Patent application title: Reactive Target shooting system
John William Townsend (Temecula, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AA63B6500FI
Class name: Aerial projectile game; game element (e.g., target, etc.) or accessory therefor other than projector or projectile, per se target with support having both target and movable mechanical projector attached thereto
Publication date: 2011-07-07
Patent application number: 20110163503
This invention was created to add a unique reactive visual display to the
sport of casual target shooting. It is designed to create an explosive
effect, using common and inexpensive media, and without introducing a
fire danger. It can also be used to launch balls and other small objects.
Physically, this invention is comprised of a metal frame, a hub and axle,
and pivoting arms. Conceptually, this invention captures and diverts a
portion of the substantial kinetic energy imparted to a bullet when
fired, and, using simple leverage, redirects the energy to produce a
spectacular visual effect, all without relying on any form of external
electrical or battery power source.
1. a recreational target shooting system design that captures, transfers
and redirects energy such that when a projectile strikes the target face,
the force of impact is transferred through a lever, spindle, gear, or
other mechanical means, or through a series of levers, spindles, gears,
or other mechanical means in combination, and the energy is redirected
from a substantially horizontal direction to substantially vertical in
order to propel loose media or other objects into the air, thereby
creating a reactive and exciting visual effect for the shooter.
2. The target shooting system described in claim 1, as manufactured with smaller, light weight components for use with a pellet gun or other projectile not using any form of flammable propellant.
3. The target shooting concept of claim 1, whereby media or objects are propelled into the air, as applied to an embodiment using a vertical launching platform and fulcrum assembly instead of a central axle with pivoting hub.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 Not Applicable
 U.S. patent documents:
TABLE-US-00001 7,114,725 October 2006 Camp, et al. 7,219,897 May 2007 Sovine, et al. 7,175,181 February 2007 Bateman, et al. 6,478,301 November 2002 Witmeyer 5,176,386 January 1993 Simmons 6,896,267 May 2005 Le Anna 6,347,798 February 2002 Quiring, et al. 4,917,388 April 1990 Marquardt 4,614,345 September 1986 Doughty
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 Not Applicable
REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISC APPENDIX
 Not Applicable
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 This invention is pertains to the sport of informal target shooting with rifles or handguns. Specifically, it provides a different and improved visual feedback for the shooter.
 Current target shooting systems incorporate one or more of several basic designs, none of which create movement of separate media through energy transfer. The simplest is a paper target suspended on a frame or hung at some distance from the shooter. Also common are metal (steel) plates and silhouette targets, which are often designed to fall backward on a hinge mechanism when hit or to swing about an axle. Some target systems provide for motion of the target face around or across the target plane using a drive mechanism such as a spindle or chain. Clay targets, popular with shotgun sports, are launched into the air by hand or via a throwing machine. And of course there is the ubiquitous tin can or other disposable object simply placed on top of a fence post or tossed on the ground.
 This invention takes advantage of simple physics properties to produce a new element of visual excitement to the sport of casual target shooting.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 This target shooting system is designed to catapult water, sand, dirt, gravel, bird seed, or other media into the air when the target is hit by a high speed projectile such as a bullet or pellet. It can also be used to propel balls and other small objects. The invention complements and expands upon the time-honored tradition and pleasure of target shooting and plinking.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
 The drawing represents a perspective view of the current embodiment and displays the features and concept of this invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 The invention can be configured in a variety of ways and using differing materials depending on the media and on the physical effects to the target apparatus from various projectiles. Projectiles with higher terminal velocity and mass will necessitate correspondingly stronger and more substantial component materials in the apparatus in order to resist and minimize damage. The entire configuration is designed to use set screws and threaded surfaces at key connection points to permit simple and inexpensive replacement for any components that are inadvertently damaged from errant bullet impact.
 The embodiment shown in the drawing consists of two vertical triangular sides, each approximately two feet high, made of half inch or larger hollow steel support beams 1 that are threaded on the top ends, for ease of assembly, disassembly, and if needed, replacement of components. The apex of each triangular side is fitted with a hexagonal support 2, made of steel and drilled and tapped to accept the ends of the threaded support beams and the horizontal axle 3.
 The axle, approximately sixteen inches long, is made of half inch polished solid steel and is threaded on the ends to fit horizontally into the hexagonal supports.
 The hub assembly 4 consists of a single hexagonal bar of aluminum, approximately three inches in length and two inches in facet-to-facet diameter. A hole is bored through the center of the assembly with a diameter of five eighths of an inch. This hole is enlarged at each end, to a depth of five eighths of an inch, for accepting a nylon bushing that serves as a swivel bearing surface. The bushing is press fit into each end of the hub. An aluminum retaining sleeve 5 is installed on the axle at each side of the hub assembly and equidistant from the ends of the axle. Each retaining sleeve is fitted with a set screw to hold it in place on the axle. The retaining sleeves prevent side to side movement of the hub assembly.
 Two slots are machined into and through opposite sides of the hub and parallel to a facet on each side. The slots are rectangular, approximately one quarter of an inch wide, three quarters of an inch long, and are designed to accept the lever arms. A threaded hole is drilled perpendicular to the slots and through the parallel facets, to accept set screws that secure the adjustable position of each lever arm.
 The lever arms 6 consist of two flat aluminum bars that fit into the slots and can be adjusted through the use of the set screws, as noted above. To one bar the target face 7 is attached. The target face is made of a small cylindrical piece of steel. Other target face designs and specifications can be used as well. To the other bar is attached the media thrower 8, also made of aluminum, which can be in the form of a shovel, canister, curved open slide, flat blade, or other container as desired. The effective capacity of the delivery container is dependent on the force available from the projectile.
 On the rear facing support beams are attached two sets of small hooks 9. The hooks secure two elastic bands 10 that restrict both the delivery and reset motion of the lever arms. The upper band ensures that on impact, the swivel motion of the hub assembly is arrested at an approximately horizontal point, thereby driving the loose media vertically into the air. The lower band restricts the rebound action of the hub assembly, to allow the spinning lever arms to slow down quickly and come to rest in an approximately vertical "starting" position for faster follow up shots.
 A container can be attached to one side of the base, with a hose or trough fitting that feeds media into the media thrower after each shot, thus providing an automated loading function. Alternatively, a tray or pan can be placed directly under the thrower lever arm and filled with media such as water or dirt.
 Alternative designs based on this single axle, triangular support design include attaching more than two lever arms, and/or varying arm lengths, for different balance and spin characteristics. Configurations can be made using many different materials, such as steel, aluminum, titanium, or plastic, as well as in multiple shapes of components such as round, square, or polygonal. Pins, set screws, or welding can be used to assemble and fortify components. Bearings can be used instead of bushings in the hub. Placement of lever arms can be at multiple angles and positions relative to the hub. Many different media thrower designs are possible.
 There are also other design configurations that use different mechanical components to achieve the same effect. One such design, instead of relying on a single axle with a spinning hub assembly, could be based on cams or fulcrums and transfer arms that would act much like the amusement park game of "ring the bell", where a mallet impact drives a weight upward to hit a bell at the top. This design would be well suited to launch lightweight toy rockets. More complex designs are also possible, such as using multiple arms, axles, and chain or belt drive mechanisms to pivot a catapult arm about a fulcrum point. Any of these designs can be modified to offset the position or angles of the target face or media thrower.