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Traveling to HiCap Nationals, - tips, suggestions?


CheekyChung
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So I haven't flown since maybe 2010, but looking for suggestions and advice.

Which airlines is best to fly with firearms and related gear? Airport and hotel suggestions in the Nationals area?

Should I get a suitcase for my guns and gear and use my DAA backpack as a carry on for my clothes?

Recommendations on luggage that won't break the bank, nor my gear in transit?

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1 hour ago, CheekyChung said:

 

Should I get a suitcase for my guns and gear and use my DAA backpack as a carry on for my clothes?

 

There are specific regs on how to pack your firearm(s) and gear - check with

your local airport.

 

Have to be hard suitcases with pad locks, plus other regs.

 

Have fun, and good luck, at the N'ationals.   :) 

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I would also strongly advise reading both the TSA and your specific airline's regulations on firearms. Some airlines have rules that are more strict than TSA's and often the baggage check employees do not know their own rules, so it is good practice to come with them already pulled up on your phone or with printed copies if that is not an option.

 

Allow plenty of extra time for this process. Generally you won't have issues, but Chicago is not known to be the most gun friendly city so if you are flying out of ORD, don't assume it will be a breeze. Just make sure you're in compliance and have the rules on hand. 

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I took a trip to the airport, and spoke directly with the airline personnel

from the airline I was going to be travelling the next day ...

 

Spoke with them, directly, and showed them my case, just to

make sure …   seems like it was unnecessary, but I slept better

the night before I was travelling to Las Vegas.

 

Turns out, it was a easy process - even had a NYS Trooper

watching my bag as it was opened - he did not give me any

problems at all.    :) 

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Fly into Vegas and rent a car.  drive to st george which is about 90 miles away.  if you want close there is a holiday in right on top of the hill from the range.  you will need a hard case for your guns  that is lockable and can only be opened by you.  you can put all your guns, ammo gear in one check in size suitcase. this includes your belt holster etc.  jsut check it all in.  you can carry clothes etc in a carry on if you want.    For airline alaska ammo limit is 50# where every other airline is 11# .   you will need to pay for the check in bag on alaska though unless you happen to have their credit card which gets you free luggage.  i believe delta might have free luggage with card also   Southwest still has the free 2 bags , but the ammo limit is 11#. if you are not carrying ammo then that would be the airline to take just for the free bags. 

 

i just use any suitcase .  don;t really need to buy a new one if you don't have to.   since you are coming form chicago you might consider making this trip a mini vacation.  the sw is beautiful in sep and its not too hot .  lots of great parks in utah and vegas is vegas 

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9 hours ago, Sandbagger123 said:

Fly into Vegas and rent a car.  drive to st george which is about 90 miles away.  if you want close there is a holiday in right on top of the hill from the range.  you will need a hard case for your guns  that is lockable and can only be opened by you.  you can put all your guns, ammo gear in one check in size suitcase. this includes your belt holster etc.  jsut check it all in.  you can carry clothes etc in a carry on if you want.    For airline alaska ammo limit is 50# where every other airline is 11# .   you will need to pay for the check in bag on alaska though unless you happen to have their credit card which gets you free luggage.  i believe delta might have free luggage with card also   Southwest still has the free 2 bags , but the ammo limit is 11#. if you are not carrying ammo then that would be the airline to take just for the free bags. 

 

i just use any suitcase .  don;t really need to buy a new one if you don't have to.   since you are coming form chicago you might consider making this trip a mini vacation.  the sw is beautiful in sep and its not too hot .  lots of great parks in utah and vegas is vegas 

Flying Southwest to Vegas and driving up seems to be my best option. still looking at hotels/rental.

My DAA bag is only .25" oversized on one side; do they allow carryon if I can force it into the dimension or are they super strict? Again, I haven't flown in about a decade and they don't specify how it'll fit the dimensions.

I also don't even have a suitcase for travel 🤣🤣, so I'm looking for that as well.

For SouthWest I'll need a hardcase for the firearm, and then have that in whatever checked bag I use.

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25 minutes ago, CheekyChung said:

Flying Southwest to Vegas and driving up seems to be my best option. still looking at hotels/rental.

My DAA bag is only .25" oversized on one side; do they allow carryon if I can force it into the dimension or are they super strict? Again, I haven't flown in about a decade and they don't specify how it'll fit the dimensions.

I also don't even have a suitcase for travel 🤣🤣, so I'm looking for that as well.

For SouthWest I'll need a hardcase for the firearm, and then have that in whatever checked bag I use.

Very popular seems to be the st george inn and the Clarion . its where a lot of the staff and shooters stay.   if you are going SW you have free 2 bags so i would just check in the DAA bag.  for a suitcase , personally i just use a regular back pack and flatten it to put into my check in bag. when i get to the range i just take what i need and leave the rest in the car. SUPS is a very safe range.  i  would go to Costco if you have one local and get it there.  they have a whole set for little money.  or just borrow from freind or relative.  

 

for hardcase for gun there are many options. you can go whole hog and do a pelican  or get one of the clone cases. i have a clone case and its fine for what it is.  harbor freight and amazon have them for less than $50 get a pad lock and run lock it up and you are set.  Also reserve your car now with  a company with free cancelation if possible   sep is a busy month for vegas and they get real expensive the closer you get .  One very important thing is to park as far from the bays as you can with the rental car. went to a match there a couple of years ago and richochets off steel that broke windshields were many .

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If you are going to use the DAA backpack as one of your carry-ons, make ABSOLUTELY sure that there are no firearm parts of any kind (including magazines) left in it inadvertently.

 

You will find yourself from anywhere between mildly inconvenienced to in a world of legal hurt if you miss that and TSA finds it.

 

I also will strongly suggest that you to ignore any advise about asking the airline employees at the counter about what the requirements are.  Some of them flat out don't know and will make rules on the spot rather than ask for a supervisor or looking it up.

 

Your particular airline and TSA both have detailed webpages about their requirements.  You have to comply with both.  Study them, understand them, and print copies to take with you.  If an employee is telling you to do something contrary to published policy, politely but firmly decline and ask for a superior to discuss the issue with.  It's you, not them, who are liable for the penalties for improperly transporting firearms in a commercial flight.

Edited by elguapo
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/6/2019 at 12:05 PM, OPENB said:

How much ammo should we bring? I have 1000rds. set aside, but don’t really want to ship it out, then ship 450 home. 

Practice bay. That's how you burn through ammo you don't want to fly home with.

 

And only ship a reasonable amount. 600 should be plenty.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When flying to a competition with gear, I found this video to be helpful.



The changes I made are:
On top of the gun case, tape a ziplock bag to slide the declaration card into. Makes it easy to see/find so TSA doesn’t have to dig through your stuff.
Take the holster off the belt. Wrap it in something to protect it (open holster) & ziplock bag it. This will help to not lose any screws. Do not put holster or gun belt in carry on. Certain TSA have called them gun parts. You can’t argue your way out of it.
No gun related items in carry on. Tools, mags, the little Glock keychain, mag brush, etc. TSA can be subjective about what they call a gun part. Save yourself the trouble.
Ammo up to 11 lbs. Get factory ammo cardboard boxes to carry/ship ammo to a long distance match. Keeping up with plastic ammo boxes is a hassle. Ziplock bag the boxes to keep moisture out. Recently, our luggage sat on the luggage tram during a down pour rain & we found everything inside the suitcase was soaked upon arrival.
Ziplock bags & packing cubes are very helpful.
Stay under the weight limits, 50 lbs.
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1 hour ago, KellyB said:

Take the holster off the belt. Wrap it in something to protect it (open holster) & ziplock bag it. This will help to not lose any screws. Do not put holster or gun belt in carry on. Certain TSA have called them gun parts. You can’t argue your way out of it.

 

 

Good advice in general, but TSA explicitly says that holsters are allowed in your carry-on bag. Yes, the agent has the authority to say no, however I frequently don't have enough space/weight to get my gun belt into my Pelican case and always carry my entire belt right onto the plane in my hands. I've never gotten so much as a sideways glance, much less an "enhanced pat down" in well over a dozen flights with my gun belt in my hands. I do have a printout of this page with me whenever I fly with my belt, but I've never needed it.

 

image.thumb.png.b28b526ec052c03059642278e2f502d9.png

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