Patent application title: METHOD OF SUPPRESSING BLAST CONDUIT LEAKAGE
Nathan Lee Waugh (Piney Flats, TN, US)
IPC8 Class: AF41A376FI
Class name: Firearms with recoil reducer
Publication date: 2012-07-12
Patent application number: 20120174450
A blast suppressor for safely diverting and suppressing the escape of
pressurized gasses from a non-muzzle opening in a blast conduit, such as
found at the juncture between a revolver's barrel and cylinder, or a
recoil-reducing ported barrel. The blast suppressor being designed
substantially within the existing framework of the firearm to maintain
its unique physical appearance, as well as fit with current holsters,
optics, and accessories.
1. A blast conduit leakage suppressor comprising: a. a tubular blast
conduit; and b. a blast suppression means substantially positioned to
intercept escaping blast from a non-muzzle opening in said blast conduit.
2. The blast conduit leakage suppressor of claim 1 wherein said non-muzzle opening is substantially incorporated within a firearm barrel.
3. The blast conduit leakage suppressor of claim 1 wherein said non-muzzle opening is a recoil reduction port.
4. The blast conduit leakage suppressor of claim 1 wherein said non-muzzle opening is the juncture of a firearm barrel and cartridge chamber.
5. The blast conduit leakage suppressor of claim 1 wherein said blast suppression means is selected from the group consisting of chambers, channels, baffles, grooves, ridges, shields, seals, vanes, ports, notches, precision fitting, and any combinations thereof.
6. The blast conduit leakage suppressor of claim 1 wherein said blast suppression means includes a substantially enclosed chamber positioned to intercept escaping gases from said non-muzzle opening.
7. The blast conduit leakage suppressor of claim 6 wherein said substantially enclosed chamber is externally bordered by a sealing means.
8. A blast conduit leakage suppressor comprising: a. a firearm barrel; b. a cartridge chamber; and c. a blast suppression means substantially positioned to intercept escaping blast from the juncture of said firearm barrel and said cartridge chamber.
9. The blast conduit leakage suppressor of claim 8 wherein said blast suppression means is selected from the group consisting of chambers, channels, baffles, grooves, ridges, shields, seals, vanes, ports, notches, precision fitting, and combinations thereof.
10. The blast conduit leakage suppressor of claim 8 wherein said blast suppression means is fabricated from a substantially resilient material suitable to withstand the blast emitted from said juncture.
11. The blast conduit leakage suppressor of claim 8 wherein said blast suppression means is permanently affixed at said juncture.
12. The blast conduit leakage suppressor of claim 8 wherein said blast suppression means is removable from said juncture.
13. The blast conduit leakage suppressor of claim 8 wherein said blast suppression means is substantially contained within said juncture.
14. The blast conduit leakage suppressor of claim 8 wherein said blast suppression means is a precision fitted barrel to chamber juncture.
15. The blast conduit leakage suppressor of claim 8 wherein said blast suppression means is substantially external to said juncture.
16. The blast conduit leakage suppressor of claim 8 wherein said juncture is found between the barrel and cylinder of a revolver type firearm.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 Benefit is claimed to the earlier filed application having U.S. Ser. No. 61/431,831 filed Jan. 11, 2011 the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates generally to a device or modification designed to divert, diffuse, and suppress a blast created by an explosion, detonation, or deflagration, emitted from a firearm opening other than the required opening facilitating discharge of the projectile, hereafter referred to as a non-muzzle opening. Often, it is not possible to completely seal openings, such as recoil reduction ports or the juncture of a firearm's barrel and chamber and also retain its full functionality; therefore, this invention seeks to reduce the risk to equipment, materials, or personnel, when discharging such firearms.
 An example of blast conduit leakage is found in a ported firearm barrel wherein the blast is directed outside of the firearm to reduce recoil. While the recoil is alleviated to considerable degree, an improper hold on the firearm could result in serious burns from the escaping blast.
 Another example of blast conduit leakage is found at the open juncture of a tubular barrel and cartridge chamber in a revolver type firearm. A revolver is typically a hand held firearm with a plurality of cartridge chambers that rotate to align each chamber with the firearm's barrel prior to discharging a projectile. The plurality of chambers is often referred to as a cylinder due to its substantially cylindrical shape, with cartridge chambers positioned about a central axis to facilitate rotation and barrel alignment. The projectile, or bullet, is moved from the cylinder to the barrel by the rapid combustion of propellant in the cartridge and/or cylinder, hereafter referred to as blast. As the projectile moves through the abutting tubular vessels, a portion of the blast escapes in a substantially perpendicular manner to the direction of the projectile through the open juncture. Since this juncture is in close proximity to the operator of the device, it has the obvious potential for serious injury.
 This danger has been apparent to those operating such firearms for over a century, the proof of which is clearly detailed in U.S. Pat No. 34,226, wherein Alsop describes a cam, which is engaged by the hammer to force the cylinder tight to the barrel prior to discharge. By pressing the two surfaces tightly together, the quantity and force of escaping blast would be minimized and the operator protected.
 U.S. Pat. No. 182,646 describes a sealing mechanism, which is energized by the detonation of the cartridge. As the revolver is discharged, the cartridge case elongates slightly, first pressing rearward until reaching the firearm frame, and then pressing forward subsequently sliding the cylinder tightly against the barrel. After the projectile passes into the barrel, a portion of the blast is then guided along pathways to disengage the cylinder from the barrel to return the firearm to its previous state, facilitating alignment of subsequent chambers for discharge. A major disadvantage of this design is the reliance on gas pressure to engage the cylinder prior to subsequent discharges. If the gas pathways become blocked, or the cylinder does not release freely from the firing position, the firearm will be rendered useless until manually engaged or disassembled for thorough cleaning. This is not an acceptable for a device used primarily for personal defense.
 U.S. Pat. No. 222,167 describes a sealing means, which is obtained from pressing the cartridge forward into the barrel prior to discharge. The cartridge case effectively seals the open juncture between the cylinder and barrel, preventing pressurized gasses from escaping. A fundamental problem with this device is understood with the knowledge that a firearm cartridge expands slightly to the cylinder wall after discharge and therefore requires an extractor to remove the spent cartridge case. This resistance will be compounded due to the cartridge extending through the unsupported juncture, which would allow the thin metal cartridge casing to expand more freely, creating an expanded ring and locking the casing in the firearm and rendering it useless for self-defense.
 U.S. Pat. Nos. 245,792; 338,760; 473,903; 4,694,602; and 5,020,258 describe a sliding cylinder actuated by a pressure block, wedge, cam, or other apparatus at the rear of the cylinder, which is energized by the user through normal actions of the hammer or trigger to forcibly move the cylinder forward against the barrel to seal the open juncture.
 U.S. Pat. Nos. 325,878; 1,965,637; 2,866,386; and 3,159,938 describe the use of sleeves or gas-checks forcibly moved forward from the chamber to seal the space between the cylinder and barrel. U.S. Pat. No. 325,878 describes a sealing means obtained from the use of a gas-check, which is forced forward during discharge by the projectile and/or escaping gasses, to seal the juncture of the cylinder and barrel. U.S. Pat. No. 1,965,637 forces sleeves into the juncture by means of a pushrod connected at one end to the aforementioned sleeve, the other end being impacted by the hammer at the time of discharge. U.S. Pat. No. 2,866,386 directs a portion of the escaping gas to pressurize the area behind the sleeve and force it into position.
 These patents, like those detailed previously, require the movement of the cylinder, barrel, cartridge, or other sealing means, to bridge or force closed the open juncture between the cylinder and barrel at the time of discharge. The energy required to facilitate the sealing process is obtained from redirecting a portion of escaping gases, from the cartridge, or the operator directly. While many of the referenced patents contain fundamental flaws, which have been detailed previously, the primary flaw in each of these designs is the requirement for additional moving components. Several rudimentary mechanical arrangements have been patented since the introduction of the revolver, but unfortunately each has failed to be successfully incorporated into current design due to their complexity, expense, and/or lack of proper functionality. Revolvers are preferred firearms for their rugged reliability so any additional components that introduce further complexity and likelihood of malfunction are not acceptable. Therefore, it is desirable to incorporate a device, or modify current firearm design, to reduce the potential for injury from the escaping blast without the need for additional moving components or deterring substantially from current popular revolver designs.
 It is an object of the present invention to provide a firearm modification capable of suppressing escaping gases from a non-muzzle blast conduit opening without the need for additional moving components, which can increase both manufacturing costs and the likelihood of malfunction.
 It is another object of the present invention to provide a firearm modification capable of suppressing escaping gases from a non-muzzle blast conduit opening by the addition of a blast suppression design or apparatus affixed to intercept the blast.
 The suppression apparatus can be temporarily or permanently affixed and will reduce the possibility of injury or damage from the escaping blast by initially diverting and diffusing the blast, and then further, by temporarily increasing pressure and turbulence around the blast conduit opening to further suppress the escape of the blast.
 While this invention is a novel improvement to current revolver design, a person skilled and knowledgeable in the art will understand that the inventive spirit is not to be limited to the specific descriptions and illustrations disclosed herein, but instead to the full broad scope of the appended claims.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The invention described herein comprises a safety device or method of manufacture incorporated into an ordnance device that reduces the risk of injury resulting from the escape of hot, pressurized gasses from an opening in an ordnance containment vessel. The blast reduction apparatus is mounted or otherwise affixed near the opening in such a manner as to intercept and suppress escaping gasses by diversion, diffusion, and maintaining a temporary pressure around the opening to reduce overall blast emissions.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a side view of an unmodified revolver handgun clearly showing the standard open junction between the cylinder and barrel.
 FIG. 2 is a side view of a modified revolver handgun clearly showing the enlarged frame and widened swing arm mechanism enshrouding the open juncture between the cylinder and barrel to suppress the escaping blast.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 Referring to FIG. 2, the blast suppression means of the present invention is generally represented by reference numeral 7. The cylinder 20 and barrel 15 represent a blast conduit, through which pressurized gases force a projectile across the open juncture 10 between them. The blast suppression means 7 in this example includes an enlarged frame nearest the barrel connection, and widened swing arm assembly, to close the gap between the cylinder and frame to enshroud and suppress the blast from the open juncture 10 of the handgun. The extended frame and swing-arm are closely aligned with the cylinder, leaving a chamber between the frame components and the juncture.
 As the escaping blast escapes the open juncture, its momentum is abruptly reduced after reaching the outer shroud. The gases then collect and pressurize the chamber between the juncture and shroud, thus reducing the further escape of gases and diverting a portion away from the user to prevent injury. This sealed chamber design could easily be accompanied or substituted with a series of baffles, notches, channels, ridges, and ports affixed to the firearm to supply a method of suppression and diversion of the escaping blast. None of these adaptations require additional moving components to execute their function while also allowing the firearm to be operated in a standard manner with fitted accessories such as holsters, grips, sights, safety locks, and cases for transport.
 The blast suppression means 7 is typically made of a rigid or semi-rigid resilient material such as metal, ceramic, or polymer, which can withstand the repeated impact of the escaping blast. Although the blast suppression means 7 is illustrated having a shape consistent with the standard form of the revolver, it may be of any size, shape, or configuration, which lends itself to adequately suppress the escaping blast from a non-muzzle blast conduit opening.
 A blast suppression test of the illustrated design concept was performed using a 357 Magnum Rossi revolver Model M711. A short length of 1/2 inch 90-degree angle iron was modified to generally match the curvature of the frame just forward of the cylinder. The angle iron tightly abutted the cylinder and was then rigidly attached with epoxy and a clamp to the frame, leaving a small gap to allow the cylinder to freely rotate without contacting the affixed angle iron. The clamp was used for this test in addition to epoxy because it was found that epoxy alone was not strong enough to withstand the blast. A supporting fixture was made from wood to rigidly hold the revolver solidly in place during firing to get clear photos for judging the outcome of the modifications. The tests were documented and clearly showed a blast reduction greater than 50%.
 In an alternative embodiment, the blast suppression means is adapted to be attached to a previously unmodified firearm as a safety feature. This adaptation's design and attachment mechanism will vary considerably between models and manufacturers, however, it will not divert substantially from the basic principles and features discussed herein.
 One skilled in the art would further understand that the blast suppression means 7 could also be a precision machined tolerance sufficient to adequately seal the cylinder to the barrel without the need for additional chambers, channels, baffles, grooves, ridges, shields, seals, vanes, ports, or notches attached thereto. While this adaptation is feasible, it would require a high degree of precision not typically found in such handguns.
 Having described the invention in detail, those skilled in the art will understand that modifications may be made to the various aspects of this invention without substantially departing from it's scope and spirit. Therefore, the descriptions herein should be considered only as illustrative embodiments, and not as potential limitations.
Patent applications in class WITH RECOIL REDUCER
Patent applications in all subclasses WITH RECOIL REDUCER