GUN Competition Crew: Flying with a handgun?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Camp OTE, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. Camp OTE

    Camp OTE New Member

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    I'm going to be flying to the Florida Open in February. I've been to a lot of class 2 and a few class 3 matches, but I've never actually flown with my gear to a match.

    Anyone have any tips on flying with a pistol or two? Airlines to avoid or anything like that? I just started my research so any tips would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. spankaveli

    spankaveli OT Supporter

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    Just buy a good pelican case and keep the gun and mags in there. Ammo too, I think.

    Www.velocityshooter.com has the best pelican prices I've seen and he's 100% legit.
     
  3. spankaveli

    spankaveli OT Supporter

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  4. BLH

    BLH Member

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    Buy a Pelican or Storm Hardigg case (I prefer storm), don't even bother with an aluminum case, seen those destroyed before. One of the times I flew to a nationals one of my teammates took the sights off of his precision air rifle and checked them in carry on so they wouldn't get destroyed by an off chance, that was interesting to say the least getting them through security. It took 30 minutes, about 3 levels of managers, and a lot of explaining that they are not sights for a 'weapon', its a precision paper puncher and they can't cause any damage.
     
  5. Camp OTE

    Camp OTE New Member

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    Thanks. I'll probably be shipping ammo to the match so I won't have to worry about taking it on the plane.
     
  6. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    I lost 1k rounds "shipping it" to a match. I think I'll fly with it from now on.

    I flew a few times this year to a few L2's and L3. I just placed it in a hardshell case and threw a lock on it and put it in my suitcase.

    With my range bag, I put it in a Nike Duffle bag that allowed me to put a lock on the zipper, then I placed my hardshell gun case on top of that. Just make sure the gun and magazines are unloaded.

    All you have to do is declare it when you check in. They will ask you to open it, and they will inspect the gun and confirm it's condition (that it's unloaded) and will slip a piece of paper into the case, and put a sticker on your bag, then TSA will walk it over to the conveyer belt and you can head to the bar and get shit faced.

    Same shit coming back. It's not hard at all. I spread my boxes of ammo through out our other luggage to even out the weight to bring it to 50lbs.

    Gun has to be in a lockable case, and the luggage it is transported in should also have a lock on it as well.

    I used a regular Master lock and key and NOT a TSA lock. I've not had any issues flying on United and Alaska this year.
     
  7. GearHead

    GearHead Active Member

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    Southwest has VERY good gun policies
     
  8. BLH

    BLH Member

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    Now I do have friends on the US National team that the airlines has 'misplaced' their guns when flying overseas to a world cup or similar match and they had to shoot with loaned guns till the airline found them and returned them halfway through their trip.
     
  9. vwpilot

    vwpilot New Member

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    Thats unusual. Usually, having a declared firearm is the best way to insure they do not lose your luggage.

    The one area that is of some confusion between airlines and the TSA is the locking. The TSA says the lock must not be able to be opened by anyone but you, that means NOT a TSA lock. Some TSA will tell you this as you'll open the case upon check-in for them to see then will lock it and it cant be opened.

    However, some gate agents will give you grief about this, so its a good idea to print it off the TSA site so you can show that to them. If they need to get into it after check-in, they'll page you and have you come open it.
     
  10. jeepilot

    jeepilot Banned

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    I will be boarding a flight tomorrow with Southwest, and I will be bringing 3 guns, (kel-tec sub 2000 and PF-9 and a Sig P228). I have them in a Pelican case with a couple of master locks. I have a copy of the TSA regs and Southwest's Policies printed out on a piece of paper. I've never flown with guns before so I hope I don't screw anything up.


    AB13,
    Are you flying with more than 11lbs of ammo when you go to these competitions? TSA regs state that you cannot carry more that 11lbs/person.
     
  11. 2L Bunny

    2L Bunny "It's only a Rabbit"

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    Flying with guns is easy. If a pistol or two, I use a hard lockable case and insert it into my normal looking suitcase. The hardcase has a lock and a cable lock that locks it to the inside of my suitcase, usually my REI internal frame travel pack.

    At the gate let the agent know you have an "unloaded firearm" to declare. Some will deal with it there, I've also had them take me to the back, behind doors to look at the unloaded firearm. They've never touched them before, just looked to see they appear unloaded.

    They then throw a piece of paper in the locked box and have you lock it up. Then you follow the bag to TSA for inspection incase they want to unlock it for further inspection. Also, keep all ammo boxes full, a friend of mine has had TSA give him a hard time for a box missing ~15 rds.
     
  12. Camp OTE

    Camp OTE New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the insight.

    jeepilot-Post how the experience goes if you can?

    AB-I plan to ship the ammo as my squad decided to hit a GSSF match the weekend before the open. I can't make that match, but we all decided to work up a common 9mm load that will work for the entire week of shooting. We're shipping the ammo down early to a friend so if anything happens to it in shipment I'll have time to send another package that will make it in time for the open. I hope UPS doesn't mike the delivery.
     
  13. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    I don't recall the weight, I just threw them all in there. 6-800 rounds of 9mm wasn't that much though. Last time I flew was with .45 acp.
     
  14. pimpofthenation

    pimpofthenation OT Supporter

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    Pelican cases = :bowdown:
     
  15. 2L Bunny

    2L Bunny "It's only a Rabbit"

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    While Pelican cases are sweet, I have a TSA sized roller Pelican I use weekly. I think they're almost overkill and stand out while traveling. A small Pelican or similar pistol box in your luggage is usually all you need. That way people won't expect something expensive inside.
     
  16. jeepilot

    jeepilot Banned

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    Travel out of KBDL was about as simple as one could imagine. I check In at the Southwest kiosk and let the agent know I have a firearm to declare. She says "ok, let me get you the form". So I fill out the form and get the luggage labels for my 2 checked luggage pieces. The agent didn't ask if they were unloaded, ask to see them, or anything. I didn't even open the case.

    I then take my luggage over to the TSA luggage drop-off. I let the TSA agent know I have a case with firearms in it, which I have a declaration card for. He takes the case over to a table and positions the locks toward me for me to open it, which I do. I throw the declaration card in, the TSA agent does a VERY brief glance inside, also not asking me if they were unloaded or to verify if they were empty. I then locked up the case and went on my way to the gate.

    A very good experience for my first time traveling with guns. We'll see how well the trip back home goes.
     
  17. GearHead

    GearHead Active Member

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    I'll tell ya one thing, even though Southwest says you can't do a curbside firearms check in, every airport I have gone to has let me. Give the dude $5 and he takes you to the front of the normal line. Shit rocks.
     
  18. int3rnal

    int3rnal Active Member

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    If you do check-in ammo, check to see what the limit is. I flew with my gun/ammo for the christmas holidays and they said they wouldn't allow me to check in more than 11lbs of ammo. Not sure if it was Continental's policy or TSA.
     

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