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United States Patent Application 20050217161
Kind Code A1
Haugen, Michael ;   et al. October 6, 2005

Barrel accessory rail system

Abstract

A barrel accessory rail system includes a pair of cooperating clamping sections, each including at least one pair of flanges spaced by a transverse rail, and a fastener for securing the pair of opposed clamping sections in clamping engagement with a barrel and magazine extension of a firearm. The flanges are adapted to couple a barrel and a magazine extension to a firearm and permit attachment of accessories to the firearm.


Inventors: Haugen, Michael; (Yelm, WA) ; Murphy, Randall; (Elizabethtown, KY)
Correspondence Address:
    WOMBLE CARLYLE SANDRIDGE & RICE, PLLC
    P.O. BOX 7037
    ATLANTA
    GA
    30357-0037
    US
Assignee: RA Brands, L.L.C.

Serial No.: 091650
Series Code: 11
Filed: March 28, 2005

Current U.S. Class: 42/124
Class at Publication: 042/124
International Class: F41G 001/38


Claims



What is claimed is:

1. A barrel accessory rail system comprising: a series of cooperating clamping sections, each comprising at least one pair of flanges spaced by a transverse rail, said flanges adapted to couple to a barrel of a firearm; and a fastener for securing said pair of opposed clamping sections in clamping engagement with said barrel.

2. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 1, wherein said flanges have an arcuate firearm contacting-surface.

3. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 1, wherein said transverse rail is a Picatinney rail.

4. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 1, wherein said transverse rail is adapted to receive said fastener.

5. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 1, wherein each of said cooperating clamping sections comprises only one pair of flanges.

6. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 5, wherein each of said flanges is disposed substantially centrally along the length of said transverse rail.

7. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 5, wherein each of said flanges is disposed along the length of said transverse rail in a substantially aligned relation with one another.

8. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 1, wherein each of said cooperating clamping sections comprises spaced pairs of flanges.

9. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 8, wherein said pairs of flanges are positioned at opposite ends of said transverse rail.

10. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 8, wherein each pair of flanges is disposed along the length of said transverse rail in a substantially aligned relation.

11. A barrel accessory rail system comprising: a series of opposed clamping sections, each including: a laterally extending accessory mounting member having a plurality of mounting slots along a side surface thereof; a barrel flange extending from said lateral mounting member, said barrel flange dimensioned to engage a barrel of a firearm; and a magazine extension flange extending from said lateral mounting member, said magazine extension flange dimensioned to engage a magazine extension of the firearm; and a fastener for securing said pair of opposed clamping sections in clamping engagement with said barrel and said magazine extension.

12. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 11, wherein said barrel flange has an arcuate barrel-contacting surface and said magazine extension flange has an arcuate magazine extension-contacting surface.

13. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 11, wherein said laterally extending accessory mounting member is a Picatinney rail.

14. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 11, wherein said barrel flange and said magazine extension flange are disposed substantially centrally along the length of said lateral accessory mounting member.

15. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 11, wherein said barrel flange and said magazine extension flange are aligned substantially along the length of said lateral by extending accessory mounting member.

16. A barrel accessory rail system for a firearm, said barrel accessory rail system comprising a pair of opposed body sections releasably coupled by a fastener, each body section including at least one pair of substantially aligned flanges having an arcuate firearm contacting-surface, and an accessory mounting member disposed between said flanges, said accessory mounting member having a plurality of mounting slots along a side surface thereof for releasably attaching a firearm accessory thereto.

17. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 16, wherein each of said opposed body sections comprises a pair of flanges disposed substantially centrally along the length of said accessory mounting member.

18. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 16, wherein each of said opposed body sections comprises two pairs of flanges disposed substantially at opposing ends of said accessory mounting member.

19. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 16, wherein a first flange of said at least one pair of substantially aligned flanges is a barrel-contacting flange and a second flange of said at least one pair of substantially aligned flanges is a magazine extension-contacting flange.

20. The barrel accessory rail system of claim 16, wherein said accessory mounting member is a Picatinney rail.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/557,987, filed Mar. 31, 2004, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention generally relates to firearms and, in particular, to a barrel accessory rail system for clamping a magazine extension to the barrel of a firearm, and for providing an attachment point for mounting accessories to the firearm.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] A barrel clamp may be used with a firearm to maintain a tubular magazine extension or accessory mount for the firearm in a secure, rigid alignment with the barrel. However, many presently available clamps tend to compress the magazine extension tube, which can potentially impede round capacity and proper function of the weapon.

[0004] Some barrel clamps provide a means for attaching an accessory to the firearm. However, the attaching means often is unique to the manufacturer of the clamp. Therefore, the user is required either to purchase multiple clamps for use with various accessories, or to purchase the clamp and all of the accessories from a limited number of providers that offer compatible mounting features. Additionally, many barrel clamps include mounting features on only one side of the firearm, thereby limiting the ability of the user to choose where to position the accessory along the firearm.

[0005] Thus, there remains a need for a simple and easy to use system for rigidly securing a magazine extension or accessory mount to the barrel of a firearm without adversely affecting the performance of the firearm. There further remains a need for a clamping system that includes for attaching or mounting various types of additional accessories to the firearm.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention relates generally to a barrel accessory rail system for a firearm. The barrel accessory rail system includes a pair of cooperating clamping sections and one or more fasteners for securing the pair of opposed clamping sections in clamping engagement with the barrel and magazine extension. Each of the opposed clamping sections includes at least one pair of flanges spaced by a transverse rail. The flanges are adapted to couple a barrel and a magazine extension for a firearm. The flanges may have an arcuate firearm or barrel engaging or contacting-surface. The transverse rail may be a Picatinney rail, a weaver rail, or any other suitable rail system.

[0007] The barrel accessory rail system of the present invention provides a simple and easy to use system for rigidly securing a magazine extension or accessory mount to the barrel of a firearm without adversely affecting the performance of the firearm. The barrel accessory rail system of the present invention also provides for attachment of firearm accessories in various arrangements or orientations on either side of the firearm.

[0008] Other aspects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art to which it pertains upon reference to the following detailed description and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] The description refers to the accompanying drawings in which like reference characters refer to like parts throughout the several views, and in which:

[0010] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary barrel accessory rail system according to the present invention mounted on a firearm;

[0011] FIG. 2 is a rearward end view of the exemplary barrel accessory rail system of FIG. 1;

[0012] FIG. 3 is a front end view of the exemplary barrel accessory rail system of FIG. 1;

[0013] FIG. 4 is a top plan view of an exemplary first clamping section of a pair of clamping sections of a barrel accessory rail system according to the present invention;

[0014] FIG. 5 is a top plan view of an exemplary second clamping section of a pair of clamping sections of a barrel accessory rail system according to the present invention;

[0015] FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of the exemplary barrel accessory rail system of FIGS. 1-5 according to the present invention;

[0016] FIG. 7 is a rear end view of another exemplary barrel accessory rail system according to the present invention;

[0017] FIG. 8 is a front end view of another exemplary barrel accessory rail system according to the present invention;

[0018] FIG. 9 is a top plan view of another exemplary first clamping section of a pair of clamping sections of a barrel accessory rail system according to the present invention;

[0019] FIG. 10 is a top plan view of another exemplary second clamping section of a pair of clamping sections of a barrel accessory rail system according to the present invention; and

[0020] FIG. 11 is an exploded perspective view of the exemplary barrel accessory rail system of FIGS. 7-10 according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0021] The present invention generally is directed to a barrel accessory rail system (BARS) for use with a firearm. The BARS typically will be used with a shotgun, rifle, or other long gun, but also may be used other types of firearms, such as a long-barrel pistol or other similar type of hand gun. The BARS of the present invention may be used to clamp a tubular magazine extension to the barrel to maintain the barrel and magazine extension in a secure, rigid alignment. Additionally, the BARS may provide a sling attachment point for the firearm, and may further include features for mounting various firearm accessories, such as flashlights, white lights, laser sights, or IR illuminators or various other tactical options or accessories.

[0022] FIG. 1 depicts generally an exemplary BARS 10 attached to a firearm F, in one example embodiment, a shotgun. The BARS 10 is mounted removably at a forward section 15 of the firearm F, and secures the barrel 20 and the magazine extension 25 in a rigid alignment. The BARS 10 generally comprises at least one pair of flanges 30 extending from a transverse or lateral rail 35. As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, the transverse rail 35 generally is aligned at least partially with the space between the barrel 20 and the magazine extension 25. The transverse rail 35 may include one or more slots 40 for mounting a firearm accessory (not shown) to the firearm. The BARS 10 optionally can include a sling attachment point 45 (FIGS. 4 and 5) at a rearward end 50 of the BARS 10.

[0023] Turning to FIGS. 2-6, a more detailed view of the exemplary BARS 10 generally shown in FIG. 1 is provided. The BARS 10 comprises a pair of cooperating clamping or body sections 55a, 55b. Each opposed clamping section 55a, 55b may be formed from a lightweight, high strength material that also may be resistant to corrosion. For example, the opposed clamping sections may be formed from a metal, such as aluminum, steel, or other metal or metal alloy, various synthetic or composite materials, for example, a polymer, or any combination thereof.

[0024] Each of the clamping sections 55a, 55b generally comprises at least one pair of flanges 30 that extend from the transverse or lateral rail 35. The at least one pair of flanges 30 may be integral with, attached to, or otherwise joined to the transverse rail 35. As shown in FIG. 6, each pair of flanges 30 further typically includes a first, barrel flange 60 shaped and dimensioned to engage the barrel of the firearm F, and a second, magazine extension flange 65 shaped and dimensioned to engage the magazine extension 25. Various flanges are contemplated hereby, provided that the shape, contours, and dimensions are selected to provide a tight, clamping engagement with the barrel and magazine extension(s) of the firearm. In one aspect, the first flange 60 and the second flange 65 each have a firearm-contacting surface 70 that is generally arcuate in shape. However, it should be understood that various differing contours or shapes, and/or radii of curvature for the firearm-contacting surfaces of each flange are contemplated by the present invention.

[0025] The opposed clamping sections 55a, 55b generally are secured along the firearm barrel using one or more fasteners 75. The fasteners 75 are engaged and tightened to pull the clamping sections 55a, 55b together to secure the magazine extension 25 to the barrel 20 in a tight, rigid clamping engagement. It will be understood that any suitable type of fastener 75 may be used as desired including, for example, a screw, bolt, detent pin, or other locking means. In one aspect, the fasteners 75 extend through the transverse rail 35 of the clamping sections 55a, 55b. In such aspects, the transverse rail 35 is provided with one or more aligned openings or bores 80, or other features as known to those of skill in the art, adapted to receive the fasteners 75. By configuring the BARS in this manner, the barrel and magazine extension may be clamped tightly to lock the BARS in a desired position without compressing either the barrel or the magazine extension. Thus, the BARS of the present invention advantageously provides for a secure, adjustable engagement of the BARS to a desired location and orientation along the firearm without adversely affecting performance of the firearm.

[0026] According to one aspect of the present invention depicted in FIGS. 2-6, each of the cooperating clamping sections 55a, 55b can include more than one pair of flanges 30. In this example, each of the cooperating clamping sections 55a, 55b includes two pairs of flanges 30 on each coordinating clamping section 55a, 55b. In this aspect, the two pairs of flanges 30 are at opposite ends 85a, 85b of the transverse rail 35. However, it will be understood that other configurations are contemplated by the present invention.

[0027] Each flange 60, 65 in the pair of flanges 30 is positioned along the length L of the transverse rail 35 in a substantially aligned relation. Thus, for example, the barrel-contacting flange 60 may be offset from the magazine extension-contacting flange 65 as needed or desired. Additionally, the flanges 60, 65 may be offset from the ends 85a, 85b of the rail 35 any desired distance as needed to optimize stability and strength of the BARS 10 when clamped to a firearm F. Likewise, when the BARS 10 is attached to the firearm F, the flanges of the two clamping sections 55a, 55b can be in alignment or can be offset.

[0028] According to another aspect of the present invention depicted in FIGS. 7-11, each of the cooperating clamping sections 55a, 55b includes only one pair of flanges 30. In this aspect, the pairs of flanges 30 generally can be extended a greater distance along the length L of the firearm F, with each flange 60, 65 in the pair of flanges 30 disposed substantially centrally along the length L of the transverse rail 35. As shown, each of the flanges 60, 65 is disposed along the length L of the transverse rail 35 in a substantially aligned relation. However, it also will be understood that various dimensions and configurations of flanges are contemplated hereby.

[0029] In this and other aspects, each flange in a pair of flanges 30 is separated by the transverse or lateral rail 35. The transverse rail 35 supports the pair of flanges 30 and serves as an accessory mounting member. The rail 35 accordingly may include at least one mounting slot 40 along an outwardly facing side surface 85 or portion thereof for removably attaching various type firearm accessories (not shown) to the firearm F. In one aspect, the rail 35 includes a plurality of mounting slots 40a, 40b, . . . 40n. The slots 40a, 40b, . . . 40n provide a plurality of attachment points to mount various tactical accessories, such as white light illuminators, for example, flashlights, visible laser sighting systems, Infrared laser sighting systems or other accessories at different locations and in differing arrangements. In one aspect, the transverse or lateral rail is a standardized rail, for example, a Picatinney rail (MIL-STD-1913) or a weaver rail. By using a standardized rail, the BARS of the present invention may be used with numerous firearm accessories adapted to be mounted on such a standard rail. However, other types of mounting rails known to those of skill in the art may be used with the present invention and are contemplated hereby. When the BARS is mounted on the firearm, the user may attach a firearm accessory to the transverse rail on either side of the firearm. This provides a significant advantage over presently available mounting systems that restrict the user's ability to choose what type of accessories can be mounted (based on the mounting standard) and where to mount the accessory. In addition, the system of the present invention provides excellent mount strength, thereby enabling use of zero retention for sighting systems.

[0030] The transverse rail 35 also includes an inwardly facing surface 90 that is at least partially seated between the barrel 20 and magazine extension 25 when mounted on a firearm F. The inwardly facing surface 90 may include clipped, angled, or beveled corners 95 that optionally are arcuate in shape to follow the contours of the barrel 20 and magazine extension 25. However, other shapes, configurations, dimensions, and contours of the rail 35 also are contemplated hereby.

[0031] Accordingly, it will be readily understood by those persons skilled in the art that, in view of the above detailed description of the invention, the present invention is susceptible of broad utility and application. Many adaptations of the present invention other than those herein described, as well as many variations, modifications, and equivalent arrangements will be apparent from or reasonably suggested by the present invention and the above detailed description thereof, without departing from the substance or scope of the present invention.

[0032] While the present invention is described herein in detail in relation to specific aspects, it is to be understood that this detailed description is only illustrative and exemplary of the present invention and is made merely for purposes of providing a full and enabling disclosure of the present invention. The detailed description set forth herein is not intended nor is to be construed to limit the present invention or otherwise to exclude any such other embodiments, adaptations, variations, modifications, and equivalent arrangements of the present invention, the present invention being limited solely by the claims appended hereto and the equivalents thereof.

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