Patent application title: Locking holster with thumb drive
Howard Schultz (Spanaway, WA, US)
Bryce Wegner (Puyallup, WA, US)
Tom Crawford (Gig Harbor, WA, US)
Steve Avila (Edgewood, WA, US)
IPC8 Class: AF41C3302FI
Class name: Retainer or positioner for article held by receiver handgun receiver retainer extending into trigger guard opening
Publication date: 2011-01-20
Patent application number: 20110011904
A rigid holster for retaining a pistol or handgun of specific design
configuration has a locking pin that engages into the trigger guard ring
area when the handgun is contained in the holster, thus retaining the
handgun in place. To release the gun a user pushes a thumb pad which
slides forward to release the locking pin. Other release mechanisms are
1. A holster with a gun retention lock, comprising:a rigid holster having
an interior conforming to a particular handgun configuration to receive
and cover substantially a gun barrel, trigger and trigger guard of a
handgun, leaving the gun handgrip exposed for gripping,a retention lever
pivotally mounted on one side of the holster, on a pivot axis at an
intermediate position on the lever and generally parallel to a gun barrel
when contained in the holster, the retention lever having one end with a
locking pin positioned to extend into an area generally circumscribed by
the trigger guard of the gun when contained in the holster so as to
prevent removal of the handgun, when the lever is pivotally rocked to a
gun retention position, and having an opposite end with a cam surface,a
spring biasing the retention lever toward the gun retention position,
anda slide piece slidably mounted on the holster for a sliding path such
that a remote end of the slide piece engages with the cam surface of the
retaining lever when pushed in a forward direction toward the gun barrel,
and the slide piece having a back end with a thumb pad positioned to be
near a user's thumb when a user grips the handgrip of a gun contained in
the holster,whereby a user can grip the gun handgrip while engaging his
thumb against the thumb pad in the same motion and pushing the slide
piece forward to engage the cam to pivot and rock the retention lever to
a release position in which the locking pin is retracted out laterally
from the trigger guard of the handgun, allowing the handgun to be pulled
out of the holster.
2. The holster of claim 1, wherein the holster has a pair of slide guides closely positioned around the slide piece to facilitate linear sliding movement of the slide piece, generally parallel to the orientation of a gun barrel when contained in the holster.
3. The holster of claim 1, wherein the holster is formed in two sections, one at each end of left and right sides of the holster, and wherein the sections are fixed together at a top side extending parallel to a gun barrel such that at a bottom side opposite the top side the two sections are adjustable as to separation, and including at least one elastomeric bushing between the two sections at said bottom side, and a threaded fastener secured through the bushing to both sections and allowing adjustment of tension drawing the two sections together, to facilitate adjustment of tightness of the holster in fitting over a handgun.
4. The holster of claim 3, including two said elastomeric bushings spaced apart along a line parallel to the gun barrel.
5. A holster with a gun retention lock, comprising:a rigid holster having an interior conforming to a particular handgun configuration to receive and cover substantially a gun barrel, trigger and trigger guard of a handgun, leaving the gun handgrip exposed for gripping,a locking pin or protrusion mounted on one side of the holster for movement thereon, the locking pin having two positions, a gun retention position in which the locking pin extends into an area generally circumscribed by the trigger guard of the gun when contained in the holster so as to prevent removal of the handgun, and a release position wherein the locking pin is retracted from the trigger guard area,a spring biasing the locking pin toward the gun retention position,a slide piece slidably mounted on the holster for a sliding path generally parallel to a gun barrel when contained in the holster such that a remote end of the slide piece can be pushed in a forward direction generally toward the gun barrel, and the slide piece having a back end with a thumb pad positioned to be near a user's thumb when a user grips the handgrip of a gun contained in the holster, andretraction means associated with the locking pin and the remote end of the slide piece, for causing the locking pin to be retracted to the release position when the slide piece is pushed forward via the thumb pad,whereby a user can grip the gun handgrip while engaging his thumb against the thumb pad and in the same motion pushing the slide piece forward to cause the retraction means to move the locking pin to the release position in which the locking pin is retracted out laterally from the trigger guard of the handgun, allowing the gun to be pulled out of the holster.
BACKGROUND OF INVENTION
The invention concerns weapons, and particularly a pistol or handgun holster. In particular, the invention relates to a safety gun retention for a rigid handgun holster, requiring a release by the hand of a user prior to retrieving the handgun.
Rigid pistol or handgun holsters, formed of plastic material and custom-fitted to a particular handgun, are in wide use with police and also tactical military personnel. The holster fits closely over the barrel, trigger and trigger guard of a handgun, leaving the handgun handle or handgrip exposed for gripping. As examples, see European Patent No. EP 1589314, showing a holster with a releasable U-shaped restraining strap that extends over the outer end of the gun. See also the SERPA holster shown on Blackhawk.com, and also in U.S. Pat. No. 5,918,784. The latter holster has a gun restraint with a protrusion that enters the trigger guard area of the gun, on a pivoted lever, the lever being released by pushing an exposed end inward with an index finger of the user. This pulls the protrusion out from the region of the trigger guard and allows the pistol or handgun to be below the holster. A problem with the index finger-released retention device is the direction of motion required to release the device, i.e. perpendicular to the direction in which the hand reaches for the gun, and at a point somewhat remote from the gun handgrip. Further, the index finger reaches forward to the trigger area, and some users tend to keep the index finger in place after pushing in the release button, thus leaving the finger dangerously close to the trigger as the gun is pulled free of the holster and the finger can fall onto the trigger and discharge the gun accidentally. See also U.S. published application No. 2006/0226185, showing a similar pivoted-lever-operated gun retention device, operated by a thumb-driven mechanism but requiring a pivoting, swinging motion of a lever by the thumb, rather than a direct sliding motion as in the invention described below.
An object of the invention is to provide a rigid pistol or handgun holster with a safety retention device that is smoothly and directly operated by a thumb of the user as he puts his hand over the gun handgrip.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In the rigid holster of the invention, a locking pin, preferably on the end of a rocker arm, engages into the trigger guard area when the pistol or handgun is contained in the holster, the pin being spring-loaded to this position and retaining the holster in place. To release the gun from the holster a user pushes a thumb pad positioned adjacent to the pistol handgrip, which pushes a slide piece or push rod forward to release the locking pin. The thumb pad can be pushed in the same motion in which the user grips the gun handgrip.
In a preferred embodiment the lock and release mechanism comprises a rocking lever or rocker arm with the pin or protrusion at its lower end, rocking on an axis parallel to the barrel of the gun. The opposite end of this rocking lever has a taper or cam surface, which rotates the lever to a pin-retracting position when the push rod secured to the thumb pad slides forward over this cam surface. The end of the push rod may be tapered as well. Thus, when the user grips the gun handgrip the thumb of the gripping hand can be directly in position to engage the thumb pad and slide the push rod or slide piece forward as the gun is gripped, allowing the locking mechanism to be released in the same motion with the gripping of the gun.
It is among the objects of the invention to reliably retain a handgun in a dedicated rigid holder, requiring a deliberate release of the lock device prior to removal of the handgun. In particular, the invention achieves this such that a user can release the retention device and grip the handgrip of the pistol in essentially a single motion, pushing a thumb pad inwardly, for fast retrieval of the gun. These and other objects, advantages and features of the invention will be apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment, considered along with the accompanying drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a rigid pistol or handgun holster according to the invention.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view from an opposite side.
FIG. 3 is a view of the inner side of the holster, with a cover removed, and illustrating a preferred form of mechanism for locking retention and release of the handgun.
FIG. 4 is a side view showing the holster with a cover plate removed and a pistol contained in the holster, and demonstrating release of the pistol's retention using a thumb latch.
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4, showing the handgun released and partially removed.
FIG. 6 is a rear view of the holster, without a handgun, and revealing some details of the gun retention.
FIG. 7 is a sectional view, in a slight angle of perspective, showing the inside of the holster at the side having the retention mechanism.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 1 shows a rigid holster 10 of the invention. The holster has an inner side 12 (here, the left side) which is to be against the wearer/user, and on this side is a thumb pad 14 for releasing a pistol or handgun retention lock by pushing the thumb pad and attached slide piece 16 inward (generally down, as worn). A cover plate 18 covers the mechanism for locking and releasing from the holster a pistol or handgun, not shown in this view, via the trigger guard of the gun.
FIG. 2 is a view showing the opposite, outer side 20 of the holster of the invention.
FIG. 3 shows the handgun holster 10 from the inner side 12 and with the cover 18 removed, revealing one preferred mechanism 22 for retention and release of a pistol or handgun. See also FIGS. 4 and 5, demonstrating use of this mechanism. The handgun 24 (FIGS. 4 and 5) is retained by a retention pin 26 that protrudes through an opening 28 in the outer side of the holster as shown in FIG. 3, to engage in the space 30 circumscribed the trigger guard 32 of the handgun (FIG. 5). This protruding pin 26 can be better seen in the end view of FIG. 6. The locking pin 26 is on the lower end of a retention lever 34, which is pivoted on a pivot axis at 36. The pivot axis is generally parallel to the path of the gun in this embodiment, i.e. parallel to the path of insertion and removal of the gun in the holster. At the upper end of the retention lever 26 is a cam surface 38. This cam surface is partially engaged by the far end of the slide piece 16, which is retained by two preferably integral slide brackets 42 and 44 in the form of the invention illustrated. As illustrated, the thumb pad 14 forms an enlarged end of the slide piece 16.
A torsion spring (not shown) urges the locking pin or protrusion 26 toward the locked, retaining position. This torsion spring is advantageously located at the pivot axis 36, which has an internal pivot pin (not shown). One end of the torsion spring is secured to or engages the retention lever 34 to urge the lower end 26 through the opening 28, while the other is anchored on the holster body structure.
As can be seen from FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, the user can easily grip the handle or handgrip 46 of the pistol or handgun with his right hand 48 in the case shown (a left handed model is as a mirror image of what is shown here), such that the user's thumb 50 engages against the thumb pad 14. With-the same motion to grip the handgun the thumb pad is pushed to slide the slide piece 16 forward, to engage the cam (tapered) surface 38 of the retention lever to push this end of the lever back into the holster and thus to displace the lower end, with the locking pin 26, outwardly. This releases the gun, to be pulled out of the holster, as shown in FIG. 5.
The locking pin or protrusion 26 preferably is formed in a specific shape so as to permit the pistol or handgun to be pushed easily back into the holster, without the need for again pushing the thumb release 14. As can be seen to some extent in FIG. 6, the locking pin 26 preferably has an inclined face 52 which itself acts as a cam surface. When the gun is pushed into the holster, the trigger guard 32 of the gun pushes against this cam surface 52, pushing the locking lever outwardly against the spring force. The lever 34 is free to pivot in this direction, because the slide piece 16 is also spring-biased, toward the outer position, i.e. toward the right as seen in FIG. 3. The spring could be a compression spring, tension spring or leaf spring acting at 16a (FIG. 3) between the slider 16 and the slide bracket or guide 44. In fact, FIG. 5 is schematic to demonstrate release and removal of the handgun, but at this point of gun retraction the slide piece 16 preferably has been moved back to the right by the spring and the lever 34 has also returned to its original position.
FIG. 7, showing the outer half or side 12 of the holster, shows the locking pin 26 from a different angle, also showing the inclined surface or cam 52 on this locking pin as described above. FIG. 7 also shows a pair of elastomeric bushings that act as compressible spacers 54 for a connection between the two sides of the holster. As noted above, the holster in a preferred form is made of injection-molded plastic. The two sides 12 and 20 are connected together at several locations. One location is a long, generally half-cylindrical bridge 56 that preferably is integrally formed with the two sides. The two sides 12 and 20 would thus be somewhat flexibly retained as to their separation, but for the connections at the bushings 54. These establish the internal width throughout most of the holster, and this width, that is the tightness of the holster on a pistol or handgun held in the holster, is adjustable via these elastomeric bushings. Fasteners, preferably machine screws 58, shown in dashed lines in FIG. 6 and indicated in the centers of the bushings 54 in FIG. 7, can be tightened down as desired by the user to adjust the separation of the two sides 12 and 20 of the holster. Threaded nut grommets 60 to receive the tensioning machine screws are shown in FIG. 3 and also in FIG. 1, and the heads 62 of the machine screws 58 are shown in FIG. 2. The use of two separate fasteners and bushings, spaced apart as shown in the drawings (about 1/2'' to 3/4'' or so) also gives the user control over the gripping of the pistol or handgun by the holster, in that a slight taper or tilt angle can be establish between the two sides of the holster if desired.
FIGS. 1, 3 and 7 show the external cover plate 18 and three fastener holes 64 through this plate and through the inner side or left side 22 of the holster. These fastener are used not only to secure the cover plate to the holster body, but also to secure a desired form of attachment device to the holster. This can be a paddle or a belt slide, both of these well known for securing rigid holsters to the gear of the user. A paddle secures the holster to the user's pants waist, while a belt slide connects to the belt.
A variation from the mechanism illustrated would be a different form of retraction mechanism for the locking pin. For example, the locking pin or protrusion could be retracted in a different way from its locking position within the trigger guard space. The thumb pad or slide piece 14, 16 could be mounted at a slightly different level on the holster, and the locking pin could be at the end of a simple slide rod which slides laterally in/out relative to the trigger guard (rather than on a rocker arm), mounted in an appropriate barrel or slide channel on the holster. An outer or opposite end of the locking pin could have an L shape such that a cam on the leg of the L shape, or on the end of the slide piece, or both, could be effective when the slide piece is advanced forward to cam the locking pin laterally outwardly, allowing the handgun to be removed.
The above described preferred embodiments are intended to illustrate the principles of the invention, but not to limit its scope. Other embodiments and variations to these preferred embodiments will be apparent to those skilled in the art and may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.
Patent applications by Bryce Wegner, Puyallup, WA US
Patent applications in class Retainer extending into trigger guard opening
Patent applications in all subclasses Retainer extending into trigger guard opening