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If you were flying to a different state for a hunting trip, would you check your rifle in as baggage, or mail it ahead of you? I would love any advice from experienced folks. Thanks!

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  • If you were flying to a different state for a hunting trip, would you check your rifle in as baggage, or mail it ahead of you? I would love any advice from experienced folks. Thanks!

    If you were flying to a different state for a hunting trip, would you check your rifle in as baggage, or mail it ahead of you? I would love any advice from experienced folks. Thanks!

  • #2
    I always fly with my guns. I check them as luggage just like a suitcase. The process through airports has been pretty smooth. You just have to know the rules (e.g. packing ammo right; not taking more than 11 pounds of ammo, locking case). In dozens of trips I've only had one problem. A scope was bent inside the case. It had to be intentional damage as the case was still intact and the scope was bent. The airline paid for the scope and I used a backup rifle. I always take a backup rifle on big hunts and usually make arrangements to borrow a rifle if necessary on location as well. Look at your airline web site for details and call your airline if you have any questions. My buddy always ships his and has someone at the destination verify his equipment arrived in ship shape before he leaves. Take your choice.

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    • #3
      Dakota's advice is good. Mine would be: if you're going to fly with it, have very good hard side case to protect it. Baggage monkeys just slam everything around, and sometimes you get stupid vindictive people touching/breaking your stuff.

      If you ship, you have to remember that you have the actual cost to ship, and some FFL's charge an additional fee for receiving your firearms.

      Personally, I would still choose to ship. The shipping people seem to still have more respect for your property than the airlines.

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      • #4
        I've done it both ways and had no problem. A good case is necessary. Make sure you check your rifle's point of impact upon arrival, even if everything looks fine.

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        • #5
          UPS or FEDEX.
          You don't even need to ship to a FFL license holder. Ship directly to your guide/host and they can return it in the same manner.

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          • #6
            I flew into a Colorado airport and my fiberglass compound bow case had a hole the size of a grapefruit. I had to duct tape both sides of the hole.

            Another time, everybody was sitting in the plane and were watching the airport employee drive up with the loaded luggage cart and a rifle gun case fell off the very top onto the concrete. One guy in the plane yelled out "Somebody needs to resight their rifle in".

            Another time I had a locking hinge broke off another compound bow case.

            Whenever you take a plane during a firearm or archery hunt. Always check your gun or bow to see if it's still sighted in.They are rough on cases and luggage at the airport.
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DakotaMan View Post
              I always fly with my guns. I check them as luggage just like a suitcase. The process through airports has been pretty smooth. You just have to know the rules (e.g. packing ammo right; not taking more than 11 pounds of ammo, locking case). In dozens of trips I've only had one problem. A scope was bent inside the case. It had to be intentional damage as the case was still intact and the scope was bent. The airline paid for the scope and I used a backup rifle. I always take a backup rifle on big hunts and usually make arrangements to borrow a rifle if necessary on location as well. Look at your airline web site for details and call your airline if you have any questions. My buddy always ships his and has someone at the destination verify his equipment arrived in ship shape before he leaves. Take your choice.
              I'd love to fly with the gun, as it would be significantly cheaper, so I'm glad to hear you haven't had much trouble. When your scope was bent, was the case open?
              I think the part that makes me most nervous about flying is that I'll be flying out of Albany, NY and switching planes in Baltimore/DC. These are not areas known for gun friendliness.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
                UPS or FEDEX.
                You don't even need to ship to a FFL license holder. Ship directly to your guide/host and they can return it in the same manner.
                I think that may be true in CO, where I'm heading, but here in NY, I'd need to mail from a FFL holder. And I'm not using a guide, or host, so I'd probably need to pay on the other end, as well. Maybe I could mail it out from Vermont though... worth looking into.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
                  UPS or FEDEX.
                  You don't even need to ship to a FFL license holder. Ship directly to your guide/host and they can return it in the same manner.
                  Doug
                  Check with UPS. See what THEIR policy is about delivering firearms in NY. The shipping I've done, UPS doesn't ask, "What's in the box?". You might also ask for a recipients signature.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DakotaMan View Post
                    I always fly with my guns. I check them as luggage just like a suitcase. The process through airports has been pretty smooth. You just have to know the rules (e.g. packing ammo right; not taking more than 11 pounds of ammo, locking case). In dozens of trips I've only had one problem. A scope was bent inside the case. It had to be intentional damage as the case was still intact and the scope was bent. The airline paid for the scope and I used a backup rifle. I always take a backup rifle on big hunts and usually make arrangements to borrow a rifle if necessary on location as well. Look at your airline web site for details and call your airline if you have any questions. My buddy always ships his and has someone at the destination verify his equipment arrived in ship shape before he leaves. Take your choice.
                    Doug, my case was locked and only I had the key. The scope damage was indicative of about a 50 foot drop but there was little damage to the fairly rigid metal case. I have no idea how it could have happened. It took a while and letters to corporate office but I eventually got the airline to pay since the damage report from the scope company was so explicit and I had documented my discussions with local airport authorities and customer support organizations. I wouldn't worry too much though. I've flown with rifles dozens of times and have had great success except for this once. My take is that airline employees are usually too busy to mess with luggage in the continental U.S.

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                    • #11
                      It is not a problem to go to another country with a hunting weapon but there are some factors that you need to notice in order to make everything to be clear. First of all, you need to know where you want to go and to search for information, so you could know if it is allowed to enter in their country with a weapot, but these are considered exceptions. Mostly, I am going to another country by car and I need to get mu license and the authorisation that I am allowed to pass with weapon. Personally, I used to fly with my friends with a plane from private jet rentals, but anyway we needed to have authorisations.
                      Last edited by Washcott; 09-28-2020, 02:19 PM.

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                      • #12
                        I have a feeling that we will soon be seeing a new batch of spam on this thread. I see feelers creeping.

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