Correct head stamp on brass

petterbratt

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Hello!
When traveling international, what is your experience with correct head stamped brass and customs?
Thinking of "wildcats" and Ackley improved cartridges.
 
We had this topic before and the opinions on it were very different.

It's true that the ammunition is rarely checked upon entry, but I have experienced a check of ammo in few cases and it's advisable in this case to have the cartridges that fit your rifle, means among other things, that on the cartridge one can read what it is. I am not sure that every African customs officer, for example, knows what a wildcat or a improved cartridge is. You should on a hunting trip to ensure that all it goes as best as possible.
 
We had this topic before and the opinions on it were very different.

It's true that the ammunition is rarely checked upon entry, but I have experienced a check of ammo in few cases and it's advisable in this case to have the cartridges that fit your rifle, means among other things, that on the cartridge one can read what it is. I am not sure that every African customs officer, for example, knows what a wildcat or a improved cartridge is. You should on a hunting trip to ensure that all it goes as best as possible.
:S Agree:

We’ve never been checked but always have correctly head stamped brass just to be on the safe side.

If you are having issues finding uncommon brass to fit your rifle the members of AH are here to assist. Let us know what you are looking for.
 
After many attempts, and all of them very expensive, to actually have properly head stamped brass in my various B&M cartridges, I finally gave up. I have spent close to $10,000 now, with several different brass makers, and have so little brass that it almost don't matter. Most of the brass was not able to handle the same pressures that the parent case handles, another problem..........

In the end, I decided to have the Barrels Engraved with the parent cartridge and the actual cartridge....
Example; 458 B&M/300 Remington Ultra Mag...... or similar........... This covers all bases for those uneducated Customs Officers you just might run into somewhere around the Planet. Today, I might reverse and have the parent cartridge engraved first, followed by the actual......... So now, you have 300 Rem Ultra on the brass, and on the barrel, hard to question that, and I promise you, that Customs guy is not going to know the difference between 300 and 458....... I have traveled the world like this multiple times over and never had an issue.... as stated above, it is rare that any checks head stamp and barrel markings to begin with. I actually only had one time that this happened and it was in Namibia once. After a bit of explaining, it was sorted out.

Much easier to have the barrel engraved than to attempt to get brass.......
 
After many attempts, and all of them very expensive, to actually have properly head stamped brass in my various B&M cartridges, I finally gave up. I have spent close to $10,000 now, with several different brass makers, and have so little brass that it almost don't matter. Most of the brass was not able to handle the same pressures that the parent case handles, another problem..........

In the end, I decided to have the Barrels Engraved with the parent cartridge and the actual cartridge....
Example; 458 B&M/300 Remington Ultra Mag...... or similar........... This covers all bases for those uneducated Customs Officers you just might run into somewhere around the Planet. Today, I might reverse and have the parent cartridge engraved first, followed by the actual......... So now, you have 300 Rem Ultra on the brass, and on the barrel, hard to question that, and I promise you, that Customs guy is not going to know the difference between 300 and 458....... I have traveled the world like this multiple times over and never had an issue.... as stated above, it is rare that any checks head stamp and barrel markings to begin with. I actually only had one time that this happened and it was in Namibia once. After a bit of explaining, it was sorted out.

Much easier to have the barrel engraved than to attempt to get brass.......

I wouldn't take such a risk. African officers are no more stupid than ours but perhaps even more skilled at distinguishing between calibers than expected. If fraud is discovered, the consequences are much greater in these countries than in our countries. I know Africa very well, I was soldier in Africa, I recommend to not being imprisoned there.
 
I hunted with a .280 AI. I was advised by Henry at RiflePermits to put down .280 as my rifle caliber which I did. While I was not checked, I did have ammo marked both .280 Rem and .280 AI. Fortunately, my rifle is marked that way as well.

While SAPS officers checked my rifles many times coming and going through the airport, they only were checking serial numbers. They never looked at ammo.
 
As I have already written, these controls are very rare, but if it happens, it is advisable that everything is in order. In one case, when leaving the country, an official asked me why cartridges were missing. That's why it's also advisable to keep as far is possible the empty shells.
 
Hello!
When traveling international, what is your experience with correct head stamped brass and customs?
Thinking of "wildcats" and Ackley improved cartridges.
The only place I've seen anyone look at the actual ammo is Zimbabwe. I have never seen anyone actually read a headstand that I know of.
 
I recently had a comical experience leaving Harare.

They wanted to count all my live ammo and brass when leaving the country.

( my PH wanted my .308 CEB raptors) so my count is going to be off. I also left him a full box of factory .308.

So six of them have phones out, a log book and multiple forms. Going through each of the four calibers I took. So with each caliber one reads the others how many rounds I brought in. And they count how many I present to leave.



I had the same count of live ammo and empty brass for the .505 Gibbs and .416 Taylor that I came in with I lost some .375 empty brass.

Lost some .308 and donated 25-30 live rounds.

So while the furious, urgent, highly important count is completed. I’m concerned that the numbers will not add up.

The numbers do not add up and there are no questions as to why. They fold up all the documents and leave as I store everything for travel.

Either they were not actually concerned about the count. And were just going through the motions or their subtraction skills need work. I think it’s the former because they were using their phone calculators
 
The only place I've seen anyone look at the actual ammo is Zimbabwe. I have never seen anyone actually read a headstand that I know of.

As always it does happen extremely rarely, but if it does happen it's better to be prepared accordingly. It makes no sense to recommend that hunters who go to Africa for the first time take a risk and to ruin her hunt, perhaps the only one in her life.
 
Hello!
When traveling international, what is your experience with correct head stamped brass and customs?
Thinking of "wildcats" and Ackley improved cartridges.

Just avoid the Turks and Caicos and you should be okay.
 
Everything should match, there is always a chance someone would catch it, then what---no ammo,....no thanks
 
Reading this thread, and many like it over the years, I think keeping things as simple as possible is the best plan. Commonly available chamberings with factory head stamp ammo that matches the rifle seems the best idea. It might be available in the hunting area if needed, but a custom wildcat won't be.

Something else not often considered is military calibers and ammo.

.308 Win is fine, but a rifle and ammo stamped 7.62mm NATO will get you into trouble in countries that prohibit civilian possession of military weapons or ammo.

Don't open any can of worms that you don't have to.
 
I shoot a custom built Ruger No 1 that is engraved "500 Sharps 2 1/2" which is commonly known as 50-90 Sharps; the brass of course is head stamped 50-90 Sharps. When I went to Tanzania I had all the paperwork filled out as "500 Sharps 2 1/2" (50-90 Sharps)". I labeled each box of ammo to match what was on the paperwork in this case "500 Sharps 2 1/2" (50-90 Sharps)". TZ customs did closely inspect at all the ammo against the rifle and against the paperwork and did not question it. My advise; just make sure that the paperwork is clear. with what you are importing.
 
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After many attempts, and all of them very expensive, to actually have properly head stamped brass in my various B&M cartridges, I finally gave up. I have spent close to $10,000 now, with several different brass makers, and have so little brass that it almost don't matter. Most of the brass was not able to handle the same pressures that the parent case handles, another problem..........

In the end, I decided to have the Barrels Engraved with the parent cartridge and the actual cartridge....
Example; 458 B&M/300 Remington Ultra Mag...... or similar........... This covers all bases for those uneducated Customs Officers you just might run into somewhere around the Planet. Today, I might reverse and have the parent cartridge engraved first, followed by the actual......... So now, you have 300 Rem Ultra on the brass, and on the barrel, hard to question that, and I promise you, that Customs guy is not going to know the difference between 300 and 458....... I have traveled the world like this multiple times over and never had an issue.... as stated above, it is rare that any checks head stamp and barrel markings to begin with. I actually only had one time that this happened and it was in Namibia once. After a bit of explaining, it was sorted out.

Much easier to have the barrel engraved than to attempt to get brass.......
Wow, that’s a great idea!

I have had my ammo checked and counted several times. A few of those times, the officer looked at the head stamp as well. I think it’s best not to take any chances in a foreign country so I like your solution.

I’ve personally witnessed hunters being hauled off to jail in Mexico when an extra cartridge was found in their truck that didn’t match the rifle/ammo on their firearm permit. Most countries don’t have a 2nd Amendment and you’re screwed. There are countries, like Malaysia, where it’s the death penalty to have a firearm or ammunition without a permit.
 
The only place I've seen anyone look at the actual ammo is Zimbabwe. I have never seen anyone actually read a headstand that I know of.
The SAPS office in East London actually did read the headstamp on my cartridges several years ago. He kept trying to write ".306" in his logbook and I had to keep showing him ".30-06" instead. It took several iterations to convince him.

The SAPS office in Johannesburg counted the cartridges, but paid no heed to the headstamps.

I do have a concern regarding my vintage double and its ammunition. The only caliber marking on the rifle is "400 EX" on the barrel flats. All of the currently available ammunition is marked ".450-400" I have seen some vintage Kynoch with a ".400 Nitro" headstamp but it is loaded with cordite and I don't think that I would care to take it on safari. Perhaps engraving the caliber on the underside of the barrel somewhere might be the simpler solution.
 

This guy might be able to help many of you out. Small scale case maker, custom marking possible (when I discussed with him minimum batch for custom brass with custom marking was 1000pcs).
I hav handled and used 9,3x74r brass from him, in my opinion just as good as any other.

On my (very long and always evolving) list of projects I want to do is to build a rifle in 38Whelen.(A 375-06 with some improved form), I believe I can alter the marking of 35Whelen cases with the help of a smart friend with a mini CNC-milling machine. 5 becoming 8).

Can a small batch of cases be remarked? Fill original marking with some "chemical metal" and remark in a mill?
 

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