The company is telling me I have to fly to Texas for "a couple of weeks" which I strongly suspect is going to turn into a month or more. Usually they tell me on Friday afternoon to be on a plane Saturday morning, but this time I have a weeks warning. I want to take my AR and 686 with me for some recreation. I'll probably go US Air. Their site only lists this little blurb on the subject:
I've never flown with firearms before and would like to know what the AR15.com general experience has been. I figure to let the Ammoman ship me a case at the hotel, so I should be OK on the ammo side. But the AR and 686... my plan right now is to put the 686 in a hard foam case in my checked luggage and the AR in a locking foam hard case (one of those plastic shelled Outers cases). I am concerned that the damn Outers case LOOKS like a gun case, complete with "outdoors scene" molded in.
All thoughts on the subject are welcome.
Put the 686 in a locked hardccase inside your locked luggage. You'll need to take the red firearm tag they give you and put it inside the case.
As for the AR, when I travel with any rifle or shotgun that can be broken down I do so. I use Anvil cases used normally for electronic equipment. They're expensive, but they can be locked with padlocks and would need somebody with a crowbar or hacksaw to get in or damage.
Since the AR can be broken into two major pieces you might want to consider just finding a hard sided suitcase, fill it with foam, and secure the gun within. As long as it locks, it meets the regulations and doesn't scream "GUN."
Despeite all of the rumors it is still not to much of a hassle to fly with your weapon as checked bag.
I am a usair mechanic in pit so i get asked this often. The weapon must be in an unloaded condition and must not have any amo in the same container. The case must be faa aproved for transport of a firearm... your suite case is not. You will have to declare it to be in your case when you check in(try to do this in a position with a guy working the counter, the chicks and the gays seem to get very upset). they will ask you to show it is not loaded. Also try not to have any mags in the case.. put these in with your clothes. Any amo must be in an original manufactures box in a seperate container from the weapon. and lastly dont ever let anyone put a sticker on the case that says "firearm inside". Many people fly with their hunting rifles and duty sidearms in this condition very few are reported missing.. The airline watches them very close.
NOw I would never fly through N.Y. City or Jersey with a rifle .. most any other place it is not a major problem....pat
Thanks for the replies gentlemen.
That was my plan for the 686. I don't have the coin right after Christmas to get any expensive new cases for the rifle though. I need to go with what I have or improvise.
"FAA approved"... Where do I get a list of FAA approved gun cases? Hell, I don't have time or money to go shopping. I was even considering just breaking the rifle down and wrapping it all up in my clothes in a couple of locked suit cases.
Damn! Can anyone link me to some hard fact written regulations?
Thanks Troy, you posted while I was busy typing. I apprecite the help.
Be aware that a suitcase may not be considered a hard container, at least to the twits at Alaska Airlines.
I had a bear pistol I was taking to work inside one of those "Action Packer" totes. The pistol itself was in one of those soft pistol cases. I was required to buy a hard case by the twits at Alaska Airlines and place it in my tote.
They also affixed a bright orange label to the OUTSIDE of my tote.
BTW, I cannot beleive that citizens of this republic are standing for this nonsense. Have you been through airport security lately?Whenever I hear the phrase "Americans have a right to feel safe," I want to throw a screaming fit.
Vote with your pocketbook, and make it known to airlines and travel agencies that you would rather drive than put up with this.
As far as I know, there isn’t a list of approved containers. Rather, the FAA has standards for firearms containers. I think it’s essentially that it has to be a hard sided case that can be locked. Also, I think ammo has to be stored separately. I know of one airline used by a co-worker that insisted the ammo also be in a hard sided case.
I’ve traveled with firearms many times and never had a problem.
Keep in mind you will probably have to show the firearm to the counter person to verify that it’s empty, so it needs to readily available – not wrapped up in your extra underwear. In the past, I haven’t locked the container until after it’s been searched (cause I’d just have to unlock it, anyway). However, airport security being what it is nowadays, it might be wise to show up at the airport with the firearm locked up.
You might be able to find something at the FAA website at www.faa.gov. Also, it might be wise to call the airline since they sometimes have additional standards of their own.
Personally, I’d avoid using what is obviously a gun case.
Well, I went out this morning and bought an aluminum case. Not as nice as DavidC's gear for sure, but considerably better than the POS I had. Thanks again to all who replied.
You can get a case at Wal-Mart pretty cheap. I have a Rifle Case and a Pistol Case from Wal-Mart. Both have flown just fine.
Watch out though for incompetents. I flew from Pensacola to Miami no problem. I just declared it, got the tag, etc...
The Woman in Fort Lauderdale didn't have a clue how to tell if a gun was loaded. But was generally nice about it.
I ran into a woman and a man in Jacksonville that had sticks up their asses. The one woman actually question me as to why I owned a gun. The guy offered me $80 for my AR-15. I almost felt like telling him he was crazy. But, I just said no thanks. The rest of the people at JAX were cool. It was just those 2 that seemes to have a stick up their ass.
As far as it goes, make sure anything that looks like a gun to some idiot is in the locked case. I got alot of shit once for carrying my Lower, Bolt Carrier, Charging Handle, and Spare Parts in a locked Pistol Case, and the Upper minus the Bolt Carrier in a locked suitcase. The guy seemed convinced it (The Upper) was a Machine Gun. I had to explain to him that it was a Semi-Automatic and perfectly legal.
But, as long as you put your rifles, unloaded in a Rifle Case, you should be fine. I have never had a problem using a Dedicated Rifle Case. I only run into problems when trying to use something that isn't a Dedicated Rifle Case, even if it is hardsided and is locked.
1) Declare your Firearms at any Checkpoints before the Counter.
2) Declare Your Firearm At The Counter.
3) Sign The Orange Tag and Put it inside the case.
4) Show the woman it isn't loaded (up request) and don't scare her.
5) Relock the case and affix Luggage Tag.
6) Your Ready To Go.
Carrying ammo. can be a lot of shit. But, I always carry ammo. with me. Especially when I fly into Miami. I get in the Car, load my Gun and drive home. I figure if I take a wrong turn and end up in Overtown I will be prepared.