Shooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 126 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,927 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am pretty sure a passenger has taken his rifles onto multiple airplanes while on his way to Africa, or wherever. I'll be bringing some back to Nevada from back East in about a month. I have one of those two-gun cases that has six clip-locks on it. I think it's a Pelican. I have removed the clips on the ends; the four on the front remain. What I am asking in this post is, What kind of locks do I need in order to pass TSA muster regarding the locks? The case will go east empty, and return with two very precious family heirlooms in it. Thanks for the help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,208 Posts
I don't have an answer for you.

You can ship them to yourself as long they are your guns, not a change of ownership. I think I'd trust 2nd-day UPS over any airline.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,653 Posts
Flown in a few times with my rifles and changed planes at Newark. In all cases checking and handling has been top class. In fact on a couple of occasions the Customs guys just waved me through, until one wanted to have a look see what I was shooting as I had two rifles listed in a Dosco pistol case !!!! He was quite impressed with the way two Encore frames and two 16 1/2 inch barrels fitted in there. My locks are keyless /code locks and there are two.
I have never had a problem with security. Loaders YES!! I flew to Wyoming with my 300H&H and at the time had an quality aluminium case rated for air travel. Arrived at Denver to find the scope knocked senseless and a huge dent in the case frame where it had impacted. Dropped from a great height. Immediately purchased a long Dosco as I am confident they would almost survive anything the morons could throw at them. I have heard you need locks which can be opened by your security people. Mine are not and have not been tampered with.
If in doubt ship them next day UPS.

DO NOT FAIL to tape the case completely around with strong tape because I have seen good quality cases pop their hinges before now. I always carry a big roll of Gaffer tape and tape my boxes after the security have done their checks.
 

·
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
Joined
·
23,781 Posts
Each airline has their own requirements. Best check with the specific carrier and find out what they require. Locks and size limits are usually posted. You'll find it in their FAC or info section on the website.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Reloader77

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,653 Posts
Plus 1 for Pelican. Just happens I had my Doscos before they came out. Almost, if not as good. Money well spent either way.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,927 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I did a search for "tsa locks" and saw that the ones shown on the Walmart site do not seem to be anything special. They can be bought at any Walmart, any day of the week. I do not know what airline I will fly because I don't have the tickets, yet.

Shootin' buddy just called. Gotta go to lunch. Later, gents...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,769 Posts
Any quality padlock will pass muster. I've flown with several different types and as long as they are not el cheapos that could be sprung with a screwdriver, they should be just fine. Find an appropriate sized Master Lock padlock and you will be fine. I have used as many as four small padlocks on cases I've used for air travel.
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
36,072 Posts
Any lock is fine. The key to getting through the airport is to have an open mind, and don't assume the protocol will be the same in every airport. It won't. Maybe it should be, but it won't.

Show up at the airport plenty early, with the guns unloaded in quality gun case that is already LOCKED. Don't open it till you are told. Declare at the ticket counter that you have unloaded firearms in a locked case to be checked as baggage, and that you do not have any ammunition.

Once, I was told to unlock the case right there and a form was put in it. On other occasions I was given the form and told to not open till the TSA agent told me to. Just go along with it.

They will probably check the rest of your baggage, if any, before proceeding. Make sure you get the baggage ticket for you gun, before proceeding!

Depending on the airport - there will be some protocol where some forms are filled out and a TSA security officer will then escort to you an area where you will be directed to open the case. NOTE! Once I started to open the case before being told, and was sternly corrected. On that occasion the TSA officer made a big deal out of wiping down the outside of the case (I don't know why) and then I opened it and he closely inspected everything in it, including under all the foam lining. Of course you will be asked the same questions over and over. That agent really took his job seriously, and at 6AM to boot. That's OK by me.

I have also had TSA agents ask me where I was hunting, did I see anything, etc., before giving the contents a once-over and sending me on my way. You never know.

I've always had the TSA agent then take the re-locked case to baggage. Be sure your baggage ticket is on it! Almost didn't get one on my case, one time.

As a side note, I've always at least somewhat disassembled my guns. They fit better in the case and as an example, when the bolt or cylinder is out of the gun and it is in pieces, then it is more obvious that it is completely unloaded and nobody has to monkey with it to find out. Does that matter? Have no idea, I did it because stuff fit better in the case that way.

All in all I have not had any issues the few times I have transported firearms in the TSA era. Others may have different experiences.

Like everything else in life, things go better when the paperwork is in order, you dress nice, and politely answer the questions (no matter how many times you have answered them already).

It certainly wouldn't hurt to call the airline ahead of time to ensure that they do not have other quirks in their procedures. But, at the end of the day - they have to follow the TSA rules too.

Hopefully you don't have any trouble. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,269 Posts
Sounds like you've done that a time or two, Mike. :)

My dad worked for United airlines for almost 30 years and we traveled with rifles quite a few times, but that was all back before 9/11. Oddly enough, it seems like the process for checking in a gun case hasn't changed all that much; what Mike describes above is pretty much exactly what we always did.

Probably the best advice is to just go along with whatever the TSA asks, even if it seems odd or inconsistent.
 

·
Piney Woods Moderator
Joined
·
6,249 Posts
I travel with firearms all the time. As others have said the only thing consistent is the inconsistency you will encounter. I have had everything from that is such a cute gun to the airline clerk running around in circles yelling OMG he has a gun. Print out a copy of the airline firearms regulations and carry them with you. If a question arises just show them their on rules in writing. Ninety-nine percent of the time you will have no problems. Use a quality lock on your Pelican case and remember to carry a key with you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,769 Posts
I will only add that the rules about TSA and their "need" to inspect all firearms being shipped have changed. The last 3 or 4 times I have traveled via airlines with firearms TSA has had zero interest. I opened my lockable case, signed the proper forms and then locked my case at the airline counter, never to be opened again.

I have been instructed to remain close, if possible, so that TSA could also inspect, but it has never once happened since 2010. I believe the "intrusive" looks TSA used to make on firearms that had been already looked at and signed for may have resulted in too many complaints from those who later found damage due to their firearms being moved into different positions then they had been when originally packed (my speculation).

Is TSA better? I am not going there, only saying that in lots of airline trips since 9/11, TSA has seemed to be less intrusive over the last few years.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,606 Posts
Pelican cases are good. I don't have one for guns, but took two small cases for ammo in separate baggage to Africa. Rifles were in a two-gun 'Browning' case (no idea who actually made it). After the TSA checks at the airport on the rifles, the TSA locks were put back on, and then I asked if I could put another lock on it (not TSA), a 'master' lock-type with a key. They had no problems with that. I'd heard that you might end up with a cut-off padlock if it wasn't a TSA lock, but that didn't happen to me. I had no problems with the TSA process. MikeG provided a good summary.

You have to worry more about the baggage handlers. On a trip to Northern Quebec for a caribou hunt in 2008, we all watched in horror as the handlers banged the rifle cases around unloading from the plane and onto baggage carts. The pelican should handle that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
810 Posts
shipped both ways

My son and kids were flying from Iowa to Oregon and I asked themto bring one of my rifles and HD Militry .22. John bought a mediocre hard case at WalM and two very small padlocks, about an inch long. He arrivved at the eugene airport with the rifle and pistol both packed in the one case with no problems at all.
As far as USPS it seems almost too simple if you ship your firearms to yourself. I bought a left handed 30-06 to ship to my son (actually for my Grand-daughter but ) and I told the lady in the P,O, that my son John had been hunting elk and left his rifle with me for some reason. She insured it, filled out a paper, et al and asked me to wait for a minute. When she returned from the shipping room she came over to where I was waiting and she said, "Jack, I was hunting the breaks of Mudd Creek last winter and shot this black bear. I have the hide nailed on my wood house door and I wonder if you could help me get it tanned ----------?
It is really a pleasure to live in a town of 800 people.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
288 Posts
Been 30-- years since i flew with mine and that was long before the age of terrorism.

Mate ahead of me had the pelican case. Declared his Browning thutty ought six, and was asked if the bolt was out and no ammo with it - to which he answered "yes". Being a semi auto the bolt was still in it - but the girl on the counter wouldn't have known how to tell anyway.

Sealed it up and filled out the paper work...

I put my identical but black colored case with .243 win mod 70 in it up on the counter- wearing the same hunting clothes as the guy I'm with, and headed to the same destination, and she says "we will look after your bassoon carefully sir" and just sends it thru... no paper work exceot some fragile - handle with care tape.

I guess i looked more like a musician than a hunter or something or she was all out fo firearms forms or something.

Coming back from another trip across the nation & back by train I changed trains a few times both ways thru 3 or 4 states each way - no one said anything about my guns.

These days I wouldn't get across the street with my guns in their cases - without a swat team sliding down ropes from a blackhawk... going hut hut hut and barrel whipping me.

My how times have changed... one hunting trip in Tassie before the Port Arthur Massacre, (and confiscation of our semi auto's) i went into agun shop in Launceston a major city. Guy walks in and wothout any license or id etc buys a 308 Win for the deer season and a couple packets of ammo - no gun bag or case etc - just puts the rifle over his shoulder holding it by the barrel and walks out into the street and boards a bus!

Do that same thing today and Police would gun you down in the street before you made it to the bus stop.

I do miss the good old days sometimes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
On a trip to northern Canada one hunters rifle case show up looking like it was thrown from the cargo door to the concrete and missed the ramp. Rife was not hurt but it does make you wonder about some workers view of hunters. 20 years ago one rifle case missed the connecting flight !! It did show the next morning at 4am and made it 110miles out to the middle of now where Saskatchewan looking great . That's getting it to you at it best.

Any firearm that valuable to the family I would ship UPS 2 day air. But it does depend some what on how many connector flights you will have to get home. Luggage does still get damaged and come up missing regardless. of best laid plans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
Hello:
I myself as of yet anyway never had to fly on a jet with a gun in baggage .
But i understand the issue.
My qeustion is if i had reloaded ammo that is loaded for accuracy for the gun i put on the plane= Can i bring the ammo also for the gun ?
I read a post above that they said gun unloaded no ammo ect which ok i understand saying that calms the tsa.
But can i bring the reloaded ammo also but say in a seperate bag or suit case ?
How do you do it and what info might i need to know if and when i do need gun and ammo on plane to a hunt /
Thanx Head Shot
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
36,072 Posts
No ammo in the gun case.

I put my ammo in another piece of checked baggage. Saved some factory containers to put it in, in case there was an issue. There wasn't....
 
1 - 20 of 126 Posts
Top