Patent application title: TREE MOUNTED WEAPON-SUPPORTING ASSEMBLY
Ronald H. Mcghan (Muskegon, MI, US)
IPC8 Class: AF41C2700FI
Class name: Firearms implements rests
Publication date: 2011-12-15
Patent application number: 20110302819
A weapon-supporting assembly including a base, an extension member
extending from the base, and a strut, wherein the base, the extension
member, and the strut are configured as disclosed herein.
1. A weapon-supporting assembly, comprising: a base; an extension member
extending from the base; and a strut, wherein the base, the extension
member, and the strut are configured as disclosed herein.
2. A weapon-supporting assembly as is provided herein having at least one of the disclosed functional, structural and/or ornamental characteristic(s).
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)
 This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/306,630, filed Feb. 22, 2010, entitled "TREE MOUNTED WEAPON-SUPPORTING ASSEMBLY" and U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/320,357, filed Apr. 2, 2010, entitled "TREE MOUNTED WEAPON-SUPPORTING ASSEMBLY," all of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference in their entirety, including all references cited therein.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates in general to a weapon-supporting assembly and, more particularly, but not by way of limitation, to a tree mounted weapon-supporting assembly for supporting at least a portion of the weight of a weapon.
 2. Background Art
 Weapon-supporting assemblies have been known in the art for years, and are the subject of numerous patents, including: U.S. Pat. No. 6,726,163 entitled "Hunter's Shooting Rest And Method Of Using Same," U.S. Pat. No. 5,723,808 entitled "Adjustable Rest," U.S. Pat. No. 5,685,103 entitled "Gun Support," U.S. Pat. No. 5,491,920 entitled "Adjustable Firearm Brace," U.S. Pat. No. 4,722,501 entitled "Bow Hanger," and United States Patent Application Publication Number 2007/0094910 entitled "Tether Apparatus For A Weapon"--all of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference in their entirety including all references cited therein.
 U.S. Pat. No. 6,726,163 appears to disclose a shooting rest for supporting a firearm while a hunter is hunting from a tree stand, a tree seat, a ground blind or a field, including a mounting bracket and an arm pivotally attached thereto to allow horizontal aiming adjustment having a pair of forks from which a cradle is supported for resting a firearm therein. Vertical aiming adjustment is allowed by swinging the firearm forward or backward within the cradle and/or adjusting the cradle along the fore-end of the stock of the firearm.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,723,808 appears to disclose an adjustable rest comprising a support base; a mounting strap for attaching the support base to a rigid structure, such as a tree, above the head of a user; a first support member slidably connected to the support base; a second support member pivotally connected to the first support member wherein the second support member can be pivoted about at least two axes; a third support member pivotally connected to the second support member, wherein the third support member is adjustable in length; and a resting device operatively connected to the third support member for allowing a selected device to be rested thereon.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,685,103 appears to disclose a device for supporting a gun from a tree where the gun has a scope and the device supports the gun from the scope. The device comprises a plate adapted to be attached to a tree by the use of an adjustable strap that surrounds the tree, an arm pivotally attached to the plate and extending therefrom so that an elastic member may be attached to the end of the arm distal from the plate, and a harness having a body and a first and second belt connected to the elastic member. The first and second belt encircle the front end and back end of the scope, respectively, and support the gun. The first and second belts are adjustable so that the gun can be balanced within the harness.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,491,920 appears to disclose an adjustable firearm brace for supporting the first end of a firearm. The brace includes a base that has an attaching means for attaching the base to a generally vertical support, an arm having a first end that is pivotally connected to the base for generally horizontal rotation of the second end of the arm about the base, and structure for supporting the muzzle end of a firearm being attached to the second end of the arm.
 U.S. Pat. No. 4,722,501 appears to disclose a bow hanger which may be readily installed on a tree or other generally vertical standard is comprised of a relatively small diameter steel rod which is bent at a substantially right angle at the rear end which fits into and is retained by a clevis included on a ratchet type of tightening device for a strap adapted to encircle and be tightened about the tree. The forward end of the rod includes an upwardly angulated tip for retaining the bow in a relatively fixed position. The tip as well as an adjacent portion of the rod is covered by a resilient tubing member. A push nut is fitted on the rear end of the rod to hold the rod in place on strap tightening device. An angularly offset end portion is included at the rear end for contacting the tree and operates to maintain the forward end of the rod in a generally horizontal position.
 United States Patent Application Publication Number 2007/0094910 appears to disclose: (1) an apparatus for releasably securing a weapon to an elevated platform such as a hunting stand comprising a tether and a harness; (2) an apparatus that prevents the weapon from striking the ground when the weapon is dropped from the elevated platform; (3) an apparatus that reduces the forces acting on the weapon when the weapon is dropped from the elevated platform; (4) an apparatus that will help prevent the weapon from accidentally discharging if the weapon is dropped from the elevated platform; and (5) an apparatus that will also help prevent damage to the weapon if the weapon is dropped from the elevated platform.
 While the above-identified patents and published applications do appear to provide weapon-supporting assemblies, their configurations remain non-desirous and/or problematic inasmuch as, among other things, none of the above-identified assemblies appear to be configured to effectively engage and support a firearm such as a crossbow in a substantially vertical position--among other things.
 It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a tree mounted weapon-supporting assembly, which, among other things, remedies the aforementioned detriments and/or complications associated with the use of the above-identified, conventional weapon-supporting assemblies. It is further therefore an object of the present invention to provide a tree mounted weapon-supporting assembly, which, among other things is provided to support at least a portion of the weight of a weapon, such as a crossbow and to engage and support the firearm in a substantially vertical position.
 These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent in light of the present specification, claims, and drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 Certain embodiments of the present invention are illustrated by the accompanying figures. It will be understood that the figures are not necessarily to scale and that details not necessary for an understanding of the invention or that render other details difficult to perceive may be omitted. It will be further understood that the invention is not necessarily limited to the particular embodiments illustrated herein.
 The invention will now be described with reference to the drawings wherein:
 FIG. 1 of the drawings is a perspective view of a weapon-supporting assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention showing, among other things, the weapon-supporting assembly secured to a tree and supporting a weapon;
 FIG. 2 of the drawings is a perspective view of a weapon-supporting assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention showing, among other things, the weapon-supporting assembly unsecured to a tree and unassociated with a weapon;
 FIG. 3 of the drawings is a perspective view of an embodiment of a weapon-supporting assembly;
 FIG. 4 of the drawings is a perspective view of two retainer inserts;
 FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the weapon-supporting assembly of FIGS. 1 and 2;
 FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the weapon-supporting assembly of FIGS. 1, 2 and 5;
 FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the weapon-supporting assembly of FIG. 3 attached to a tree and supporting a weapon;
 FIGS. 8 and 9 are perspective views of the weapon-supporting assembly of FIGS. 3 and 7;
 FIG. 10 is a perspective view of separate embodiments of weapon-supporting assemblies placed side-by-side; and
 FIGS. 11-13 are perspective views of weapon-supporting assemblies constructed in accordance with the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and described herein in detail several specific embodiments with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiments illustrated.
 It will be understood that like or analogous elements and/or components, referred to herein, may be identified throughout the drawings with like reference characters.
 In accordance with the present invention, the tree mounted weapon-supporting assemblies shown herein are provided for supporting and/or controllably and releasably retaining at least a portion of the weight of a weapon, such as a bow, crossbow, rifle, shotgun, pistol, firearm, etcetera. In general, the weapon-supporting assembly is associated with a tree at a predetermined distance above the ground and/or a conventional tree stand. The weapon-supporting assembly acts as a support that controllably and releasably retains the weapon in such a way that the weapon can be easily transitioned from a substantially vertical position to a firing position.
 Referring now to the collective drawings (i.e., FIGS. 1-13), and to FIG. 1 in particular, a perspective view of a first embodiment of weapon-supporting assembly 10, hereinafter sometimes referred to as assembly 10, is shown which generally comprises base 12, extension 14 and strut 16. It will be understood that weapon-supporting assembly 10 may be fabricated from a unitary piece of material or, alternatively, from a plurality of pieces. It will be further understood that FIGS. 1-13 are merely representations of one or more embodiments of weapon-supporting assemblies of the present invention. As such, some of the components may be distorted from their actual scale for pictorial clarity and/or image enhancement.
 In one, preferred embodiment of the present invention, base 12 comprises a substantially rectangular plate and is preferably fabricated from metals, non-metals, plastics, wood, ceramics, glass, composite materials, and combinations of the same, etcetera. Base 12 is provided with one or more retainers 18, and in one embodiment, two retainers 18 extend from a top surface of base 12. The retainers 18 cooperate with base 12 to form loops for receiving one or more straps 20 therethrough for securely strapping base 12 to tree 22.
 Base 12 also preferably includes one or more anchor plates 24 for engaging the outer surface of tree 22. In one embodiment, anchor plates 24 comprise substantially C-shaped plates that extend across and intersect base 12. Anchor plates 24 are designed to distribute forces created during the strapping of base 12 to tree 22 via straps 20. Moreover, the forces created by strapping base 12 to tree 22 are distributed to the anchor plates 24 and through ends 26 causing the engagement of ends 26 with the outer surface of tree 22 to prevent assembly 10 from moving vertically along tree 22.
 Extension 14 comprises an elongated member that extends substantially perpendicularly from base 12. Extension 14 has terminal end 28 having retainer 30 for engaging at least a portion of a weapon such as crossbow 32 (see FIG. 1). In one embodiment, retainer 30 is an upturned tab, which acts as a stop to prevent the weapon from unintentionally sliding off of terminal end 28. It will be understood that retainer 30 should have a height that allows retainer 30 to be easily inserted trough stirrup 34 of crossbow 32, yet prevent the crossbow or other weapon from sliding off of extension 14. It will be understood that retainer 30 may be releaseably connected to extension 14 such that retainer 30 may be removed and replaced with different retainers 30 designed to engage different weapons.
 To support greater weight, strut 16 of weapon-supporting assembly 10 is provided to add rigidity and strength and to prevent extension 14 from undesired downward deflection. Strut 16 extends at an upward angle from base 12 to extension 14.
 In operation, weapon-supporting assembly 10 is joined to tree 22 by placing base 12 against tree 22 such that ends 26 of anchor plates 24 engage the outer surface of tree 22. Straps 20 are inserted through retainers 18 and looped around tree 22. Straps 20 are tightened down urging base 12 towards tree 22 such that ends 26 of anchor plates 24 to engage the outer surface of tree 22. Once weapon-supporting assembly 10 is joined to tree 22, stirrup 34 of crossbow 32 may be hung on terminal end 28 of extension 14 to place crossbow 32 in a substantially vertical position. To remove crossbow 32 from assembly 10, crossbow 32 is lifted slightly until stirrup 34 can be removed from terminal end 28 of extension 14.
 Referring collectively now to FIGS. 3 and 7-10, additional embodiments of weapon-supporting assembly 110 are shown. Weapon-supporting assembly 110 is constructed similarly to weapon-supporting assembly 10, namely weapon-supporting assembly 110 includes base 112 that is identical in construction to base 12.
 More specifically, extension 114 comprises an at least partially tubular shaft that is pivotally connected to base 112 to allow extension 114 to be selectively vertically positioned. Terminal end 128 of extension 114 is tubular in shape and designed to receive retainer inserts 136. Retainer inserts 136 serve as a stop to prevent a weapon from unintentionally sliding off of terminal end 128 of extension 114. Retainer inserts 136 may include an elongated shaft having cradle 138 disposed on a terminal end thereof for releaseably engaging at least a portion of a weapon. Cradle 138 may include brackets, tabs, hangars, etcetera. Elongated shaft of retainer inserts 136 allow cradle 138 to extend and retract from extension 114. Retainer inserts 136 can be locked into position via locking mechanism 140, such as a threaded fastener that extends through extension 114 to engage elongated shaft of retainer insert 136.
 Strut 116 comprises a tubular support that is pivotally attached to base 112 and operatively connected to extension 114 via armature 142. Armature 142 comprises a shaft that is designed to be slidably inserted into strut 116 to selectively vary the vertical displacement of extension 114. It will be understood that armature 142 is also pivotally connected to extension 114. Armature 142 can be locked into position via locking mechanism 144, such as a threaded fastener that extends through strut 116 to engage armature 142.
 In operation, weapon-supporting assembly 110 is joined to tree 22 in a manner identical to weapon-supporting assembly 10. The vertical position of extension 114 can be varied by slidably inserting or removing armature 142 from strut 116 and locking armature 142 in place via locking mechanism 144. Additionally, the length of extension 114 can be varied by slidably inserting or removing retainer insert 136 from terminal end 128 of extension 114 and locking retainer insert 136 via locking mechanism 140. Once weapon-supporting assembly 110 is joined to tree 22 and properly adjusted, a weapon may be supported by weapon-supporting assembly 110 in a substantially vertical orientation similar to weapon-supporting assembly 10.
 Appendix A, which is attached hereto, further discloses a weapon-supporting assembly having a mount for a camera and/or video recorder. Additionally, Appendix A discloses a weapon-supporting assembly having a mount for an umbrella and/or other protective shield.
 The foregoing description merely explains and illustrates the invention and the invention is not limited thereto except insofar as the appended claims are so limited, as those skilled in the art who have the disclosure before them will be able to make modifications without departing from the scope of the invention.
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