Traveling with ammunition via air travel

bandryc

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I am aware of what the TSA and United Airlines (transferring to SA Airlines) state when traveling with ammunition. What I am not clear about is if the ammo is in checked luggage does the ammo container itself have to be locked?

Is a plastic ammo case without a lock OK?

Help would be appreciated.

BAndryc
 

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bandryc, I did not find, on either the TSA or United Airlines websites, any mention of the ammunition box/container needing to be lockable. However on the SAA website the following came up:

Ammunition must be separated from weapons and although permissible to be packed within checked baggage under aviation regulation, SHOULD be packed as a separate piece of checked baggage in a secure lockable container or ammunition case. No ammunition may be packed loosely in checked baggage, or within the same case as firearms.

We strongly recommend that ammunition be packed in lockable cases which can be handed in as loose items at the firearm counters to avoid possible delays during checked baggage screening.


Since you will be transferring to a South African airline I would defenitely recommend using a lockable box/container.

Here area couple of threads on AH that may be of interest...

- Do I need to carry ammunition in original boxes
- Ammunition Requirements on SA Airlines
 

richteb

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On my trip to Zim via Joburg last year I packed my ammo in factory boxes (reloads) and locked the ammo in a plastic ammo box. The ammo box was then locked in my suitcase as checked in baggage. For the whole trip the only place we were required to have ammunition inspected was in arriving and leaving Zim. When we arrived in SA (overnighted) SAPS did not ask at all about our ammo.
 

sestoppelman

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Just proves there is absolutely no consistency in how this is handled. When I hunted RSA in '09, the SAPS people seemed much more concerned about my ammo than my rifle. Go figure! I got the royal runaround getting rifle case and suitcase so they could take out my ammo and inspect it, for what I was never able to ascertain.
 

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I am aware of what the TSA and United Airlines (transferring to SA Airlines) state when traveling with ammunition. What I am not clear about is if the ammo is in checked luggage does the ammo container itself have to be locked?

Is a plastic ammo case without a lock OK?

Help would be appreciated.

BAndryc

I think sestoppleman has hit it on the head, there's no consistency. When I went to RSA on 2010, I flew on Delta. I locked the ammo in a plastic case which was inside one of checked-in bags which was not locked. For me, locking luggage has been nothing but a guarantee that someone will just cut the locks. Checked in at Phoenix, never hear a word from TSA. Everything arrived in Jo'burg just fine.

On return when we checked in at JNB, I did the same thing. But oh no, that was the wrong thing to do. Delta counter lady tells me the the container must be locked! I said it is, it's just that it's inside an unlocked bag. She says that's against airline rules. I say I flew Delta on the way over. She says different airlines have different rules. I repeat I flew on Delta on the way over and showed her my itinerary. She realizes that was a stupid thing to say, but tells me the container must be locked anyway.

So in desperation I ask if I take the lock off of the box that the ammo is in and put it on the suitcase, would that be okay? She says yes! :confused: But of course that lock was too big. Fortunately I've got a few of those little bitty locks that come with luggage and even a key! You know the ones that a 5 year old could get undone. She's plenty fine with that.

Sorry, I always get worked up when I think about that stupid exchange. Next time I go, I will be prepared with extra locks and I would even be prepared to check your ammo box as another piece of luggage. I don't think you'll have to do that, but these folks that never seem to be in the know, who knows what they're going to come up with.
 

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I cannot imagine having to check a small amount of ammo as a pc of luggage! Simply cannot grasp the concept at all! Maybe if like in Roosevelts day on a year long trip and tons of ammo, well OK. Otherwise forget it!
 

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I cannot imagine having to check a small amount of ammo as a pc of luggage! Simply cannot grasp the concept at all! Maybe if like in Roosevelts day on a year long trip and tons of ammo, well OK. Otherwise forget it!

I can't either, but if I hadn't come up with another lock that's exactly what that lady in JNB was going to make me do and of course charge me for it. Somewhere along the line I read about somebody doing just that. IMO you might as well put a sign on it that says "Steal Me!!!"
 

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P Phil

i was given the same thing last year. locked ammo box and they wanted a lock on the travel bag it was in and i used the little lock that was in the bag also and then they were happy.
 

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This deff one of those stupid topics where every govenment, airline, and person has their own rule. I went may of last year to SA via united and saa. We had a seperate plastic case with lock, inside our suitecase which was also locked. Lady at united said that was perfect. We had to pull it out and show it to her and we where on our way. Same thing on our trip back. I guess we where lucky and didn't get one of the dumb ones with their own rules!
 

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P Phil

i was given the same thing last year. locked ammo box and they wanted a lock on the travel bag it was in and i used the little lock that was in the bag also and then they were happy.

And all it takes is about 5 seconds and a small pair of dykes to open it. But the last thing you want to do is tick off someone who has the ability to ruin your whole day by virtue of seeing that your rifle case disappears.
 

bandryc

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Thanks guys! Great information. Now I need to find a lockable ammo container. Any ideas? I checked Midway, etc. No find!!!

BAndryc
 

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Buff-Buster

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I put my ammo in a plastic MTM cases then put them in a hard sided lockable pistol carrying case. Effective and relatively cheap. The pistol case is put in my checked baggage which is locked with a TSA lock.
 

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I just used an old small tackle box. It doesn't have to be a special ammo case. They sell them at cabelas but they are expensive. Any box you can put a lock on should be fine.
 

richteb

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Only thing to keep in mind is the weight of the ammo box. Not sure about other airlines, however SAA airlines allow 5kg of ammo and this includes the ammo box and lock.
 

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Bottom line is be flexible. Check the airlines web site before and make copies of what it says. We just got back from Zimbabwe via SA in February. When we left Atlanta on Delta, the ammo was in plastic boxes taped shut in the rifle container. When we got to SA for our second flight within SA, they wanted it moved to our luggage. On the way back the ammo rode in our checked baggage in its plastic boxes, and upon arrival in the US for our continuing domestic flights, we moved it back to the rifle cases. Whew!
 

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Try Wal Mart for a "Cash Box'.. it is light metal, with a lock. It has worked for me for years.
 

saeng101

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SAA is very picky about having the ammo in a locked box. Took some lip from them on their desire to have it as a separate piece. Never had the problems above with Delta and I do 5 trips/yr with them to SA.
 

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Never had SAA even question me about ammo. Only the SAPS people in Joberg.
 

saeng101

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Will state for the record, I am the poster child for having kak with SAA. Glad to hear that others don't have the grief. One of the kicks with these clowns is that there is no charge for firearms from JNB onward. At my little airport they hammer you hard to get your guns back to JNB.

Never had SAA even question me about ammo. Only the SAPS people in Joberg.
 

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