(19)
(11)EP 3 385 658 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
03.08.2022 Bulletin 2022/31

(21)Application number: 18161158.3

(22)Date of filing:  12.03.2018
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F41A 21/28(2006.01)
F41A 21/44(2006.01)
F41A 21/30(2006.01)
(52)Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC):
F41A 21/28; F41A 21/44; F41A 21/30

(54)

MULTI-BAFFLED FIREARM SUPPRESSOR

MEHRFACHGEDÄMPFTE SCHUSSWAFFENUNTERDRÜCKUNGSVORRICHTUNG

SUPPRESSEUR D'ARME À FEU MULTI-CHICANES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 06.04.2017 US 201762482621 P
23.02.2018 US 201815904218

(43)Date of publication of application:
10.10.2018 Bulletin 2018/41

(73)Proprietor: Delta P Design, Inc.
Walterville, OR 97489 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • Petersen, Byron
    Springfield, OR 97478 (US)

(74)Representative: DTS Patent- und Rechtsanwälte Schnekenbühl und Partner mbB 
Marstallstrasse 8
80539 München
80539 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2014/076357
FR-A- 493 462
US-A- 1 773 443
US-A1- 2011 186 377
FR-A- 492 535
FR-A- 858 032
US-A- 5 078 043
US-B1- 9 599 421
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS


    FIELD



    [0001] Embodiments of the subject matter disclosed herein relate to firearm sound suppressors and, more particularly to employing a plurality of baffles in a firearm sound suppressor.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Firearms utilize high pressure exhaust gasses to accelerate a projectile such as a bullet. Firearm silencers (hereafter referred to as "suppressors") are typically added to the muzzle (exhaust) of a firearm to capture the high pressure exhaust gasses of a given firearm. These high pressure exhaust gasses are the product of burning nitrocellulose and possess significant energy that is used to accelerate the projectile. The typical exhaust gas pressure of a rifle cartridge in a full length barrel may be in the range of 7-10Ksi. A short barreled rifle may have exhaust gas pressures in the 10-20Ksi range. Moving at supersonic speeds through the bore, the exhaust gasses provide the energy to launch the projectile and also result in the emanation of high-decibel noises typically associated with the discharge of firearms. When in action, firearm suppressors lower the kinetic energy and pressure of the propellant gasses and thereby reduce the decibel level of the resultant noises.

    [0003] Firearms suppressors are mechanical pressure reduction devices that contain a center through-hole to allow passage of the projectile. Suppressor design(s) utilize static geometry to induce pressure loss across the device by means that may include rapid expansion and contraction, minor losses related to inlet and outlet geometry, and induced pressure differential to divert linear flow.

    [0004] Suppressors can be thought of as "in-line" pressure reduction devices that capture and release the high pressure gasses over a time (T). Typical suppressor design approaches used to optimize firearms noise reduction include maximizing internal volume, and providing a baffled or "tortured" pathway for propellant gas egress. Each of these approaches must be balanced against the need for clear egress of the projectile, market demand for small overall suppressor size, adverse impacts on the firearms performance, and constraints related to the firearms original mechanical design.

    [0005] Baffle structures within a suppressor provide the "tortured" pathways which act to restrain the flow of propellant gasses and thereby reduce the energy signature of said gasses. As a result of this function the baffle structures in a suppressor are typically the portion of a suppressor that absorbs the most heat from propellant gasses during firing. The "mirage" effect is distortion of the sight picture caused by hot air rising off of the hot suppressor directly in front of the aiming optic on the firearm. The "mirage" effect is a well know negative aspect of using a suppressor with a firearm, and is often mitigated by wrapping the suppressor in an insulating wrap.

    [0006] The inventors herein have recognized significant issues, such as the "mirage" effect, related to excess heat build-up that may arise due to the use of a suppressor on a firearm. In the current invention a plurality of baffled gas exhaust tubes, each of which reside in their own internal tube, are employed to reduce the pressure of the propellant gasses. To mitigate the issues related to excess heat build-up the baffled exhaust tubes are positioned such that the tubes are not tangent with (touching) an interior surface of the outer wall or each other. The plurality of baffled exhaust gas tubes are instead contained within fluted spiral structures that follow a rifling pattern about a central axis along the longitudinal length of the suppressor's inner body wall. In at least one example, these tubes may be non-coaxial tubes relative to the central axis of the suppressor. Moreover, these tubes may be spaced away from an interior surface of the suppressor's inner body wall and these tubes may not contact the interior surface of the suppressor's inner body wall.

    [0007] The inventors herein have recognized that this positioning maximizes the surface area of the plurality of baffled exhaust gas tubes inside the suppressor body to maximize thermal transmission between the hot exhaust gases and the suppressor body. This positioning further helps to more evenly distribute the heat energy of the hot exhaust gases to the interior structures of the suppressor body such that "hot spots" are minimized. In addition, the positioning minimizes the thermal transmission between the internal baffled exhaust gas tubes and the outer wall; a lumen defined by the area between the inner surface of the suppressors' outer wall and the outer walls of the baffled exhaust gas tubes creates a thermal buffer. As a result, thermal transmission from the high heat area of the baffled exhaust tubes to the outside wall is minimized. By delaying the heating of the suppressors' outer wall, the "mirage" effect to the shooter is delayed, allowing the operator to shoot more cartridges before the "mirage" effect occludes the view through the optic.

    [0008] Autoloading firearms, both semi-automatic and automatic, are designed to utilize a portion of the waste exhaust gasses to operate the mechanical action of the firearms. When in operation the mechanical action of the firearm automatically ejects the spent cartridge case and emplaces a new cartridge case into the chamber of the firearms barrel. One typical autoloading design taps and utilizes exhaust gasses from a point along the firearms barrel. The tapped gasses provide pressure against the face of a piston, which in turn triggers the mechanical autoloading action of the firearm. The energy of the tapped exhaust gasses supplies the work required to operate the mechanical piston of the firearm enabling rapid cycling of cartridges.

    [0009] The inventors herein have recognized significant issues arising when suppressors are employed on autoloading firearms. As an example, use of a suppressor may result in sustained elevated internal pressures which result in transmission of excess work energy to the piston during the course of operation. When use of a suppressor results in such a build-up of pressure in the firearms chamber over an extended time (T), the excess work energy may lead to opening of the breech (chamber) sooner than is supported by the original firearms design. Therefore, as recognized by the inventors herein, overcoming this issue requires achieving the desired pressure loss (ΔP) over an abbreviated time (T) such that the internal pressure returns below the pressure threshold of the piston before firing of the subsequent cartridge. As a second example, use of a suppressor on autoloading firearms may result in excess venting of exhaust gasses at the rear of the weapon in the direction of the operator. Excess venting of exhaust gasses at the rear of the weapon is undesirable as the gasses may contain toxic substances, and the particulate matter in the gasses may foul the weapons chamber.

    [0010] US1773443 and FR858032 constitute relevant prior art documents. The invention is a silencer according to claim 1.

    [0011] In one embodiment, the issues described above may be addressed by a suppressor comprising a geometric baffle system and further comprising an auxiliary system of a plurality of baffled exhaust gas tubes that may achieve the desired pressure loss (ΔP) over an abbreviated time period (ΔT). The suppressor may be of a unitary design generated by 3D printing. In another embodiment, the issues described above may be addressed by a suppressor comprising a plurality of exhaust vents that efficiently direct the exhaust gasses outward through the front of the suppressor and away from the operator and the firearm. By reducing the time required for the internal pressure of suppressor, chamber, and barrel to return to ambient pressure conditions, by time Tx, mechanical malfunction of the autoloading mechanism may be avoided. Further, reducing the internal pressure in the suppressor over an abbreviated time period reduces the pressure inside the barrel and chamber, thereby eliminating excess venting of exhaust gasses at the rear of the firearm in the direction of the operator.

    [0012] The auxiliary baffled exhaust tubes may exit in any direction. Exiting out the front of the suppressor was chosen as this was the direction opposite the operator. There could be a scenario where this is suboptimal and other directions would be considered. For example, it may be desirable to have the exhaust gasses exit out of the side of the suppressor or on only one side to minimize exhaust gas occluding sensors on remote weapon platforms.

    [0013] In this way, the firearm suppressor may be operable on any type of autoloading firearms, including but not limited to machine gun applications, without adversely affecting mechanical operations according to the original firearms design. Further, the firearm suppressor may be operable without adversely impacting the safety or performance of the operator. The utility of the suppressor may therefore be extended and more fully realized. Other elements of the disclosed embodiments of the present subject matter are provided in detail herein.

    [0014] In another embodiment, the suppressor may be operatively configured to be attached to a firearm. The suppressor may include a tubular housing body defining a longitudinal or central axis, wherein the baffle sections and further wherein the spiral fluting sections and further wherein the auxiliary system of baffled exhaust gas tubes of the suppressor are integrated and encased within a parent tubular housing component. In this way, the interior baffle section(s) may be surrounded by a housing such that the efficiency and efficacy of the suppressor are maintained.

    [0015] The tubular housing body may further comprise a projectile entrance portion and a projectile exit portion disposed at a longitudinally rearward region and a longitudinally forward region, respectively. The rearward end of the suppressor may have an opening sufficiently large enough to permit passage of at least a portion of a firearm barrel, where the suppressor may attach via connectable interaction devices such as interlacing threads.

    [0016] It should be understood that the summary above is provided to introduce in simplified form, a selection of concepts that are further described in the detailed description. It is not meant to identify key or essential features of the subject matter. Furthermore, the disclosed subject matter is not limited to implementations that solve any disadvantages noted above or in any part of this disclosure.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS



    [0017] 

    FIG. 1 is a wireframe view of an example suppressor assembly with elongate tubular housing, exhaust gas venting ports, and muzzle attachment, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 2 is a wireframe view illustrating the elongate tubular housing and the helical baffle section of the suppressor assembly separate from one another, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 3 is a wireframe view illustrating a cross-sectional cutaway view of the elongate tubular housing, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 4 is a cross-cut view of the elongate tubular housing illustrating the plurality of exhaust gas baffle tubes, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional cutaway view of the elongate tubular housing illustrating the interior of sample exhaust gas baffle tubes, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 6 is an enlarged perspective view of the helical baffle section assembly, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional cutaway view of FIG. 6.

    FIG. 8 is an enlarged perspective view of the helical baffle section assembly separated into its component pieces, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 9 is an enlarged rearward perspective view of a rearward baffle portion of the helical baffle section assembly, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 10 is an enlarged rearward perspective view of a middle baffle portion of the helical baffle section assembly, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 11 is an enlarged rearward perspective view of a middle baffle portion of the helical baffle section assembly, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 12 is an enlarged rearward perspective view of an end cap of the helical baffle section assembly, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 13 is an enlarged front and side perspective view of an end cap, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional cutaway view of FIG. 13.



    [0018] The above drawings are to scale, although other relative dimensions may be used, if desired. The drawings may depict components directly touching one another and in direct contact with one another and/or adjacent to one another, although such positional relationships may be modified, if desired. Further, the drawings may show components spaced away from one another without intervening components therebetween, although such relationships again, could be modified, if desired.

    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0019] An example multi-baffled firearm suppressor is described herein. The following description relates to various embodiments of the sound suppressor as well as methods of manufacturing and using the device. Potential advantages of one or more of the example approaches described herein relate to reducing a time required for the suppressor to return to ambient pressure without adversely impacting performance of the firearm, reducing a mirage effect, improving thermal signature reduction characteristics, improving operating performance with autoloading firearms, eliminating rearward venting of exhaust gasses during use with semi-automatic weapon and various others as explained herein.

    [0020] The multi-baffled firearm suppressor may be coupled to a firearm, as described at FIGS. 1, 5 & 14. In at least one embodiment, the multi-baffled firearm suppressor may comprise a system of a plurality of baffled exhaust tubes as shown at FIGS. 2-5. These baffled exhaust tubes may be advantageous for suppressing the overall signatures of the firearm by minimizing the time required for the system to return to ambient pressure, while also maximizing the surface area of structures inside the suppressor, and further minimizing thermal transmission between the internal structures and the outer wall of the tubular housing.

    [0021] Further, FIGS. 1-14 show the relative positioning of various components of the suppressor assembly. If shown directly contacting each other, or directly coupled, then such components may be referred to as directly contacting or directly coupled, respectively, at least in one example. Similarly, components shown contiguous or adjacent to one another may be contiguous or adjacent to each other, respectively, at least in one example. As an example, components lying in face-sharing contact with each other may be referred to as in face-sharing contact or physically contacting one another. As another example, elements positioned apart from each other with only a space there-between and no other components may be referred to as such, in at least one example.

    [0022] As yet another example, elements shown above/below one another, at opposite sides to one another, or to the left/right of one another may be referred to as such, relative to one another. Further, as shown in the figures, a topmost element or point of element may be referred to as a "top" of the component and a bottommost element or point of the element may be referred to as a "bottom" of the component, in at least one example. As used herein, top/bottom, upper/lower, above/below, may be relative to a vertical axis of the figures and used to describe positioning of elements of the figures relative to one another. As such, elements shown above other elements are positioned vertically above the other elements, in one example. As yet another example, shapes of the elements depicted within the figures may be referred to as having those shapes (e.g., such as being triangular, helical, straight, planar, curved, rounded, spiral, angled, or the like). Further, elements shown intersecting one another may be referred to as intersecting elements or intersecting one another, in at least one example. Further still, an element shown within another element or shown outside of another element may be referred as such, in one example. For purpose of discussion, FIGS. 1-14 will be described collectively.

    [0023] Referring now to FIG. 1, an exterior view of a first example suppressor assembly 100 according to one or more embodiments of the current disclosure is shown. The exterior view of the suppressor assembly 100 is shown in order to illustrate the overall shape of the suppressor and relative spatial positioning. As shown in the figure, the suppressor assembly 100 may comprise an elongate tubular housing 102, a rearward region 104, an outer surface 106, a forward region 108, a plurality of exhaust gas venting ports 110, projectile entrance passage 112, and junction 114.

    [0024] The suppressor of FIG. 1 may comprise a projectile entrance passage 112 forming a generally annular channel at the rearward region 104 wherethrough a projectile such as a bullet may enter to pass through and exit the suppressor 100 at the forward region 108.

    [0025] The junction 114 is the circumferential area of the suppressor 100 where the elongate tubular housing 102 and helical baffle assembly 200, which is described in detail below, join together. The forward region 108 tapers from the junction 114 toward the forward most region of the assembly at an approximate 45 degree angle. The forward region 108 then abruptly flattens out forward of the exhaust gas venting ports 110. The plurality of exhaust gas venting ports 110 are triangular shaped openings, positioned circumferentially within the forward region 108, midway between the junction 114 and the forward most end of the suppressor 100.

    [0026] The longitudinally rearward region 104 contains the projectile entrance passage 112, an opening sufficiently large enough to permit passage of at least a portion of a firearm barrel, where the suppressor 100 may attach via connectable interaction devices such as interlacing threads.

    [0027] Turning now to FIG. 2, FIG. 2 shows a view of a second example suppressor assembly according to one or more embodiments of the present disclosure, where an elongate tubular housing 102 and a helical baffle assembly 200 of the example suppressor assembly 100 are shown separated from one another for viewing purposes. As shown in the figure, the elongate tubular housing 102 may comprise a plurality of baffle tubes 220, baffle tube exit passages 226, a junction 202, first spiral flute section 204, second spiral flute section 206, and third spiral flute section 208. The figure further illustrates the helical baffle assembly 200 which may comprise a junction 202, projectile exit passage 212, first baffle section 214, second baffle section 216, third baffle section 218, and forward region 108 which contains the plurality of exhaust gas venting ports 110.

    [0028] The helical triangular nature of the baffle assembly 200 as well as the triangular helical nature of each baffle assembly component is shown in FIG. 2. The helical triangular nature of the baffle assembly 200 as well as the triangular helical nature of each baffle assembly component is shown in FIG. 2.

    [0029] The figure illustrates the manner in which the spiral flute sections 204, 206 and 208 follow a rifling pattern about a central axis along the longitudinal length of the suppressors' inner body wall. Further, the figure illustrates the junction 230 where the spiral fluting sections are tangent with the suppressors' inner wall.

    [0030] FIG. 2 illustrates in some embodiments the manner in which the plurality of baffle tubes 220 are positioned non-tangentially away from the inner wall of the tubular housing 102 and contained within the spiral fluted sections 204, 206 and 208. As may be seen in the example shown in FIG. 2, these baffle tubes 220 are arranged non-coaxially relative to a central axis of the elongate tubular housing 102.

    [0031] The relative positioning of the baffle tubes 220 away from the inner wall thereby forms a lumen defined by the inner wall of the tubular housing 102 and the outer walls of the baffle tubes 220 and spiral fluted sections 204, 206 and 208. This lumen provides a thermal barrier between the baffle tubes 220 and outer wall of the tubular housing 102. Further, this lumen provides a non-baffled cavity which, due to the shaping of the spiral fluting sections, directs excess exhaust gasses forward through the suppressor in a rifling pattern toward the exhaust gas venting ports 110.

    [0032] As the exhaust gas baffle tubes 220 do not provide egress for the projectile, their shape and internal structure is extremely flexible and may include other shapes and provide other directions for exhaust gas egress not illustrated. Exiting of exhaust gasses out through the forward region 108 of the suppressor 100 was chosen as this was the direction opposite the operator. There could be other scenarios where this would be suboptimal and other exit directions, such as the side(s) of the suppressor, could be designed.

    [0033] The structure and positioning of the plurality of baffle tubes 220 are critical for the overall performance of the suppressor 100 in restraining and absorbing energy of the propellant gasses. The combined auxiliary baffle tubes 220 provide a significant reduction in the overall mass flow rate of the exhaust gasses and therefore a reduction of the overall energy signatures of the firearm. Further, the positioning of the baffle tubes 220 enables heat transmission from the exhaust gasses to the interior body of the suppressor, and minimizes heat transmission to the outer walls of the suppressor 100.

    [0034] FIG. 2 further illustrates that in some embodiments the exhaust gas venting ports 110 are further positioned forward of and aligned over the baffle tube exit passages 226. Positioning and shaping of the exhaust venting ports 110 is critical so as to facilitate rapid and efficient movement of exhaust gasses forward through, out and away from the suppressor body.

    [0035] In some embodiments, the housing may be manufactured via processes including but not limited to, 3-D printing (e.g. selective laser melting (SLM), fused deposition modeling (FDM), sterolithography (SLA) and laminated object manufacturing (LOM)), casting, molding, and additive manufacturing.

    [0036] The tubular housing 102 may be coupled with the helical baffle assembly 200 to form a suppressor assembly. Further, in some embodiments, the elongate tubular housing 102 and the baffle assembly 200 may be formed together such that a unitary, uninterrupted, and contiguous surface is achieved. In at least one example, the tubular housing 102 may be removably coupled with the helical baffle assembly 200 to form a suppressor assembly. However, in other examples, the tubular housing 102 may be permanently formed with the helical baffle assembly 200 to form a suppressor assembly. For example, the helical baffle assembly 200 and the tubular housing 102 may be welded to one another to form a permanent connection between the helical baffle assembly 200 and the tubular housing 102. In other examples, the helical baffle assembly 200 and the tubular housing 102 may be formed integrally in a single piece via additive manufacturing such as 3D printing, for example.

    [0037] The helical baffle assembly 200 may comprise a projectile exit opening 213 for passage of a projectile traveling through the suppressor assembly during a firing event, for example. The helical baffle assembly 200 may further include one or more exhaust gas venting ports 110 positioned about a circumference of the helical baffle assembly 200.

    [0038] Turning now to FIG. 3, in FIG. 3 a cross-sectional view of the elongate tubular housing 102 is shown for viewing purposes. As may be seen in FIG. 3, lumen 302 is formed between an exterior surface 305 of the baffle tubes 220 and an interior surface 303 of the elongate tubular housing 102 for a majority of a length of the baffle tubes 220. As discussed above, exhaust gas may be flowed through the baffle tubes 220.

    [0039] As also may be seen in FIG. 3, flared projection 304, threads 306, plurality of exhaust gas baffle tubes 220, and helical fluting sections 204, 206 and 208 may be seen positioned within the elongate tubular housing 102 of FIG. 3. These helical fluting sections 204, 206, 208 may be positioned between a portion of the baffle tubes 220 and the inner surface of the elongate tubular housing. For example, as shown in FIG. 3, the exhaust gas baffle tubes 220 may be positioned within a helical fluted section 204, 206, 208. The helical fluting sections 204, 206, 208 may further surround a projectile path through the elongate tubular housing 102, in at least one example.

    [0040] A projectile, such as a bullet, may pass through projectile entrance passage 112, where the projectile entrance passage 112 is positioned at a rearward region 104 of the elongate tubular housing 102. The projectile may then pass along a length of the elongate tubular housing and exit via exit passage 212. A path through which the projectile travels within the elongate housing 102 may be approximately along a central axis 103 of the elongate tubular passage, and the helical fluting sections 204, 206, 208 may surround the path through which the projectile travels.

    [0041] Exhaust gas from the combustion event propelling the projectile through the projectile entrance 112, may be flowed at least in part through one or more of the baffle tubes 220. By flowing the exhaust gas through one or more of the baffle tubes 220, which are spaced away from the interior surface of the elongate tubular housing 102, a mirage effect that may typically occur with the firearm may be prevented. In particular, the baffle tubes 220 may not contact the interior surface 303 of the elongate tubular housing 102, thus reducing an amount of heat transfer from the exhaust gas to the elongate tubular housing 102 and reducing a mirage effect. Moreover, the baffled tubes 220, as well as the helical fluting sections 204, 206, 208 may effectively reduce a sound produced by the combustion.

    [0042] FIG. 4 illustrates a cross-cut view of the elongate tubular housing 102 which more clearly shows the interior of the suppressor. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 4 the plurality of exhaust gas baffle tubes 220 is clearly visible. Each of the exhaust gas baffle tubes 220 shown in the embodiment illustrated are clearly not tangent with each other, located away from the inner wall of the tubular housing 102, and encased within the spiral fluted sections 204, 206, and 208. Furthermore, as shown in FIG. 4, the baffle tubes 220 are arranged non-coaxially relative to a central axis 103 of the elongate tubular housing 102. Moreover, a central axis 105a, 105b of each of the baffle tubes 220 is approximately parallel to the central axis 103 of the elongate tubular housing 102.

    [0043] In FIG. 5, a cross-sectional view of the elongate tubular housing 102 similar to FIG. 3 is shown. In the figure the baffle tube projections 502, and angled baffle tube projections 504 are visible inside the cut-away of the sample exhaust gas baffle tubes 220. As shown in FIG. 5, an end of the angled tube projections most proximal to the central axis 105a, 105b of the baffle tube 220 within which the angled tube projection 504 is positioned is substantially parallel to this central axis. Moreover, all of the baffle tube projections 502 and angled baffle tube projections 504 extend towards the central axis 105a, 105b of the baffle tube 220 within which they are positioned. The figure also illustrates the baffle tube lumen 506, threads 508, flared projections 510, baffle tube entrance 512, as well as the lumen 514 defined by the inner wall of the suppressor and outer walls of the baffle tubes 220.

    [0044] In FIG. 6, an enlarged perspective view of the helical baffle assembly 200 is provided. As discussed in FIG. 2, the helical baffle assembly 200 may comprise a first baffle section 214, second baffle section 216, and third baffle section 218. The helical triangular nature of the baffle assembly 200 as well as the triangular helical nature of each baffle assembly component is shown in FIG. 6. The figure further illustrates the inner surface 602 of the endcap. When a projectile enters the baffle assembly via circular hole 604 at the rearward face of the first baffle section 214, the projectile may travel through the baffle assembly.

    [0045] In FIG. 7, a cross-sectional cut-away view of FIG. 6 is provided. In this view the interior components of the helical baffle assembly 200 are more clearly visible. In this representation, it may be seen that the u-shaped grooves 702 are staggered such that they do not line up and coincide with one another. This staggering of grooves that may act as guidance or support grooves in one embodiment may allow for enhanced dispersal and/or dissipation of propellant gases. The u-shaped grooves may be disposed axially along a central axis of the suppressor and may be disposed longitudinally behind a forward projectile exit passage 112. The exit passage 112 may be disposed within the center of a front face of the forward baffle section, the front face may further define a forward region 108 of the suppressor 100.

    [0046] Turning to FIG. 8, an exploded view of the components of the helical baffle assembly 200 is provided.

    [0047] FIG. 9 provides an enlarged perspective view of the first baffle section 214.

    [0048] FIG. 10 provides an enlarged perspective view of the second baffle section 216. In this view, the hollow void space 704 that is defined by an inner surface of the baffle section and the u-shaped groove 702 may be more readily visible. The hollow void space 704 within the baffle section 216 may comprise a complex geometry and may serve to better disperse and/or distribute propellant gas pressure and/or heat.

    [0049] FIG. 11 provides an enlarged perspective view of the third baffle section 218. In this view, the hollow void space 704 that is defined by an inner surface of the baffle section and the u-shaped groove 702 may be more readily visible. The hollow void space 704 within the baffle section 216 may comprise a complex geometry and may serve to better disperse and/or distribute propellant gas pressure and/or heat.

    [0050] FIG. 12 provides an enlarged rear perspective view of end cap 108.

    [0051] FIG. 13 provides an enlarged side perspective view of end cap 108.

    [0052] FIG. 14 provides an enlarged cross-sectional view of end cap 108.

    [0053] It will be understood that the figures are provided solely for illustrative purposes and the embodiments depicted are not to be viewed in a limiting sense. From the above description, it can be understood that the energy suppressor and/or combination of the energy suppressor and firearm disclosed herein and the methods of making them have several advantages, such as: (1) they reduce the time required to achieve a pressure reduction of the exhaust gasses of the firearm thereby avoiding mechanical malfunction of autoloading firearms; (2) they reduce the mirage effect by minimizing the thermal transfer from the baffle exhaust gas tubes to the outer wall of the suppressor; (3) they improve accuracy and reliability; (4) they aid in the dissipation of heat and reduce the tendency of the energy suppressor to overheat; and (5) they can be manufactured reliably and predictably with desirable characteristics in an economical manner.

    [0054] It is further understood that the firearm sound suppressor described and illustrated herein represents only example embodiments. It is appreciated by those skilled in the art that various changes and additions can be made to such firearm sound suppressor without departing from the spirit and scope of this disclosure. For example, the firearm sound suppressor could be constructed from lightweight and durable materials not described.

    [0055] Thus, provided is a sound suppressor that may be coupled with a firearm. In a first example sound suppressor, the sound suppressor may comprise an elongate tubular housing, a projectile entrance passage positioned at a rearward region of the elongate tubular housing, and a plurality of tubes positioned within the elongate tubular housing, where the plurality of tubes are spaced away from an interior surface of the elongate tubular housing. In a second example sound suppressor, which may optionally include the features of the first example sound suppressor, each of the plurality of tubes comprises a plurality of projections positioned therein. For example, the plurality of projections may extend towards a central axis of the respective tube within which they are positioned.

    [0056] In at least one example sound suppressor, which may additionally include any one or combination of the above described features, the plurality of tubes do not contact an interior surface of the elongate tubular housing. Thus, the plurality of tubes may be positioned within the elongate tubular housing without contacting the interior surface of the elongate tubular housing. Moreover, in at least one example, the sound suppressor may comprise at least one helical fluted section positioned within the elongate tubular housing, wherein a portion of the helical fluted section is positioned between a portion of at least one of the plurality of tubes and the interior surface of the elongate tubular housing. However, a lumen may be formed between a majority of a length of the plurality of tubes and the interior surface of the elongate tubular housing. Thus, sections where the helical fluted section may be positioned between one of the tubes and the interior surface of the elongate tubular housing may be minimal.

    [0057] Furthermore, in at least one example sound suppressor which may include one or more of the above features, the sound suppressor may further comprise a plurality of exhaust gas venting ports formed into a forward region of the elongate tubular housing, each of the plurality of tubes communicating with a separate exhaust gas venting port of the plurality of exhaust gas venting ports. Such exhaust gas venting ports may help to efficiently reduce a pressure due to exhaust gas within the sound suppressor, thus reducing a noise caused by a firing event. Moreover, the exhaust gas venting ports may be positioned so as to direct exhaust gas in a manner that does not interfere with a sight on the firearm and that does not direct the exhaust gas towards a user. In at least one example, the one or more exhaust gas venting ports formed into a front face of the sound suppressor.

    [0058] For example, the exhaust gas venting ports may open in a same direction as the projectile path, or, in other words, in a direction towards the forward region of the elongate tubular housing. Other opening directions for the exhaust gas venting ports may be possible, however, so long as the exhaust gas venting ports do not open towards a rearward region of the firearm. For example, the exhaust gas venting ports may open in a direction perpendicular relative to a central axis of the elongate tubular housing, that is, in a direction tangent to the elongate tubular housing.

    [0059] In another example sound suppressor, a central axis of each of the plurality of tubes may be non-coaxial to a central axis of the elongate tubular housing. Such a positioning of the plurality of tubes provides a clear passage for a projectile to travel through the elongate tubular housing along the central axis of the elongate tubular housing, while also providing multiple torturous paths for exhaust gas to be passed through prior to the exhaust gas exiting the elongate tubular housing. In at least one example, the central axis of each of the plurality of tubes may be approximately parallel to the central axis of the elongate tubular housing. An example sound suppressor comprising any one or more features as described above may be coupled to a firearm via a coupling mechanism at a rearward region of the sound suppressor as a part of a firearm system. In at least one example, the coupling mechanism may comprise threading. In at least one example, the firearm may be an autoloading firearm.

    [0060] It is noted that in at least one example, the sound suppressor disclosed herein may be produced as a single, unitary piece via additive manufacturing, such as 3D printing. By producing the sound suppressor disclosed herein in a single unitary piece, the resulting sound suppressor may be stronger compared to other components which may instead include multiple pieces. Moreover, producing the sound suppressor via additive manufacturing may have advantages over other approaches that may utilize molding production methods. This is not least because producing a mold with a shaping as complex as the shaping of the sound suppressor described herein may be time consuming or the actual production of the sound suppressor via a molding process may require multiple molding stages to form the various shapes within the sound suppressor.

    [0061] As used herein, an element or step recited in the singular and then proceeded with the word "a" or "an" should be understood as not excluding the plural of said elements or steps, unless such exclusion is explicitly stated. Furthermore, references to "one embodiment" of the present subject matter are not intended to be interpreted as excluding the existence of additional embodiments that also incorporate the recited features. Moreover, unless explicitly stated to the contrary, embodiments, "comprising," "including," or "having" an element or a plurality of elements having a particular property may include additional such elements not having that property. The terms "including" and "in which" are used as the plain-language equivalents to the respective terms "comprising" and "wherein." Moreover, the terms "first," "second," and "third," etc. are used merely as labels, and are not intended to impose numerical requirements or a particular positional order on their objects.

    [0062] This written description uses examples to disclose the invention, including best mode, and also to enable a person of ordinary skill in the relevant art to practice the invention, including making and using any devices or systems and performing any incorporated methods.

    [0063] It will be appreciated that the configurations and/or approaches described herein are exemplary in nature, and that these specific embodiments or examples are not to be considered in a limiting sense, because numerous variations are possible. The subject matter of the present disclosure includes all novel and nonobvious combinations and subcombinations of the various features, functions, acts, and/or properties disclosed herein, as well as any and all equivalents thereof.

    [0064] In one representation, a suppressor is provided formed of a unitary material, such as via laser metal sintering or another related process such as 3D printing. The suppressor may include one or more structural features to internally route gasses, in additional one or more optional baffles. For example, to mitigate the issues related to excess heat build-up, baffled exhaust tubes may be positioned longitudinally and with central axes in parallel with a barrel of the firearm. In one example, the tubes are not tangent with or directly touching the inside of the outer wall of the suppressor, nor are they directly touching each other. The plurality of baffled exhaust gas tubes may instead be contained within fluted spiral structures that follow a rifling pattern about a central axis along the longitudinal length of the suppressors' inner body wall.

    [0065] It should be appreciated that while the suppressor may be unitary in its construction, and thus in a sense virtually all of its components could be said to be in contact with one another, the terms used herein are used to refer to a more proper understanding of the term that is not so broad as to mean simply that the various parts are connected or contacting through a circuitous route because a single unitary material forms the suppressor.


    Claims

    1. A sound suppressor (100), comprising:

    an elongate tubular housing (102) defining an outer surface of the suppressor;

    a projectile entrance passage (112) positioned at a rearward region of the elongate tubular housing; and

    a plurality of tubes (220) positioned within the elongate tubular housing (102), wherein each of the plurality of tubes (220) comprises a tube entrance (512) near the projectile entrance passage (112) and a tube exit near a projectile exit passage (212), and the plurality of tubes (22) extends along an interior surface of the elongate tubular housing (102) but is spaced away from the interior surface, and wherein exterior surfaces of the plurality of tubes (220) are exposed to a path through which a projectile travels within the elongate tubular housing (220),

    wherein each of the plurality of tubes (220) comprises a plurality of projections (502, 504) positioned therein.


     
    2. The sound suppressor (100) of claim 1, characterized in that the plurality of projections (502, 504) extending towards a central axis (105a, 105b) of the respective tube within which they are positioned.
     
    3. The sound suppressor (100) of claim 2, further comprising at least one helical fluted section (204, 206, 208) positioned within the elongate tubular housing (102).
     
    4. The sound suppressor (100) of claim 3, wherein a lumen (302) is formed between a majority of a length of the plurality of tubes (220) and the interior surface of the elongate tubular housing (102).
     
    5. The sound suppressor (100) of claim 4, wherein a portion of the helical fluted section (204, 206, 208) is positioned between a portion at least one of the plurality of tubes (220) and the interior surface of the elongate tubular housing (102).
     
    6. The sound suppressor (100) of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of exhaust gas venting ports (110) that are formed into a forward region of the elongate tubular housing (102), each of the plurality of tubes (220) communicating with a separate exhaust gas venting port of the plurality of exhaust gas venting ports (110).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Schalldämpfer (100), aufweisend:

    ein längliches rohrförmiges Gehäuse (102), das eine Außenfläche des Dämpfers definiert;

    eine Geschosseintrittsöffnung (112), die an einem rückwärtigen Bereich des länglichen rohrförmigen Gehäuses angeordnet ist; und

    mehrere Röhren (220), die innerhalb des länglichen rohrförmigen Gehäuses (102) angeordnet sind, wobei jede der mehreren Röhren (220) einen Röhreneingang (512) nahe der Geschosseintrittsöffnung (112) und einen Röhrenausgang nahe einer Geschossaustrittsöffnung (212) aufweist, und die mehreren Röhren (22) sich entlang einer Innenfläche des länglichen rohrförmigen Gehäuses (102) erstrecken, aber von der Innenfläche beabstandet sind, und wobei Außenflächen der mehreren Röhren (220) einem Pfad ausgesetzt sind, den ein Geschoss innerhalb des länglichen rohrförmigen Gehäuses (220) durchläuft,

    wobei jede der mehreren Röhren (220) mehrere darin angeordnete Vorsprünge (502, 504) aufweist.


     
    2. Schalldämpfer (100) nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass sich die mehreren Vorsprünge (502, 504) zu einer Mittelachse (105a, 105b) der jeweiligen Röhre hin erstrecken, innerhalb der sie angeordnet sind.
     
    3. Schalldämpfer (100) nach Anspruch 2, darüber hinaus mit mindestens einem spiralförmigen, genuteten Teilstück (204, 206, 208), das innerhalb des länglichen rohrförmigen Gehäuses (102) angeordnet ist.
     
    4. Schalldämpfer (100) nach Anspruch 3, wobei zwischen einem Großteil einer Länge der mehreren Röhren (220) und der Innenfläche des länglichen rohrförmigen Gehäuses (102) ein Lumen (302) gebildet ist.
     
    5. Schalldämpfer (100) nach Anspruch 4, wobei ein Abschnitt des spiralförmigen, genuteten Teilstücks (204, 206, 208) zwischen einem Abschnitt von zumindest einer der mehreren Röhren (220) und der Innenfläche des länglichen rohrförmigen Gehäuses (102) angeordnet ist.
     
    6. Schalldämpfer (100) nach Anspruch 1, darüber hinaus mit mehreren Abgasentlüftungsöffnungen (110), die in einem vorderen Bereich des länglichen rohrförmigen Gehäuses (102) gebildet sind, wobei jede der mehreren Röhren (220) mit einer separaten Abgasentlüftungsöffnung der mehreren Abgasentlüftungsöffnungen (110) in Verbindung ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Supresseur de son (100), comprenant :

    un carter tubulaire allongé (102) définissant une surface extérieure du suppresseur ;

    un passage d'entrée de projectile (112) positionné au niveau d'une région arrière du carter tubulaire allongé ; et

    une pluralité de tubes (220) positionnés à l'intérieur du carter tubulaire allongé (102), dans lequel chaque tube parmi la pluralité de tubes (220) comprend une entrée de tube (512) située à proximité du passage d'entrée de projectile (112) et une sortie de tube située à proximité d'un passage de sortie de projectile (212) et dans lequel la pluralité de tubes (22) s'étend le long d'une surface intérieure du carter tubulaire allongé (102) mais s'écarte de la surface intérieure et dans lequel les surfaces extérieures de la pluralité de tubes (220) sont exposées à une trajectoire à travers laquelle un projectile passe à l'intérieur du carter tubulaire allongé (220) ;

    dans lequel chaque tube parmi la pluralité de tubes (220) comprend une pluralité de saillies (502, 504) positionnées à l'intérieur.


     
    2. Supresseur de son (100) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que la pluralité de saillies (502, 504) s'étendent en direction d'un axe central (105a, 105b) du tube respectif à l'intérieur duquel elles sont positionnées.
     
    3. Supresseur de son (100) selon la revendication 2, comprenant en outre au moins une section cannelée de façon hélicoïdal (204, 206, 208) positionnée à l'intérieur du carter tubulaire allongé (102).
     
    4. Supresseur de son (100) selon la revendication 3, dans lequel un lumen (302) est formé entre une majorité d'une longueur de la pluralité de tubes (220) et la surface intérieure du carter tubulaire allongé (102).
     
    5. Supresseur de son (100) selon la revendication 4, dans lequel une partie de la section cannelée de façon hélicoïdale (204, 206, 208) est positionnée entre une partie au moins de la pluralité de tubes (220) et la surface intérieure du carter tubulaire allongé (102).
     
    6. Supresseur de son (100) selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre une pluralité d'orifices de ventilation de gaz d'échappement (110) qui sont formés dans une région avant du carter tubulaire allongé (102), chaque tube parmi la pluralité de tubes (220) communiquant avec un orifice de ventilation de gaz d'échappement parmi la pluralité d'orifices de ventilation de gaz d'échappement (110).
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description