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...saw it...

Called the place and spoke with the owner. He has no idea what the cart is worth,what should be on it or what equipment is missing. He'll let it run the course. Hope no one tries to buy it anywhere near that inflated price.
 

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Hope no one tries to buy it anywhere near that inflated price.
So what would a fair price for it be? Not that I'm looking to buy one right now.:eek:
CaptMax
 

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Good question...

Not enough room to explain all aspects. However,most 1917 carts...all types...are usually lacking any boxes and are just a bare frame and wheels...if you are lucky. Anywhere from $150.00 to $600.00. If the wood is not solid and must be replaced...less. If wheels need work...much less. The cart in question is just a frame...no boxes...but has decent wheels,both shaft frames and some period tack for a mule....and has the brass tag for a gun cart. Might go for $800-$1K....but needs a lot of work and travel to SD...about $700.00 just for the travel. It's all relative to what you want. Sold a gun cart...without the shafts...for $2,500.00 and it was used at the Newville,PA re enactment last April and Nov. With good wood,both wheels in good shape,both shafts,gun box (gun cart),ammo carrier,tow pole and cross shaft and ready to roll....$3,500.00-$4,500.00. If outfitted with ammo boxes,pioneer tools,all issued equipment and tool roll (ammo cart),you might be looking at $6K. I could go on for hours....LOL.....
 

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Not enough room to explain all aspects. However,most 1917 carts...all types...are usually lacking any boxes and are just a bare frame and wheels...if you are lucky. Anywhere from $150.00 to $600.00. If the wood is not solid and must be replaced...less. If wheels need work...much less. The cart in question is just a frame...no boxes...but has decent wheels,both shaft frames and some period tack for a mule....and has the brass tag for a gun cart. Might go for $800-$1K....but needs a lot of work and travel to SD...about $700.00 just for the travel. It's all relative to what you want. Sold a gun cart...without the shafts...for $2,500.00 and it was used at the Newville,PA re enactment last April and Nov. With good wood,both wheels in good shape,both shafts,gun box (gun cart),ammo carrier,tow pole and cross shaft and ready to roll....$3,500.00-$4,500.00. If outfitted with ammo boxes,pioneer tools,all issued equipment and tool roll (ammo cart),you might be looking at $6K. I could go on for hours....LOL.....
Wow, this is a whole new area for me and appreciate the information. I can see how you could become addicted when you stumble upon one for a reasonable price, only to find there are some "accessories" you need to go with it. Next thing you know you have bought several just for "spares" and a few parts you needed. Come to think about it, that is what happens with most everything I collect. :eek:
CaptMax
 

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Please do. :urtheman:
I'm listening and two makes a crowd so you have an audience.
The stage is all yours so feel free to "go on for hours".
We won't throw any rocks at you. :hitwithrock:
CaptMax
 

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Make that three, I'm always willing to learn more about this obsessively compulsive disorder known as the JMB syndrome.....:help:
 

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...first installment...

OK,OK...I get the hint...LOL. All opinions are my own and specs are from military doc's. The first series of the 1917 Machine Gun carts were drawn up by March,1917 and International Harvester was awarded the contract. Their assembly plant in Chicago..the McCormick plant...was close to both rail and water (Lake Michigan) for shipping. International Harvester had just purchased a few local wagon makers in the area...Waggoner was one of the largest...and had ample production facilities. The 16-spoke,8-felly,iron tired, 38" artillery wheels were the most labor intensive part of the carts. Spokes and felly were to be oak or ash wood. All the wood for the carts was white or red oak. The steel axle...1 1/2" square stock...was machined with the wheel stubs having a slight taper to accept the cast iron 2-piece wheel hub. There were no wheel bearings...just slap grease on the stub and place hub over the axle stub. A spacer washer with 2-nubs and a lynch pin held the wheel in place. It was deemed the most expedient way to dismount the wheels for transport and field repair. There were 7-major pieces of oak wood for the cart frame... (1)-front sill,(2)-outer sills,(2)-inner sills and (2)-cross pieces. All 5-carts...3-machine gun carts,37MM gun carriage and the 37MM ammo cart...were all made at the McCormick plant and used the same configuration. The only difference was the placement of the frame cross pieces to accommodate the ammo carrier boxes. The 37MM ammo cart and the 1917 ammo cart were nearly the same. All the carts carried an oval brass name plate...about 3"...fixed to the front sill between the lunette and the prop foot. All 5-carts had a different designation..,1917 Gun Cart,.1917 Ammunition cart,1917 Spare Gun Cart,37MM Gun Cart and 37MM Ammunition Cart. My expertise is focused on the 1917 series,so these are the only tags I have collected.
 

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...second installment...

IAW (military for 'in accordance with') the SNL (military term for 'standard nomenclature list') dated 25 Oct 1925...by then the 1917 Spare Gun cart was declared 'obsolete' and was not listed. Conjecture on my part...reason being that the 1917 Browning was so reliable and battle-tested that the other crew-served guns...Benet' Mecier (air-cooled,strip-fed),Lewis (British air-cooled,pan type mag fed) and the venerable Vickers (British-cloth belt fed,water cooled) were all declared 'obsolete' for US Army and Marine units. Most of the guns on the Army carts were Vickers,as Gen Pershing would not allow the 1917 browning to be deployed until 17 Sep 1917. This was because the general Staff was concerned that one would be captured and reproduced by the Germans. The 1917 Browning was also considered to be the finest and most reliable water cooled,cloth belt fed gun ever produced. As of 1920 (conjecture),only the gun cart and ammo carts were produced by International Harvester. The Spare gun carts were either reverted to a gun cart or scrapped. The carts were produced from Mar-Apr 1917-Sep 1938. Until documentation is found,this is the best-guess on production records. Looking thru the documents released and produced by our own member,GateKeeper (Jodi) at RIA,there are change to some drawings as late as Sep 1938. When the McCormick plant was shuttered and torn down...1956(?)...all the records and papers were sent to the University of Wisconsin in Madison,WI. I'm in contact with one of their staff who advised me they have some records that may prove some production numbers...not sure. I have been able to produce the earlyst tag number ever see...#286,a spare gun cart ...and the latest #353005,a gun cart found in the original crate in 2011,bought in 2013 and resides today with member Craig Johnson in WA. Presently I possess the only 2-spare gun carts known,have 6-gun carts and 6-ammunition carts...14-carts total. And for the final thought in this installment..... i am in the process of making...from scratch...12-carts. The axle-'A'-frame assemblies are being completed,massive amounts of quarter-sawn white oak is being assembled and cast iron wheel hubs will be made after the 3-D printed master is produced. The 1918 Browning Belt loaders took over 6-yrs to produce.. ..these may take a bit longer. GOAL: produce enough carts to make a Company...(IE) 26-carts...12-gun carts,12-ammo carts and 2-Spare gun carts. Then sell off carts to collectors and museums...and a few 1919 members who say they HAVE to have one...or two....LOL.
 

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...additional info...3rd. installment

A lot of additional info has been obtained with the help of Robin (from OR) about the 1917 Machine Gun Cart series,and he is an exceptional military collector. He has found records and info that there were 3-companies that were given contracts for 25K carts apiece. Production was started first by the International Harvester Co.,Chicago,IL at their McCormick Works about May 1917. The Velie (vee-lee) Car Co.,Moline,IL and the St. Louis Car Co.,St. Louis,MO began production soon after. The serial number sequence was started by IH and all three carts...gun,ammo and spare gun carts...were between #1-120,000. Velie was given the 200,000 series and St. Louis Car Co 300,000. This is consistent with all the known tag numbers currently documented. Latest number known is a gun cart,#353,005 that was found in-the-crate and marked "St. Louis Car Co.". Earliest number is # 286...a spare gun cart tag.

Apparently,there were approximately 75K carts produced by all three mfg.'s from May 1917 to the last production of May 1919 by the St. Louis Car Co. According to the inventory by the US Army,June 1919,there were only 25K carts in country. That means upwards of 50K carts were deployed for combat in Europe and/or sold to foreign countries....and were later destroyed/sold/given to locals or scrapped. The 1917 carts were then used for training 1917 Browning crews by the US Army. The carts were declared 'limited-standard' in 1937,(ie) to be used only for training and not for combat use and not for use outside CONUS...continental United States. They were declared 'obsolete' in 1945 at the end of WW2 and the carts were then sold or scrapped. It has been estimated that there may be only about 200 carts total that remain in the US.

Any further info is appreciated and will be added when available. Craig Johnson's web site...handguncartz.com...contains the best known list of documented carts and their tags.
 

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I know Len has discussed this in detail in other strings - This would be a good subject for a sticky thread with all the information. these carts are very cool, but take a lot of room, and detailing them out is a lot of work. I think the last cart I saw for sale was my old one - looked like it from the layout and tools ......
 
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