Back in 2012 when I prepared a wildcat 416 for an African Safari, I had to go up to Spokane with a bbl. still in the white, with only my cat's name scratched in by my G.S.'s pantograph's stylus. But as the rifle came together, after blueing, I took it up to a local trophy shop and that gentleman roto engraved a very nice designation, just under the slightly still visible scratched in version, under the blue finish.
The I.C.E. agent wrote out several of the little forms which you need to bring rifles back into the U.S.A., through Int'l Customs. That gent in Atlanta, was worried that I only had two of the three listed rifles. I simply told him that the R.S.A. only permitted me to carry two, so I had to leave one home. Well, it was almost the truth, since I didn't know if I could get my wildcat's ammo into South Africa, in cartridge specific boxes. Hornady came through with about a dozen flat stock, for their Safari ammo, and Frankford Arsenal delivered the same number of plastic egg crate boxes, of which I only used the bottom halves in the Hornady cardboard boxes. I got them in for the Safari, but I left what was left of them, with my P.H.
There is more to this, but now you have the basics for Int'l travelling with wildcat rifles and their ammo.
I keep 'em guessing Have travelled throughout Europe with my wildcat and never had a customs agent check the barrel other than for number. Once they have seen that and the boxes have been ticked, no problem. My wildcat cartridges are not headstamped either.
Great idea with using the Trophy engraver as they can put on some real fancy engraving in keeping with the calibre.
You have so much more traveling experience, I'll go with your ideas. I ended up going back out to the airport at CapeTown, which cost $50, the next day and got my suitcase, red tags and all, from their lost luggage counter. They didn't ask to check my tin ammo box, and I just quietly walked out the doors to my ride outside, and went back to Harbor House. My original limo driver was tied up with a tour, but he worked the phone the day before in Afrikaans and got my luggage located, and forwarded to the CapeTown lost luggage counter. I had several S.A.P. 50 forms filled out, down to the last 22rf cartridge, and the lady in the firearms check in, took my numbers off of my own paperwork, while I checked in my rifles, out of my Cabelas aluminum gun case.
I did everything right coming off the plane, but a custom's agent who I asked for help, ended his shift, and walked out past me, with his lunch bag. I think my suitcase got stuck, right behind the counter at the firearms check in. I had the rifle case, but not the ammo in my large checked suitcase, which never came down off the luggage carousel.
My booking agent set things up splendidly, but any travel agent can only do about 90%. Beyond that, it becomes trying to push on a rope. My present travel agent, worked up some intricate connections, in 16, and this last Spring, in Europe, but limo drivers can be the diciest of all RSVP's, in my experiences.
I hand engrave mine, but never mark my own rifles with a caliber. They change too often.
You can buy an electro etch kit for marking custom knives like Ruger has done. It uses a common stencil, resist, UV curing light, acid, electrolite and electricity to eat away the pattern.
I did over two hundred K-Hornet and 22-250AI conversions in the '80s and stamped them K, only if the customer requested, and 40(Deg)Imp. but the stamps were made in one piece to avoid the graffiti look.
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