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Speaking of Flying

I’m going to get all absolutist at the ticket counter today. They’re going to ask me to certify that my checked firearm is unloaded. I will say all firearms are always loaded. Then they’ll have to call some one from the local police to handle the weapon. Then, they’ll ask me to certify that it is unloaded again. I will say all firearms are always loaded. And we’ll be stuck in a loop.

Also, rules of traveling with firearms are dumb. You must put it in a locked case. Most travel cases these days can be be pried open with a knife. The lock is pretty useless.

Also, airline rules usually state that ammo is to be in manufacturer’s box or packaging. This is also dumb. My ammo is simply more secure in the magazines. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve arrived at my destination and the ammo box has opened and loose rounds are amok in my luggage.

Feh.

It’s all a show.

24 Responses to “Speaking of Flying”

  1. Tam Says:

    Someone had popped the latches on the Pelican case I used.

    Those latches don’t pop by accident…

  2. Fred Says:

    I thought the ammo just had to be fully enclosed, and the factory box is simply the easiest way. However something like a magazine in a pouch with the rounds down would work, or a Pmag with the dustcover.

    Then again I’ve never flown civi style with a weapon, so that’s just what I’ve read in magazines and the intertubes…

  3. SayUncle Says:

    something like a magazine in a pouch with the rounds down would work, or a Pmag with the dustcover.

    Sure, that fits the rules. But you have to explain that to the retard working the counter, who has to call the supervisor, who has to google it up on the airline’s website. Just not worth it.

  4. Rustmiester Says:

    I’m sure lawyers are involved in this….

  5. Bryan S. Says:

    Nev3r had an issue with rounds in a magazine or speedloader before, as long as the primer is protected I have been told it is OK.

  6. Rauðbjørn Says:

    Well, you could always take the moral high ground about the entire situation and simply boycot flying alltogether. It’s what I’ve done. If I can get there by any other method I will. If I can’t, then I’m not going.

  7. SayUncle Says:

    If I can’t, then I’m not going.

    And if your job requires it?

  8. Joe Allen Says:

    I once watched a TSA screener open my boxed ammo and dump it into the suitcase.

    The two times I’ve tried flying with loaded mags (rounds covered and completely to TSA and airline specs) I’ve been confronted by security and asked why I’m carrying so much ammo. A grand total of 32 rounds in four 1911 mags. Once a “report” was submitted, whatever that means.

    I’ve gone back to a 50 round box and the same number of empty mags and no one ever says a thing.

  9. homeuser Says:

    >> I will say all firearms are always loaded.

    And you would be wrong. While it’s a good practice to *assume* that all firearms are always loaded, what the airlines want is that you have them actually unloaded. Which, when in checked luggage, is the best practice. Harassing them for the sake of making a point that is really just a matter of semantics doesn’t help anyone.

  10. Shootin' Buddy Says:

    If you are going full absolute/old school API, then remember:

    1. The original signs were phrased “Treat all guns as loaded” until Jeff Cooper vetoed Clint Smith.

    2. Cooper always had a footnote that the weapon in your hand that you have verified as unloaded was unloaded (but other three rules applied).

    The solution: fly with the firearms in your hands to ensure that they are unloaded. TSA may have minor issues here.

  11. Bubblehead Les Says:

    If time and state/local law permits (no trip to NYC for me!), I ship my backup gear to a friend ahead of schedule, then when I arrive, and we are off the Airport Grounds, I’ll get dressed. Then it goes into reverse when I leave. If there is not enough time and/or the rules permit it, I’ll see if I can get a loaner, or just go to the nearest hardware store and get a throwaway folder. TSA is too stupid, venal and politicized to be trusted with my weapons anymore.

  12. Laughingdog Says:

    “Also, airline rules usually state that ammo is to be in manufacturer’s box or packaging”

    What if I manufactured the ammo? Do they accept the plastic ammo boxes we reloaders so frequently use?

  13. Pol Mordreth Says:

    Laughingdog: I use the plastic boxes for flying and have never had a problem.

    Regards,
    Pol

  14. dustydog Says:

    Wonder if Uncle will go to jail for knowingly making a false statement (about his gun being loaded). Wonder if they will consider that a terroristic threat.

  15. SPQR Says:

    I thought that the rule was not the manufacturer’s box but any box intended to hold ammunition. Ie., MTM’s boxes are fine.

  16. Tam Says:

    I thought that the rule was not the manufacturer’s box but any box intended to hold ammunition. Ie., MTM’s boxes are fine.

    This is correct.

  17. Rauðbjorn Says:

    And if your job requires it?

    Well, that could be a bit of a sticky wicket. Please note that I did not say that you had to do it, I just presented the option. My job does not require me to fly, nor would I accept a job that does.

    But I live in Alaska. You want to go anywhere and you either; drive the 1500 miles to Vancouver and then on to your destination, drive to Vancouver and then hop a train to wherever, you catch a ferry (May through August only) and then find further transport from Seatle, or you fly.

    You draw your own line in the sand. As for me?

    Bugger flying.

  18. Ash Says:

    Google “Packing & the Friendly Skies by Deviant Ollam”
    for a presentation by one guy who has thought through a lot of these issues, including tamper proof containers.

  19. Laughingdog Says:

    “If I can get there by any other method I will. If I can’t, then I’m not going.”

    I’m with you on the first part. But I make exceptions to the latter. About once every couple of years I run into a situation where not flying isn’t practical, and not going isn’t appealing.

    The fact that airline seats are now smaller than my shoulder span has made my hate level for the airlines grow by leaps and bounds. When I flew to Seattle last December for work, I was in a row with two other broad-shouldered guys. We had to overlap our shoulders to fit.

    This is why virtually all of my travel for work is by motorcycle. I get paid to take a motorcycle trip, and the shipyard saves money, overall, since I don’t have to rent a car once I’m there.

  20. Richard Allen Says:

    And besides the security theater, there is the absolutely awful customer service. I have given it up. I drive or I don’t go. File an ADA suit that Security Theater makes you crazy, then they will have to give you time to drive.

  21. Linoge Says:

    Most travel cases these days can be be pried open with a knife.

    Spend the money and get a Pelican case, or its competitors’ equivalents – short of outright destroying the damned thing, you are not getting into it, so long as you lock it right (as in “use all of the available holes”).

    Of course, if the person after your firearm does not care about leaving a trail of evidence that will get mangled by the luggage handling system, the point is somewhat moot.

    So my Georgia Arms ammo came from the manufacturer in a sealed plastic baggie. Think that will “fly”? 🙂

  22. Gunmart Says:

    Hey Uncle-

    Put a rubber band around the box of ammo and it wont fall out.

  23. Countertop Says:

    I’ve never had a problem with ammo in magazines. FWIW, I usually travel with my guns broken down.

  24. Kristopher Says:

    Tam Says: Someone had popped the latches on the Pelican case I used.

    Those latches don’t pop by accident…

    I use a Pelican case, as well. They were trying to expose the firearm as an excuse to seize it. The container is required to keep the firearm secure from someone distorting it, so these folks will try to distort it or crack it open.

    If you had used locks large enough to allow daylight into it, they would have seized it.