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Post by Plunker on 12/7/2019, 5:43 pm

Love to see pictures of your 2 or 3 gun Pelican or similar hard case set ups.   Advise added to your picture on what has worked well and if there is any things you would change if you purchased new foam in the future.  Do's and don'ts for air travel are welcomed as well.  Locks , Paper work in advance , Ins.  Etc.


 Some common Pelican models are 1510 , 1535 and 1560 .

 I have a new Pelican 1560 protector case which I plan to have set up to carry two scoped guns and maybe the back up 1911 ball gun for a total of 3 guns.  

 Look forward to your feed back

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Post by radjag on 12/7/2019, 8:58 pm

Plunker - good idea. I'm also very interested to see what clever ideas others might have. I might want to travel farther afield next year and have been thinking about travel cases too.

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Post by REConley on 12/7/2019, 9:26 pm

I have not checked a firearm on an commercial flight since before 9/11, and I am sure somethings have changed. But the firearm still goes in the checked baggage and not in the cabin. If I were doing so now the pelican case would be one that would fit inside my roller bag. Once the paper work is done a baggage check in, there would be no pelican case saying valuables inside that was visible. My 1535 Air case fits inside my roller bag and is out of sight if I need to check it.
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Post by Wobbley on 12/7/2019, 11:18 pm

The way it works now is you declare the fact that you’re bags contain a firearm.  The agent then checks you in, issues a baggage tag and the instructs you to wait for your name to be called as a TSA agent will be inspecting your bags.  The TSA agent comes and asks you to open the bag containing the firearm.  They inspect the firearm to make sure it is unloaded and in a locked container.  They then place a TSA inspection notice inside the bag.  They then either accompany you to where it’s handed to the airline AP or they put it on the belt themselves.  (Exactly which depends on the airport apparently.). The TSA inspection is done in a private area.  You go on your flight and you pick up your bag at the baggage service office not from the carousel.   Fairly straightforward.
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Post by REConley on 12/8/2019, 7:04 am

Then I would not be apposed to just the Pelican case. Which means no tags or stickers that say target matches and the like. I am rolling around pelican cases with camera gear inside these days and if it will not fit in an overhead it is hidden inside my roller bag. Which gives me a little more shock protection.
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Post by CR10X on 12/8/2019, 10:43 am

I would recommend Trekpak interior over the standard foam. More expensive, but easier to modify, hold more securely and easier to change in the future.

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Post by Plunker on 12/8/2019, 5:38 pm

Thank you all for your responses.  I have a couple of questions to some of those.

 Wobbley ;  Do the airlines and or TSA place labels on the outside of the case with any mention of firearms ?  

Cecil;  Thanks for the advice on the Trekpak.  I look at the Pelican web site,  it looks interesting.  Do you happen to have this system ?  If so when ordering is it recommend to order extra dividers?  or would you say there is enough supplied for a 2-3 gun set up?  If you do have the Trekpak system I love a couple of pictures when you have time.

Kevin

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Post by Asa Yam on 12/8/2019, 7:34 pm

Plunker wrote:Do the airlines and or TSA place labels on the outside of the case with any mention of firearms ?
Hello,
The information at https://www.pewpewtactical.com/flying-with-firearms/ states it is ILLEGAL under US Federal law (specifically, 18 USC Sec. 922(e)) to place any form of "contains firearms" notification on the outside of a container.  Having said this, it is my understanding that Delta Airlines does so - can anyone else verify this?  

FYI, my preference in flying is Alaska Airlines, where the baggage limit on ammunition within the continental United States is 50 lbs.  (For stops in non-US territories, it's still 5 kg.)  Be careful of "partner" airlines, as their own rules may still apply, i.e., 5 kg or less.  Have never had an issue with baggage being tagged for containing firearms when flying on Alaska.

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Post by straybrit on 12/8/2019, 8:27 pm

Having done this a few times - I was once told by the TSA guy doing the inspection that the notice shows up on the X-ray machine so that they know that there's a gun in there. The agent also said that it's best way to ensure that the bag arrives untampered with and to the correct destination. Basically any handler who screws it up will get investigated by the TSA assuming that they were trying to redirect it to a hijacker.

Single unauthenticated datum - I found it interesting and plausible.

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Post by SingleActionAndrew on 12/8/2019, 11:30 pm

Never had an issue traveling with a firearm nor have those I've spoken with about it.

When you arrive at the airport, you have to check your bag(s) at the counter.  You can often cut to the front of the line by (quietly) informing one of the airline agents walking around that "I need to declare a firearm."

In my experience you then fill out a short form, the airline asks and may visually confirm that the locked container inside your luggage is indeed locked, and they put a red piece of paper saying something like FIREARM on top of the locked container, Inside your luggage.  I've never had the airline themselves inspect the box.

Then (IME) the airline escorts you to a hidden TSA x-ray machine. They figure out how to turn the thing on and which way the conveyor is supposed to go, and in 10 minutes you go on your way.

Notes:
-TSA and airline are NOT allowed to open your locked container without you present.  You are not supposed to ever give them your key or lock combo - you open it for them, with you in their presence
-"TSA Locks" are NOT approved for securing firearms (for the above reason. TSA keys ... all the TSA have them and they're on eBay for $6)
-Ammo must be in a (can be the same) locked container as well.  Different airlines have different policies. I suggest putting the ammo in factory ammo boxes, as some airlines require that and not reloader boxes
-I strongly suggest using a lock to secure the locked container to the frame of the luggage as well.  Now there's a use for all those gun locks! (most airlines put a green or other special tag on the luggage handle. It's a general purpose, not firearm-specific, flag that goes on generally all luggage that has special stuff in it that the rare unscrupulous airline or TSA thief would love to get their hands on)

EDIT: also, I would make sure the 1500 series Pelican is deep enough to fit your pistols upright.  I went with a 1400 and full frame pistols have to go on their side pointing opposite directions, which is fine for bringing woods guns on a trip but probably won't make the RSO happy if he sees you open your box that way Smile


Last edited by SingleActionAndrew on 12/8/2019, 11:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by radjag on 12/8/2019, 11:36 pm

Andrew. Excellent, clear procedure description. Thank you. Much appreciated.

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Post by WesG on 12/9/2019, 12:22 am

I filled out a form signed under penalty of perjury I was me and guns were unloaded. It got taped to the case, suitcase zipped up, and airline attendant put it on the conveyor. I went off to my gate and waited for my name to be called to return to security. Never happened, and my suitcase came out on the regular baggage carousel at my destination.

I got a case at Harbor Freight with the pick and pluck foam. A medium size that wasnt really big enough to put 2 guns side by side. And not tall enough to stand them with dots on them. I broke them down, slide off the 1911, barrel off the 41, and stuffed them in there.

I figured TSA would probably be more likely to not get upset if they could see 'parts' on the x-ray instead of guns that may or may not have rds in them.

Some 22 ammo was in a cardboard box in the suitcase. The rules didnt require a locked case, but allow it to be in the same case with the guns. Or even loaded in magazines ( :-O ) as long as the primers were protected.

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Post by CR10X on 12/9/2019, 5:35 am

Kevin, sorry don't have any pictures.  I sold the set up to another shooter.  I built the case when traveling more and shooting some international events as well, so I was setting up for several different groups of guns.  Do get a couple of extra pieces just so you can adjust your layout easier.  I also installed lid stays so the top stayed open at 90 degrees and added a scope mount as well.  (Sometimes takes some searching on the website to find those lid stays and you have to be careful and precise in mounting to get a good 90 degree opening position.)

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Post by -TT- on 12/9/2019, 8:42 am

SingleActionAndrew wrote:Never had an issue traveling with a firearm nor have those I've spoken with about it.

When you arrive at the airport, you have to check your bag(s) at the counter.  You can often cut to the front of the line by (quietly) informing one of the airline agents walking around that "I need to declare a firearm."

In my experience you then fill out a short form, the airline asks and may visually confirm that the locked container inside your luggage is indeed locked, and they put a red piece of paper saying something like FIREARM on top of the locked container, Inside your luggage.  I've never had the airline themselves inspect the box.

Then (IME) the airline escorts you to a hidden TSA x-ray machine. They figure out how to turn the thing on and which way the conveyor is supposed to go, and in 10 minutes you go on your way.

Notes:
-TSA and airline are NOT allowed to open your locked container without you present.  You are not supposed to ever give them your key or lock combo - you open it for them, with you in their presence
-"TSA Locks" are NOT approved for securing firearms (for the above reason. TSA keys ... all the TSA have them and they're on eBay for $6)
-Ammo must be in a (can be the same) locked container as well.  Different airlines have different policies. I suggest putting the ammo in factory ammo boxes, as some airlines require that and not reloader boxes
-I strongly suggest using a lock to secure the locked container to the frame of the luggage as well.  Now there's a use for all those gun locks! (most airlines put a green or other special tag on the luggage handle. It's a general purpose, not firearm-specific, flag that goes on generally all luggage that has special stuff in it that the rare unscrupulous airline or TSA thief would love to get their hands on)

EDIT: also, I would make sure the 1500 series Pelican is deep enough to fit your pistols upright.  I went with a 1400 and full frame pistols have to go on their side pointing opposite directions, which is fine for bringing woods guns on a trip but probably won't make the RSO happy if he sees you open your box that way Smile

Great summary, but a couple of things to add:

0) You need to be sure you're compliant going in. Once you're in the terminal, your options are extremely limited beyond not taking your trip. So be prepared.

1) The firearm must be "unloaded", and no two agents will interpret this the same. Some will ensure the mag is out and chamber empty. Others will ask to see the empty mags themselves. Still others will reject any ammo in the firearm case. I strongly suggest locking ammo in a separate container, and in factory boxes. See rule #0.

2) No two airports seem to have the same TSA check procedure. Some will put the bags on the belt, as Andrew experiences. Some will ask to see the firearm right at the counter (!!!). Some will send you to a special TSA station. I actually like the last one best, they know what they're doing and you are certain of the outcome.

3) If you do get sent to a TSA station, they will swab the case, the bag it's in, and sometimes your hands. If any of these throw a warning, they will call over a supervisor who will basically unpack everything in front of you. If your case has stiff foam like mine, they may attempt to remove it to inspect "under" it. If it's glued in, that will be awkward. So be sure everything is accessible inside. Again, see rule #0.

4) Be sure your contact information is physically on the outside of the case, and all over the bag.

5) Be sure to put a TSA lock or to least a ziptie on the bag that contains the case. You don't want the luggage popping open.

6) On arrival, many airlines will take the bag to the baggage handling station and request your photo id before giving it to you. Others will simply chuck it on the belt. You need to be incredibly vigilant and look everywhere for the thing to appear. And budget for extra time of course.

All that said, I've never had an issue flying with these, either. But I've had some exciting moments.

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Post by -TT- on 12/9/2019, 11:06 am

CR10X wrote:I also installed lid stays so the top stayed open at 90 degrees and added a scope mount as well.  (Sometimes takes some searching on the website to find those lid stays and you have to be careful and precise in mounting to get a good 90 degree opening position.)

https://www.pelican.com/us/en/accessory/cases/lid-stay/im-lidstay

Had not seen these before, thanks!

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Post by Plunker on 12/13/2019, 9:54 am

All,

 I want to thank you all for your time, details and comments.

 Based on all the above I will be setting the 1560 for 2 or 3 guns with Lid stay and Trekpak dividers.  So for matches requiring .22 & .45 .  Then a smaller Pelican case for one gun .22 only gallery matches that I can lock and put inside a checked suit case.

 Pictures and additional comments still welcome.

 Kevin ( Plunker )

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Post by james r chapman on 12/13/2019, 10:17 am

Apache boxes at Harbor Freight also work well for a much more reasonable price.
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Post by hg401 on 12/28/2019, 9:23 am

Anything (guns, cameras, drones, Girl Scout cookies) put in a Pelican case will be perceived as valuable and therefore prone to theft.  A common roller bag, perceived as carrying your dirty underwear, is much less prone to theft.  So I think putting your hard case in a common roller bag is a good idea.  For the same reason, I like using padded inserts inside a regular messenger style bag for my cameras.

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Post by LenV on 12/28/2019, 12:40 pm

I notice a lack of pictures here. I don't fly with guns (that is what the RV is for) but I do use my case for moving guns. I have this one cut out to accept 2 levels of pistols. I even bought some extra foam to stop the 6 pistols from rattling around. Inexpensive way to protect them while traveling.

Travel case setup advise Dscf1216
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Post by Plunker on 12/28/2019, 3:37 pm

Thanks Len.  What make and model number is the case in the picture?

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Post by LenV on 12/28/2019, 4:40 pm

It's a Plano Gunguard Case. 

https://www.amazon.com/Plano-108031-Pistol-Accessories-Black/dp/B0029KDHT0/ref=sr_1_14?crid=XMS9XOU5IDMM&dchild=1&keywords=plano+gun+case&qid=1577573343&sprefix=%2Caps%2C242&sr=8-14

Travel case setup advise 71zk%2BtsTLvL._AC_SL1500_
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Post by Speedy396 on 12/29/2019, 9:01 am

Not sure if you have seen these custom foam pistol inserts for Pelican cases, but seem like a good way to go. 

https://www.caseclub.com/product-category/pelican-products/pelican-foam-sets/filters/order-ASCpa_total-measurement/page/2/ 

A bit expensive. I have their insert for a 50cal ammo can that works well. Not sure how the Trekpack works, but I used high density foam from a local upholstery shop for my Pelican case, but it had difficulty finding an glue that would hold the separators firmly in place. It’s good enough to go to the range, but I wouldn’t trust it for air travel.

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