Author Topic: NCOWS guncarts  (Read 31010 times)

Offline Roscoe Coles

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NCOWS guncarts
« on: August 30, 2009, 12:03:36 PM »
   I have always hated gun carts, in fact I think the point when they came along is pretty much were SASS started down hill (though not the reason) but thats beyond this post.  I was reading the NCOWS rules and they say "Only historically appropriate small conveyances for competitors' firearms and shooting supplies will be allowed (e.g., no converted golf carts, modern shooting carts, etc.),"  Yet in photos of NCOWS shoots I have seen, people seem to be using gun carts.  Frankly I have never seen a "period" gun cart and I don't know of any "historically appropriate small conveyances for ...firearms."

  So, whats the deal, what is in fact NCOWS approved and what is not?

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2009, 12:19:47 PM »
I've wondered about this, too.  I figure a guncart is a necessary evil--what else ya gonna do, lay 'em on the ground?  But what would period correct be? Our guncart is essentially a wood box and cart with plow handles, so it coulda been made in the 19th century. Until you get to the tries: 20th century balloon style. 

So I hope someone'll speak up....
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Offline Roscoe Coles

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2009, 12:33:50 PM »
I have been shooting CAS for 22 years and in the early days every stage had a rifle rack.  These went away when the gun cart came about, which is a real shame.  Thats what I would argue for, as rifle racks on ranges are period correct.  I carry all my stuff (ammo etc) from stage to stage in a set of saddle wallets slung over my shoulder. 

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2009, 01:46:36 PM »
For those that choose to use a cart to carry firearms and supplies, NCOWS wants the cart to be made of period materials.  Ex:  Construction should be wood, iron, & leather.  Wheels should be wooden spoke or iron Spoke.  (No wire spoke bicycle tires or plastic baby stroller tires). 

You are correct in saying that "gun carts" were not a 18th century device.  However, for those that shoot 4 gun classes, or those mentoring junior shooters, they are very handy to have.  Some C&B shooters also enjoy the convenience of a cart.

Examples of non-legal carts:


(All materials are non period correct)


(Wheels are not period material)


(Wheels are not period material)


Legal Carts:




(Note the two in the center sporting wagon wheels.  The bicycle wheels on the other carts would make them non-period)

Many shooters at our club who have used gun carts in the past are now finding the use of saddle bags or saddle pockets to be as convenient, especially when shooting working cowboy.  We also now have period correct rifle racks on each stage.

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Offline Roscoe Coles

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2009, 05:36:40 PM »
   Yeah, I'm sure that a gun cart is very handy to have.  Heck I can think of lots of FARB things that would be handy to have (for those of you unfamiliar with the term FARB it means something which is totally historically inaccurate, usually justified by the immortal phrase "if they would have had it they would have used it").  But handy or not they are not period in any way, even when made of supposedly historic materials.   By the way, wire wheels with hard and pneumatic rubber tires did exist pre 1899 on bicycles and automobiles and I would be quite surprised to find that smaller examples didn't exist as well, I'll have to look into it.  But frankly it don't matter, no matter what they are built of they have no basis in history.
 
  But hey, gun carts are a pet peeve of mine, I just hate the things.  In any context they just scream "MODERN" at me and destroy the illusion.  Its bad enough on the range but in a camp they are like having a bright yellow Colman cooler or a nylon lawn chair.  They just aint period and there is no getting around it.  I would much rather have well laid out gun racks on the range.

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #5 on: Today at 09:47:13 AM »

Offline River City John

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2009, 05:37:38 PM »
There have been seen at past NCOWS events gun carts:

1.)made out of one of those Invalid wheel chairs of the period that is wood and wicker
2.)a box and barrel on an old railroad hand truck (the front of the barrel opened up to reveal the inner rack for the long arms)
3.)a dog-cart sized wagon that was originally intended to haul greenware and ceramics within a large factory
4.)wooden cart built out of harness trees, a strongbox and solid wood disc wheels
5.)built out of an old wood and iron wheeled wheel barrow modified to hold long arms upright in a rack
6.)a converted small-scale four wheel wagon of the type that you used to see sitting out on some lawns as an ornament to hold pots of
     plants, usually brightly painted in Fiesta colors
7.)someone who had brought a very calm burro with packs on a pack saddle to hold supplies. The long arms were stored in                 scabbards, muzzle down, on either side.
8.)a replica of a Metis wooden pull cart (same function as a rickshaw, but with a cargo bed and canvas cover over hoops like a
    miniature Conestoga)

 As has been stated, modern tubular-steel gun carts, or modern balloon-tired wheels are to be avoided. I know one person who kept a modified pair of those small, old time steel-rim farm implement wheels to change out for his modern wheels on his gun cart when going to an NCOWS match.

What with the huge popularity of Working Cowboy and The Originals, both two-gun categories, most find they don't need more than a pair of saddlebags, a haversack or a plain old poke sack to carry what they need.



   I have always hated gun carts, in fact I think the point when they came along is pretty much were SASS started down hill . . .


One thing that has seemed to grow with the gun modification race is people have a tendency to empty out their gun safes. Way too much stuff is carted to and from a shoot, far more than a person can carry without some kind of conveyance. (And where
did those 'Taco Stand' beach umbrellas come from? ;))
 
 
NCOWS will always allow the use of gun carts for safety and convenience of those shooters who wish to use them, especially for those range situations where there are insufficient racks, or the firing line is a goodly trek from the parking lot. Afterall, we're all getting older . . .


RCJ

 

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Offline Ottawa Creek Bill

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2009, 06:40:55 PM »
Roscoe......Damn pardner you sound like me, so much so, you  just might be my evil twin that I've never met. Besides gun carts, my pet peeves are hats, and short stroked anything (you can use you own imagination).

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Offline Roscoe Coles

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2009, 07:32:10 PM »
Hey Bill, its nice to run into like minded folks.  I'm with you on bad hats and short strokes.  Life's too short to have either one.   We all have things we are working on, aint none of us perfect, but its often just as easy to do a thing right as it is to do it wrong.  Knowledge is power and spending a little time with a book and a critical eye can make all the difference.  By trade I am an historian and historical archaeologist, I like the old things and I want to do it right. 

Anyway, I'm a little out of sorts at the moment as I am down with pneumonia and pleurisy, no kidding, pleurisy!  Now if I could only come down with TB I'd have the full compliment of 19th century lung diseases!  Maybe I'll be a little less peevish when I'm better but until then...

Death to gun carts!!

Offline Jed Cooper

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2009, 06:53:41 AM »
Death to gun carts!!
Roscoe, My sentiments also!  Even with all the stuff I have to cary shooting pistoleer, and several physical issues, I still refuse to be seen using a cart. Besides my cassa is only 10 minuts from OCB, He would never let me live it down ;D.  I don't have a problem with those other guys using them, after all such things were available in 1940's Hollywood  ::)  I'm happy to stay as period as possible. Thats what makes it fun for me. Our theme is PERIOD after all.   Regards Jed
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Offline Dirty Brass

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2009, 07:52:03 AM »
How about everyone shows up with pack mules, pack horses, and pommels?   :o

Oh, and I don't believe they carried little pooper scooper shovels back in the period correct days..... ::)

To each his/her own, but in the name of safety and simplicity, and old age  ;D, I see no reason for hardlining the use of carts......

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #10 on: Today at 09:47:13 AM »

Offline Daniel Nighteyes

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2009, 08:19:28 AM »
(And where did those 'Taco Stand' beach umbrellas come from? ;))

Let me guess.  You don't shoot in the Southwest, or in the inland valleys of SoCal, in the summer do ya? :D :D

Nope, they aren't historically accurate by any means.  However, on those days when there are no clouds, its 102 in the shade, and 140+ in the sun, they do serve a vital purpose.

-- Daniel (whut don't shoot NCOWS) Nighteyes

Offline J.D. Yellowhammer

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2009, 08:26:17 AM »
I've been thinking long and hard about this problem.  Obviously, 19th century shootists didn't lug gun carts around to fights.  It would have looked ludicrous for Doc, Wyatt, Morgan and Virgil to be pulling their carts down Fremont Street to the alley behind the OK. Their legend would have been comedic rather than heroic had they done so.

But most period gunfighters didn't have to contend with 2 pistols, a long gun, and a shotgun, along with hundreds of rounds, earplugs, eye shields, and all the other accoutrements of their modern-day counterparts.

So what to do?

After careful historic research I have come up with suggestions for guncarts which, if parked discreetly near the firing line, might be less obtrusive than our modern, umbrella-bedecked outrages. To whit:

1) The scale replica gypsy cart. Merely saw a hole in the roof for barrels.  Add midget gypsies for true authenticity.



2) Antique plough.  You can tie your long guns to the tines in the rear.  Disadvantage: hard to pull from stage to stage, but if doing so you might scatter a few seeds along the way for future range improvement.



3) The scale replica hearse. No explanation required.



4) The surrey.  Entire posse can use this cart, just add gun racks.  Posse can push this from stage to stage.



5) For our northern brothers, the miniature sleigh. Posse can sing Christmas carols as the glide through the stages.



6) My favorite:the goat-gun-cart. The advantages of having a goat to pull that heavy load of long guns, cartridges, sun screen, water bottles, cell phones, etc., is obvious. In the first example, merely replace children with guns. This is, on the whole, not a bad rule in general.



The Yellowhammer Cowboy Goat Cart! Patent Pending!

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Offline River City John

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2009, 08:42:45 AM »
Let me guess.  You don't shoot in the Southwest, or in the inland valleys of SoCal, in the summer do ya? :D :D

Nope, they aren't historically accurate by any means.  However, on those days when there are no clouds, its 102 in the shade, and 140+ in the sun, they do serve a vital purpose.

-- Daniel (whut don't shoot NCOWS) Nighteyes

No, but I shoot in the hot, humid midwest during the dog days of August. ;D 
We have people who use shade umbrellas. But they're in solids,- either natural, grey or earthtone canvas. I guess I should be specific, it's the brightly colored ones that I find glaring.
And if there isn't an NCOWS club near you, you can still enjoy one of the benefits by being a member, - The Shootist.
We'd love to have you as a member.
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Offline Pancho Peacemaker

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2009, 08:54:50 AM »
I look at gun carts the same way I look at our modern eye protection, hearing protection, and electronic shot timers.   They are all modern devices which make our shooting experience safer and for some, more enjoyable.  Some shooters need carts due to their physical condition.   Some ranges mandate the use of gun carts due to foot travel distance and the lack of rifle racks.  (I shot at one range in central Texas that had a 500 foot, uphill walk from the parking area to the firing line.)

The umbrellas are a nice addition during the summer, especially at our range where we lack natural cover.

I do think shooters who choose to use carts should make them blend into the period scene as much as possible. 

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Offline Daniel Nighteyes

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2009, 09:23:15 AM »
No, but I shoot in the hot, humid midwest during the dog days of August. ;D 

Having grown up on the central Gulf Coast (LA, MS, AL, FL), I can say with a fair amount of authority that the humid heat of which you're speaking is significantly different from the raise-a-blister-on-a-saddle heat experienced out here!

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Offline Ottawa Creek Bill

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2009, 09:38:58 AM »
How about everyone shows up with pack mules, pack horses, and pommels?   :o

Oh, and I don't believe they carried little pooper scooper shovels back in the period correct days..... ::)

To each his/her own, but in the name of safety and simplicity, and old age  ;D, I see no reason for hardlining the use of carts......

Well for one, we're talking about NCOWS, if you want to use them in SASS or the other CAS shooting areas fine! I know we are seeing less and less of them at NCOWS events. Don't spoil our game by trying to bring bad manners to ours. 

Gun carts used by what ever few NCOWS members are still using them are used because they still refuse to realize that a man, or woman for that matter didn't walk around with fifteen different firearms and 10,000 rounds of ammunition, it has nothing to do with pack mules and scoop shovels.

And this is an NCOWS fourm.

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Offline WaddWatsonEllis

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2009, 09:48:00 AM »
Plans about gun carts ....

I see both sides of this coin.

On the one hand, most guncarts are about as historic as the Winnebagos parked at a three day shoot.

On th other, ours is not a youth predominated sport. I can think of more than several members who would be kept from participating if they were forced to carry all their weapons, ammo and paraphenalia between stages ... and especially from the parking lot. ... hell, I have bone on bone on one knee and I am so thankful when I can borrow a gun cart just to keep from having to make several trips to my car on that knee ...

But somebody in my past said that if all one does is complain without offering solutions, that just makes one part of the problem.

My plans for a gun cart? A 'hand cart' made up of plow handles, steel wheels and strap iron stiffeners. On top of it, just as it would have been in a Victorian train station, would be a psuedo steamer trunk whose doors open to become a gun case. If one were to really get into it, above the trunk could be an old (or at least old looking) wood ammo box that could hold ammo, leather and outsized articles.  It wouldn't be hard to add wrought iron loops to hold an umbrella, and a folding stool rack.

The other thought that comes to mind for the wooden artists in our group would be about a quarter scale chuck wagon, where when one pulls down the hinged table from the rear, where all the foodstuffs used to be stored would be a long gun rack. Ane there would be plenty of room inside the wagon for the coolers et al, out of the sun and out of visual ... I think if someone offered an affordable precut kit of either, one would see far more of them at competitions ... not too many people have a woodshop at their disposal ....

Just my $0.02 ...
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Offline Ottawa Creek Bill

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2009, 09:50:46 AM »
Let me guess.  You don't shoot in the Southwest, or in the inland valleys of SoCal, in the summer do ya? :D :D

Nope, they aren't historically accurate by any means.  However, on those days when there are no clouds, its 102 in the shade, and 140+ in the sun, they do serve a vital purpose.

-- Daniel (whut don't shoot NCOWS) Nighteyes

Daniel,
We have a posse in southern California, The Hat Creek Regulators. Now they are out of Bakersfield, I've been to Bakersfield and I think that is southern Cal. I can guarantee you that Joss House and his gang don't use gun carts or beach umbrellas. Heat is just another excuse to use a modern conveyance for what ever you want to bring to a match.

And, by the way it was something not seen at the early SASS shoots, I was fortunate that I was able to attend two of the original End of Trails when they were still in California, there wasn't a gun cart or a beach umbrella any where to be seen.

Now, SASS is race guns, short stroked rifles......not what I signed on when SASS started......I hope NCOWS never goes that route and I'm pretty sure (since we are a member owned group) that it never will.

OCB
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Offline Ottawa Creek Bill

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2009, 09:56:28 AM »
Plans about gun carts ....

I see both sides of this coin.

On the one hand, most guncarts are about as historic as the Winnebagos parked at a three day shoot.

On th other, ours is not a youth predominated sport. I can think of more than several members who would be kept from participating if they were forced to carry all their weapons, ammo and paraphenalia between stages ... and especially from the parking lot. ... hell, I have bone on bone on one knee and I am so thankful when I can borrow a gun cart just to keep from having to make several trips to my car on that knee ...

But somebody in my past said that if all one does is complain without offering solutions, that just makes one part of the problem.

My plans for a gun cart? A 'hand cart' made up of plow handles, steel wheels and strap iron stiffeners. On top of it, just as it would have been in a Victorian train station, would be a psuedo steamer trunk whose doors open to become a gun case. If one were to really get into it, above the trunk could be an old (or at least old looking) wood ammo box that could hold ammo, leather and outsized articles.  It wouldn't be hard to add wrought iron loops to hold an umbrella, and a folding stool rack.

The other thought that comes to mind for the wooden artists in our group would be about a quarter scale chuck wagon, where when one pulls down the hinged table from the rear, where all the foodstuffs used to be stored would be a long gun rack. Ane there would be plenty of room inside the wagon for the coolers et al, out of the sun and out of visual ... I think if someone offered an affordable precut kit of either, one would see far more of them at competitions ... not too many people have a woodshop at their disposal ....

Just my $0.02 ...

Wadd....Those are a lot less obtrusive...but its still a gun cart. The real answer to gun carts is....less guns.

OCB
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Offline Ol Gabe

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Re: NCOWS guncarts
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2009, 10:24:29 AM »
Good discussion and my compliments to all!
Years ago when my Pards & I attended NCOWS Shoots, most of the ranges were at least 1/8 of a mile or more away from the parking area and we needed to haul all of our 'stuff' to the range since there was rarely any other way to get 'stuff' to the stages and lunch was back up by the parking area. To solve the need to carry everything we created a railroad hand cart unit as RCJ mentioned and hid most all of our things inside and out of sight. The first rig worked so well we built a bigger, better and more historically-perfect unit  that consisted of a steamer trunk on its side with a wood dynamite box and an old wood hardware box on top of that to hide and carry everything. All pieces were original to the period and researched, it fit my personae as a RR Freight Agent, I portrayed my G-G-father.
The bottom of the trunk was bolted with hidden bolts to the hand truck which was fitted out on the inside with two rows of gun racks made out of locally grown and hand-cut Walnut, the trunk was lined with red sateen material and brass tacks of the period, the original paper on the inside of the curved lid was retained.
The wood boxes were bolted to the top of the trunk and a square hole was cut into the top of the trunk and padded so that the barrels of the rifles and shotguns could go up though the opening. The bottom of the box on top of the trunk was bolted to the truck so that the 'real' lid opened out, it was also padded with the red material and brass tacks and had leather straps to hold all our Pocket Pistols. On the door a holster to hold a 12" bbl revolver was installed. The top box opened up, inside the red material held in place with brass tacks contained compartments to hold replica ammo boxes, eye and ear protection, a timer and other extras.
The entire package looked exactly like it came from a railroad loading dock. It could hold 4 rifles and 4 shotguns, the big revolver and 4 Pocket Pistols as well as enough ammo for the whole Shoot for 3-4 Shooters. It was well-balanced and made for easy moving to the range and back, we hauled it in the back of my Suburban with little or no trouble loading and unloading.
Why did we need it? It was designed by me to hold enough for us all to go and "...look good doing it." as Will Ketchum says. As I mentioned above, most all of the ranges we shot at were quite a ways from the parking area and to schlep all the rifles, shotguns, revolvers and P.P.'s and enough ammo was sometimes difficult especially with a bad back and knees so it became an essential item for our enjoyment of the hobby and event.
Sorry, but I don't have pics of it but many here may recall it at a Nationals from the past, I think a pic may be in a past issue of THE SHOOTIST in a review of a Nationals event at Ackley, Iowa. When we stopped attending Shoots due to various reasons we sold the rig at the last NCOWS Convention held in Waterloo, Iowa. An NCOWS Pard from Minnesota bought it so it is probably making the rounds up North. Hated to sell it as it was a movie-quality prop, many said it would have fit right into a Spaghetti-type Western.
We didn't have the classes available then like Originals and W.C. and it was generally assumed all scenarios would utilize everything you brought, i.e., 2 revolvers, 1 rifle, 1, shotgun and a P.P. on each and every stage, sometimes twice! Times change, for good or bad the guncart served a purpose for some ranges, others not. We attended many where they had a close-in range and just went back to the truck when we needed some more of this or that. Again, there were no Originals or W.C. classes then, were our health such that we could attend a Shoot now we would no doubt follow the path of the W.C. since it has a limited amount of 'stuff' to carry.
One wise wag earlier said we are all getting older and can't carry as much or walk as far as we used to but we still enjoy the hobby. 'IF' a range had racks at each stage, 'IF' a range had a method to transport Shooters from the away parking area to the range then the perceived need for a guncart becomes a moot point, however, not all ranges or clubs are set to provide these services and that certainly is something to consider when setting up an event. If health issues are prevalent,  then a 'historically-correct conveyance' should be researched and implemented, it ain't hard and is a lot of fun putting one together to match your personae.
This is a great discussion and many more good comments will be forthcoming, interesting that W.W.E. mentioned he has the same rig in mind, he also suffers from the same knee malady I do so this furthers the point of involving history in guncart design if one is really needed to make the event/hobby doable and enjoyable. O.C.B. also hits it right on the head with his comment about "...less guns.", how wonderful a thought to have all scenarios written like that, perhaps some day...
Best regards and good shooting!
'Ol Gabe
NCOWS #925

 

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