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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
SWIVEL CONNECTOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2006/053239
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A swivel connector (10) has the form of a split ring that enables a carrying element such as a sling or strap to be connected to a mounting device such as a sling swivel stud of a firearm. The swivel connector (10) can be constructed of a single continuous piece (15) of elastic material and can have a geometry that reduces rotation of the swivel connector about the mounting device.

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WO/2004/001323RIFLE SLING
WO/2014/176345SLING STRAP RETENTION DEVICE
Inventors:
Cook, Todd D. (1507 Yates Chapel Road, Cecilia, Kentucky, 42724, US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2005/040990
Publication Date:
May 18, 2006
Filing Date:
November 14, 2005
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
Ra Brands L. L. C. (870 Remington Drive, Madison, NC, 27025-0700, US)
International Classes:
F41C23/02; A45F5/00; F16B45/00; F16G15/00
Foreign References:
US20040050125A1
FR1483967A
US2078591A
US2763082A
US2639480A
US5074069A
US0156614A
US0575164A
US5501025A
US5718075A
US6536154B1
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Montgomery, Keith C. (Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC P.O. Box 703, Atlanta Georgia, 30357-0037, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. A swivel connector comprising a wound body formed from a single piece of a flexible material having a first end and a second end, wherein the body includes: a base; and a pivot section, wherein the base is wider than the pivot section.
2. The swivel connector of claim 1, wherein the single piece of flexible material is formed into at least a double winding of flexible material along at least a majority of a length of the single piece of a flexible material.
3. The swivel connector of claim 1, wherein the first and second ends of the single piece of flexible material are disposed at the base.
4. The swivel connector of claim 1, wherein the body further includes: first and second upper corners connected to opposite ends of the pivot section; first and second lower corners connected to opposite ends of the base; and first and second side sections disposed on opposite sides of the swivel connector between the upper and lower corners.
5. The swivel connector of claim 4, wherein the first and second upper corners and the first and second lower corners are curved.
6. The swivel connector of claim 4, wherein the base is substantially straight.
7. The swivel connector of claim 6, wherein the pivot section is substantially straight.
8. The swivel connector of claim 4, wherein an interior width of the pivot section is less than about eighty per cent of an interior width of the base section.
9. The swivel connector of claim 3, wherein the single piece of flexible material is wound into at least a double winding of flexible material along a majority of a length of the single piece of a flexible material.
10. The swivel connector of claim 1, wherein the flexible material of the body is selected from the group consisting of plastics, composites, synthetics, aluminum, steel, and alloys thereof.
11. The swivel connector of claim 1, wherein the single piece of flexible material is elastic.
12. The swivel connector of claim 1, wherein an interior width of the pivot section is less than about two thirds of an interior width of the base section.
13. A swivel connector for attaching a sling to a firearm, the swivel connector comprising a wound body having a first end and a second end, wherein the body includes: a substantially straight base; a pivot section, wherein the first and second ends of the wound body are disposed at the base; first and second upper corners connected to opposite ends of the pivot section; first and second lower corners connected to opposite ends of the base; and first and second side sections disposed on opposite sides of the swivel connector between the upper and lower corners, wherein the wound body is wound into at least a double winding of a strip of flexible material along a majority of a length of the strip of flexible material.
14. The swivel connector of claim 13, wherein the first and second upper corners and the first and second lower corners are curved.
15. The swivel connector of claim 14, wherein the pivot section is substantially straight.
16. The swivel connector of claim 13, wherein the flexible material of the wound body is selected from the group consisting of plastics, composites, synthetics, aluminum, steel, and alloys thereof.
17. The swivel connector of claim 13, wherein the wound body is elastic.
18. A method of attaching a sling to a firearm, comprising: providing a swivel connector, the swivel connector comprising a wound body of flexible material having a first end and a second end, wherein the body includes: a base; a pivot section having a width that is smaller than a width of the base; first and second upper corners connected to opposite ends of the pivot section; first and second lower corners connected to opposite ends of the base; and first and second side sections disposed on opposite sides of the swivel connector between the upper and lower corners, wherein the wound body is wound into at least at least a double winding of the flexible material along at least a majority of a length of the wound body; inserting a swivel stud of a firearm into the wound body by separating the wound body at either the first end or the second end of the body; and inserting a sling into the wound body by separating the wound body at either the first end or the second end of the body, wherein when the sling is attached to the firearm, Il the pivot section is movably engaged with the swivel stud, and the sling is movably engaged with the base.
19. The method of claim 18, wherein the first and second upper corners and the first and second lower corners are curved.
20. The method of claim 19, wherein an interior width of the pivot section is less than about eighty per cent of an interior width of the base section.
21. The method of claim 20, wherein the pivot section and the base are substantially straight.
Description:
SWIVEL CONNECTOR

BACKGROUND

[0001] Technical Field

[0002] The present invention generally relates to a connector for attaching a carrying strap or sling to an object to be carried, and in particular to a swivel attachment for attaching a sling to a firearm to facilitate carrying of the firearm.

[0003] Related Art

[0004] The ability to carry bulky or heavy objects such as firearms has long been a need for persons such as hunters, sportsmen and soldiers. Typically, firearms include a sling that is attached adjacent to the barrel of the firearm and at another point, typically along the stock of the firearm. The sling allows the user to carry the firearm on his shoulder with his hands free.

[0005] A variety of devices have been used for attaching a sling to a firearm, the most common device being a sling swivel. Examples of swing swivels are shown in U.S. Patent Nos. 156,614 and 575,164. More recently, attention has been directed to providing quick detachable sling swivels, such as the sling swivels shown in U.S. Patent Nos. 5,501,025, 5,718,075 and 6,536,154. A problem exists with conventional sling swivel devices, however, in that they may be typically overly complex, expensive to manufacture, and difficult and/or time consuming to use.

SUMMARY

[0006] According to a first embodiment of the present invention, a swivel connector comprises a wound body formed from a strip of flexible material having a first end and a second end. The swivel connector can have a pivot section for engagement with a mounting structure such as a firearm swivel stud, and a base section for engaging a

strap or sling. The swivel connector can have a generally trapezoidal shape when viewed from the front, with the base section being wider than the pivot section.

[0007] According to the first embodiment of the invention, the geometry of the swivel connector inhibits the swivel connector from sliding through and/or spinning about the mounting structure. This feature inhibits the swivel connector from unwinding from and thereby disconnecting from the mounting structure.

[0008] The swivel connector can include relatively generous corner bend radii at its lower corners that transition to relatively tight corner bend radii at its upper corners. The relative sizes of the upper and lower corner bend radii allow the sling to lay flat against a firearm during shooting. When the firearm is being carried, the geometry of the swivel connector causes the connector to lay flat against the back or shoulder of the user carrying the firearm.

[0009] According to the first embodiment, the swivel connector may be of a relatively small size, which may enable manufacture at a reduced cost. The swivel connector may also be constructed from a single piece of material, such as wire or other strip materials, which may reduce the complexity of manufacture of the swivel connector and render the swivel connector easier to use.

[0010] Other aspects, features, and details of embodiments of the present invention can be more completely understood by reference to the following detailed description of preferred embodiments, taken in conjunction with the drawings figures and from the appended claims.

[0011] According to common practice, the various features of the drawings discussed below are not necessarily drawn to scale. Dimensions of various features and elements in the drawings may be expanded or reduced to more clearly illustrate the embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

[0012] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a swivel connector according to a first embodiment of the invention.

[0013] FIG. 2 is front elevational view of the swivel connector.

[0014] FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the swivel connector.

[0015] FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken on line 4-4 in FIG. 2.

[0016] FIG. 5 a perspective view of the swivel connector attached to a sling swivel stud mounting structure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0017] The invention as exemplified by the present embodiments discussed below is generally directed to a swivel connector for the attachment of a sling, strap or other carrying device to an article to be carried. The article to be carried can be, for example, a firearm such as a shotgun, rifle, or other long guns, or even some types of handguns as desired. In the exemplary embodiments discussed below, the swivel connector is formed as a wound "split ring" to facilitate connection of a sling or other carrying strap to the swivel connector, as well as for attachment of the swivel connector to the article to be carried.

[0018] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a swivel connector 10 according to a first embodiment of the invention. The swivel connector 10 includes a body or strip 15 formed from a continuously wound loop or strip of material having a first end 12 and a second end 14. The body 15 is wrapped or wound into a double thickness of overlapped strip material, except at a section 16. The section 16 may be disposed at an intermediate portion of the base 30 and provides an entry or access point for mounting the swivel connector to swivel mounting studs, for example, or other support devices on an article to be carried.

[0019] Referring also to FIG. 2, the swivel connector 10 is generally divided into a pivot section 20 and a base section 30. The pivot section 20 is connected to a first side section 42 by a first upper corner 22, and to a second side section 44 by a second upper corner 24. The first side section 42 is connected to the base section 30 by a first

lower corner 32, and the second side section 44 is connected to the base section 30 by a second lower corner 34.

[0020] When viewed from the front, as shown in FIG. 2, the pivot section 20 can be, for example, straight or substantially straight. The pivot section 20 serves as the primary point of attachment of the connector 10 to a mounting structure on an article to be carried, such as, for example, a sling swivel stud of a firearm. The base section 30 may also be straight or substantially straight, and serves as the primary point of attachment to a carrying device such as, for example, a sling of a firearm, or other devices such as carrying straps for cameras, etc. The first and second side sections 42, 44 of the swivel connector 10 may also be, for example, straight or substantially straight, and generally taper inwardly from the base 30 toward the pivot section 20.

[0021] Referring again to FIG. 2, the first and second lower corners 32, 34 of the swivel connector 10 define an interior width Wi of the swivel connector. The base 30 may have an interior width W 3 that is wider than an interior width W 2 of the pivot section 20. In one embodiment, the interior width W 2 can be, for example, less than about 80% of the interior width W 3 of the base 30. In another embodiment, the interior width W 2 is less than about 2/3 of the interior width W 3 . The swivel connector 10 has an interior height H extending between the pivot section 20 and the base section 30. The first and second upper corners 22, 24 can have curved profiles in the form of circular arcs, for example. The curved profiles may be defined by circular arcs having interior radii of Ri. The first and second lower corners 32, 34 may also have curved profiles in the form of circular arcs, the arcs having interior radii of R 2 . The lower corners 32, 34 of the swivel connector 10 can have relatively larger corner bend radii or curvaturee than those of the upper corners 22, 24. The relative sizes of the interior bend radii Ri, R 2 provide advantageous properties during shooting and carrying of a firearm, as discussed in further detail below. When viewed from the front, as shown in FIG. 2, the swivel connector 10 has a generally trapezoidal shape with rounded or curved corners, and may be symmetric about a line bisecting the pivot section 20 and the base 30.

[0022] FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the swivel connector 10, and FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the swivel connector 10 taken on line 4-4 in FIG. 2. Referring to FIG. 3, the thickness of the double wound strip of material forming the body 15 is indicated by T 1 . Referring to FIG. 4, the thickness of an individual winding of the material strip 15 is indicated by T 2 , and the height of the material strip 15 is indicated by Hs. The exterior of the material strip 15 may have, for example, a wholly or partially curved outer profile 60, and a generally flat or planar inner profile 62 where the opposed sections of the strip 15 face one another.

[0023] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the swivel connector 10 attached to an exemplary firearm swivel stud 100 mounting structure. The swivel stud 100 may be, for example, conventional in construction and is typical of known swivel studs used to connect slings to rifles, shotguns, and other firearms. Such a swivel stud may also be found on firearms such as machine pistols and/or certain conventional autoloading or single action pistols and handguns, for example. Typically, one such swivel stud is mounted at or near the barrel of a firearm, and another swivel stud is mounted at or near the firearm stock. When a sling is connected to each end of the firearm at the swivel studs by a swivel connector 10, the firearm can be carried in a hands-free mode by the firearm sling.

[0024] As shown in FIG. 5, the swivel connector 10 is mounted in a cylindrical through-hole aperture 102 that extends through the swivel stud 100. The swivel connector 10 may be attached to the swivel stud 100 by prying or otherwise separating the double wound portion of the strip 15 open at the location 70. The first end 12 of the material strip 15 may then be pushed into the through-hole aperture 102 and the swivel connector 10 rotated through the aperture 102 until it passes the second end 14 to reach the position shown in FIG. 5. The geometry of the swivel connector 10 is selected so that the pivot section 20 is pivotably received in and tends to remain engaged with the through-hole aperture 102.

[0025] The geometry of the base 30 of the swivel connector 10 is selected to receive and remain engaged with a sling, strap, or other carrying device. For example, a rifle sling (not shown) having a loop at one or both ends can be attached to the swivel

connector 10 by separating the double wound strip 15 at the location 70, inserting the sling into the strip at the location 70, and rotating the swivel connector 10 until it passes the second end 14 of the double wound strip 15. In one method of attachment, both a sling and a swivel stud may be inserted into the double wound strip 15 at the location 70 at the same time, so that when the swivel connector 10 is rotated, both the swivel stud and the sling are secured to the swivel connector 10.

[0026] According to the present invention, both the first and second ends 12, 14 of the material strip 15 may be located at or adjacent to an intermediate portion of the base 30. Accordingly, a mounting structure and/or sling may alternatively be inserted into the double wound strip 15 at the second end 14 of the strip.

[0027] A sling or strap may alternatively be attached to the swivel connector 10 by inserting a free end of the sling through the opening in the center of the connector 10, and then attaching the free end of the sling to an intermediate section of the sling to form a closed loop around the base 30.

[0028] According to the present invention, as shown in FIG. 5, the engagement of the pivot section 20 with the through-hole aperture 102 in the firearm swivel stud 100 allows the swivel connector 10 to pivot longitudinally (i.e., the base section 30 may swing forward and backward) with respect to the firearm. At the same time, twisting rotational movement of the swivel connector 10 about the swivel stud 100 is inhibited. Referring to FIGS. 2 and 5, the relatively tight radii or curvatures Ri of the upper corners 22, 24 at either end of the pivot section 20 further inhibit the swivel connector 10 from sliding through (i.e., moving longitudinally or lengthwise through the through-hole aperture 102) or otherwise spinning about the swivel stud 100. This characteristic inhibits the connector 10 from unthreading from the swivel stud 100, and therefore maintains the engagement of the swivel stud 100 with the pivot section 20.

[0029] According to the present invention, the relatively generous bend radii of the lower corners 32, 34 that taper into the relatively tight radii at the upper corners 22, 24

allow the sling to lie flat against the firearm during shooting. The sling also lies flat against the shoulder or back of the user when the user carries the firearm.

[0030] Other mounting structures besides swivel studs may be used in conjunction with the swivel connector 100. In general, any mounting structure having a through- hole aperture sized to receive the swivel connector 10 is suitable.

[0031] The swivel connector 10 has the form of a split ring to facilitate connection or attachment of the sling thereto, as well as attachment of the sling swivel to the connector stud of a firearm. In this specification, a "split ring" is any strip of flexible or relatively flexible piece of material wound into a closed loop having at least a double winding of the strip along a majority of the length of material. The present embodiments are discussed in terms of a split ring having a double winding. Three, four, or more windings, however, can be incorporated into a split ring swivel connector in accordance with the present invention.

[0032] The swivel connector 10 may be made from, for example, a single, continuous piece of flexible material having substantially or wholly consistent material properties throughout the piece of material forming the connector. Suitable materials of construction include materials such as, for example, plastics, ceramic composites or other synthetic materials selected to be durable, flexible, and light¬ weight. Materials which are easily moldable or machinable may reduce manufacturing costs. Other types of lightweight, durable and flexible materials, including some metals such as aluminum, steel, and metal alloys, can also be used. The swivel connector 10 may be constructed from wholly or partially elastic materials.

[0033] The swivel connector 10 of the present invention further can include a corrosion resistant coating, in addition to being formed from corrosion resistant materials such as plastics, ceramic composites, synthetics or metal materials such as aluminum or stainless steel. The relatively small size of the swivel connector 10 and its one-piece of material enable relatively simple and low cost manufacture.

[0034] Example

[0035] A swivel connector 10 as illustrated in FIGS. 1-5 is constructed from steel.

The interior width Wi of the swivel connector 10 is 1.11 inches, the interior width W 2 of the pivot section 20 is 5/16 inches, and the interior width W 3 of the base 30 is .56 inches. The interior height H of the swivel connector 10 is 7/8 inches, the interior radii Ri of the upper corners 22, 24 are both 1/8 inches, and the interior radii R 2 of the lower corners 32, 34 are both .275 inches. The thickness Ti of the double wound strip 15 is .12 inches, the thickness T 2 of a single winding of the material strip 15 is .06 inches, and its height Hs is .08 inches. The swivel connector 10 is formed by mandrel winding followed by coining in a die to create outside radii on the steel wire. The swivel connector 10 is coated with a corrosion resistant black zinc finish.

[0036] In this specification, the term "wound" does not necessarily indicate a structure formed by a winding process involving an actual winding step. For example, a swivel connector according to the present invention can be formed from a molding process that results in multiple windings of a strip of molded material.

[0037] The above embodiments illustrate a single split ring as forming the swivel connector 10. In alternative embodiments, a pair of split rings also can be used. The pair of split rings can be releasably attached together to provide separate attachment and release mechanisms for the sling and the stud connector of the firearm.

[0038] The foregoing description of the invention illustrates and describes the present invention. Additionally, the disclosure shows and describes only selected embodiments of the invention, but it is to be understood that the invention is capable of use in various other combinations, modifications, and environments and is capable of changes or modifications within the scope of the inventive concept as expressed herein, commensurate with the above teachings, and/or within the skill or knowledge of the relevant art.