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Posted: 7/24/2001 4:19:00 AM EDT
While I haven't had too many problems with airlines losing my luggage or things missing (only one theft I can think of in 20 years), I've also never flown with firearms in a checked, locked hard case. Am considering doing. I know that hunters take trips to Africa and Alaska with their weapons all the time and rarely have problems. But what about other "normal" domestic U.S. flights? Any advice? [?]
Link Posted: 7/24/2001 12:19:34 PM EDT
Most luggage locks are very standard. So standard that there's very few key combinations. Airport thieves carry keys that will fit nearly all the luggage out there. You greatly increase your security by using an additional lock, like a small padlock. A small padlock presents an obstacle that will take a thief more time to get in. Luggage isn't exactly a "hard target", but the basic idea of slowing a thief down is still effective. A large number of travelers use personal locks, so having one on your luggage doesn't identify it as being a more valuable target. If you use a gun case, then you've pretty much identified the contents and increased your risk. Use a container if you can that doesn't look like a gun case. Normal hardside luggage that can be locked with a padlock is great for handguns. I've used a small footlocker for rifles that fold, collapse, or breakdown (like FAL, AR, etc). For longer rifles, look into those long tube-like cases that are used for shipping trade-show stuff. Sorta like those golf-club travel bags in size, but for trade-shows. They look like a short sonobouy container made of stronger stuff. There's companies in every area that custom make these. There are production line cases of standard sizes available as well, usually from the same display vendors. Get one long enough to hold your rifle. Put a bunch of different trade-show stickers and suff on it. Throw it around a bunch to make it looked used. There's very few thieves that will take the time to open a trade-show case to see what's in there, when they can be prying open that Pelican next to it. Ross
Link Posted: 7/24/2001 12:23:43 PM EDT
Try using a guitar case.... that can fit a rifle in it and just make it look like its a cheap fender squire strat inside... dont think anyone wants to steal that....
Link Posted: 7/24/2001 12:34:40 PM EDT
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the airlines slap a "Firearm" tag on your case anyway, no matter what you use?
Link Posted: 7/24/2001 12:36:22 PM EDT
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the airlines slap a "Firearm" tag on your case anyway, no matter what you use?
Link Posted: 7/24/2001 12:36:56 PM EDT
Hate it when I do that
Link Posted: 7/24/2001 12:41:36 PM EDT
No, they put a little piece of paper inside the case which just shows that you declared it at check in like you were supposed to. I heard they quit the sticker stuff on the outside because too many guns were getting stolen. If you are worried about them getting stolen, just put them in soft cases and then inside one of those hard, lockable golf club cases. You could probably put 5-6 or more rifles in those things and just fill the empty space with towels or something to absorb any shock. I would think that would work pretty good. Michael
Link Posted: 7/24/2001 12:43:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Buddha: Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the airlines slap a "Firearm" tag on your case anyway, no matter what you use?
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They may have at one time, but no longer. I fly a lot for my job and check a pistol every trip in a locked hard case inside the luggage. One agent tried to make me put the red tag on the outside and I said no way. Her supv. said they no longer do that as it is an invitation to steal.
Link Posted: 7/24/2001 12:58:20 PM EDT
I've flown all over the country with handguns and long guns cased and locked in the luggage. Since most airports don't check luggage claim checks anymore, you need to keep in mind your first priority: get to the luggage carousel before the bags start coming out. When I was working at switch sites all over the country, I'd take my trap gun and pistol with me in my Browning Travel Vault, secured with two Master padlocks. Yes, it's immediately identifiable as what it is, but I watched it go into the system on the conveyor belt when I checked it, and I made it my business to be there when the first bag came out of the chute on the other end. I never had a problem. If you do travel with long guns, keep in mind that some airports have separate baggage carousels for oversized items like golf bags, skis and cased rifles. My concern was always on the place my case was coming up...hey, steal my clothes, no problem. Just don't take my babies! Usually the airline personnel at the desk where you check in can tell you about your destination airport. Good luck. FMCDH Semper Fidelis Jarhead out.
Link Posted: 7/24/2001 11:18:49 PM EDT
The guns are about as safe as any other checked bags. The stealth mode is a good idea. Also consider using some duct tape to discourage peaking. Don't forget that you can take your expensive optics off and with you as carry on. The Airlines are making lost bags a big priority, so you should be OK
Link Posted: 7/25/2001 12:21:14 AM EDT
I have moved rifles from Australia to Canada on a few occasions, and never had a problem. Just took the stocks off, put them in a normal looking container. No one knew rifles were even in there, and I just declared tham at customs. The stealth look is always best. Just don't advertise your goods!
Link Posted: 7/25/2001 6:09:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/25/2001 6:10:56 AM EDT by HANGFIRE]
Fairbanks Alaska 1966 Four guys chartered a flight to Kodiak for some Bear hunting. 50 miles from their destination they were slammed by a ferocious storm. The plane was being severely buffeted when "KABOOM". One of the hunters had stowed a loaded rifle aboard. The bullet tore through the cabin and the right wing fuel cell. The Guide managed to get to Kodiak. The trip was cancelled with no refund and the guide told them to find another way home. He also made them pay for the repairs to the plane.
Link Posted: 7/25/2001 7:50:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/25/2001 7:48:47 AM EDT by Happyshooter]
And then they sued him for travel cost damages and their refund, and he paid by pulling out the fillings from the last of his teeth. And he had heard about counter-suing from TV on Perry Mason, and he asked for his plane's damages, so they gave him one of the fillings back. I'd like to see some proof, please
Link Posted: 7/25/2001 8:51:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/25/2001 8:51:39 AM EDT by AR15fan]
I usually use a Pelican Hard Case & two Masterlock padlocks. The Hard case has my last name painted on it in four spots. Never had a problem. The Brady Act prohibits the airlines from putting any tags on the baggage that identifies them as Firearms. Northewest Airlines tries to work around that by putting a big tag on your guncase dealing with transporting Wild Game Meat & Antlers. Its bright red just like the old gun tags.
Link Posted: 7/31/2001 11:40:54 AM EDT
Hmmm, so the big, black Pelican that I've got may not be such a good idea? I was thinking of stickering it up with a variety of decals (Rickenbacher, Fender, Yamaha, etc.) to sort of disguise it, plus use Master padlocks on both holes AND use a Kryptonite motorcycle disc brake lock or two on the handle. Getting into the case would take some doing. Having the case "disappear" would be my main concern. BTW, thanks to all who've provided feedback thus far. [:)]
Link Posted: 7/31/2001 12:36:01 PM EDT
What, don't you guys think thieves like musical equipment.
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