Flying with a Muzzleloader

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Dibbuk

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First, print out a copy of the TSA rules for carrying a firearm as checked luggage. Then print out the specific rules for each airline you will be flying on. You need to be in compliance with both sets of rules. I recently flew Colorado Springs to SF, on United. United rules require a hard sided case specifically built to carry firearms. They also require either combo or key locks, with the key in your possession. They do NOT have to be TSA locks. I went down to the local hardware store and bought a set of 4 Master padlocks, keyed alike. My check in was the same as Timh: Explain you are checking in a firearm in compliance with all the rules, sign the acknowledgement form, get escorted to TSA where they watch you unlock and open case. TSA then inspects contents, puts a card inside, and asks you to relock everything. They put a sticker on the outside, saying it had been inspected, and away it went. Picked it up at destination with no trouble.
 

fleener

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"You may use any brand or type of lock to secure your firearm case, including TSA-recognized locks."

The above is from TSA's website.

I use 4 combination locks that are all the same. No key to lose.

Fleener
 

timh

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On my muzzleloader trip to PA from SFOI used 4 TSA cypher locks with 3 digit cyphers. The check-in was uneventful at SFO with me declaring the firearm unloaded and following it to the TSA inspection area. TSA agent opened it, scanned it twice and re-locked it, and sent the pelican case on its way. When I arrived in Pittsburgh, I picked up the case in the Delta baggage center (not carousel) and found that there was only 1 lock remaining. Nothing disturbed inside the case, but 3 of 4 locks missing. When I asked the Delta representative, they indicated that they do not see the case again after I left the check-in area until it arrives at the destination. Delta passed the responsibility to TSA.
THIS time I'm going hunting again during rifle season (11-30 thru 12-07), and THIS time I'm using 4 military grade master locks with same key entry. I'm taking my Winchester 30-06 of 1970 vintage that was a present from dad, and don't want anything happening to it.

Stay tuned for the update!!!
 

Canute Rex

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If you value your ML (and I'm sure you do), don't just buy a Master lock from the hardware store. You don't have to be a member of the Ocean's 11 team to pick one of those. There are videos on YouTube (I recommend the Lockpicking Lawyer) of people picking them literally in seconds. A crude raking attack will open them. Likewise the Master combination locks with the four dials. ABUS is a much better brand - you can get those on eBay. Almost any other brand is a better brand.

Essentially any padlock can be picked. Your mission is to get one that takes long enough to pick that an insider crook will be afraid to take the time. Master brand is not it.
 

Brent

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If TSA wants into that case, they will get into it. I've had locks cut off by TSA. I always bring spares. TSA has left notes behind when they have done this. In one instance, there was minor damage to the case. I wouldn't try to make it exceptionally hard to get in, cuz they're going in one way or the other if they feel the need.
 

sprucefly

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I have duffels made that my gun case will fit in. I do the same for my fish boxes coming out of Alaska. I had a friend who lost 100# of halibut and salmon. It's harder for baggage handlers to recognize my gun case when in a duffel. Handgun cases are always in luggage. For Rifle cases travel duffel made for hockey players work good. Long rifles cases require a custom duffel. Never had a problem w/TSA but do worry about luggage handlers.
 
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