Frangible Projectile, And Weapon Cartridge Containing Same

A frangible projectile, and weapon cartridge containing same, is provided, in which the frangible projectile is comprised of a hollow outer body composed of, for example, a plastic or polymeric material, configured to provide a payload material. Preferably, the hollow outer body has an interior surface having a divider formed or disposed therein, for controlling the movement of the payload material after firing. The hollow outer body of the frangible projectile, upon impact, rapidly fragments upon impact into relatively harmless pieces, and releases/mixes the payload material. However, the payload material may be chosen to provide sufficient mass, and accordingly sufficient kinetic energy, to provide desired target effects, such as powder metals. Alternatively, payload materials, such as reactive chemical components, marking agents, chemiluminescent compositions, incapacitants, multi component reactive compositions, etc., preferably contained within one or more payload containers, are provided.

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Description

REFERENCE TO A RELATED APPLICATION

The present application claims priority of and is a continuation-in-part (CIP) application of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/880,327, filed Jul. 20, 2007, now abandoned, the entire contents of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

A frangible projectile containing a payload is provided which, when fired, controls the movement of the payload so as to maintain proper trajectory, and upon impacting a target, fragments and quickly dissipates the kinetic energy, thereby preventing ricochets, as well as delivering a desired payload. In particular, a frangible projectile comprised of an outer hollow plastic body internally containing one or more payloads is provided which, upon impact, ruptures and disperses the payload(s). The payload may be an inert mass, such as a metal powder, a chemical agent such as a marking agent, or a multi component reactive composition which mixes and reacts upon impact. Further, a weapon cartridge comprising such a frangible projectile is provided.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Conventionally, when rounds having conventional projectiles are fired at a hard target, the projectile tends to ricochet off of same. This ricochet effect presents no danger to the shooter when firing from extended distances. However, when firing at targets from close range, the danger of the shooter being wounded by a ricochet increases dramatically. Traditionally, to attempt to avoid being struck by a ricochet, shooters aim at close targets at an angle, hoping that the ricochet will travel away from the shooter.

Unfortunately, there are various situations in which targets must be engaged at relatively close range, and which complete freedom of choice for angles of fire is not available. For example, improvised explosive devices (IED's) are destroyed by shooting same, which, for accuracy, usually is done at close range. Sometimes, the position of the TED does not allow much choice for the angle of shot. Thus, occasionally, there is a high danger to the shooter from ricochets.

In addition, when combat may be possibly carried out at close quarters, such as, for example, when searching buildings for enemy combatants in hiding, the need frequently exists for firing on the enemy within the same room as the shooter. Naturally, in such situations, there is a high danger to the shooter of ricochets. Further, deflected shots may hit civilians, friendly forces, etc. downrange due to low angle of shot. Accordingly, there is a sometime a desire to have the bullet break up upon impact and the resulting fragments lose energy within a relatively close proximity from impact.

Further, it is frequently desirable in combat to designate a target. This is usually accomplished using conventional smoke grenades, laser means, etc. However, these devices are cumbersome and therefore frequently not carried by soldiers in the field.

In addition, it is occasionally desirable to deliver incendiaries, riot control agents (such as tear gas, pepper spray, etc.) and other incapacitants. However, generally, such rounds generally require larger caliber weapons for delivery, which are difficult to carry in the field. Further, it is desirable to deploy multi component compositions, which may include the agents mentioned above, as well as myriad additional compositions contained a plurality of reactive components which are unreactive alone.

Thus, in order to overcome the dangers of ricochets, provide a marking round and/or a round capable of delivering various payloads such as incendiaries, riot control agents and other incapacitants, and multi component reactive compositions as discussed above, it is an object of the present invention to provide a projectile that will not, or has a low probability of, ricocheting, and which will fragment upon impact.

In addition, it is an object of the present invention to provide a projectile operable to function as a marking round and/or a round capable of delivering various payloads as well as quantity of payloads, to suit the need at the time of use such as but not limited to incendiaries, riot control agents and other incapacitants, chemiluminescent compositions, and multi component reactive compositions, which is also preferably capable of being fired from a man portable weapon.

Further, it is an object of the present invention to provide a frangible projectile in which the payload may be inserted and removed as desired, depending upon the need by the user.

Lastly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a cartridge containing same.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In order to achieve the object of the present invention, as described above, the present inventor earnestly endeavored to provide a frangible projectile which will fragment upon impact, but still maintain lethality, preferably deliver various types of payloads, enable insertion of payloads in the field as desired, and a cartridge containing same. Accordingly, in a first main embodiment of the present invention, a frangible projectile is provided comprising:

(a) a hollow outer body formed of a plastic or polymeric material, said hollow outer body having:

    • (i) an outer circumference defining an outer portion; and
    • (ii) an inner circumference opposite the outer circumference so as to define an interior portion, said inner circumference having a plurality of locators formed therein and/or thereon;

(b) a divider disposed within the interior portion, said divider comprised of one or more walls having ends disposed adjacent the locators so as to be engageable therewith; and

(c) a payload disposed within the interior portion, adjacent the divider,

wherein the divider controls movement of and/or maintains separation of dissimilar contents of the payload within the interior portion of the hollow outer body after firing of the projectile, thereby maintaining or increasing accuracy of the projectile after firing, and wherein the hollow outer body fragments upon impact.

In a preferred embodiment based on the first embodiment above, the locators are provided in the form of one or more slots formed in the inner circumference, one or more ridges formed integral with the inner circumference, and/or one or more protrusions attached to the inner circumference.

With regards to the payload, in a preferred embodiment, the payload is a powder, such as a metallic powder. Specifically preferable is a tungsten powder, lead powder, graphite powder and/or an iron powder.

In an alternative preferred embodiment, the payload is one or more liquid components contained in one or more frangible containers, such as glass or plastic vials. Further, in a more preferred embodiment, the liquids are comprised of one or more of a visible paint, a chemiluminescent agent, and a marking agent visible in the IR spectrum. In another more preferred embodiment, the liquids are comprised of a plurality of reactants which, upon impact, are caused to mix and react, thereby providing a desired effect.

In another preferred embodiment, the frangible projectile of the first embodiment above comprises engagement threads formed in the inner circumference of the hollow outer body; a removable nose section having threads formed therein, so as to removably engage the engagement threads; and a threaded plug removably disposed within the interior portion between the nose portion and the divider, and engageable with the engagement threads, so as to be operable to retain the payload/prevent escape thereof from the hollow outer body.

In yet another preferred embodiment, the frangible projectile of the first embodiment above further comprises one or more frangible payload containers operable to contain a variety of payloads as desired, having an outer circumference smaller in diameter than the inner circumference of the hollow outer body, which is/are removably disposed within the interior portion. Preferably, the payload container(s) have a depression formed therein so as to enable insertion into the hollow outer body adjacent the divider. Further, in a more preferred embodiment, the payload container(s) is comprised of two or more payload subcompartments, so as to contain two or more payloads separately until impact of the frangible projectile upon a target.

In a second main embodiment of the present invention, a frangible projectile is provided comprising:

(a) a hollow outer body formed of a plastic or polymeric material, said hollow outer body having:

    • (i) an outer circumference defining an outer portion; and
    • (ii) an inner circumference opposite the outer circumference so as to define an interior portion, said inner circumference having a plurality of slots formed therein, and said inner circumference; and
    • (iii) one or more slots formed in the inner circumference;

(b) a payload container removably disposed within the interior portion, said payload container comprised of:

    • (i) an outer circumference smaller in diameter than the inner circumference of the hollow outer body,
    • (ii) a divider having one or more walls disposed within or formed integral with the outer circumference of the payload container, so as to be operable to separate one or more payload materials disposed within the payload container; and
    • (iii) one or more ridges formed on or attached to the outer circumference,

so as to be engageable with the slots of the hollow outer body;

wherein the divider controls movement of the payload within the payload container, thereby maintaining or increasing accuracy of the projectile after firing of the projectile, and wherein the hollow outer body fragments upon impact.

Preferably, the frangible projectile of the second main embodiment described above comprises engagement threads formed in the inner circumference of the hollow outer body, and a removable nose section having threads engageable with the engagement threads of the hollow outer body, thereby enabling a user to insert/remove payload containers at will.

In a preferred embodiment based on the second main embodiment described above, one or more payloads are disposed within the payload container. The payloads contained therein may, in a preferred embodiment, be comprised of one or more liquid components, such as marking agents, incapacitants, chemiluminescent compositions, flammable liquids and liquid explosives.

In an alternative preferred embodiment, the one or more payloads may be comprised of a multi-component payload, such that upon impact of the projectile, the multiple components are mixed, thereby forming a desired payload.

In a further alternative preferred embodiment, as in the first main embodiment above, in a preferred embodiment, the payload may be a powder, such as a metallic powder. Specifically preferable is a tungsten powder, lead powder, graphite powder and/or an iron powder.

In yet another preferred embodiment, the frangible projectile of the second main embodiment above further comprises a threaded plug removably disposed within the interior portion, and engageable with the engagement threads, so as to be operable to retain the payload container and/or other payloads, as well as secure same within the hollow outer body.

Additional aspects of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The aspects of the invention will be realized and attained by means of the elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. The embodiments illustrated herein are presently preferred, it being understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a partially cut away exploded perspective view of the first main embodiment of the frangible projectile of the present invention, illustrating the disposition of the removable nose section, payload, divider and hollow outer body.

FIG. 2 is a partially cut away exploded perspective view of the first main embodiment of the frangible projectile of the present invention as shown in FIG. 1, illustrating a 4 walled divider.

FIG. 3 is a cut away perspective view of the hollow outer body shown in FIG. 1, illustrating the disposition of the locaters formed in the inner circumference thereof.

FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view of the frangible projectile of the present invention shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a partial perspective view of the frangible projectile of the present invention shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of the frangible projectile of the present invention, illustrating an embodiment thereof wherein the divider is a one walled divider.

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view of the frangible projectile of the present invention, illustrating the threaded plug operable to contain the payload within the hollow outer body.

FIG. 8 is a partial cross sectional view of the frangible projectile of the present invention as shown in FIG. 8, illustrating the projectile prior to loading of the payload therein.

FIG. 9 is a cut away exploded perspective view of the frangible projectile of the second main embodiment of the present invention, illustrating the disposition of the removable nose section, payload, payload container and hollow outer body prior wherein the payload is shown prior to loading into the payload container and sealing of the payload container.

FIG. 10 is a cut away perspective view of the payload container of the frangible projectile of the second main embodiment of the present invention, illustrating the disposition of the integrated divider formed therein, as well as the ridges formed on the outer circumference thereof.

FIG. 11 is a an exploded perspective view of the frangible projectile of the second main embodiment of the present invention, illustrating a preferred embodiment wherein a plurality of payload containers 35 are provided.

FIG. 12 is an exploded cut away perspective view of the payload container of the present invention as shown in FIG. 10, further illustrating a bi component payload A, B deployed in separate compartments of the frangible payload container.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, a frangible projectile 1 is provided, which fragments upon impact, but still maintains lethality. In particular, a frangible projectile 1 is provided, comprised of a hollow outer body 5 having an outer circumference defining an outer portion, and an inner circumference defining an interior portion opposite the outer circumference. The hollow outer body 5 is comprised of a material that will fragment upon impact, such as but not limited to a plastic or polymeric material

Within the inner circumference 7 (interior portion) of the hollow outer body 3 is disposed a payload material 9. The hollow outer body 5 may be formed as a sealed unit with payload sealed therein, but is preferably, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, comprised of two sections (a base section 5 and a nose section 4), which allows the hollow outer body to be filled with the payload material 9 during manufacturing or by a user in the field as desired.

Upon firing of a cartridge containing such a projectile 1 (containing a payload material), the payload material 9, which is generally a powder or liquid component, has a tendency to spin within the interior portion of the hollow outer body 5 from the effect of the torque produced by spin stabilization of the projectile 1. This internal spinning of the payload material 9 was discovered during testing to significantly alter the accuracy and range of the frangible projectile 1. However, it was subsequently unexpectedly discovered by the present inventors that by inserting a divider 22 within the inner circumference 7 of the hollow outer body 5, movement of the payload material 9 after firing and before impact could be minimized and/or controlled.

In particular, the present inventors discovered that provision of the divider 22 within the inter portion of the hollow outer body 5 caused the payload material to spin in a manner that maintains, or even increases, the accuracy of the projectile during firing, the movement of the payload material being adjustable by selection of the configuration of the divider 22. Further, by forming the divider 22 of a frangible material, the payload material efficiently dissipates/disperses upon impact.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6, the divider 22 may be comprised of one or more walls which act to both separate the payload material 9 and control the movement thereof. The more walls provided, the more control of the movement of the payload material is provided. Preferably, the divider 22 is also formed of a frangible material, such as a plastic or polymeric material, or depending upon the payload material, may even be formed of rigid cellulosic (paper) material, which will fragment upon impact.

Further, it may be desirable to deploy a plurality of different payload materials 9 and/or a multi component reactive composition having individual components which are inactive alone, but upon impact, are caused to mix and react with one another. By encasing same in a frangible projectile 1, the impact event can be utilized to mix and react such multi component reactive compositions. For example, two separate components of a bi-component explosive or incapacitant chemical agent may be disposed within separate compartments formed within the hollow outer body 5 by the divider 22. In such an embodiment, upon impact, the hollow outer body 5 (and preferably the divider 22) fragments, thereby causing interaction and reaction of the bi-component payload to thereby provide the desired reaction.

Further, as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4-6, locators 23 are formed in the inner circumference of the hollow outer body 5. In the first main embodiment of the present invention, these end of the walls of the divider 22 are removably engageable with/slide into the locators 23, so as to maintain the dividers 22 in a stable manner within the hollow outer body 5. Alternatively, as illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10, the payload container. The composition of the payload material 9 may be selected to provide mass and, accordingly, lethality and/or desired target effects. The weight of the payload material 9 may be altered, depending on the desired range and lethality of the projectile. In such an application, generally, metallic powder is preferred as the payload material 9, due to the high density thereof. In particular, tungsten powder is used. However, relatively dense powdered material may be used, such as lead, graphite, iron, etc.

Upon impact on a target, the hollow outer body 3 of the projectile 1 of the present invention fragments, allowing the powdered material 9 contained therein to quickly dissipate and prevent possible ricochets of the projectile. Preferably, the hollow outer body 3 is formed of a material, such as a plastic or polymer material, that fragments into small, harmless fragments.

Further, preferably, the material comprising the powdered material 9 is chosen so as to provide rapid dissipation into the surrounding area, but not so rapid as to disadvantageously decrease lethality of the projectile. In particular, it is an object of the present invention to provide a frangible projectile which will fragment and dissipate upon impact, thus eliminating the danger of ricochet injuries, but which will maintain kinetic energy upon impact to provide needed lethality.

In addition, to the frangible projectile 1 of the present invention, a cartridge 13, as illustrated in FIG. 3, is provided. The cartridge 13 may have any conventional weapon cartridge structure. However, the frangible projectile 1 of the present invention is substituted for the conventional projectile therein.

As a further means of payload containment, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, a threaded plug 27 is provided, which may be screwed into the hollow outer body 5 by providing the hollow outer body 5 with a threaded inner wall 25. Compaction of the payload material by tightening of the threaded plug 27 may be utilized to control the movement of the payload material 9. In a preferred embodiment, the divider 22 is first disposed within the hollow outer body 5, and the threaded plug 27 then screwed into the hollow outer body 5, such that the divider controls movement of the payload material 9 while the threaded plug 27 contains the payload material 9 within the hollow outer body 5.

In the second main embodiment of the present invention as described above, as shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, a payload container 35 is provided, having ridges 36 formed on the outer circumference thereof so as engage with the locators 23, thereby maintaining the payload container in a fixed disposition within the hollow outer body 5. In a preferred embodiment, the divider 22 is formed integral with payload container 35, however a separate divider 22 may be simply disposed within the payload container 35 (as it is disposed within the hollow outer body in the first main embodiment herein). Further, although a 4-walled divider is illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10, as mentioned above, the divider is not limited to such a construction, but may be tailored to the payload as desired by the user.

In a further preferred embodiment, payload containers 35 containing various payload materials as described above may be provided, in sealed or unsealed fashion. Thus, a user may carry payload containers 35 in the field containing various types of payloads, and load same into the frangible projectile 1 as desired. For example, a marking payload container may contain a marking material, such as a dye or paint. Thus, when a situation occurs wherein a user wishes to mark a target, the marking payload container can be loaded into an empty frangible projectile 1.

In a preferred embodiment as shown in FIG. 11, a plurality of payload containers 35 may be provided, such that a separate divider 22 is utilized. Such a preferred embodiment is particularly applicable to multi component reactive compositions, wherein each inactive component can be provided in a separate payload container 35. However, any payload material may be disposed within the payload containers 35 as desired by the user.

As illustrated in FIG. 12 a multi component payload may be disposed within the payload container 35, by providing components A and B separate frangible vials. For example, a chemiluminescent composition used for marking, comprised of two reactants, may be disposed within the payload container 35 in two separate vials which, upon impact, fragment and causing mixing and reaction of the two reactants to form the final chemiluminescent composition. Alternative preferred multi component payload compositions include chemical warfare agents, multi component explosives, marking agents (including chemiluminescents, IR visible agents, etc.), multi component incapacitants, multi component incendiary compositions, biological agents, etc.

Although specific embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed herein, those having ordinary skill in the art will understand that changes can be made to the specific embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The scope of the invention is not to be restricted, therefore, to the specific embodiments. Furthermore, it is intended that the appended claims cover any and all such applications, modifications, and embodiments within the scope of the present invention.

List of Drawing Elements:

  • 1: frangible projectile
  • 4: nose section
  • 5: hollow outer body
  • 7: inner circumference of hollow outer body
  • 9: payload material
  • 22: divider
  • 23: locators
  • 25: threaded inner wall of hollow outer body
  • 27: threaded plug
  • 35: payload container
  • 36: ridges of payload container

Claims

1. A frangible projectile comprising:

(a) a hollow outer body formed of a plastic or polymeric material, said hollow outer body having: (i) an outer circumference defining an outer portion; and (ii) an inner circumference opposite the outer circumference so as to define an interior portion, said inner circumference having a plurality of locators formed therein and/or thereon;
(b) a divider disposed within the interior portion, said divider comprised of one or more walls having ends disposed adjacent the locators so as to be engageable therewith; and
(c) a payload disposed within the interior portion, adjacent the divider,
wherein the divider controls movement and/or maintains separation of dissimilar contents of the payload within the interior portion of the hollow outer body after firing of the projectile, thereby maintaining or increasing accuracy of the projectile after firing, and wherein the hollow outer body fragments upon impact.

2. The frangible projectile of claim 1, wherein the locators are one or more of a slot formed in the inner circumference, a ridge formed integral with the inner circumference, and a protrusion attached to the inner circumference.

3. The frangible projectile of claim 1, wherein the payload is comprised of a powder.

4. The frangible projectile of claim 3, wherein the powder is a metallic powder.

5. The frangible projectile of claim 3, wherein the powder is one or more selected from the group consisting of tungsten powder, lead powder, graphite powder and iron powder.

6. The frangible projectile of claim 1, wherein the payload comprises one or more of a glass or plastic vial containing one or more liquids.

7. The frangible projectile of claim 6, wherein the liquids are comprised of one or more of a visible paint, a chemiluminescent agent, and a marking agent visible in the IR spectrum.

8. The frangible projectile of claim 6, wherein the liquids are comprised of a plurality of reactants which, upon impact, are caused to mix and react, thereby providing a desired effect.

9. The frangible projectile of claim 1, further comprising:

engagement threads formed in the inner circumference of the hollow outer body;
a removable nose section having threads formed therein, so as to removably engage the engagement threads;
a threaded plug removably disposed within the interior portion between the nose portion and the divider, and engageable with the engagement threads, so as to be operable to contain the payload.

10. The frangible projectile of claim 1, further comprising:

one or more frangible payload containers having an outer circumference smaller in diameter than the inner circumference of the hollow outer body, and removably disposed within the interior portion,
wherein said payload containers having a depression formed therein so as to be enable insertion into the hollow outer body adjacent the divider, and said payload containers operable to contain one or more payloads.

11. The frangible projectile of claim 1, wherein a payload container is comprised of two or more payload subcompartments, so as to contain two or more payloads separately until impact of the projectile.

12. A frangible projectile comprising:

(a) a hollow outer body formed of a plastic or polymeric material, said hollow outer body having: (i) an outer circumference defining an outer portion; and (ii) an inner circumference opposite the outer circumference so as to define an interior portion, said inner circumference having a plurality of slots formed therein, and said inner circumference; and (iii) one or more slots formed in the inner circumference;
(b) a payload container removably disposed within the interior portion, said payload container comprised of: (i) an outer circumference smaller in diameter than the inner circumference of the hollow outer body, (ii) a divider having one or more walls disposed within or formed integral with the outer circumference of the payload container, so as to be operable to separate one or more payload materials disposed within the payload container; and (iii) one or more ridges formed on or attached to the outer circumference, so as to be engageable with the slots of the hollow outer body;
wherein the divider controls movement of the payload within the payload container, thereby maintaining or increasing accuracy of the projectile after firing of the projectile, and wherein the hollow outer body fragments upon impact.

13. The frangible projectile of claim 12, further comprising one or more payloads disposed within the payload container.

14. The frangible projectile of claim 13, wherein the payloads comprise one or more liquid components.

15. The frangible projectile of claim 14, wherein the one or more liquid components are selected from marking agents, chemiluminescent compositions, incapacitants, flammable liquids and liquid explosives.

16. The frangible projectile of claim 13, wherein the one or more payloads comprise a multi-component payload, such that upon impact of the projectile, the multiple components are mixed, thereby forming a desired payload.

Patent History

Publication number: 20120180686
Type: Application
Filed: Jan 21, 2011
Publication Date: Jul 19, 2012
Inventors: Kenneth R. Jones (Wayne, NJ), Frank J. Dindl (Newton, NJ)
Application Number: 13/011,704

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Liquid Or Jelly (102/365); Fragmenting (102/506); Target Marking (102/513); Shells (102/473); Nonlethal Or Deterrent (102/502)
International Classification: F42B 12/22 (20060101); F42B 12/36 (20060101); F42B 12/44 (20060101); F42B 12/40 (20060101);