A Simple, Inexpensive Gun Cart
By Marauder

In PDF Format for Printing

In The Beginning . . .

When I first started shooting Cowboy Action, it was obvious that I needed something to easily carry my guns and stuff. So I made a simple cart using a light-weight hand truck and built a box, etc using spare wood from a wooden stockade fence.


  1. A rather basic hand truck
  2. An upper frame to hold the top of the guns stable
  3. A simple box that I built using left over wood from a stockade fence

Tools and Materials

  1. A hack saw (optional)
  2. Hand saw or circular saw
  3. Drill with a couple of drill bits
  4. Something to measure with - tape measure or ?
  5. Philips screw driver
  6. Jig Saw
  7. Smaller dowels for upper frame
  8. Larger (3/4") Dowel to hold on box.
  9. Wood glue
  10. Deck screws - preferably weather resistant
  11. A good wood sealer with cheap brush
  12. Some simple hinges for the lid.
  13. Leather "thong"
  14. A 2X2 board for a "foot"

Get a Light Truck with Good Wheels
My first hand truck had a metal frame with hard rubber wheels. It was pretty heavy and I did not like the smaller hard wheels.

I later found a plastic framed hand truck by Milwaukee. Even though it is plastic it is rated for about 500 pounds and is quite sturdy. The other advantage over weight reduction was that it came with pretty good pneumatic tired wheels - which roll much easier and do not shake things up when on gravel, etc. I bought mine for around $40 on sale at Home Depot several years ago. So expect to pay about $60 - $70.

Below are views of my finished product:

Cart Right SideCart FrontCart Right Side
Cart Left sideCart FrontCart Right Side
Click on pictures for a larger view.

The Hand Truck
Truck Front
Cart FrontCart Right
Bottom of Truck - see Dowels
Click on pictures for a larger view.

To help the cart fit in smaller trunks, I removed the metal handle and cut as much off as possible - with a hack saw. Then drilled new holes for the bolts. You could substitute with pins so that would also be removable if needed.

To mount the box, I drilled two holes in the metal bottom and used wood deck screws to install two pieces of dowel rod that I cut to be the same depth as the wood on the bottom of my box. I thought I may need additional support to hold the box on, but I did not need it with the weight of the box being enough to stablize things - especially once it was loaded with ammo.

I used screws to put a 2X2 on "foot" on the bottom to help the cart lean back slightly. The other modification I found was to remove one of the horizontal cross pieces so my SxS would fit in without any problem.

The Box
Top of BoxBox Front
Box OpenBack of Box
Box Open
Click on pictures for a larger view.

As mentioned, I made a box using fence wood and deck screws and glue for long term strength. The box is 20" wide by 12 " on top (the lid is 12 1/2" for a lip to make opening easier. The depth is 8 ".

As you can see, I separated the top of the box and used hinges so only the front opens. This allows the gun so sit in the back and the lid to be opened with guns in place. It does limit access a little, but no badly.

I built simple wooden handles, but you could use leather if you wish.

The bottom detail is the hardest. Note that I used 1 X 2's slightly offset. Then I added a 2 x 2 in the center for a foot to pretty well match the angles of the hand truck.

For the mounting holes, I set the finished box onto the truck (upside down), then using the screw holes in the bottom of the hand cart as a guide, I drilled starter holes in the bottom of the box. Then enlarged them to fit the dowels on the bottom of the hand cart. The dowels were cut so they are essentially level with the inside bottom of the box.
By doing it this way, almost no exact measuring was needed and basic hand tools may be used.

This has been surprisngly stable, but I've only used it a few times every month for about 12 years...

The Cart Top
Front of Top RackBack of Top Rack
Click on pictures for a larger view.

I used a 1 X4 for the top rack with dowels drilled into the board. See the front and back.
I lined up the guns on the bottom, then marked where to install the dowels. I left wider spaces for SxS shotguns just in case. Then I drilled the holes, made sure it all lined up and then glued them in.

I used bolts to mount the board onto the plastic cross piece of the hand truck.
I glued some spongy "shelving" material to help reduce rubbing of the wood on the guns.

As you can see, I then used a leather "latigo" to hold the guns in place. I can also hang my brass bag as well as a water bag on the top. I also attached a towel, which is handy.

In PDF Format for Printing

Back to the Irons Page          Back to the Cowboy Page

Back Home

Updated on 7/18/2011  By Our Excellent Staff          Email:marauder13056@yahoo.com