How To Make a DIY Gun Cart

Here's a simple way to turn a thrift shop stroller into a durable and useful gun cart for the course or the range.

This jogging stroller turned into a fine gun cart.
This jogging stroller turned into a fine gun cart.Phil Bourjaily

We only have two hands and one back. There has to be better way than hand-carrying to transport guns and ammo around the sporting clays or three-gun course, or up and down the trap line, or even to haul a few dove or duck decoys and gear into the field. What you need is a gun cart. You can buy them commercially, but you can also make your own for very little money. I am one of the least handy people in the world, and I made a cart in about an hour. You do want to start, as I did, with a jogging stroller, not a regular stroller. The larger, sturdier wheels of the jogging stroller will give you a smoother ride and easier pushing, especially once you get off concrete. Other than that, almost any stroller can become a gun cart. It is much easier if you have a cart where the tubular frame on the outside is exposed and fairly straight, because that’s where the gun racks will clamp on.

Here's how the stroller was found on the curb.
Here's how the stroller was found on the curb.Phil Bourjaily

Envious of a friend's $300 Rugged Gear (ruggedgear.com) cart, I set out to make my own. I had just started looking around consignment stores and yard sales in town for a used stroller when I found one out by the curb near my house one day with a sign reading "FREE" taped to it. I grabbed it and wheeled it home. I ordered Kolpin Rhino Grip XLRs at $29.99 per pair and two Vater Drink Holders (https://www.vater.com/#!/product/285), designed to be clamped onto the cymbal stand of a drum kit, for $12.99 apiece.

I started by removing the canopy, the tray, the drink holder and cutting the straps out of the seat. I had wanted to save the deck over the front wheel, but it interfered with mounting the barrel rests so I took it off. Everything but the canopy unscrewed easily. I sawed the canopy off, although if I were doing this again, I’d drill out the rivets instead for a cleaner look.

Kolpin Rhino Grip XLRs
The author used these Kolpin Rhino Grip XLRs to affix his guns to the cart. They are highly adjustable and can be securely mounted to flat surfaces or 3/4" - 2" round tubing.Kolpin

The Rhino Grips are highly adjustable. You can tilt them or turn them to accommodate almost any stroller, and they bolt onto the tubular frame with little fuss. You can configure your stroller any way you want. The only rule is to make sure your guns are far enough forward that the stroller doesn’t want to tip backwards when it’s loaded up.

The balance problem made it impossible for me to use the Vater Drink Holders for barrel rests. With can koozies inside to protect the gun’s muzzles they seemed perfect. However, because I wanted to carry two very long barreled shotguns, they moved the center of gravity back too far, making the cart tip backwards with guns on board. The Vater Drink Holders are inexpensive and solidly made, and might be perfect for your needs, but they didn’t work for me. I ordered a second pair of Rhino Grips to hold the barrels.

Whatever rack system you come up with, test your cart for balance with only the guns on board. You can’t count on your ammunition as ballast, since your ammo supply gets lighter and lighter as the day goes on. Other than that, anything goes. Personally, I’d prefer to have my muzzles pointing down rather than up for safety reasons, but you’ll see homemade and commercial carts built for muzzles up and muzzles down.

The finished cart, ready for the clays course.
The finished cart, ready for the clays course.author photo

In all, it cost me $60 plus a walk around the block to collect the parts for my gun cart, well, and $24 for the drink holders that didn’t work out. The finished cart holds two target guns so I can bring a backup or carry one for a friend, and it hauls more than enough shells for a trip around the sporting clays course, plus accessories and water. Granted, the free stroller I started with has some rust and some wear, but it works and it turns heads anyway. On its first outing, people took pictures of it so they could build their own, and now you can, too.