Patent application title: PAINTBALL MARKER ACCURACY
Wojciech Marian Bok (Surrey, CA)
IPC8 Class: AF41B1100FI
Class name: Fluid pressure with control for discharge of fluid pressure by valve means
Publication date: 2012-08-02
Patent application number: 20120192845
The accuracy of a paintball propelled through a paintball marker is
improved by longitudinally injecting pressurized gas into the paintball
marker's barrel and forcing the gas to follow a spiral path as it is
injected into the barrel. This can be achieved by mounting a spiral
member within the paintball marker's power tube nozzle, such that the
spiral member extends and spirals longitudinally along the nozzle.
1. A power tube for a paintball marker, the power tube comprising a
spiral member mounted to extend and spiral longitudinally within a nozzle
of the power tube.
2. A paintball marker having a power tube, the power tube comprising a spiral member mounted to extend and spiral longitudinally along a nozzle of the power tube.
3. A spiral member mountable within a paintball marker power tube, the spiral member sized and shaped to extend and spiral longitudinally along a nozzle of the power tube when the spiral member is mounted within the power tube.
4. A method of improving the accuracy of a paintball propelled through a paintball marker, the method comprising: longitudinally injecting pressurized gas into a barrel of the paintball marker; and forcing the gas to follow a spiral path as the gas is injected into the barrel of the paintball marker.
 This disclosure pertains to improvement in the accuracy of paintballs propelled through a paintball marker toward a target.
 A paintball marker (sometimes referred to as a paintball gun) uses an expanding gas, such as carbon dioxide or compressed air, to propel a paintball through the marker's barrel toward a target. A paintball is a generally spherical capsule which typically contains a dye-impregnated, non-toxic, water-soluble liquid. The capsule is designed to rupture when it impacts the target (or other object). When the capsule ruptures, the dye-impregnated liquid "marks" the paintball's point of impact. Paintball markers are used in the sport of paintball, in which players (who normally wear protective gear) compete to eliminate opponents by hitting them with paintballs.
 Prior art paintball markers have relatively poor accuracy. For example, a paintball propelled through a prior art paintball marker may typically pass anywhere through a circle having a diameter of about one metre after the paintball has travelled about 20 metres.
 One method of attempting to improve the accuracy of a paintball marker is to rifle the interior of the marker's barrel. A barrel is rifled by cutting helical longitudinally extending grooves inside the barrel. When a projectile is propelled through a rifled barrel, the rifling imparts a spin to the projectile relative to the longitudinal axis of the barrel. Such spinning gyroscopically stabilizes the projectile, improving its aerodynamic stability and accuracy. However, paintballs are relatively fragile and may rupture prematurely inside a rifled barrel if the spinning paintball contacts the barrel's interior surface.
 Another method of attempting to improve the accuracy of a paintball marker is to curve a non-rifled barrel. Although this may reduce instances of premature paintball rupture, the accuracy improvement has been found to be relatively minor and to be confined within a relatively narrow range of distance from the paintball marker.
 This disclosure is directed to improved paintball marker accuracy over distances approximating the full range through which a paintball may be propelled by a paintball marker.
 The foregoing examples of the related art and limitations related thereto are intended to be illustrative and not exclusive. Other limitations of the related art will become apparent to those of skill in the art upon a reading of the specification and a study of the drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
 Exemplary embodiments are illustrated in referenced figures of the drawings. It is intended that the embodiments and figures disclosed herein are to be considered illustrative rather than restrictive.
 FIG. 1 is an oblique end view of a prior art paintball marker power tube.
 FIG. 2 is an oblique end view of a spiral member mountable within a prior art paintball marker power tube.
 FIG. 3 is a partially sectioned side elevation view showing the FIG. 2 spiral member mounted in the FIG. 1 prior art paintball marker power tube.
 FIG. 4 is a partially sectioned, partially fragmented, simplified schematic side elevation view showing the FIG. 3 spiral member and power tube installed in a paintball marker and showing different positional stages of propulsion of a paintball through the barrel of the paintball marker.
 Throughout the following description specific details are set forth in order to provide a more thorough understanding to persons skilled in the art. However, well known elements may not have been shown or described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the disclosure. Accordingly, the description and drawings are to be regarded in an illustrative, rather than a restrictive, sense.
 FIG. 1 depicts a prior art paintball marker power tube and/or bolt 10 having a gas injection port 12 and a nozzle 14. As used herein, the expression "power tube" is to be understood as referring to any one of a power tube, a bolt, or a combination of a power tube and a bolt. FIG. 2 depicts a spiral member 16 which is sized and shaped for mounting within nozzle 14, such that spiral member 16 extends and spirals longitudinally along nozzle 14 as shown in FIG. 3.
 Various techniques can be used to mount spiral member 16 within nozzle 14. For example, if power tube 10 and spiral member 16 are each formed of materials that can be joined by welding, then spiral member 16 can be welded to power tube 10. Alternatively, spiral member 16 can be formed integrally within power tube 10. As a further alternative, spiral member 16 and power tube 10 can each be formed with mating interlockable tabs/slots or other suitable attachment mechanisms whereby spiral member 16 can be mounted within nozzle 14 and retained in place such that repeated discharge of pressurized gas through nozzle 14 will not dislodge spiral member 16 from nozzle 14.
 FIG. 4 depicts a paintball marker 20 having a magazine 22 containing a plurality of paintballs 24, a barrel 26, a handle 28 and a pressurized gas injection line 30. Power tube 10, with spiral member 16 mounted within nozzle 14 as aforesaid, is installed as shown in the breech section of paintball marker 20 and one end of pressurized gas injection line 30 is coupled to power tube 10's gas injection port 12. A source of pressurized gas (not shown) is coupled to the opposite end of pressurized gas injection line 30.
 Upon activation of paintball marker 20's trigger mechanism (not shown) pressurized gas is injected into power tube 10 through pressurized gas injection line 30. Pressurized gas injected into power tube 10 is forced longitudinally through nozzle 14 into barrel 26. As the pressurized gas flows through nozzle 14, the gas is forced to follow a spiral path defined by spiral element 16's spiral shape, thus imparting a spiralling directional component to the gas in addition to its longitudinal directional component, as indicated in FIG. 4 by arrows 32. Upon encountering a paintball 34 released from magazine 22 into barrel 26, the spirally and longitudinally moving gas propels paintball 34 longitudinally through barrel 26 and also imparts spin to paintball 34. FIG. 4 depicts paintball 34 at three different longitudinally separated positions during propulsion of paintball 34 through barrel 26. The combined effect of the spirally and longitudinally moving gas is to propel paintball 34 through barrel 26 such that paintball 34 follows a more accurate trajectory in comparison to paintballs propelled by prior art paintball markers.
 A paintball propelled through a paintball marker incorporating spiral member 16 may typically pass anywhere through a circle having a diameter of about 30 centimetres after the paintball has travelled about 20 metres. Persons skilled in the art will however understand that this level of improved accuracy will not necessarily be attained for every paintball propelled through the paintball marker, for example having regard to the variable ballistics characteristics of typical paintballs.
 Spiral member 16 may be formed of aluminum, stainless steel, high density plastic, or other suitable material that will facilitate attachment, formation or mounting of spiral member 16 as aforesaid. The material used to form spiral member 16 should be such that spiral member 16 will not be significantly deformed during normal operation of the paintball marker.
 In general, the length and width of spiral member 16 will depend on the length and width of power tube 10. For example, spiral member 16 may have to be lengthened and/or widened in cross-section to conform to the internal dimensions of a longer and/or wider power tube. Conversely, spiral member 16 may have to be shortened and/or narrowed in cross-section to conform to the internal dimensions of a shorter and/or narrower power tube.
 It has been found sufficient for spiral member 16 to be formed such that it includes a single 360° spiral along its length, although other spiral formations are acceptable. For example, the number of whole or partial spirals along the length of spiral member 16 may vary depending on the length of power tube 10 and also depending on the length of barrel 26.
 Some trial and error experimentation may be required in order to determine an appropriate length, width and/or spiral configuration for spiral member 16, in relation to a particular power tube, barrel and/or paintball marker. Such experimentation can be conducted by providing a plurality of different spiral members, each having different length, width and spiral configuration characteristics, and each being separately attachable or mountable within the particular power tube, etc. With each such spiral member attached or mounted within the power tube, a suitable number of paintballs are propelled through the paintball marker, and a record is made of the accuracy achieved by each such spiral member. Comparison of such records may reveal that one (or a relatively small number) of the plurality of different spiral members achieves the greatest accuracy improvement in relation to a particular power tube, barrel and/or paintball marker.
 While a number of exemplary aspects and embodiments have been discussed above, those of skill in the art will recognize certain modifications, permutations, additions and sub-combinations thereof. It is therefore intended that the following appended claims and claims hereafter introduced are interpreted to include all such modifications, permutations, additions and sub-combinations as are within their true spirit and scope.
Patent applications in class By valve means
Patent applications in all subclasses By valve means