted into a firing chamber of the firearm and be selectively tightened and locked therein to temporarily dysfunction the firing chamber. For example, when the cartridge-mimicking member is tightened within the firing chamber, a new cartridge cannot enter into the firing chamber, and in some cases, the slide of the firearm can be at least partially dysfunctional as well.

According to a first aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a locking device for a firearm having a firing chamber and an extractor, comprising:

a cartridge-mimicking member configured to be inserted into the firing chamber and having a cartridge wall with an outer surface, a distal portion, and a proximal portion formed with an extraction rim, the extraction rim being configured to engage the extractor so as to allow pulling the cartridge-mimicking member at an extracting direction along a longitudinal axis extending between the proximal portion and the distal portion;

a tightening mechanism comprising a resilient tube integrated in the cartridge wall, the tightening mechanism being configured for outwardly expanding the tube from a non-expanded state to at least one expanded state in which an outermost face of the tube protrudes with respect to the outer surface to an extent greater than at the non-expanded state;

a locking mechanism switchable between an unlocked state in which pulling the extraction rim in the extracting direction allows extraction of the cartridge-mimicking member from the firing chamber, and a locked state in which pulling the extraction rim at the extracting direction relative to said tube entails expansion of the tube by the tightening mechanism to at least the one expanded state; and

a processor in communication with the locking mechanism for switching the state of the locking mechanism at least from the locked state and the unlocked state. In some configurations of the presently disclosed subject matter, the locking mechanism and/or the processor can be integrated in the cartridge-mimicking member, so that the cartridge-mimicking member would constitute an external housing of the locking device.

The above mentioned pulling of the extraction rim can be performed by the extractor of the firearm, and is equivalent to an extraction of a spent cartridge from the firing chamber. In addition, during the above mentioned extraction of the cartridge- mimicking member from the firing chamber, the entire locking device can be discharged from the firearm as a single unit.

The term 'resilient' refers hereinafter to any object that is configured for returning to the original form or position after being bent, compressed, or stretched.

The term 'rigid' refers hereinafter to any object that is able to withstand high stresses without being substantially bent or penetrated.

The term 'tube' refers hereinafter to any hollow cylinder-like object or part having at least one closed-form cross-section taken perpendicularly to its longitudinal axis.

The term 'surrounded' used hereinafter with respect to one element that is surrounded by another element, means that said one element is enclosed on most or all its sides by said another element, while, according to particular examples, these elements juxtapose each other.

As mentioned above, the locking device of the presently disclosed subject matter, comprises a resilient tube. The resiliency of the tube together with its closed-form, provides the following:

Due to its resiliency, the cartridge mimicking member can be fitted and received in a variety of calibers of firing chambers having a slight difference from each other, while still properly operating and locking the cartridge-mimicking member therein;

Due to its resiliency, the locking device can be reused many times, without being permanently deformed;

Due to its closed-form, the tube can isolate the interior of the cartridge-mimicking member from its exterior, thereby preventing introduction of unwanted elements and particles (e.g., dust, mud) into the interior of the cartridge-mimicking member, at least at the non-expanded state and the unlocked state of the locking mechanism; Due to its resiliency, the cartridge mimicking member can be fitted and received in a variety of calibers of firing chambers having a slight difference from each other, while still properly operating and locking the cartridge-mimicking member therein;

Due to its radially symmetrical shape and its resiliency, the tube can facilitate in evenly and circumferentially distributing expansion forces for tightening the tube to the firing chamber;

The tube can absorb shock waves that can be generated during an attempt to breach the locking device.

Any one or more of the following features, designs and configurations can be incorporated in the locking device of the first aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, independently or in combination thereof:

The tightening mechanism of the locking device can further comprise one or more rigid segments integrated in the tube, wherein each of the segments has an outermost segment face constituting at least a portion of the outermost face of the tube.

The rigid segments can be equally spaced from each other along the circumference of the tube.

The rigid segments are constituting as mediators between one or more rigid internal members (e.g., rolling members mentioned below) which apply a pushing force on the rigid segments from an interior of the tightening mechanism during expansion of the tube, resulting in outward displacement of the rigid members. The rigidity of the rigid segments is thus important for effectively transferring the pushing forces from the internal members to the wall of the firing chamber and withstanding these forces, without being bent or penetrated. Integrating one or more rigid segments within the resilient tube, allows maintaining the above mentioned effects provided by the resiliency and the shape of the tube and in addition, improving the tightening of the locking device within the firing chamber.

The outermost segment faces of the segments can constitute the outermost face of the tube.

The outermost face can, at the non-expanded state of the tightening mechanism, protrude with respect to the outer surface. This protrusion of the outermost face is configured for providing initial frictional engagement of the outermost face with the inner wall of the firing chamber when the cartridge-mimicking member is snugly received therein, so that at the locked state of the locking mechanism and upon pulling the extraction rim at the extracting direction, the outermost face remains substantially in place with respect to the inner wall while the tightening mechanism is outwardly gradually expanded to the expanded state.

The tightening mechanism of the locking device can further comprise:

a movable member connected to the proximal portion and configured for displacing along the longitudinal axis together with the proximal portion and comprising one or more one or more first channels, wherein each of the segments has an inner segment face with a second channel facing its respective first channel; and

one or more rigid rolling members, each disposed respectively between its first channel and its second channel. In this configuration, pulling the extraction rim at the extracting direction entails rolling of each of the rolling members on its first channel toward the distal portion and on its second channel toward the proximal portion while outwardly radially pressing and displacing the segments, thereby switching the tightening mechanism from the non-expanded state to at least the one expanded state. According to this configuration, the linear motion of the movable member is converted to rolling motion of the rolling member, which in turn is converted to outward radial displacement of the rigid segments. The rolling members are thus used as mediators for converting linear movement of the movable member along the longitudinal axis, to radial movement of the segments. The rolling members can be, for example, balls, cylinders, and any other members having a rounded exterior surface.

When the cartridge-mimicking member is disposed outside the firing chamber, the rolling members are spaced from their respective first or second channels (depending on gravity) so that a gap is formed therebetween. This gap, together with the resiliency of the tube allows the tube to be compressed upon insertion of the cartridge-mimicking member into the firing chamber, so as to be snugly received therein. This gap together with the flexibility of the tube provides freedom for applying the cartridge-mimicking member to calibers of firing chambers having a slight difference from each other, while still properly operating and locking therein.

The rolling members can be made of a material selected from a group consisting of: metal, ceramic, rigid polymer, and any combination thereof. The segments can be characterized by an elastic modulus greater than an elastic modulus of the tube.

Each of the second channels of the locking device, at least at the non-expanded state, can have a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion and forming a second acute angle with the longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side of the respective rolling member of the second channel.

Each of the second channels of the locking device, at least at the non-expanded state, can have a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion and, so that the second channel axes converge with the longitudinal axis in the direction of the proximal portion.

Each of the first channels of the locking device, at least at the non-expanded state, can extend toward the proximal portion along a first channel axis forming a first acute angle with the longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side excluding the rolling members.

The first acute angle can be between about 2° to about 6°, and according to a particular example, the first acute angle is about 4°. The second acute angle can be between about 2° to about 6°, and according to a particular example, the second acute angle is about 4°.

The first channel axis and its respective second channel axis can be substantially parallel to each other.

The phrase 'substantially parallel' as used hereinafter, refers to the tolerance for parallelism between the first channel axis and the second channel of up to 2°. This means that even if the angle of the first channel axis is angled with respect to the second channel at 2°, they still can be considered as parallel to each other.

Having substantially parallel first and second channel axes can maximize the extent of pressure directly applied on each rigid segment by its respective rolling member with every roll of the rolling member on its respective second channel toward the extraction direction. The values of the first and second acute angles are thus optimized to maximize the development of outwardly pressing forces applied by the rolling members on the rigid segments while minimizing the rolling distance of each rolling member on its respective second channel. For example, the value of the second acute angle (a) can be derived from a free body diagram calculation taking into consideration a coefficient of friction (COF) between the outermost face of the tube and/or the segments and an inner wall of a typical firing chamber, so that the following condition is fulfilled: COF > tan(a).

The segments can be made of a material selected from a group consisting of: metal, ceramic, rigid polymer, and any combination thereof.

According to a particular example, the segments can be made of steel. Forming the rigid segments from a rigid metallic material can contribute for achieving the aforementioned coefficient of friction with the inner wall of the firing chamber.

The movable member of the locking device can be connected to the proximal portion by a ball-and-socket joint.

Utilizing a ball-and-socket joint for connecting between the movable member and the proximal portion gives the latter the freedom to move relative to the movable member, preventing torque forces and other lateral forces from being transferred from the proximal portion to the movable member for possibly sabotaging the locking device. The ball-and- socket joint thus allows, when these unwanted forces are applied, to maintain the parallelism between the movable member and the longitudinal axis, and thereby maintain the position of the first and second channels and their respective rolling members therebetween.

The ball-socket joint can be constituted by a hall -like member connected to the movable member, and a socket member being part of the proximal portion. The socket member can comprise a socket shoulder formed with an opening therein and extending between the ball member and a rear face of the proximal portion.

The tightening mechanism of the locking device can further comprise a positioning mechanism extending within the cartridge-mimicking member between the rolling members and a barricade disposed in the distal portion and configured for biasing the rolling members toward the proximal portion at both the non-expanded state and at least the one expanded state. The positioning mechanism can thus facilitate in keeping the rolling members in place, and allow them to properly roll between the first and second channels in a controlled manner.

The positioning mechanism of the locking device can comprise a spring loaded positioning member having one or more rounded engaging surfaces for respectively engaging each of the rolling members. The movable member of the locking device can have a distal portion including the plurality of first channels and can be made of a rigid material (e.g., metal, ceramic, rigid polymer).

The rigidity of the first channels can effectively apply a sufficient counter-force on the rigid rolling members as they press outwardly radially against the rigid segments.

Moreover, according to an example in which the cartridge-mimicking member is designed symmetrically and the distal portion of the moveable member is made of rigid material, a rigid chain can be formed between two different (e.g., opposing) segments and their respective portions of the firing chamber's inner wall. This rigid chain can allow effectively transferring compression forces from the tightening mechanism to the firing chamber's wall. In particular, the rigid chain is generated between a first portion of the firing chamber's inner wall, a first segment engaging said first portion of the firing chamber's inner wall, a respective first rolling member, a distal portion of the rigid moveable member and its respective rigid first channels, a second rolling member, a respective second rigid segment and a respective second portion of the firing chamber's inner wall.

One or more of the segments of the locking device, at least at the non-expanded state of the tube, can be surrounded by respective portions of the tube, while the tube is surrounded by respective portions of the cartridge wall. This allows preventing introduction of unwanted elements and particles (e.g. dust, mud) into the interior of the cartridge-mimicking member.

The tube of the locking device can be made of a material such as an elastic polymer.

When the cartridge-mimicking member is disposed outside the firing chamber, the rolling members are spaced from their respective first or second channels (depending on gravity) so that a gap is formed therebetween. This gap, together with the resiliency of the tube allows the tube to be compressed upon insertion of the cartridge-mimicking member into the firing chamber, so as to be snugly received therein. This gap together with the flexibility of the tube provide freedom for applying the cartridge-mimicking member to calibers of firing chambers having a slight difference from each other, while still properly operating and locking therein. The locking mechanism can comprise: a first actuator in electric communication with the processor; an auxiliary wall disposed within the cartridge-mimicking member and connected to the tube; and a locking member movable between a first position corresponding to the unlocked state, in which the locking member is configured for restricting movement of the proximal portion at the extracting direction with respect to the auxiliary wall, and a second position corresponding to the locked state, in which the movement of the proximal portion at the extracting direction with respect to the auxiliary wall is unrestricted by the locking member.

The first actuator of the locking mechanism can be configured for displacing the locking member from the second position to the first position.

The auxiliary wall of the locking mechanism can comprise a first recess configured for receiving a locking end of the locking member at the locked state.

The cartridge wall of the locking device can comprise a second recess allowing passage of the locking member of the locking mechanism therethrough.

The locking mechanism of the locking device can comprise a second actuator in mechanical communication with the locking member for displacing the locking member from the first position to the second position.

The second actuator can be a manually operated button, configured to be pressed by a user of the locking device for displacing the locking member from the first position to the second position.

The locking device can further comprise a controlling unit including the processor and connected to the cartridge-mimicking member by a bridging member, the bridging member being connected to the cartridge wall between the tube and the extraction rim.

The bridging member together with the cartridge mimicking member can be replaced and reattached to different controlling units.

The locking member can extend along the bridging member and via the second recess.

The locking device can further comprise a biasing mechanism configured for normally causing the tightening mechanism to assume at least the one expanded state.

The biasing mechanism can be configured to be compressed by a pushing force applied by a slide of the firearm on the proximal portion, for causing the tightening mechanism to assume the non-expanded state. The biasing mechanism can be a compression spring disposed in the cartridge- mimicking member and having a first spring end engaged with the tube and a second spring end engaged with the cartridge wall.

The normal biasing operation of the biasing member is configured for preventing manual unauthorized extraction of the cartridge-mimicking member from the firing chamber by disconnecting the extractor from the extractor rim and withdrawal of the slider. Upon a trial of this manual unauthorized extraction of the cartridge-mimicking member, the tightening mechanism will automatically assume its first expanded state. In addition, the spring facilitates in the normal operation of the tightening mechanism by tending the tightening mechanism to assume its first expanded state. In the first expanded state the balls are snugly disposed between their respective first and second channels, and from this position, switching to the second expanded state is assured. The tube can be surrounded by respective portions of the cartridge wall.

In this configuration the tube absorbs shocks that are being transferred from one portion of the cartridge wall disposed on one side thereof, to another portion of the cartridge wall disposed on an opposite side beyond the tube.

The locking device can comprise an energy source (e.g., a battery) configured for supplying electric energy to the processor.

According to a second aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a locking device for a firearm having a firing chamber and an extractor, comprising:

a cartridge-mimicking member configured to be inserted into the firing chamber and having a cartridge wall with an outer surface, a distal portion, a proximal portion formed with an extraction rim, the extraction rim being configured to engage the extractor so as to allow pulling the cartridge-mimicking member at an extracting direction extending from the distal portion to the proximal portion and along a longitudinal axis extending between the proximal portion and the distal portion;

a tightening mechanism configured for radially expanding from a non-expanded state to at least one expanded state in which an outer face of the tightening mechanism protrudes with respect to an exterior surface of the outer surface to an extent greater than at the non-expanded state; a locking mechanism switchable between an unlocked state in which pulling the extraction rim in the extraction direction allows extraction of the cartridge-mimicking member from the firing chamber, and a locked state in which pulling the extraction rim at the extracting direction relative to said outer face entails expansion of the tightening mechanism to at least the one expanded state;

a processor in communication with the locking mechanism for switching the state of the locking mechanism at least from the locked state to the unlocked state; and

a biasing mechanism configured for normally causing the tightening mechanism to assume at least the one expanded state.

The biasing mechanism can be configured to be compressed by a pushing force applied by a slide of the firearm on the proximal portion, for causing the tightening mechanism to assume the non-expanded state.

The biasing mechanism can be a compression spring disposed in the cartridge- mimicking member and having a first spring end engaged with the tube and a second spring end engaged with the cartridge wall.

The normal biasing operation of the biasing mechanism is configured for preventing manual unauthorized extraction of the cartridge-mimicking member from the firing chamber by disconnecting the extractor from the extractor rim and withdrawal of the slider. Upon a trial of this manual unauthorized extraction of the cartridge-mimicking member, the tightening mechanism will automatically assume its first expanded state. In addition, the spring facilitates in the normal operation of the tightening mechanism by tending the tightening mechanism to assume its first expanded state. In the first expanded state the balls are snugly disposed between their respective first and second channels, and from this position, switching to the second expanded state is assured.

Any one or more of the following features, designs and configurations can be incorporated in the locking device of the second aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, independently or in combination thereof.

The biasing mechanism can be configured, at least when the extraction rim is engaged with the extractor, to be compressed by a pushing force applied by a slide of the firearm on the proximal portion, for causing the tightening mechanism to assume the non- expanded state. The biasing mechanism can be a compression spring disposed in the cartridge- mimicking member and having a first spring end engaged with the tube and a second spring end engaged with the cartridge wall.

The locking device can further comprise a securing mechanism configured for preventing and allowing switching the locking mechanism from the unlocked state to the locked state.

The securing mechanism can be configured for operating in conjunction with the biasing mechanism, so that upon normal biasing operation of the biasing mechanism, the securing mechanism prevents switching the locking mechanism from the unlocked state to the locked state, and upon compression of the biasing mechanism, the securing mechanism allows switching the locking mechanism from the unlocked state to the locked state.

The locking mechanism can comprise: a first actuator in electric communication with the processor; an auxiliary wall disposed within the cartridge-mimicking member and connected to the tube; and a locking member movable between a first position corresponding to the unlocked state, in which the locking member is configured for restricting movement of the proximal portion at the extracting direction with respect to the auxiliary wall, and a second position corresponding to the locked state, in which the movement of the proximal portion at the extracting direction with respect to the auxiliary wall is unrestricted by the locking member. The first actuator can be configured for displacing the locking member from the second position to the first position.

The auxiliary wall can comprise a first recess configured for receiving a locking end of the locking member at the locked state.

The cartridge wall can comprise a second recess allowing passage of the locking member therethrough.

The locking mechanism can comprise a second actuator in mechanical communication with the locking member for displacing the locking member from the first position to the second position.

The securing mechanism can comprise a groove formed in the locking member, configured, at the normally biasing operation of the biasing mechanism, for receiving a portion of the auxiliary wall that forms the first recess, thereby preventing movement of the locking member from the first position to the second position. The tightening mechanism can comprise a resilient tube integrated in the cartridge wall, and it also can be configured for outwardly expanding the tube from the non- expanded state to the at least one expanded state in which an outermost face of the tube protrudes with respect to the outer surface to an extent greater than at the non-expanded state. At the unlocked state, pulling the extraction rim in the extracting direction allows extraction of the cartridge-mimicking member from the firing chamber, and at the locked state, pulling the extraction rim at the extracting direction entails expansion of the tube by the tightening mechanism to at least the one expanded state.

The tightening mechanism can further comprise one or more rigid segments integrated in the tube, and each of the segments can have an outermost segment face constituting at least a portion of the outermost face.

The outermost segment faces of the segments can constitute the outermost face of the tube.

The outermost face can, at the non-expanded state of the tightening mechanism, protrude with respect to the outer surface. This protrusion of the outermost face is configured for providing initial frictional engagement of the outermost face with the inner wall of the firing chamber when the cartridge-mimicking member is snugly received therein, so that at the locked state of the locking mechanism and upon pulling the extraction rim at the extracting direction, the outermost face remains substantially in place with respect to the auxiliary wall while the tightening mechanism is outwardly gradually expanded to the expanded state.

The tightening mechanism can further comprise: a movable member connected to the proximal portion and configured for displacing along the longitudinal axis together with the proximal portion and comprising one or more first channels, wherein each of the segments further has an inner segment face with a second channel facing its respective first channel and one or more rigid rolling members, each disposed between respectively the first channel and the second channel, wherein pulling the extraction rim at the extracting direction entails rolling of each of the rolling members on its first channel toward the distal portion and on its second channel toward the proximal portion while outwardly radially pressing and displacing the segments, thereby switching the tightening mechanism from the non-expanded state to at least the one expanded state. The segments can be characterized by an elastic modulus greater than an elastic modulus of the tube.

Each of the second channels can have , at least at the non-expanded state of the tube, a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion and forming a second acute angle with the longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side of the respective rolling member of the second channel.

Each of the second channels can have, at least at the non-expanded state of the tube, a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion, so that the second channel axes converge with the longitudinal axis in the direction of the proximal portion.

Each of the first channels can extend, at least at the non-expanded state of the tube, toward the proximal portion along a first channel axis forming a first acute angle with the longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side excluding the rolling members.

The movable member can be connected to the proximal portion by a ball-and- socket joint.

The tightening mechanism can further comprise a positioning mechanism extending within the cartridge-mimicking member between the rolling members and a barricade disposed in the distal portion and configured for biasing the rolling members toward the proximal portion at both the non-expanded state and at least the one expanded state.

The positioning mechanism can comprise a spring loaded positioning member having one or more rounded engaging surfaces for respectively engaging each of the rolling members.

The movable member can have a distal portion including the plurality of first channels and can be made of a rigid material.

One or more of the segments can be surrounded by respective portions of the tube at least at the non-expanded state.

The segments can be made of a material selected from a group consisting of: metal, ceramic, rigid polymer, and any combination thereof. According to a particular example, the segments can be made of steel. Forming the rigid segments from a rigid metallic material can contribute for achieving the aforementioned coefficient of friction with the inner wall of the firing chamber.

The tube can be made of a material comprising an elastic polymer. The locking device can further comprise a controlling unit including the processor and connected to the cartridge-mimicking member by a bridging member, the bridging member being connected to the cartridge wall between the tube and the extraction rim.

According to a third aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a locking device for a firearm having a firing chamber, comprising:

a cartridge-mimicking member configured to be inserted into the firing chamber and having a cartridge wall with an outer surface, a distal portion, a proximal portion, and a longitudinal axis extending between the proximal portion and the distal portion;

a tightening mechanism comprising: at least one resilient member integrated in the cartridge wall; and one or more rigid segments integrated in the resilient member, each of the segments having an outermost segment face, the tightening mechanism being configured for outwardly expanding the resilient member from a non-expanded state to at least one expanded state in which the outermost segment faces protrude with respect to the outer surface to an extent greater than at the non-expanded state.

On one hand, due to the resiliency of the resilient member, the locking device can be reused many times, without being permanently deformed. On the other hand, the rigid segments constitute mediators between one or more rigid internal members (e.g., rolling members mentioned below) which apply a pushing force on the rigid segments from an interior of the tightening mechanism during expansion of the tube, resulting in outward displacement of the rigid segments, and the inner wall of the firing chamber towards which the rigid segments are configured to displace. The rigidity of the rigid segments is thus important for effectively transferring the pushing forces from the internal members to the inner wall of the firing chamber and withstanding these forces, without being bent or penetrated. Integrating one or more rigid segments within the resilient member, allows maintaining the above mentioned effects provided by the resiliency and the shape of the resilient member and in addition improving the tightening of the locking device within the firing chamber.

The resilient member can be any elastic object that stores mechanical energy. According to one example, the resilient member can be a resilient tube in which the rigid segments are integrated. According to another example, the resilient members can be springs or spring-like members, each mounting their respective rigid member to the cartridge wall. The resilient member can be made of a material comprising an elastic polymer, or any other elastic material.

Any one or more of the following features, designs and configurations can be incorporated in the locking device of the third aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, independently or in combination thereof.

Each of the outermost segment faces, at the non-expanded state, can protrude with respect to the outer surface.

The segments are characterized by an elastic modulus greater than an elastic modulus of the resilient member.

One or more of the segments, at least at the non-expanded state, can be surrounded by respective portions of the resilient member, and the resilient member, at least at the non-expanded state, can be surrounded by respective portions of the cartridge wall. In the example in which the resilient member is a tube, the tube can thus isolate the interior of the cartridge-mimicking member from its exterior, thereby preventing introduction of unwanted elements and particles (e.g., dust, mud) into the interior of the cartridge- mimicking member, at least at the non-expanded state and the unlocked state of the locking mechanism.

The segments can be made of a material selected from a group consisting of: metal, ceramic, rigid polymer, and any combination thereof. According to a particular example, the segments can be made of steel.

The rigid segments can be equally spaced from each other along the circumference of the tube. The rigid segments can thus facilitate in evenly and circumferentially distributing expansion forces for tightening the cartridge-mimicking member to the inner wall of the firing chamber.

The proximal portion can comprise an extraction rim being configured to engage an extractor of the firearm so as to allow pulling the cartridge-mimicking member at an extracting direction extending from the distal portion to the proximal portion and along the longitudinal axis. The locking device can comprise: a locking mechanism switchable between an unlocked state in which pulling the extraction rim in the extracting direction allows extraction of the cartridge-mimicking member from the firing chamber, and a locked state in which pulling the extraction rim at the extracting direction relative to said rigid segments entails expansion of the resilient member by the tightening mechanism to at least the one expanded state, and a processor in communication with the locking mechanism for switching the state of the locking mechanism at least from the locked state and the unlocked state.

The tightening mechanism can further comprise: a movable member connected to the proximal portion and configured for displacing along the longitudinal axis together with the proximal portion and comprising one or more first channels, each of the segments further has an inner segment face with a second channel facing its respective first channel, and one or more rigid rolling members, each disposed between its respective first channel and second channel, wherein pulling the extraction rim at the extracting direction entails rolling of each of the rolling members on its first channel toward the distal portion and on its second channel toward the proximal portion while outwardly radially pressing and displacing the segments, thereby switching the tightening mechanism from the non- expanded state to at least the one expanded state.

According to this configuration, the linear motion of the movable member is converted to rolling motion of the rolling member, which in turn is converted to outward radial displacement of the rigid segments. The rolling members are thus used as mediators for converting linear movement of the movable member along the longitudinal axis, to radial movement of the segments.

Each of the second channels, at least at the non-expanded state of the tube, can have a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion and forming a second acute angle with the longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side of the respective rolling member of the second channel.

Each of the second channels, at least at the non-expanded state of the tube, can have a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion, so that the second channel axes converge with the longitudinal axis in the direction of the proximal portion.

Each of the first channels, at least at the non-expanded state of the tube, can extend toward the proximal portion along a first channel axis forming a first acute angle with the longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side excluding the rolling members.

The first channel axis and its respective second channel axis can be substantially parallel to each other. Having substantially parallel first and second channel axes can maximize the extent of pressure directly applied on each rigid segment by its respective rolling member with every roll of the rolling member on its respective second channel toward the extraction direction. The values of the first and second acute angles are thus optimized to maximize the development of outwardly pressing forces applied by the rolling members on the rigid segments while minimizing the rolling distance of each rolling member on its respective second channel. For example, the value of the second acute angle (a) can be derived from a free body diagram calculation taking into consideration a coefficient of friction (COF) between the outermost face of the tube and/or the segments and an inner wall of a typical firing chamber, so that the following condition is fulfilled: COF > tan(a).

When the cartridge-mimicking member is disposed outside the firing chamber, the rolling members are spaced from their respective first or second channels (depending on gravity) so that a gap is formed therebetween. This gap, together with the resiliency of the resilient member allows the resilient member to be compressed upon insertion of the cartridge-mimicking member into the firing chamber, so as to be snugly received therein. This gap together with the flexibility of the tube provide freedom for applying the cartridge-mimicking member to calibers of firing chambers having a slight difference from each other, while still properly operating and locking therein.

The movable member can be connected to the proximal portion by a ball-and- socket joint.

The tightening mechanism can further comprise a positioning mechanism extending within the cartridge-mimicking member between the rolling members and a barricade disposed in the distal portion and configured for biasing the rolling members toward the proximal portion at both the non-expanded state and at least the one expanded state.

The positioning mechanism can comprise a spring loaded positioning member having one or more rounded engaging surfaces for respectively engaging each of the rolling members.

The movable member can have a distal portion including one or more first channels and be made of a rigid material. The rigidity of the first channels can effectively apply a sufficient counter-force on the rigid rolling members as they press outwardly radially against the rigid segments. Moreover, according to an example in which the cartridge-mimicking member is designed symmetrically and the distal portion of the moveable member is made of rigid material, a rigid chain can be formed between two different (e.g., opposing) segments and their respective portions of the firing chamber's inner wall. This rigid chain can allow effectively transferring compression forces from the tightening mechanism to the firing chamber's inner wall. In particular, the rigid chain is generated between a first portion of the firing chamber's inner wall, a first segment engaging said first portion of the firing chamber's inner wall, a respective first rolling member, a distal portion of the rigid moveable member, a second rolling member, a respective second rigid segment and a respective second portion of the firing chamber's inner wall.

The locking mechanism can comprise: a first actuator in electric communication with the processor, an auxiliary wall disposed within the cartridge-mimicking member and connected to the resilient member, and a locking member movable between a first position corresponding to the unlocked state, in which the locking member is configured for restricting movement of the proximal portion at the extracting direction with respect to the auxiliary wall, and a second position corresponding to the locked state, in which the movement of the proximal portion at the extracting direction with respect to the auxiliary wall is unrestricted by a locking member.

The first actuator can be configured for displacing the locking member from the second position to the first position.

The auxiliary wall can comprise a first recess configured for receiving a locking end of the locking member at the locked state.

The cartridge wall can comprise a second recess allowing passage of the locking member therethrough.

The locking mechanism can comprise a second actuator in mechanical communication with the locking member for displacing the locking member from the first position to the second position.

The locking device can further comprise a controlling unit including the processor and connected to the cartridge-mimicking member by a bridging member, the bridging member being connected to the cartridge wall between the resilient member and the extraction rim.

The locking device can further comprise a biasing mechanism configured for normally causing the tightening mechanism to assume at least the one expanded state. The biasing mechanism can be configured, at least when the extraction rim is engaged with the extractor, to be compressed by a pushing force applied by a slide of the firearm on the proximal portion, for causing the tightening mechanism to assume the non- expanded state.

The biasing mechanism can be a compression spring disposed in the cartridge- mimicking member and having a first spring end connected to the resilient member and a second spring end connected to the cartridge wall.

The locking device can further comprise a securing mechanism configured for preventing and allowing switching the locking mechanism from the unlocked state to the locked state.

The securing mechanism can comprise a groove formed in the locking member, configured, at the normally biasing operation of the biasing mechanism, for receiving a portion of the auxiliary wall that forms the first recess, thereby preventing movement of the locking member from the first position to the second position.

The securing mechanism can be configured for operating in conjunction with the biasing mechanism, so that upon normal biasing operation of the biasing mechanism, the securing mechanism prevents switching the locking mechanism from the unlocked state to the locked state, and upon compression of the biasing mechanism, the securing mechanism allows switching the locking mechanism from the unlocked state to the locked state.

The resiliency of the resilient member together with its closed-form, provides the following:

Due to its resiliency, the cartridge mimicking member can be fitted and received in variety of calibers of firing chambers having a slight difference from each other, while still properly operating and locking the cartridge-mimicking member therein;

Due to its resiliency, the locking device can be reused many times, without being permanently deformed;

Due to its closed-form, the resilient member can isolate the interior of the cartridge-mimicking member from its exterior, thereby preventing introduction of unwanted elements and particles (e.g., dust, mud) into the interior of the cartridge- mimicking member, at least at the non-expanded state and the unlocked state of the locking mechanism; Due to its resiliency, the cartridge mimicking member can be fitted and received in a variety of calibers of firing chambers having a slight difference from each other, while still properly operating and locking the cartridge-mimicking member therein;

Due to its radially symmetrical shape and its resiliency, the resilient member can facilitate in evenly and circumferentially distributing expansion forces for tightening the resilient member to the firing chamber;

The resilient member can absorb shock waves that can be generated during an attempt to breach the locking device.

According to a fourth aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a locking device for a firearm having a firing chamber, comprising:

a cartridge-mimicking member configured to be inserted into the firing chamber and having a cartridge wall with an outer surface, a distal portion, a proximal portion and a longitudinal axis extending between the proximal portion and the distal portion;

a tightening mechanism comprising: a movable member connected to the proximal portion and configured for displacing along the longitudinal axis together with the proximal portion and comprising one or more first channels; one or more rigid segments integrated in the cartridge wall, each comprising an inner segment face with a second channel facing its respective first channel, and an opposite outermost segment face; and one or more rigid rolling members, each disposed between its respective first and second channels; wherein displacement of the movable member toward the proximal portion is configured for entailing rolling of each of the rolling members on its first channel toward the distal portion and on its second channel toward the proximal portion while outwardly radially pressing, causing radial outward displacement of the segments with respect to the cartridge wall from a non-expanded state of the tightening mechanism to at least one expanded state of the tightening mechanism in which the outermost segment faces, constituting an outermost face of the tightening mechanism, protrude with respect to the outer surface to an extent greater than at the non-expanded state.

According to this configuration, the linear motion of the movable member is converted to rolling motion of the rolling member, which in turn is converted to outward radial displacement of the rigid segments. The rolling members are thus used as mediators for converting linear movement of the movable member along the longitudinal axis, to radial movement of the segments. The rigid segments constitute mediators between one or more rigid internal members (e.g., rolling members mentioned below) which apply a pushing force on the rigid segments from an interior of the tightening mechanism during expansion of the tube, resulting in outward displacement of the rigid members. The rigidity of the rigid segments is thus important for effectively transferring the pushing forces from the internal members to the inner wall of the firing chamber and withstanding these forces, without being bent or penetrated. Integrating one or more rigid segments within the resilient member, allows maintaining the above mentioned effects provided by the resiliency and the shape of the resilient member and in addition improving the tightening of the locking device within the firing chamber.

The rigid segments can be equally spaced from each other along the circumference of the cartridge-mimicking member. The rigid segments can thus facilitate in evenly and circumferentially distributing expansion forces for tightening the cartridge-mimicking member to the inner wall of the firing chamber.

Any one or more of the following features, designs and configurations can be incorporated in the locking device of the fourth aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, independently or in combination thereof. Each of the second channels, at least at the non-expanded state of the tube, can have a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion and forming a second acute angle with the longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side of the respective rolling member of the second channel.

Each of the second channels, at least at the non-expanded state of the tube, can have a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion, so that the second channel axes converge with the longitudinal axis in the direction of the proximal portion.

Each of the first channels, at least at the non-expanded state, can extend toward the proximal portion along a first channel axis forming a first acute angle with the longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side excluding the rolling members.

The first acute angle can be between about 2° to about 6°, and according to a particular example, the first acute angle is about 4°. The second acute angle can be between about 2° to about 6°, and according to a particular example, the second acute angle is about 4°.

The first channel axis and its respective second channel axis can be substantially parallel to each other. Having substantially parallel first and second channel axes can maximize the extent of pressure directly applied on each rigid segment by its respective rolling member with every roll of the rolling member on its respective second channel toward the extraction direction. The values of the first and second acute angles are thus optimized to maximize the development of outwardly pressing forces applied by the rolling members on the rigid segments while minimizing the rolling distance of each rolling member on its respective second channel. For example, the value of the second acute angle (a) can be derived from a free body diagram calculation taking into consideration a coefficient of friction (COF) between the outermost face of the tube and/or the segments and an inner wall of a typical firing chamber, so that the following condition is fulfilled: COF > tan(a).

When the cartridge-mimicking member is disposed outside the firing chamber, the rolling members are spaced from their respective first or second channels (depending on gravity) so that a gap is formed therebetween. This gap, together with the resiliency of the tube allows the tube to be compressed upon insertion of the cartridge-mimicking member into the firing chamber, so as to be snugly received therein. This gap together with the flexibility of the tube provides freedom for applying the cartridge-mimicking member to calibers of firing chambers having a slight difference from each other, while still properly operating and locking therein.

The outermost face can, at the non-expanded state of the tightening mechanism, protrude with respect to the outer surface. This protrusion of the outermost face is configured for providing initial frictional engagement of the outermost face with the inner wall of the firing chamber when the cartridge-mimicking member is snugly received therein, so that at the locked state of the locking mechanism and upon pulling the extraction rim at the extracting direction, the outermost face remains substantially in place with respect to the inner wall while the tightening mechanism is outwardly gradually expanded to the expanded state.

The segments can be made of a material selected from a group consisting of: metal, ceramic, rigid polymer, and any combination thereof. According to a particular example, the segments can be made of steel. Forming the rigid segments from a rigid material can contribute for achieving the aforementioned coefficient of friction with the inner wall of the firing chamber. The movable member can have a distal portion including the plurality of first channels and can be made of a rigid material. The rigidity of the first channels can effectively apply a sufficient counter-force on the rigid rolling members as they press outwardly radially against the rigid segments. Moreover, according to an example in which the cartridge-mimicking member is designed symmetrically and the distal portion of the moveable member is made of rigid material, a rigid chain can be formed between two different (e.g., opposing) segments and their respective portions of the firing chamber's inner wall. This rigid chain can allow effectively transferring compression forces from the tightening mechanism to the firing chamber's inner wall. In particular, the rigid chain is generated between a first portion of the firing chamber's inner wall, a first segment engaging said first portion of the firing chamber's inner wall, a respective first rolling member, a distal portion of the rigid moveable member, a second rolling member, a respective second rigid segment and a respective second portion of the firing chamber's inner wall.

The tightening mechanism can further comprise at least one resilient member integrated in the cartridge wall, and the segments being integrated in the resilient member. The resilient member can have the non-expanded state and at least the one expanded state, so that the displacement of the movable member toward the proximal portion is further configured for outwardly expanding the resilient member from the non-expanded state to at least the one expanded state.

The resilient member can be any elastic object that stores mechanical energy. According to one example, the resilient member can be a resilient tube in which the rigid segments are integrated. According to another example, the resilient members can be springs or spring-like members, each mounting their respective rigid member to the cartridge wall. The resilient member can be made of a material comprising an elastic polymer.

The segments can be characterized by an elastic modulus greater than an elastic modulus of the resilient member.

One or more of the segments, at least at the non-expanded state, can be surrounded by respective portions of the resilient member.

The tube can be made of a material comprising an elastic polymer. One or more of the segments, at least at the non-expanded state, can be surrounded by respective portions of the resilient member, and the resilient member, at least at the non-expanded state, can be surrounded by respective portions of the cartridge wall. In the example in which the resilient member is a tube, the tube can thus isolate the interior of the cartridge-mimicking member from its exterior, thereby preventing introduction of unwanted elements and particles (e.g., dust, mud) into the interior of the cartridge- mimicking member, as least at the non-expanded state and the unlocked state of the locking mechanism.

The movable member can be connected to the proximal portion by a ball-and- socket joint.

The locking device of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the tightening mechanism can further comprise a positioning mechanism extending within the cartridge- mimicking member between the rolling members and a barricade disposed in the distal portion and configured for biasing the rolling members toward the proximal portion at both the non-expanded state and at least the one expanded state.

The positioning mechanism can comprise a spring loaded positioning member having one or more rounded engaging surfaces for respectively engaging each of the rolling members.

The proximal portion can be formed with an extraction rim configured for engaging an extractor of the firearm, so as to allow pulling the cartridge-mimicking member at an extracting direction extending from the distal portion to the proximal portion and along the longitudinal axis and the locking device can further comprise: a locking mechanism switchable between an unlocked state in which pulling the extraction rim in the extracting direction allows extraction of the cartridge-mimicking member from the firing chamber, and a locked state in which pulling the extraction rim at the extracting direction relative to the rigid segments entails expansion of the tightening mechanism to at least the one expanded state, , and a processor in communication with the locking mechanism for switching the state of the locking mechanism at least from the locked state and the unlocked state.

The locking mechanism can comprise: a first actuator in electric communication with the processor, an auxiliary wall disposed within the cartridge-mimicking member and connected to the distal portion, and a locking member movable between a first position corresponding to the unlocked state, in which the locking member is configured for restricting movement of the proximal portion at the extracting direction with respect to the auxiliary wall, and a second position corresponding to the locked state, in which the movement of the proximal portion at the extracting direction with respect to the auxiliary wall is unrestricted by the locking member, and the first actuator can be configured for displacing the locking member from the second position to the first position.

The auxiliary wall can comprise a first recess configured for receiving a locking end of the locking member at the locked state.

The cartridge wall can comprise a second recess allowing passage of the locking member therethrough.

The locking mechanism can comprise a second actuator in mechanical communication with the locking member for displacing the locking member from the first position to the second position.

The locking device can further comprise a controlling unit including the processor and connected to the cartridge-mimicking member by a bridging member, the bridging member being connected to the cartridge wall between the tube and the extraction rim.

The locking device can further comprise a biasing mechanism configured for normally causing the tightening mechanism to assume at least the one expanded state.

The biasing mechanism can be configured, at least when the extraction rim is engaged with the extractor, to be compressed by a pushing force applied by a slide of the firearm on the proximal portion, for causing the tightening mechanism to assume the non- expanded state.

The biasing mechanism can be a compression spring disposed in the cartridge- mimicking member and having a first spring end engaged with the tube and a second spring end engaged with the cartridge wall.

The locking device can further comprise a securing mechanism configured for preventing and allowing switching the locking mechanism from the unlocked state to the locked state.

The securing mechanism can comprise a groove formed in the locking member, configured, at the normally biasing operation of the biasing mechanism, for receiving a portion of the auxiliary wall that forms the first recess, thereby preventing movement of the locking member from the first position to the second position.

The securing mechanism can be configured for operating in conjunction with the biasing mechanism, so that upon normal biasing operation of the biasing mechanism, the securing mechanism prevents switching the locking mechanism from the unlocked state to the locked state, and upon compression of the biasing mechanism, the securing mechanism allows switching the locking mechanism from the unlocked state to the locked state.

According to a fifth aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a locking device for a firearm having a firing chamber, comprising:

a cartridge-mimicking member configured to be inserted into the firing chamber and having a cartridge wall with an outer surface, a distal portion, a proximal portion and a longitudinal axis extending between the proximal portion and the distal portion; and a tightening mechanism comprising a movable member disposed within the cartridge-mimicking member and connected to the proximal portion by a ball-and-socket joint, the tightening mechanism configured, upon displacement of the movable member along the longitudinal axis, for radially expanding from a non-expanded state to at least one expanded state in which an outer face of the tightening mechanism protrudes with respect to an exterior surface of the outer surface to an extent greater than at the non- expanded state.

Utilizing a ball-and-socket joint for connecting between the movable member and the proximal portion gives the latter the freedom to move relative to the movable member, preventing torque forces and other lateral forces from being transferred from the proximal portion to the movable member for possibly sabotaging the locking device. The ball-and- socket joint thus allows, when these unwanted forces are applied, to maintain the parallelism between the movable member and the longitudinal axis, and thereby maintain the position between first and second channels and the rolling members therebetween.

The ball-socket joint can be constituted by a hall -like member connected to the movable member, and a socket member being part of the proximal portion. The socket member can comprise a socket shoulder formed with an opening therein and extending between the ball member and a rear face of the proximal portion. Any one or more of the following features, designs and configurations can be incorporated in the locking device of the fifth aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, independently or in combination thereof:

The proximal portion can be formed with an extraction rim configured to engage the extractor so as to allow pulling the cartridge-mimicking member at an extracting direction extending from the distal portion to the proximal portion and along the longitudinal axis, and the locking device can further comprise: a locking mechanism switchable between an unlocked state in which pulling the extraction rim in the extraction direction allows extraction of the cartridge-mimicking member from the firing chamber, and a locked state in which pulling the extraction rim at the extracting direction relative to said outer face entails expansion of the tightening mechanism to at least the one expanded state, a processor in communication with the locking mechanism for switching the state of the locking mechanism at least from the locked state to the unlocked state.

The locking device can further comprise a biasing mechanism configured for normally causing the tightening mechanism to assume at least the one expanded state.

The biasing mechanism can be configured, at least when the extraction rim is engaged with the extractor, to be compressed by a pushing force applied by a slide of the firearm on the proximal portion, for causing the tightening mechanism to assume the non- expanded state.

The locking device can further comprise a securing mechanism configured for preventing and allowing switching the locking mechanism from the unlocked state to the locked state.

The securing mechanism can be configured for operating in conjunction with the biasing mechanism, so that upon normal biasing operation of the biasing mechanism, the securing mechanism prevents switching the locking mechanism from the unlocked state to the locked state, and upon compression of the biasing mechanism, the securing mechanism allows switching the locking mechanism from the unlocked state to the locked state.

The locking mechanism can comprise: a first actuator in electric communication with the processor, an auxiliary wall disposed within the cartridge-mimicking member and connected to the tube, and a locking member movable between a first position corresponding to the unlocked state, in which the locking member is configured for restricting movement of the proximal portion at the extracting direction with respect to the auxiliary wall, and a second position corresponding to the locked state, in which the movement of the proximal portion at the extracting direction with respect to the auxiliary wall is unrestricted by the locking member, and the first actuator can be configured for displacing the locking member from the second position to the first position.

The auxiliary wall can comprise a first recess configured for receiving a locking end of the locking member at the locked state.

The cartridge wall can comprise a second recess allowing passage of the locking member therethrough.

The locking mechanism can comprise a second actuator in mechanical communication with the locking member for displacing the locking member from the first position to the second position.

The securing mechanism can comprise a groove formed in the locking member, configured, at the normally biasing operation of the biasing mechanism, for receiving a portion of the auxiliary wall that forms the first recess, thereby preventing movement of the locking member from the first position to the second position.

The tightening mechanism can comprise a resilient tube integrated in the cartridge wall, and can be configured for outwardly expanding the tube from the non-expanded state to the at least one expanded state in which an outermost face of the tube protrudes with respect to the outer surface to an extent greater than at the non-expanded state. At the unlocked state, pulling the extraction rim in the extracting direction allows extraction of the cartridge-mimicking member from the firing chamber, and at the locked state, pulling the extraction rim at the extracting direction entails expansion of the tube by the tightening mechanism to at least the one expanded state.

The tightening mechanism can further comprise one or more rigid segments integrated in the tube, and each of the segments can have an outermost segment face constituting at least a portion of the outermost face.

The outermost face, at the non-expanded state of the tube, can protrude with respect to the outer surface.

The outermost face can protrude with respect to the outer surface at the non- expanded state. The movable member can comprise one or more first channels, and each of the segments further has an inner segment face with a second channel facing its respective first channel, and wherein the tightening mechanism further comprises one or more rigid rolling members, each disposed between its respective first channel and second channel, wherein pulling the extraction rim at the extracting direction entails rolling of each of the rolling members on its first channel toward the distal portion and on its second channel toward the proximal portion while outwardly radially pressing and displacing the segments, thereby switching the tightening mechanism from the non-expanded state to at least the one expanded state.

The segments can be characterized by an elastic modulus greater than an elastic modulus of the tube.

In the non-expanded state, each of the second channels can have a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion and forming a second acute angle with the longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side of the respective rolling member of the second channel.

Each of the second channels, at least at the non-expanded state, can have a second channel axis extending toward the proximal portion and, so that the second channel axes converge with the longitudinal axis in the direction of the proximal portion.

Each of the first channels, at least at the non-expanded state, can extend toward the proximal portion along a first channel axis forming a first acute angle with the longitudinal axis, when viewed from a side excluding the rolling members.

The tightening mechanism can further comprise a positioning mechanism extending within the cartridge-mimicking member between the rolling members and a barricade disposed in the distal portion and configured for biasing the rolling members toward the proximal portion at both the non-expanded state and at least the one expanded state.

The positioning mechanism can comprise a spring loaded positioning member having one or more rounded engaging surfaces for respectively engaging each of the rolling members.

The movable member can have a distal portion including the plurality of first channels and made of a rigid material. One or more of the segments can be surrounded by respective portions of the tube at least at the non-expanded state.

The segments can be made of a material selected from a group consisting of: metal, ceramic, rigid polymer, and any combination thereof.

The tube can be made of a material comprising an elastic polymer.

The term locking member is used herein to include locking members of padlocks, bolts of door locks and any other mechanical locking element that physically engages a housing or similar.

According to a sixth aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a lock mechanism for engaging a locking member within a housing such that said locking member is lockably engagable within said housing, the mechanism comprising a processor, a power supply, a memory, a transducer and an actuator, the transducer having a stator and rotator, such that the rotator is fixedly coupled by a stem to a dial for rotating the rotator with respect to the stator; the transducer comprising a flange having conductive and insulating areas on an inner face, and an array of pins coaxially aligned with the flange such that rotation of the dial causes relative motion between the flange and the array of contact pins about the axis, thereby selectively contacting the contacting pins with the insulating and conductive areas on the inner face, for data entry; the said face of the flange comprising a first ring that is conductive, at least one partially conductive second ring having conductive areas that are connected to the first circle and insulating areas that are non-conductive, and a third ring with contact positions at regular intervals having radial symmetry with each other, that are separated by insulating positions; the flange is kept in compressive contact with the array of contact pins which include a ground contact pin, an array of contact pins arranged asymmetrically around at least one second circle for providing 2 n alternatives for a digit in a combination of digits, and a third circle with a first contact pin that alternatively connects to conducting and insulating areas of the third ring of the flange as it is rotated, and a clicking mechanism that ensures that a dial that is not physically restrained from turning will slip into a position where the first contact-pin in the third circle contacts an insulating area, providing no signal to the processor and drawing no power from the power supply; such that said processor is configured for receiving signals from said transducer as it is rotated, analyzing said signals and sending an instruction to the actuator to engage or disengage the locking member when an appropriate signal comprising a combination of forward and backward rotations, each corresponding to chains of discrete clicks of the dial corresponds to a stored combination in the memory.

The locking member can be a pin of a locking mechanism according to any one of the first, second, third, fourth and fifth aspects, and the housing can be any part of the locking mechanism of any of these aspects, configured for engaging the locking member.

Typically the power supply is a dry battery cell.

Optionally, the click mechanism comprises a radially symmetrical ring of ball bearings providing a pivot, the ring of ball bearings being pressed by a Hookian element such as one or more helical springs against the distal surface of the flange having an array of concave sockets, each having a radius of curvature at least equal to that of the ball bearings, such that the radially symmetrical ring of ball bearings entering and leaving sockets of the array provides a user with a tactile clicking sensation as the dial is rotated, and, on release of the dial by a user, the Hookian element urges the ring of ball bearings to rotate into the array of sockets, thereby rotating the flange to assume a position where the first contact-pin contacts the insulating area.

In some embodiments, n is 3 providing 2 3 which is 8 separate signals that are encoded in binary as DOOO 001 010 011 100 101 110 111□ and the pin positions and the combination of digits for actuating the actuator is in a base between 4 and 8 depending on the number of dial positions in a revolution and an associated level of redundancy.

Optionally, the lock mechanism further comprises a second, shorter pin opposite the third ring, that is at an angle to the first contact-pin in the third ring such that it is opposite a conducting region of the third ring when the rotatable transducer is in a released rest position, but does not contact the third ring, by virtue of it being shortened; such that pushing on the dial causes the flange to contact the said second shorter pin and to send a signal to the processor.

Preferably, the lock mechanism further comprises at least one lamp coupled to the processor, the second shorter pin and the power supply such that pressure for a first time interval on the dial causes the at least one light lamp to emit a signal indicative of level of power available from the power supply.

In some embodiments, in addition to a preprogrammed unlocking combination, a user may program at least one or more additional combination. In some embodiments, the lock mechanism further comprises a reset function comprising pressing the rotatable switch inwards.

Optionally, pressure on the dial for a second time interval causes the second shorter pin facing the third ring to contact the flange and to send a signal to the processor that a new combination is to be inserted; said new combination being insertable by rotation of the dial back and forth a number of times and by numbers of clicks determined by the user, followed by a further pressing on the dial to enter the new combination into the memory.

In some embodiments, the lock mechanism is configured to require the new combination to be immediately reentered to provide a confirmation and the confirmation is indicated by a lamp being illuminated.

Optionally, the lock mechanism further comprises at least one alternative signal input means for inputting an alternative signal, the alternative signal means being coupled to the processor selected from the group comprising a signal receiver for receiving remote signals for unlocking the lock by transmission of the sequence, a biometric identifier of a user from an appropriate reader and a token.

Optionally, the alternative signal input means comprises a signal receiver for receiving remote signals that are transmittable from a mobile phone.

Optionally, the at least one alternative signal input means comprises a token that communicates via Bluetooth transceiver or RFID reader.

Optionally, the at least one alternative signal input means comprises a token that further comprises a keypad.

In some embodiments, whilst signals are being received at the processor from both the transducer and from at least one alternative signal means the signals from the transducer takes precedent.

Typically, the actuator is selected from the group comprising dc linear motors, stepper motors and electromagnets.

In some embodiments, the sequence of digits entered by rotation of the rotatable dial is compared with a sequence in a look up table.

A second aspect of the invention is directed to a method of entering a combination to a lock mechanism for engaging a locking member within a housing such that said locking member is lockably engageable within said housing; the mechanism comprising a processor, a power supply, a memory, a transducer and an actuator, the transducer comprising a rotator and a stator having a common axis; the rotator being coupled to a dial by a fixed axle stem, one of said rotator and stator comprising an array of pins arranged in three rings, and the other of said rotator and stator comprising a flange having a face opposite said array of pins that is divided into conductive areas and insulating areas, the face of the flange being in physical contact with contact pins of the array of pins for data entry; said face comprising a first ring that is conductive, at least one second ring comprising conductive areas that are connected to the first ring and insulating areas that are non-conductive, and a third ring with contact positions at regular intervals having radial symmetry separated by insulating positions; the said face being in compressive contact with the array of contact-pins; the array of contact pins comprising a ground pin, an array of n contact-pins in said at least one circle for providing 2 n alternatives for a digit in a combination of digits, and a first contact pin facing the third ring that alternatively connects to conducting and insulating areas of the third ring of the flange as it is rotated, and a clicking mechanism that ensures that a dial not physically restrained from turning will slip into a position where said first contact-pin contacts an insulating area, providing no signal to the processor and drawing no power from the power supply; such that said processor is configured to send a signal to the actuator for engaging or disengaging the locking member when a signal comprising a sequence of forward and backward clicks of the dial corresponds to a sequence in the memory;

the sequence being enterable via the dial of the electronic lock mechanism by firstly rotating the dial in a first direction by a first number of clicks to enter a first digit; then rotating the dial in a counter direction for a second number of clicks to enter a second digit; and by reversing directions and turning for a preset number of clicks to enter each subsequent digit of the sequence until the entire combination is inserted, such that rotating the dial by less than a first click of the first digit in the sequence causes a signal from the first contact pin facing the third ring to activate the processor.

Typically, reading the signals from the second ring upon initiating the movement of the dial and conducting an additional reading of the second ring signals upon reaching the following dial station, allows the processor to determine the direction of the move of each and every single click of the dial turn. Preferably, a first digit inputted from the rotating transducer by the user rotating the dial is received by the processor and is compared with a first digit of the correct combination code stored in the memory; such that if there is no match, the data input has to be started from the beginning, and if there is a match, a next digit of the data is inputted by rotating the dial a number of clicks in an opposite direction, the number inputted being compared by the processor with a next digit of the correct combination code stored in the memory, such that if there is no match, the data input has to be started from the beginning, and if there is a match, the user has to input the second next digit of the sequence, and if the inputted digit is matched with the final digit of the combination, a signal is sent by the processor to the actuator to engage or disengage the locking member.

Typically, the initial direction of rotation of the dial is irrelevant.

Preferably, as long as the final digit of the input combination equals or exceeds the final digit of the combination in the memory, the actuator is enabled.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order to better understand the subject matter that is disclosed herein and to exemplify how it may be carried out in practice, embodiments will now be described, by way of non-limiting example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. 1A is a front perspective view of an example of a known in the art firearm to be used in conjunction with a locking device of the presently disclosed subject matter;

Fig. IB is a rear perspective view of the firearm of Fig. 1A;

Fig. 1C is a cross-sectional view along line A-A in Fig. IB;

Fig. ID is an enlarged view of section A1 of Fig. 1C;

Fig. 2A is a front perspective view of a locking device, in accordance with one example of the presently disclosed subject matter, being disposed outside the firearm of Fig. 1A, with its locking mechanism at an unlocked state and with its tightening mechanism at a first expended state;

Fig. 2B is an exploded view of the locking device of Fig. 2A;

Fig. 2C is a cross-sectional view along line B-B in Fig. 2B;

Fig. 2D is an enlarged cross-sectional view of section A2 along line C-C in Fig.

2A; Fig. 2E is the locking device of Fig. 2D, with its movable member omitted;

Fig. 2F is a cross-sectional view along line D-D in Fig. 2A;

Fig. 3A is a front perspective view of the locking device of Fig. 2A, being received within a firing chamber of the firearm of Fig. 1A (not illustrated), with its tightening mechanism in a non-expanded state;

Fig. 3B is a rear perspective view of the locking device of Fig. 3A, being shown with a firing chamber and a barrel of the firearm of Fig. 1A;

Fig. 3C is an enlarged cross-sectional view of section A3 along line E-E in Fig. 3A;

Fig. 3D is a front view of the locking device of Fig. 3C;

Fig. 4A is the locking device of Fig. 3C, with its locking mechanism in a locked state;

Fig. 4B is a front view of the locking device of Fig. 4A;

Fig. 5A is a front perspective view of the locking device of Fig. 3A, with its locking mechanism in an locked state and with its tightening mechanism in a second expended state;

Fig. 5B is an enlarged cross-sectional view of section A4 along line F-F in Fig. 5A;

Fig. 5C is a front view of the locking device of Fig. 5B;

Fig. 6 is a schematic block diagram of an electronic lock mechanism 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

Fig.7 is a flow chart of a method for inputting data via the dial 65 of the electronic lock mechanism 61 of Fig. 6;

Fig. 8 is a flow chart of the algorithm for actuating the lock mechanism 61 of Fig. 6 using the transducer 112;

Fig. 9 is an isometric projection of a first part 112A of the transducer 112; and Fig. 10 is a schematic exploded illustration of the transducer 112 for the lock mechanism of Fig. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS Attention is first directed to Figs. 1 A to 1D of the drawings illustrating an example of a known in the art firearm to be used in conjunction with a locking device of the presently disclosed subject matter (described below), generally designated as 1. The firearm 1 is a 9mm Glock 17 pistol which comprises: a firing chamber 3 having an inner wall 4 and a step 2. The firing chamber 3 is configured for accommodating a cartridge (not shown). The firearm 1 further comprises: an extractor 5 and a slider 6 having an ejection port 7 (shown in Figs. 1C and 1D). The slider 6 comprises a pushing wall 8 configured to apply a pushing force on a proximal end of a cartridge (not shown) to be fired by the firearm 1. The slider 6 is biased by a compression spring 9 which is disposed within the firearm 1, to maintain its operative position shown in Figs. 1A-1D. From this position, the slider 6 can be retracted against the force of the spring 9 by a manual operation of a user, or automatically upon ignition of the cartridge.

Attention is now directed to Figs. 2A-2F, 3A-3D, 4A, 4B and 5A-5C of the drawings illustrating an example of a locking device of the presently disclosed subject matter, generally designated 10, configured for preventing unauthorized use of the firearm 1.

The locking device 10 comprises the following main components: a cartridge- mimicking member 20 configured to be inserted into the firing chamber 3; a tightening mechanism 40 integrated in the cartridge-mimicking member 20 for selectively tightening the cartridge-mimicking member 20 within the firing chamber 3 causing temporal dysfunction of the firearm 1 ; a controlling unit 90 including a processor 114 (shown in Fig. 6) and connected to the cartridge-mimicking member 20 by a bridging member 95; and a locking mechanism 60. The processor 14 is in communication with the locking mechanism 60 for switching the state of the locking mechanism from the locked state and the unlocked state. The controlling unit 90 further comprises a battery (not shown) configured for supplying electric energy to the processor. The battery is insertable into the controlling unit via opening 91.

In general, the locking device 10 is operable such that when the cartridge- mimicking member 20 is tightened within the firing chamber 3, a new cartridge cannot enter into the firing chamber 3, and the slider 6 cannot be fully retracted or be reverted to its operative position, and when the cartridge-mimicking member 20 is not tightened within the firing chamber 3, the cartridge-mimicking member 20 and the entire locking device 10 can be discharged from the firing chamber 3 as a single unit.

The cartridge-mimicking member 20 is shaped so as to mimic a general structure of a typical cartridge for use with the firearm 1. The cartridge-mimicking member 20 has: a cylindrical cartridge wall 22 with an outer surface 23 defining a diameter Dl substantially similar to that of the typical cartridge; a distal portion 24 formed with a circumferential forehead 24' configured to abut the step 2 of the firing chamber 3 when the cartridge-mimicking member 20 is fully inserted therein; and a proximal portion 26 having a proximal end 27 and formed with an extraction rim 28 substantially similar in shape and size to a respective rim of a typical cartridge.

When the cartridge-mimicking member 20 is inserted into the firing chamber 3 via the ejection port 7 upon manual retraction of the slider 6, the extraction rim 28 engages the extractor 5. Therefore, when the cartridge-mimicking member 20 is received within the firing chamber 3, the slider 6 tends to revert to its initial position before the retraction due to a compression force applied by the compression spring 9, causing the pushing wall 8 to apply a pushing force Fl (shown in Fig. 3B) on the proximal end 27. In this position, the extraction rim 28 is engaged with the extractor 5, and upon retraction of the slider 6, the extractor 5 pulls the cartridge-mimicking member 20 at an extracting direction I (shown in Figs. 3 A, 3C and 4A-4B) along a longitudinal axis X extending between the proximal portion 26 and the distal portion 24.

The tightening mechanism 40 comprises: a resilient tube 42 integrated in the cartridge wall 22 between a first wall portion 22' and a second wall portion 22" (shown in Figs. 2A-2C); and four segments 48 integrated in the tube 42 and fully surrounded and juxtapose respective portions defining openings 45 of the tube 42. According to the present example, the tube 42 is made of rubber and the segments are made of steel. Therefore, the segments 48 are characterized by an elastic modulus greater than an elastic modulus of the tube 42. It is appreciated that according to another example, the number of the segments 48, their material, and the material of the tube 42 can vary in accordance with different requirements for providing a similar functionality.

The segments 48 are equally spaced along the circumference of the tube 42, and each of the segments 48 has an outermost segment face 48a, which all together constitute an outermost face of the tube 42. The tube 42 together with the segments 48 form a hollow cylinder-like member having a closed-form cross-section taken perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis X.

In general, and as explained in a detailed manner below, the tightening mechanism 40 is configured for outwardly expanding the tube 42 from a non-expanded state (shown in Figs. 3A-3D and 4A-4B) to a plurality of expanded states, including a first expanded state (shown in Figs. 2A-2F) and a second expanded state (shown in Figs. 5A-5C) in which the outermost face of the tube 42, i.e. the outermost segment faces 48a, protrudes with respect to the outer surface 23 to an extent greater than at the non-expanded state.

Reference is now particularly made to Figs. 2A-2F and 3A-3D in order to explain in details the structure and the function of the tightening mechanism 40, the locking mechanism 60, and other features of the locking device 10. In Figs. 2 A, and 2D-2F, the locking device 10 is disposed outside the firing chamber 3, with the locking mechanism 60 at an unlocked state and with the tightening mechanism 40 at a first expended state, and in Figs. 3A-3D, the locking device 10 is received within the firing chamber 3, with the locking mechanism 60 at an unlocked state, and with the tightening mechanism 40 at a non-expanded state.

As shown in the figures, in addition to the tube 42 and its segments 48, the tightening mechanism 40 further comprises a movable member 50 having a member distal portion 51 made of steel and a member proximal portion 52 connected to the proximal portion 26 by a ball-and-socket joint 56 and configured for displacing along the longitudinal axis X together with the proximal portion 26. The member distal portion 51 is formed with four first channels 53. Each of the segments 48 is further configured with an inner segment face 48b having a second channel 49 facing its respective first channel 53. The tightening mechanism 40 further comprises four rolling members is the form of rigid balls 55 made of steel, each disposed between its respective first channel 53 and second channel 49. In this configuration, as shown in Figs. 4A and 4B, when the locking mechanism 60 is at its locked state, pulling the extraction rim 28 by the extractor 3 at the extracting direction I causes the movable member 50 to be pulled together with the proximal portion 26. This movement of the movable member 50 with respect to the segments 48, which stay in place, entails rolling of each of the balls 55 on its respective first channel 53 toward the distal portion 24 and on its respective second channel 49 toward the proximal portion 26 while outwardly radially pressing and displacing the segments 48, thereby switching the tightening mechanism 40 from the non-expanded state to the second expanded state via the first expanded state. According to this configuration, the linear motion of the movable member 50 is converted to rolling motion of the halls 55, which in turn is converted to outward radial displacement of the segments 48 together with expansion of the tube 42. The balls 55 are thus used as mediators for converting linear movement of the movable member 50 along the longitudinal axis X, to radial movement of the segments 48.

However, reverting back to Figs. 3A-3D, in which the locking mechanism is at its unlocked state, pulling the extraction rim 28 by the extractor 3 at the extracting direction I causes the entire cartridge mimicking member 20 and the entire locking device 10 to be discharged from the firing chamber 3 as a single unit. This manner of operation is related to the structure of the locking mechanism 60, as detailed below.

The ball-socket joint 56 is constituted by a hail -like member 54 disposed at an end of the member proximal portion 52, and a socket member 57 being part of the proximal portion 26 and configured for receiving the hall-like member 54. Utilizing the ball-and- socket joint 56 for connecting between the movable member 50 and the proximal portion 26 gives the latter the freedom to move together with the controlling unit 90 relative to the movable member 50, preventing torque forces and other lateral forces from being transferred from the controlling unit 90 and the first wall portion 22' to the movable member 50 for possibly sabotaging the locking device 10. The ball-and-socket joint 56 thus allows, at least when these unwanted forces are applied, to maintain the parallelism between the movable member 50 and the longitudinal axis X, and thereby maintain the position of the first and second channels 53 and 49 and the balls 55 therebetween. In this configuration the tube 42 also absorbs shocks that are being transferred from the first wall portion 22' disposed on one side thereof, to the second wall portion 22" disposed on an opposite side beyond the tube 42.

The tightening mechanism 40 of the locking device 1 further comprises a positioning mechanism 70 extending within the cartridge-mimicking member 20 between the balls 55 and a barricade 71 disposed in the distal portion 24, and configured for biasing the balls 55 by a spring 73 towards the proximal portion 26 at both the non-expanded state and the expanded states. The positioning mechanism 70 comprises a spring loaded positioning member 72 having a plurality of rounded engaging surfaces 72a for respectively engaging each of the rolling members 55 effectively, allowing them to roll thereon during the above displacement of the movable member 50. The positioning mechanism 70 thus facilitates in keeping the rolling members 55 in place, i.e. on their respective channel axes as adjacent as possible to their respective first channel's 53 proximal end, and allow them to properly roll between the first and second channels in a controlled manner.

Moreover, as clearly seen in Figs. 3D and 4B, in which the cartridge-mimicking member 20 is received within the firing chamber 3, the outermost segment faces 48a are structured so that at the non-expanded state of the tightening mechanism 40, they protrude with respect to the outer surface 23. As shown in these figures, the outermost segment faces 48a define a diameter Nl of a circumscribing circle, so that Nl > Dl. The diameter Nl is substantially identical to a diameter Ml of the inner wall 4, so that the cartridge- mimicking member 20 is snugly received within the firing chamber 3. This snug disposition of the cartridge-mimicking member 20 within the inner wall 4 provides an initial frictional engagement of the outermost segment faces 48a with the inner wall 4, so that at the locked state of the locking mechanism and upon pulling the extraction rim 28 at the extracting direction I, the outermost segment faces 48a remain substantially in place with respect to the inner wall 4 while the tightening mechanism 40 is expanding outwardly and gradually to the expanded state.

The locking device 10 further comprises a biasing mechanism in the form of a compression spring 80 disposed in the cartridge-mimicking member 20. As show in Figs. 2B, 2D, and 2E, the compression spring 80 has a first spring end 81 engaging a clamping member 32 (to be discussed below) and a second spring end 82 engaging a shoulder 22a of the cartridge wall 22. The compression spring 80 is configured for normally biasing the shoulder 22a away from the clamping member 32. This normal biasing operation of the spring 80 causes the movable member 50 together with the first wall portion 22' and the proximal portion 26 (and the controlling unit 90) to be displaced with respect to the segments 48 (and the tube 40) to a distance Kl when the locking mechanism 60 is switched to the unlocked state, and to a distance K2 (shown in Fig. 5C) when the locking mechanism 60 is switched to the locked state and when the cartridge-mimicking member 20 is received within the firing chamber 3, thereby facilitating the displacement of the movable member 40 and the expansion of the tube 42 to the second expanded state. This displacement of the movable member 40, at least when the cartridge-mimicking member 20 is received within the firing chamber 3, entails rolling of each of the balls 55 on its first channel 53 toward the distal portion 24, and on its second channel 49 toward the proximal portion 26, while outwardly radially pressing and displacing the segments 48.

As shown in Figs. 2D, when the cartridge-mimicking member 20 is disposed outside the firing chamber 3, the balls 55 are spaced from their respective first or second channels (depending on gravity) so that a gap G is formed therebetween, and the outermost segment faces 48a define a diameter N2 of a circumscribing circle. This gap G, together with the resiliency of the tube 42 allows the tube 42 to be compressed upon insertion of the cartridge-mimicking member 20 into the firing chamber 3, so as to be snugly received therein and to provide initial friction between the outermost segment faces 48a and the inner wall 4. In light of this compression, the diameter N2 is slightly larger than diameter Nl, so that when the cartridge-mimicking member 20 is received within the firing chamber 3, the diameter N2 is reduced to Nl while the gap G is decreased. The gap G together with the flexibility of the tube 42 provide freedom for applying the cartridge-mimicking member 20 to calibers of firing chambers having a slight difference from each other, while still properly operating and locking therein.

At the unlocked position of the locking mechanism, the spring 80 thus facilitates in the normal operation of the tightening mechanism 40 by tending the tightening mechanism to assume its first expanded state.

As explained hereinabove, when the cartridge-mimicking member 20 is received within the firing chamber 3, the slide 6 tends to revert to its operational position due to a compression force applied by the compression spring 9. In this process of reverting, the pushing wall 8 applies the pushing force FI on the proximal end 27, and a forehead 24' of the cartridge wall 22 abuts the step 2 of the firing chamber.

As the forehead 24' abuts the step 2, the compression force FI applied by the reverting spring 9, is being countered by a normal force applied by the step 2 on the forehead 24'. This combination of forces urges the proximal and distal portions of the cartridge-mimicking member 20 towards each other against the operation of the spring 80, causing the tightening mechanism 40 to assume its non-expanded state.

Explanations are now made to the locking mechanism 60, which is switchable between an unlocked state (shown in Figs. 3A-3D) in which pulling the extraction rim 28 by the extractor 5 in the extracting direction I allows extraction of the cartridge- mimicking member 20 from the firing chamber 3, and a locked state (Figs. 4-4B) in which, when the cartridge-mimicking member 20 is inserted into the firing chamber 3, pulling the extraction rim 28 by the extractor 5 at the extracting direction I entails expansion of the tube 42 by the tightening mechanism 40 up to the second expanded state (shown in Figs. 5A-5C), thereby tightening the cartridge-mimicking member 20 to the inner wall 4 (shown in Figs. 5A-5C) and dysfunctioning the firearm 1.

The locking mechanism 60 comprises the following components: a first actuator 120 (shown in Fig. 6), e.g., an electric motor, in electric communication with the processor 114; an auxiliary wall 30 disposed within the cartridge-mimicking member 20 and connected to the tube 42 via the clamping member 32; and a locking member in the form of a pin 62 extending within the bridging member 95 and movable between a first position (shown in Figs. 2A, 2D-2F, and Figs. 3A-3D) corresponding to the unlocked state, in which the pin 62 is configured for restricting movement of the proximal portion 20 at the extracting direction I with respect to the auxiliary wall 30, and a second position (shown in Figs. 4A-4B, and 5A to 5C) corresponding to the locked state, in which the movement of the proximal portion 20 at the extracting direction I with respect to the auxiliary wall 30 is unrestricted by the pin 62. The locking mechanism 60 further comprises a second actuator, in the form of a button 64, in mechanical communication with the pin 62. The button 64 is configured to be manually pressed by a user for retracting the pin 62 from the first position to the second position. On the other hand, the electric motor is configured for displacing the pin 62 from the second position to the first position upon a respective command received at the processor, which in turn, actuates the electric motor for displacing the pin 62. This command can be generated by an authentication system e.g. upon entry of a particular code. According to the present example, the authentication system includes a dial 65 configured to be rotated by a user in a particular sequence of rotations for outputting said command to the processor. According to another example, the authentication system can be a mobile phone having a particular application running thereon for generating said command to the processor.

The processor 114, the dial 65, the pin 62, and the first actuator 120 are all part of an electronic lock mechanism 61, shown in Figs. 6 to 10, and described in details below. The auxiliary wall 30 is formed with a first recess 33 configured for receiving a locking end 63 of pin 62 at the first position, and the cartridge wall 22 is formed with a second recess 31 configured for allowing passage of the pin 62 with the locking end 63 therethrough.

The locking device can further comprise a securing mechanism in the form of a groove 67 formed in the pin 62 and disposed before and in proximity to the locking end 63. The groove 67 is configured for preventing and allowing switching the locking mechanism from the unlocked state to the locked state when the cartridge-mimicking member is disposed outside the firing chamber.

The groove 67 is operational so that at the normally biasing operation of the spring 80, the first recess 33 and the second recess 31 are misaligned with each other, and a restriction portion 39 of the auxiliary wall 30 that forms the first recess 33, is received within the groove 67, thereby preventing movement of the pin 62 from the first position to the second position. Therefore, in the examples of Figs. 2A-2F, the pin 62 cannot be retracted from the first position to the second position upon pressing the button 64.

Flowever, when the force FI is applied on the proximal end 27 against the normal force of the step 2, and when the locking mechanism is switched to the unlocked state (shown in the Figs 3A-3D), the first recess 33 and the second recess 31 are aligned with respect to each other, the restriction portion 39 is disengaged from the groove 67, and this allows retracting the pin 62 from the first position to the second position.

Reference is made to Figs. 4A and 4B, in which the pin 62 is retracted so that the locking mechanism 60 is at its locked position, and the tightening mechanism is at its non-expanded state. At this position, the extractor 5 is ready to pull the extraction rim 28 at the extracting direction I for expanding the tube 42 and thereby tightening the cartridge- mimicking member 20 to inner wall 4. In this position, the balls 55 are snugly disposed between their respective first and second channels 53 and 49.

Fig. 4B also illustrates the inner wall 4 at the position shown in Fig. 4B, each of the first channels 53 extends toward the proximal portion 26 along a first channel axis El forming a first acute angle al with the longitudinal axis X, when viewed from a side excluding the balls 55. In addition, each of the second channels 49, has a second channel axis E2 extending toward the proximal portion 26 and forming a second acute angle a2 with the longitudinal axis X, when viewed from the side of the balls 55. The second channel axes E2 converge with the longitudinal axis X in the direction of the proximal portion 26 at a second point P2. The first acute angle al equals 4°, and the second acute angle a2 equals 4° as well, so that first channel axis El and its respective second channel axis E2 are parallel to each other. Having parallel first and second channel axes El and E2 maximizes the extent of pressure directly applied on each segment 48 by its respective ball 55 during the rolling of the ball 55 on its respective second channel 49 toward the extraction direction. The rolling direction of the balls 55 is shown in Fig. 4B as M. The values of the first acute angle al and the second acute angle a2 are thus optimized to maximize the development of outwardly pressing forces applied by the balls 55 on the segments 48 while minimizing the rolling distance of each rolling member on its respective second channel.

It is appreciated that according to the present example, when the movable member 50 is displaced to the distance K2, the balls 55 pass a distance which is K2/2. Fig. 4B also illustrates a free body diagram of forces that are generated upon pulling the extraction rim 28 at the extraction direction I. The beginning of this pulling operation is shown in Figs. 4A and 4B, and the end of this pulling operation is shown in Figs. 5A-5C. The free body diagram of forces includes some of the following forces that are involved in the operation of the locking device 10: an extraction force F_axial applied by the extractor 5 on the proximal portion 26; and a reaction F_reaction applied by the segments 48 on the inner wall 4. The coefficient of friction (COF) between the outermost segment face 48a and the inner wall 4 is m. According the geometrical calculation, the relationship between F_axial and F_reaction is: F_reaction = F_axial / tan (a2), and according to the present example, F_reaction = F_axial / tan (4°) = 14.5 * F_axial. This means that F_axial = 0.07 * F_reaction. On the other hand, the condition for fully tightening the cartridge-mimicking member 20 to the inner wall 4 and lock it with respect to the inner wall 4, is: F_reaction*p > F_axial. Therefore, the following condition for the coefficient of friction m is obtained: m > 0.07. In the present example, according to which, both the segments 48 and the inner wall 4 are made of steel, a coefficient of friction mΐ therebetween is 0.1, which of course fulfills the above condition. This means that forming the rigid segments 48 from steel provides the required coefficient of friction that is higher than 0.07.

In addition to the material of the segments 48 which fulfill the above condition for the coefficient of friction m, the rigidity of the segments 48 is also important for effectively transferring the pushing forces from the rigid member distal portion 53 and the rigid balls 55. Therefore, the rigidity of the segments 48 is important for properly locking to segments 48 to the inner wall 4 and withstanding the above pushing forces, without being bent or penetrated. The segments 48 of the locking device 10 herein, are surrounded by and juxtapose respective portions of the tube 42, while the tube 42 is surrounded by and juxtaposes respective portions of the cartridge wall 22. This allows preventing introduction of unwanted elements and particles (e.g., dust, mud) into the interior of the cartridge-mimicking member 20.

Moreover, the resiliency of the tube 42 together with its closed-form are also important for the following reasons:

Due to its resiliency, the cartridge mimicking member 20 can be fitted and received in variety of calibers of firing chambers having a slight difference from each other, while still properly operating and locking the cartridge-mimicking member 20 therein;

Due to its resiliency, the locking device 10 can be reused for many times, without being permanently deformed;

Due to its closed-form, the tube 42 isolates the interior of the cartridge-mimicking member 20 from its exterior, thereby preventing introduction of unwanted elements and particles (e.g., dust, mud) into the interior of the cartridge-mimicking member 20, at least at the non-expanded state and the unlocked state of the locking mechanism 60;

Due to its radially symmetrical shape and its resiliency, the tube 42 can facilitate in evenly and circumferentially distributing expansion forces for tightening the tube 42 to the firing chamber and locking the segments 48 to the inner wall 4;

The tube 42 can absorb shock waves that can be generated during an attempt to breach the locking device 10.

Upon pulling of the extraction rim 28 by the extractor 5 in the extracting direction I, the pushing wall 8 stops applying the pushing force FI on the proximal end 27 since it is being withdrawn together with the slider 9. As a result of that, the compression spring 80, which biases the shoulder 22a away from the clamping member 32, actively causes the shoulder 22a to displace away from the clamping member 32 along the longitudinal axis X, thereby causing the cartridge wall 22, together with the proximal portion 26 and the movable member 50, to displace away from the tube 42 which is connected to the clamping member 32, in the extracting direction I.

As previously mentioned, displacing the movable member 50 in the extracting direction I causes the balls 55 to roll in the rolling direction M along their respective first and second channels axes. This entails expansion of the tube 42 up to the second expanded state, thereby tightening the cartridge mimicking member 10 within the firing chamber 3 as shown in Figs. 5A-5C.

From the above, it is clear that the tightening of the cartridge mimicking member 20 within the firing chamber 3 caused by the operation of the spring 80 when reverting to its normal state, is an initial operation. The force generated by the spring 80 during this operation, is added to the force F_axial applied by the extractor 5 on the proximal portion 26 upon an extraction attempt of the cartridge mimicking member 20.

Figs. 5A-5C illustrate the locking device 10 at its locked state, with its tightening mechanism 40 at its second expanded state. The locking device 10 is shown in these figures with its cartridge mimicking member 20 fully inserted to the firing chamber 3, and after the extraction rim 28 has been pulled by the extractor 5 in the extracting direction I, and after the tube 42 has been expanded to its second expanded state by the tightening mechanism 40 as a result of said pulling, such that the cartridge-mimicking member 20 is well tightened within the firing chamber 3, as previously explained, thus dysfunctioning the firearm 1.

At this state the outermost segment faces 48a define a diameter N3 of a circumscribing circle, so that N3> Nl>Dl.

The diameter N3 herein is substantially identical to a diameter M2 of the inner wall 4, which is slightly greater than Ml in light of a slight deformation 99 of the firing chamber at the contact points with the segments 48

As shown in Figs. 5A-5C, the balls 55 strongly urge their respective segments 48 radially outwardly against the inner wall 4 of the firing chamber 3, which pushes back on them, this pressure is projected back from the segments to the balls and from the balls to their respective first channels 53. The rigidity of the first channels is thus significant for effectively applying a sufficient counter-force on the balls 55 as they press outwardly radially against the segments 48. Due to the fact that the cartridge-mimicking member 20 in this example is designed symmetrically and that the segments 48, the balls 55, and distal portion 51 are all made of a rigid material, a rigid chain is formed between two different (e.g. opposing) segments 48 and their respective portions of the inner wall 4, which is rigid as well. This rigid chain allows effective transfer of compression forces from the tightening mechanism 40 to the inner wall 4.

With reference to Fig. 6, the electronic lock mechanism 61 of the invention essentially comprises the dial 65 fixedly coupled to the axle of a rotator of a transducer 112 comprising a rotator and a stator that are coaxially aligned and held together by a Hookian element such as a spring, for example a coiled spring or range of springs that is in data communication with a processor 114 that is in data communication with a memory 116 and is coupled to a power supply 118, such as a dry cell battery, for supplying electrical power. Both the power supply 118 and the processor 114 are coupled to a first actuator 120. Optionally a transceiver 124 is also provided for receiving an electronic key transmitted from a mobile phone 126 or the like. One or more lamps 117, typically light emitting diodes (LEDs), are provided. LEDS are ideal as they draw minimum power and are readily and cheaply available in different colors, particularly green-yellow and red.

The rotating transducer 112 provides a series of signals that are compared by the processor 114 to a code stored in the memory 116. If the correct code sequence is input, the processor 114 sends a signal to the first actuator 120 which interacts with a locking member in the form of a pin 62 and enables displacing the pin 62 from the second position corresponding to the locked state to the first position corresponding to the unlocked state.

Fig. 7 is a flow chart of a method for inputting data via the dial 65 of the electronic lock mechanism 61 of Fig. 6. Firstly the dial 65 is rotated either clockwise or counterclockwise by a first number of clicks to enter a first digit - step A. Then the direction of rotation is reversed for a second number of clicks to enter a second digit - step B. The direction of rotation is then reversed a second time, to enter a third digit - step C, and so on, until all the digits of the combination sequence are entered.

Fig. 8 is a flow chart of the algorithm for actuating the lock mechanism of Fig. 6 using the rotatable transducer 112, and describes the activities from the perspective of the processor 114. A first digit inputted from the transducer 112 by the user rotating the dial 65 is received by the processor 114 - step 132. This is compared by the processor 114 with a first digit of the correct combination code stored in the memory 116 - step 134.

If there is no match, the user has to send the correct sequence again from the beginning by repeating step 132. If, however, there is a match, the user has to input the next digit of the sequence - step 136. This is compared by the processor 114 with a next digit of the correct combination code stored in the memory 116 - step 138.

If there is no match, the user has to send the correct sequence again from the beginning by repeating step 132. If there is a match, the user has to input the next digit of the sequence - step 136 again. If, however, the digit to be matched is the final digit of the combination and the number of clicks matches or exceeds the final digit of the combination in the memory, a signal is sent by the processor 114 to the first actuator 120 to actuate the lock to engage or disengage the pin 62.

The actuator 120 is typically a stepper motor. However, it could be a linear motor or even an electromagnet that simply attracts and withdraws the locking member engaging part of the lock or withdraws the bolt, etc to lock and or unlock the lock.

The electronic sequence provided by the transducer 112 is relatively short. In preferred embodiments, the user may set a combination via the dial 65.

To prevent the lock opening by random fiddling, preferably the combination comprises a sequence of at least 5 digits.

Referring back to Fig. 6, in some embodiments, in addition to being able to enter sequences via the dial 65 a series of signals may be entered by one or more additional means. Optionally, a transceiver 124 is provided that can receive a combination sequence from a remote transmitter 126 such as a mobile phone, for example. In such cases, the signal to be received from the remote transmitter 126 should be much longer to prevent brute force attacks. Alternatively, a dial up code or protocol handshake may be used in combination to the sequence of digits to unlock the lock mechanism 61. To prevent simple brute force unlocking via the transceiver 124, using a mobile phone, or the like, a dial code is first required. The combination of dial up code and electronic key provide a longer and thus safer electronic code that cannot be easily cracked by mere brute force.

Additionally or alternatively, a token may be read by an appropriate receiver 124. This can usefully be achieved remotely using an RFID reader or Bluetooth protocol transceiver, but a wired receiver for receiving a swipe card or similar, is also possible. Additionally or alternatively, a biometric reader, such as a finger print, or facial recognition, or voice recognition or iris identifying reader may be used.

It is a particular feature of preferred embodiments that numbers may be inputted solely by rotating the dial 65. The user senses a series of tactile clicks as the dial 65 is rotated, and the number of clicks in either direction before a change of direction corresponds to a digit inputted. A change in direction signifies the end of a digit being input and a new number being inputted. The first selected direction of rotation is not important.

A feature of a preferred embodiment of the lock mechanism 61 is that it draws no power when not in use, and that the first click is registered as part of the first digit and not merely as an awakening signal.

With reference to Fig. 9, a schematic illustration of a first part 112A of a transducer 112 according to one example is shown. The first part comprises a flange 121 coupled to or having a stem 220 on a distal side. The proximal face of the flange 121 is divided into conductive areas 122, 126, 128 and into an insulating areas 124.

The proximal face of the flange 121 has an outer ring consisting of a radially symmetrical conductive areas 122 separated by insulating areas 124. In the embodiment shown, there are eight conducting areas in the outer ring separated by eight interconnected insulating area 124. Thus each conducting area in the outer ring is typically a 22.5° segment of the perimeter ring separated by 22.5° insulating segments. Each conductive area 122 of the outer ring is typically same length as each other conductive area of the outer ring, and the conductive areas are radially arranged, but the conductive and insulating areas of the outer ring need not necessarily subtend the same angle, for example, the conductive sections could each subtend 25 ° and be separated by insulating sections that subtend 20 ° for example.

The inner circle 128 of the flange 121 is also conductive. One of more intermediate circles 126 may be patterned to include both conductive and non-conductive elements.

Referring now to Fig. 10, the second part 112B of the transducer 112 consists of an array of contact pins 113. The contact pins of the embodiment shown are spring pins. The spring pin or pogo pin is a standard device used in electronics to establish a (usually temporary) connection between two printed circuit boards.

The array of contact pins includes a first outer spring pin 1301, an inner spring pin 1131, and an array of n intermediate spring pins 113h. Preferably a second short outer spring pin 1302 is also provided that in general does not contact the flange, and so is referred to as a short pin.

The first part 112A is pressed against the second part by a Hookian element 131 that is typically some type of spring, such as a leaf spring, one or more helical springs, etc.

A pivot consisting of a radially symmetrical ring of ball bearings 130 is also provided between the distal part of the flange 121 of the first part 112A and the casing. The distal face of the flange 121 of the first part 112A is provided with a radially symmetrical ring of sockets that each has a radius of curvature at least equal to that of the ball bearings 130 and which are arranged such that due to their geometry and the pressure of the Hookian element(s) 131, release of the dial 65 results in the ball bearings being forced into sockets, and this aligns an insulating part 124 of the third ring on the face of the flange 121 with the first contact pin 1301.

Rotation of the dial 65 causes the flange 121 with respect to the pin array 112B. The alternating insulating area 124 and conducting areas 122 result in contact being made and broken between the conducting areas 122 in the third ring and the first spring pin 1301 as the ball bearings 130 click in and out of the sockets as the first part 112A of the transducer 112 is rotated by turning the dial 65. This results in a countable signal that is detected in a tactile manner by the user turning the dial 65.

The inner circle 128 may be configured to always be in contact with a central spring pin 1131 providing a ground.

Where there are n pins arranged asymmetrically around the intermediate ring which interact with the intermediate conductive areas 126 on the face of the flange 121 , there are 2 n possibilities providing 2 n distinctive signals. For example, if there are 3 intermediate spring pins 13h, and the dial can assume any of 8 distinct positions it can code 0 to 7 different possibilities for a dialed in digit. In this manner, 3 intermediate pins 13h allows combinations in base 8, or more generally, n pins allows combinations in base 2 n or in any other base between base 2 n_1 and 2 n if 1 the number of discrete dial positions available is less than 2 n .

The eight positions may be equivalent to the digits 0 to 7 as shown in the following look up table:

As shown in Figs. 9 and 10, the rotator of the transducer 112 is the first part 112A with the flange being coaxial to the pin array 112B which is the stator. However, it will be appreciated that the same signaling could be obtained with a pin array fixedly connected with a dial that is rotated with respect to a disc that is the stator.

Similarly, as drawn, the first ring is the inner circle which is conductive, the second ring is an intermediate circle which is used for signaling the number of clicks, and the third ring is the outer circle on the flange 121 which is used for ensuring that no power is drawn when the dial is in a rest position and the first pin 1301 which is an outer pin, is aligned with an insulating region of the outer ring. The first pin 1301 and the other pins 113 of the second part 112B are appropriately aligned with each of these circles,. This arrangement is convenient, but the ring used for indicating clicks, that used for grounding purposes and that used for signaling that a rotation is being initiated and the direction of rotation could be switched around in other configurations and embodiments.

In the example shown, there are n pins 113n in the second, or intermediate ring, and this provides 2 n possible signals enabling coding in base 8. It will be appreciated, however, that if the ball bearing arrangement 130 consists of say 7 ball bearings that can rest in seven sockets, the dial would be only able to assume 7 positions and one of these signals would be redundant and the signaling would be in base 7.

Different embodiments could thus have n pins for signaling up to 2 n options for each digit, for coding in any base between 2 n and 2 n l . This, combined with the possibility of rotating the pin array with respect to the flange instead of the flange with respect to the pin array, and of using, say, the second ring for initiating the combination and activating the battery and the third (outer) ring for counting, provides a range of embodiments that conceptually similar and are within the scope of the invention, such that the specific embodiment of Figs. 9 and 10 is by way of non-limiting example only.

Furthermore, the same basic principle could be achieved by having a range of LEDs on the rotator interacting with a range of light detectors on the stator, or a range of light detectors on the rotator interacting with a range of LEDS on the stator. Indeed, a single LED could be placed behind a rotator or stator that is perforated to allow light signals to fall on a light detector such as a LDR (light detecting resistor). Since the principle will now be well understood by persons of the art, no further details of these embodiments are provided. The embodiment that is detailed in depth if provided for the purpose of enablement whereas the scope of protection is provided by the claims.

If the memory 116 is not user settable it may be a Read Only Memory ROM. Otherwise, it is typically a Random Access Memory or RAM, and may be a flash memory, for example.

Preferably, the memory 116 is user settable and the combination of the lock mechanism 61 is programmable. For example, a short second outer pin 1302 may be provided set at an angle to the first outer pin 1301 such that at a rest position where the first outer pin 1301 is opposite an insulating area 124, the second short outer pin 1302 is opposite a conductive area 122. The short second outer pin 1302 may be used for one or more purposes.

If the dial 65 is pressed inwards, contact is formed between short second outer pin 1302 and a conductive area 122 of the flange. This sends a signal to the processor 114, which may be programmed so that a short press tests the battery 18 and sends a signal to illuminates the lamp(s) 117 accordingly. For example, if green and red LEDs are provided, a green signal could indicate that the battery is fine. A red signal or a flashing signal if only one LED is available, could indicate that the battery charge is running low and it should be replaced, for example. If there is insufficient power, the lock could shut down or could automatically unlock, or could indicate a need to change the battery immediately, for example.

Optionally, pressure on the dial 65 for a second time interval, for example, a long press, causes the second short outer spring-pin 1302 to signal the processor 114 that a new combination is to be inserted, and the new combination is inserted by rotation of the dial 65 back and forth a number of times and by numbers of clicks determined by the user, followed by a further pressing on the dial 65 to enter the new combination into the memory 116.

In some embodiments, the lock mechanism 61 is configured to require the combination to be immediately reentered to provide a confirmation and the confirmation is indicated by a lamp 117 such as a light emitting diode being illuminated.

Optionally, the lock mechanism 61 further comprises at least one alternative signal input means 124 coupled to the processor 114 for inputting an alternative signal. The alternative signal means being selected from the group comprising a signal receiver for receiving remote signals for locking and unlocking the lock by transmission of the sequence such as from a mobile phone for example, a biometric identifier of a user from an appropriate reader or a token, such as an RFID token or magnetic swipe card, for example, that communicates via Bluetooth transceiver or RFID reader for example.

For additional security, the token may contain both a coded key that is transmitted automatically, and a keypad for manual insertion of a code.

Preferably, for security, in some embodiments, whilst signals are being received at the processor from both said at least one alternative signal means and from the rotating transducer, the signals from the rotating transducer take precedent.

The power supply 118 may be a battery such as a CR2 EA lithium cell for example. The EA lithium cell is small, reliable and long lasting for such applications where it is mostly dormant and is occasionally used for signaling, but has the power to operate the actuator 120.

The device described with reference to Figs. 6 and 9, and the method of inputting data described herein with reference to Figs. 7 and 8, has the following advantages: • The user may easily operate the dial 65 in the dark, since the number being inputted is detected in a tactile manner by the user who does not need to align visual markings to initiate dialing or during the dialing sequence.

• The user does not have to align numbers and the dial 65 does not have to be marked with numbers or other indicators so the user can start dialing a code sequence from any dial angular position.

• The user may easily operate the dial 65 with dirty, wet or even oily hands, unlike fingerprint biometrics based locks which requires dry and clean hands for the fingerprint recognition.

• Power is only drawn from the power supply 118 when the dial 65 is rotated and this conserves battery power and so a battery such as a CR2 EA lithium cell may last for a very long time.

• The user can start rotating in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. This is invaluable to left handed users who typically try to unscrew nuts and bolts and to open faucets and the like by rotating the wrong way.

• The user may start the sequence again at any time.

• Because of the data entry method, the electronics is very simple, and a processor 114 with five or six pins is adequate, and the dial 65 and lock mechanism 61 may therefore be relatively compact.

• The user does not have to input a dialed number by pressing the dial 65 in or by operating a separate enter button or be reversing the direction of rotation of the dial 65 merely to signify that a digit has been entered.

• Since the data is entered by forward and backward rotation of the dial 65 by less than one revolution each time, the dial 65 can be gripped and moved back and forth to enter the entire sequence without letting go.

• Unlike systems where the rotation of the dial 65 powers the electronics of the lock mechanism 61 and / or those where after the combination is entered, the user has to activate the pin 62 or bolt physically, in the present invention, a battery could be used to provide power to the processor 114 and to the actuator 120. This vastly simplifies the electronics and mechanics of the lock mechanism 61. Small batteries 18 such as CR2 lithium cells are readily available and most of the time, no power is drawn. Power is only drawn from the battery during the locking and unlocking process, so a battery may last for a very long time.

• In consequence of this method of data entry, a secure multi-digit sequence may be entered via the dial 65 by holding the dial 65 in the fingers and merely rotating the wrist back and forth, simultaneously providing both security and ease and fast unlocking.

The lock mechanism 61 described above can usefully be used for a locking mechanism configured for securing a weapon such as a handgun, for example. By handgun any of the following is intended: pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, semi automatic and fully automatic assault rifles.