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Traveling to a match with ammo. Moon clips or 100 round blue box?


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I used to fly with guns and ammo almost weekly. The relevant part of the TSA regs for my bottom-feeders said I could bring loaded magazines, as long as they were enclosed in pouches 'designed for the purpose'. I would load them, put them in a flapped ballistic nylon carrier and close the flap. I've carried 30 loaded mags in my bag that way. I also used to put them in mag pouches I used for concealed carry and tossed those in. No problem with either approach. The one time I threw a loaded magazine in my bag by itself, they tore into my bag, took the ammo and left the mag. I think they spotted it on x-ray.

 

From my experiences, I wouldn't carry loaded moon clips unless you have enough pouches to enclose all of them. It would be safer to use the boxes and load the clips when you arrive. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, ysrracer said:

If you guys fly to a match, do you travel with your ammo in moon clips, or 100 round blue box?

 

Will TSA allow ammo in moon clips?

9mm S&B boxes, tucked into an unlocked pelican box. Haven’t had an issue domestic or international. 

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Be aware though things can get screwy.  Had a buddy that was coming back from a match, in Vegas I think?, and had his "empty case" moon clips that they would NOT allow him to transport in the manner he had them.  I think it was in his carry on.  He ended up dumping them in a trash can.  Luckily they were 45's, so the amount he lost wasn't a big expense.  He had done it before but this one time, at this one terminal, with this one person it wouldn't get through.

He follows this Forum and if I've got it wrong, I'm sure he will straighten me out!

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I have brought back empty brass on my carry on before but one time coming from Florida no way even though I could show the TSA rules. The best way is to have a hard sided suitcase with a lock and all shooting stuff inside and use your shooter bag as carry on and put clothes in there

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46 minutes ago, revoman said:

I have brought back empty brass on my carry on before but one time coming from Florida no way even though I could show the TSA rules. The best way is to have a hard sided suitcase with a lock and all shooting stuff inside and use your shooter bag as carry on and put clothes in there

Does TSA day you can have empties in your carry on? Can’t say I’ve read the rules lately about carry ons.

 

TSA does say 50lbs ammo checked, although very few airlines do. I think ammo is best separate and unlocked from any other gun things. It’s not uncommon for TSA to want to look at ammo (which they can do) and I don’t want them having access to any of my guns or other gear (which they cannot do.)

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 TSA rules were and they could have changed was 11lbs of ammo per passenger in checked in luggage. Not so much on saying empty brass can be carried but after primer is spent and powder is burnt and bullet is gone all you have is brass in the shape of a cartridge. No matter the take it is only brass that you have. The TSA agent was the same one who was not going to let my wood grips in my carry on. I explained to him and his supervisor that it was just wood when not attached to a firearm. I ended up checking in my range bag

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TSA does not define an ammunition weight limit AFAIK. However most major airlines have a 5 kg limit (11 pounds). The only other airline service I’ve seen different is Alaskan who allow 50 lb.

 

I’m at about 12-15 trips. No one at Alaskan, Delta, or Southwest has weighed it. I still ship to bigger matches. 300 160 gr 9mm is right at the limit.

 

I would advise not flying with loaded moons. The trauma of baggage handling may cause damage. That being said I’ve never tired it.

 

Any firearm or ammunition component needs to be checked. That means brass needs to be checked. I put it back in my MTM and have had no problems.

 

S&B is the smallest footprint but I prefer the MTM as it’s easier to load up once I’m done demooning.

 

This is all domestic information. YMMV internationally.

 

if flying with your carry gun and not your full competition gear cable lock a mini case to your soft sided luggage. Not required but it makes it harder for a case to grow legs.

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My wife almost got her revo belt taken off her at US preclearence last year in Toronto.  Alpha x holster comes 90% off with just 2  screws so it was just the posts and belt.  Weight was an issue so we put our belts in our carry on.  I got through fine.  My wife did not.  Of course when they asked what is this the answer she gave wasn’t the right one. So the agent asked another agent who asked a manager who asked another manager… who then asked what is inside the posts? I then tersely mentioned they X-rayed the bag it minutes before.  She got her bag and belt.  Won’t do that again.

 

revoman did tell me a story that I may or may not have used to bring a little extra last year…..

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1 hour ago, pskys2 said:

TSA is a Federal Bureaucracy and as such arguing with them over anything is as productive as with a Progressive or your house wall.  

Ummm, care to rethink your statement?

 

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On 5/15/2021 at 9:34 AM, pskys2 said:

Be aware though things can get screwy.  Had a buddy that was coming back from a match, in Vegas I think?, and had his "empty case" moon clips that they would NOT allow him to transport in the manner he had them.  I think it was in his carry on.  He ended up dumping them in a trash can.  Luckily they were 45's, so the amount he lost wasn't a big expense.  He had done it before but this one time, at this one terminal, with this one person it wouldn't get through.

He follows this Forum and if I've got it wrong, I'm sure he will straighten me out!

 

Yeah, if I remember correctly, that was at LAX.  

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I also tried to get a bag full of loaded moonclips into my checked luggage at DSM (which is normally a friendly venue for guns/ammo), and TSA wouldn't let me have them.  I had enough extra ammo in plastic boxes, so I just took the loaded moons back out to my car.

 

I have reached the point where I almost always just ship my ammo to the match ahead of time.  Saves a lot of hassle, not to mention those ridiculous extra charges for overweight bags. 

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Couple years ago flying to Phoenix out of Memphis, I decided to carry my 642 and put 2 speed loaders each in a paper towel tube. 2 tubes 4 speed loaders and put them along with my 9mm match ammo in a separate box inside the suitcase with both guns in one box. Went thru X-ray and got pulled because the tech saw the 2 paper towel tubes .3 TSA guys got n and pulled out the tubes and told me I had to put them back in the car. I explained to them that the shells were secure and in the tube and that was no different then the 6 Glock mags I had loaded fully with ammo. They disagreed, I explained to them that a speed loader has been used as a loading device since the late 60’s,but since none of them has never seen one before they stood their ground. About that time an older dude came from behind a wall and asked what was going on.Told him my side and he looked at the 3 guys and said I was correct and I went on my way. When I got to Phoenix,I went  to the Dillon store and bought a cartridge box to save the hassle flying back.

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I didn't want go mess with any of it when I went to Nationals in FL. I shipped my ammo out in advance (other than a hundred and fifty rounds in the checked hard case with the gun). I also broke down my belt and put all of the components into the hard case - I didn't want to have to explain the holster hanger and moon clip server. After the match, I burned some rounds on the practice berm, brought the rest back in the gun case, and shipped my empty brass home via USPS.

 

It might have been overkill but I figured it was safer. 

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I think I can check 300 rounds of .38 Short Colt in my suitcase in blue boxes, and still be under the 11 pound weight limit. And another 300 in my wife's (she doesn't shoot).

 

So I'm going to save the hassle of shipping it, and just check it.

 

Thanks guys.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/15/2021 at 10:34 AM, pskys2 said:

Be aware though things can get screwy.  Had a buddy that was coming back from a match, in Vegas I think?, and had his "empty case" moon clips that they would NOT allow him to transport in the manner he had them.  I think it was in his carry on.  He ended up dumping them in a trash can.  Luckily they were 45's, so the amount he lost wasn't a big expense.  He had done it before but this one time, at this one terminal, with this one person it wouldn't get through.

He follows this Forum and if I've got it wrong, I'm sure he will straighten me out!

 

There is nothing screwy about what he was made to do with his moonclips.  All he had to do was read the TSA regulations instead of relying on what he was allowed to get away with previously.

 

You absolutely cannot take any firearm parts, including magazines and clips (verbatim from TSA website), in your carry on.

 

BTW, the TSA does not consider optical sights to be firearm parts and they can be taken in carry on luggage.

 

 

Edited by SGT_Schultz
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Posted (edited)
On 5/18/2021 at 11:16 PM, Carmoney said:

I also tried to get a bag full of loaded moonclips into my checked luggage at DSM (which is normally a friendly venue for guns/ammo), and TSA wouldn't let me have them. 

 

I'm not surprised: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/transporting-firearms-and-ammunition

 

Quote

Firearms

  • When traveling, comply with the laws concerning possession of firearms as they vary by local, state and international governments.
  • If you are traveling internationally with a firearm in checked baggage, please check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for information and requirements prior to travel.
  • Declare each firearm each time you present it for transport as checked baggage. Ask your airline about limitations or fees that may apply.
  • Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm. Only the passenger should retain the key or combination to the lock unless TSA personnel request the key to open the firearm container to ensure compliance with TSA regulations. You may use any brand or type of lock to secure your firearm case, including TSA-recognized locks.
  • Bringing  an unloaded firearm with accessible ammunition to the security checkpoint carries the same civil penalty/fine as bringing a loaded firearm to the checkpoint. You may find information on civil penalties at the Civil Enforcement page.
  • Firearm parts, including magazines, clips, bolts and firing pins, are prohibited in carry-on baggage, but may be transported in checked baggage.
  • Replica firearms, including firearm replicas that are toys, may be transported in checked baggage only.
  • Rifle scopes are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage.

 

Quote

Ammunition

  • Ammunition is prohibited in carry-on baggage, but may be transported in checked baggage.
  • Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm. Read the requirements governing the transport of ammunition in checked baggage as defined by 49 CFR 175.10 (a)(8).

 

TBH I'm surprised you weren't arrested

Edited by SGT_Schultz
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  • 2 weeks later...

So I took everybody's advice and de mooned 300 rounds and put them in blue boxes.

 

300 rounds of .38 Short Colt weighs just under 11 pounds. I put the blue boxes in the same hard case as the revolver, and checked it in with Southwest Airlines.

 

Easy peasy lemon squeezey.

 

I'm currently just outside of Aspen, but we're driving over to Ft. Collins on Friday. Thanks for all the help.

 

See you guys there.

 

Brad

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12 hours ago, ysrracer said:

So I took everybody's advice and de mooned 300 rounds and put them in blue boxes.

 

300 rounds of .38 Short Colt weighs just under 11 pounds. I put the blue boxes in the same hard case as the revolver, and checked it in with Southwest Airlines.

 

Easy peasy lemon squeezey.

 

I'm currently just outside of Aspen, but we're driving over to Ft. Collins on Friday. Thanks for all the help.

 

See you guys there.

 

Brad

I lived in Aspen for 15 years as a ski bum, where are you staying?

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