Patent application title: Ball and Socket Belt Clip Bow Holder
Clayton W. Reinarz (New Braunfels, TX, US)
Klint M. Kingsbury (Austin, TX, US)
IPC8 Class: AF41B514FI
Class name: Carried by animate bearer convertible or combined combined with a different art device
Publication date: 2011-08-25
Patent application number: 20110204113
A system for allowing an archer to temporarily position, place, and carry
a bow when the bow is not specifically being drawn on a target. The
system comprises two parts, a first part fixed on the bow and a second
part positioned on the archer, typically in association with an article
of clothing on the archer. The first part is a ball shaped component
fixed to the bow. The user then wears a socket type clip, where the
socket is sized to accommodate the ball by simply dropping the ball in
for a quick attach and detach. A slot in the socket allows quick drop in
ability, but is sized to secure to the bow as it swings in the socket
during normal walking, hunting, climbing, or other shooting activities.
The socket clip is preferably attached to the user's belt but may
alternately be attached to the user's clothing, vehicle, or other
stationary object for secure and tactical bow retention.
1. A system for temporarily positioning and carrying a bow when the bow
is not specifically being drawn on a target, the system comprising: a
ball component fixed to the bow or to an accessory fixed to the bow; and
a socket clip sized to receive and hold the ball component, the socket
clip configured to be attached to the user's belt and comprising a socket
receptacle on the user into which the ball component may be placed and
retained; wherein the user may position the ball component within the
socket clip and allow the bow to hang from the socket clip and be
retained therein by the weight of the bow.
2. The system of claim 1 wherein the ball component comprises a ball member defining an axial aperture and comprising at least one threaded set screw oriented orthogonally to the axial aperture, wherein the ball component may be slid onto a rod or cable through the axial aperture and may be fixed in position on the rod or cable with the at least one set screw.
3. The system of claim 1 wherein the ball component comprises a ball member fixed to a threaded post, the threaded post sized to be received into a standard stabilizer aperture positioned on the bow stock or on a stabilizer device fixed to the bow stock.
CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 This application claims the benefit under Title 35 United States Code §119(e) of U.S. Provisional Application 61/297,016 filed Jan. 21, 2010, the full disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates generally to archery and bow hunting accessories. The present invention relates more specifically to a device for positioning and holding a bow in a readily accessible manner to free up the hands of the archer when the bow is not being drawn on a target.
 2. Description of the Related Art
 When using a bow for hunting, fishing, or target shooting, the user frequently requires free use of both hands. It is inconvenient and/or dangerous to set the bow on the ground, on a hanger, or on a sling. It would be desirable to have a way of positioning and holding a bow in a readily accessible manner to free up the hands of the archer when the bow is not being drawn on a target. It would be desirable if such a system for temporarily hanging or holding the bow made use of components or points of accessory attachment already associated with typical bows (both compound and crossbow types).
 For the most part, efforts in the past to provide means for temporarily hanging a bow have involved placement of hangers on fixed objects. This is fine when the archer is stationary as in a blind or a fixed location. Frequently, however, the archer has need of the use of both hands while moving from one place to the next. It would be desirable therefore to have a way of positioning and holding a bow in a secure but readily accessible manner while the archer is either stationary or in motion.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention provides a system for allowing an archer to temporarily position, place, and carry a bow when the bow is not specifically being drawn on a target. This allows the archer to have both hands free. The system of the present invention comprises two parts, a first part fixed on the bow and a second part positioned on the archer, typically in association with an article of clothing on the archer. The first part is a ball shaped component fixed to the bow. The user then wears a socket type clip, where the socket is sized to accommodate the ball by simply dropping the ball in for a quick attach and detach. A slot in the socket allows quick drop in ability, but is sized to secure to the bow as it swings in the socket during normal walking, hunting, climbing, or other shooting activities. The socket clip is preferably attached to the user's belt but may alternately be attached to the user's clothing, vehicle, or other stationary object for secure and tactical bow retention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a side plan view of the system of the present invention in use suspending a compound bow from the belt of the archer in a position suitable for walking.
 FIGS. 2A-2C are orthogonal (front, side and top plan) views of the belt clip component of the system of the present invention showing the socket into which the ball component may be placed.
 FIGS. 3A and 3B are orthogonal (front and bottom plan) views of a first preferred embodiment of the ball component of the present invention.
 FIGS. 4A-4C are orthogonal (front, side, and top plan) views of a second preferred embodiment of the ball component of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
 Reference is made first to FIG. 1 which shows a side plan view of the system of the present invention in use suspending a compound bow from the belt of the archer in a position suitable for walking Bow holder belt clip 10 is shown positioned on the belt 16 of the user at the side over the user's hip where walking movement remains unobstructed. The bow 12 is suspended from clip 10 by ball component 18 which is fixed (in this example) to a standard cable slide bar 14 positioned on bow 12 as is typical in the art.
 The system of the present invention therefore comprises two primary components, the first ball component 18 fixed to the bow in one of a number of different ways, and the second clip socket component 10 positioned on the archer (in the preferred embodiment) or on another stationary object to which the clip 10 may be fixed.
 Reference is next made to FIGS. 2A-2C which are orthogonal (front, side and top plan) views of the belt clip component of the system of the present invention showing the socket into which the ball component may be placed. In these orthogonal views, clip socket component 10 is shown to be a unitarily molded plastic clip having a back plate 20 which slips behind the user's belt. A flat area 22 positioned on back plate 20 lends itself to the placement of a logo or other design through the use of a label or through printing directly on the clip.
 The back plate 20 extends up through a curved portion 32 where the generally flat strap of rigid plastic curves back on itself to form the front plate 24 of the clip. Front plate 24 also incorporates a flat area 30 onto which may be placed a logo or design. Together, back plate 20 and front plate 24 provide the clip components that secure the device to the belt of the user. An optional aperture 33 may be positioned through the upper part of back plate 20 to provide a manner of hanging the clip on nail or other smaller hook fixed to a stationary object instead of the belt of the user.
 Front plate 24 is molded into a socket configuration as shown. Socket 34 is defined by side walls 26 and platform 28. In this manner, the ball component of the system of the present invention, which is fixed to either a post or a cable, may be held captive within the socket when inserted into the same from above. The weight of the bow then serves to retain the ball within the socket until the bow is lifted by the user high enough up to release the ball component.
 Reference is now made to FIGS. 3A & 3B which are orthogonal (front and bottom plan) views of a first preferred embodiment of the ball component of the present invention. Ball component 40 is a simple ball shaped member 46 fixed to or incorporated with a post member 44. In the preferred embodiment, post member 44 terminates with a threaded section 42 that is used to attach the ball component 40 to the bow. In the preferred embodiment, ball component 40 may be constructed of a high density plastic material that is molded over a threaded metal post component. The threaded post in the preferred embodiment would fit the typical thread pattern for a stabilizer hole (female threading) on a bow which is generally a "standard" (male thread) of 5/16-24.
 Use of the first preferred embodiment of the ball component of the present invention would comprise fixing the ball/post to the stabilizer accessory mount typically found on most bows. Most accessories, such as stabilizers, also provide duplicate mounting apertures which repeat the thread patterns so as to allow for the placement of multiple stabilizers or additional weights. The ball component of the system of the present invention may be positioned on any of these attachments in a manner similar to that shown generally in FIG. 1 above with the use of a cable slide on a compound bow.
 An alternate ball component is disclosed in FIGS. 4A-4C which are orthogonal (front, side, and top plan) views of a second preferred embodiment of the ball component of the present invention. This embodiment provides the basic structure for a cable slide placement of the ball component of the present invention as shown in FIG. 1. The cable slide ball 50 is simply slid over the end of a standard compound bow cable slide through aperture 52 in ball member 54. The cable slide ball set screws 56a & 56b are screwed down to secure the cable slide ball 50 to the cable slide.
 Some modern compound bows do not utilize a standard cable slide (as shown in FIG. 1), but rather cable rollers or other means of securing the bow cables. In such instances, the user can utilize the riser/stabilizer screw in ball 40 as shown in FIGS. 3A & 3B. The riser/stabilizer screw in this embodiment has the standard male thread pattern that is accommodated by a standard compound bow riser's female threaded insert (as described above). The riser/stabilizer screw-in the ball component is screwed into the riser insert. Most modern bow stabilizers have the same standard female threaded insert as the bow risers. The riser/stabilizer screw-in ball can also be screwed into these stabilizers for the same securing method of the bow to the socket clip.
 An embodiment of the present invention may comprise a kit that offers the two types of ball components for use with the single clip component. At least two of the three elements are necessary for each bow in order to properly operate the invention. If the bow has a standard cable slide, the user will need to utilize the two cable slide ball set screws so that the ball can be firmly fastened to the end of the bow cable slide. The socket clip is then utilized to secure the ball and bow combination. The riser/stabilizer screw-in ball component is therefore not required for this setup. If the bow does not have a standard cable slide, the riser/stabilizer screw-in ball component is utilized to attach to either the riser female threaded insert, or if the archer is utilizing a stabilizer with a standard female threaded insert, to attach the riser stabilizer screw-in ball to the stabilizer. This also allows the user to secure the bow to the socket clip. The cable ball slide and cable ball slide set screws are not utilized in this configuration. An optional ball holder and fastening device designed for a bow with cable rollers or an alternative cable slide could be utilized to attach the bow to the socket clip.
 Both the cable slide ball and the riser/stabilizer screw-in ball are dimensioned so that there is adequate tolerance between the side walls and platform of the socket clip. This tolerance is designed to allow firm fastening of the bow, but still allow the bow to swing and maintain comfort and minimize torque wherever the socket clip is secured. As shown and described above, the socket clip forms a slot coming in from the side that provides just enough space to clear a standard compound bow's cable slide, as well as the shaft below the riser/stabilizer screw in ball.
 The socket clip is designed to firmly hold onto the cable slide ball or the riser/stabilizer screw-in ball depending on the user's bow design and/or preference. The socket design firmly secures the bow, but also allows for a quick removal of the bow from the clip for tactical field abilities. The combination ball and socket design allows for total comfort for the user when the user desires to have both hands free. The cable slide ball set screws are designed to firmly screw down onto the cable slide and hold the cable slide ball onto the end of the cable slide.
 The invention would preferably be fabricated through injection molding and/or die-casting processes for affordability. If used with plastic/composite injection molding, steel, aluminum, or brass inserts would be utilized for set screws, threads and strengthening properties. The socket clip could be modified to attach to a user's belt, pocket, waist band, sling, body, vehicle, hunting blind, tree, tree stand, or other stationary or moving objects that might be convenient for securing the bow. The ball design could be modified to secure to any other part of the bow so that it provides more convenience and/or comfort for the user.
 A person would use this invention for hunting, fishing, travel, target shooting, or tournament fishing. The user simply attaches the preferred ball design to the bow. The user then drops the ball into the socket clip when they need their hands free for other operations. The user can choose to use the cable slide ball and cable slide ball set screws, or the riser/stabilizer screw-in ball, or another ball-to-bow fastening device to drop the ball into the socket clip. This invention could also be modified for use with a fire-arm, cross bow, portable hunting blind, decoys, optics, and other hand carried hunting gear.
 Although the present invention has been described in conjunction with a number of preferred embodiments these are not intended to be limiting of the invention. Other means for attaching the ball component to the bow will be recognized by those skilled in the art. Likewise, modifications to the socket clip component are also anticipated so as to accommodate different structures onto which the clip is to be attached or supported. It is also anticipated that the placement of the ball and socket components might be reversed such that the ball component is positioned on the belt clip and the socket component is positioned on the bow. Other modifications to the components of the present invention will be anticipated to accommodate various types of compound bows, crossbows, and other such devices used in hunting and targeting environments
Patent applications by Klint M. Kingsbury, Austin, TX US
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