Traveling with firearms?

JamesJ

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For argument sake, more and more of my clients are choosing not to travel with firearms. It seems at every turn, airlines and local governments make it more difficult to import our beloved boom sticks. How many of you guys have chosen to stop traveling with firearms?

Personally, I do both depending on the destination. I even go as far as shipping firearms and gear to outfitters ahead of time to save the hassle in the US.
 

James.Grage

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I have always traveled (driving and flying) with my guns.

I also have rented rifles and shotguns to complement what I have brought for the hunt or fishing trip.

Sometimes when you reach your destination other opportunities open up.
 

blackdog001blackdog001

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I think it depends on the airport and knowing what to expect - if you are traveling out of the NYC airports (JFK, LGA and Newark), allow plenty of extra time, because the police department, counter clerks and TSA are going to check your stuff over and over and over. Don't even think of beginning or ending your travels out of one of those three with a handgun, regardless of your carry permit status - the NYC transit cops will simply lock you up for being in possession of a handgun in NYC without a valid NYC carry permit (which is next to impossible to obtain). Long guns just take a bunch of extra time, inconvenience and some dirty looks.

I went thru BWI to Memphis with a couple of shotguns in December and had no issues at all. Same as for the Texas airports. Reagan National is tough, Dulles less so.

Candidly, the TSA changes their procedures at whim as a matter of policy, so the "terrorists" can't figure out a way to get by them. That means there may be no consistency across any airport(s), at any time. What worked last week, may not work next month.

Just allow extra time.

If I can figure out a way to drive (not too long and I have the time), I'll do that, rather than fly.
 

Norwegianwoods

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To me it all depends where I am going and what sort of hunt I am going on.

Someone places it is easy to travel to without much hassle and extra costs.
Some hunts demands long range shots and/or a gun that fits like a glove and functions perfectly.

In other circumstances I might as well borrow/rent a gun and having a very relaxing travel to and from my hunting destination :)

But I will always bring my own bow if I am going on a bow hunt :)
 

gillettehunter

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Going through that decision right now. Leaving in 3 weeks for New Zealand. My guide used to work at one of the largest gun stores there. He has a Rem 700 in a 7mm and a model 7 in a .260. The triggers have been worked on and set to 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 lbs. He uses Leupold scopes. He says that they are 1 MOA guns for most shooters. It looks like we will be under 400 yards so my long range rifle is not really.... needed. By comparison. I have hunted overseas 4 times. I have taken my rifle each time. So 8 legs if you will. 4 going and 4 coming back. My rifle has been "misplaced" or left off a flight 3 times. That is a 37% failure rate. I consider that unacceptable.
So given the quality of rifles available and the fact that they are no charge to use. I probably won't take my rifle on this next trip. It pains me greatly to do that. Bruce
 

JamesJ

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Gilettehunter,

Good point, it depends on what the outfitter has to loan. I have a client that opted not to and he ended up taking an elephant with a gun that was duct taped and wired together, it worked out, but I'm sure he was worried when he pulled the trigger. Like is said I go back and forth on the subject. Bird hunting in Argentina, I always use loaner guns, once in a lifetime hunt my gun, everything else in between is a maybe.
 

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gday bruce
ive not hunted in n.z but many of my mates have ,some numerous times .
they all tell me n.z customs is very hunter/firearms friendly .
they all opt to take their own firearms .
one mate matt , borrowed a gun last year for a sika,red deer hunt and rekons he throw it in the ute and made the guide drive him to a store and bought one there and then .in the guides name and the store then lent him the gun till the paperwork came back .
after that it was all good .
if your doing an estate hunt , im sure the firearms will be of good quality .
but if your ruffin it , expect a gate post with a barrel taped on it .
good timing on your booking the reds should be going out of their minds while your there ........
8 international flights and 3 lost guns ,id have the shits to mate.
best of hunting to you while your there , bruce...
you will love new Zealand and its pristine scenery ,bueatiful rivers which you should do some trout fishing in
and the kiwis are a great bunch of people ,but bloody hell they talk funny
 

KWALATA SAFARIS

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I am in two minds my personal recommendation would always be to bring rifles, (Moz and south Africa)

Good outfitters can pre arrange importation, and the $100 cost involved far outweighs the flip side of the coin...in SA

In Moz around $300

On pg i can still understand but on dangerous game it is a no brainer to bring your own rifle.

It truly isn't that difficult ............. and especially when taking the monetary investment into consideration

My best always
 

bluey

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I am in two minds my personal recommendation would always be to bring rifles, (Moz and south Africa)

Good outfitters can pre arrange importation, and the $100 cost involved far outweighs the flip side of the coin...in SA

In Moz around $300

On pg i can still understand but on dangerous game it is a no brainer to bring your own rifle.

It truly isn't that difficult ............. and especially when taking the monetary investment into consideration

My best always


absolutely jaco
not just the mnoey we invest in a gun but the time getting your load right and and tweaking up to the way you want it .
ive only had to fly out on 5 different hunts ,and 2 were international ,but take my own firearm or bow ,sometimes both ,religiously......
 

Norwegianwoods

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I guess I have been extremely lucky with my traveling.
I have never lost my luggage. No matter where I have been in the world.
Once I experienced that they unloaded half my luggage on a Chinese airport and left it there, but they brought it to my home a few days later.
Luckily it was not on a hunting travel and it was on my way home.
 

rooihond

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Additional travel after my next hunt made the decision for me. So, I'm hiring a rifle and bringing a bow. The bow is returning with my friend who is heading straight back home.
 

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I strongly prefer my own rifle, for me using my rifle and my handloads are part of the experience and the rifle then holds a lot of those memories. I've only been to Africa once (so far) and the guns went through fairly smoothly, except on the return trip. We flew into Richards Bay and then when we left 9 days later from the same airport they said we could not bring guns into the airport and they could not be placed on the plane, SA Express to Joburg. We told them we came into the same airport with the same company 9 days earlier, which they said was impossible. The outfitter was furious with them because he uses that airport for clients often. I don't know if someone was just looking for a "payment" or just doesn't know their job, but finally they allowed us an exception and thankfully the plane was an hour late or we wouldn't have made it. I plan on going back with the same outfitter, I guess we'll just have to try and get the official verdict on rifles at Richards Bay airport ahead of time or fly to Durbin next time. I'll always try to use my own rifle when possible.
 

Hank2211

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I have two custom made rifles, and the thought of leaving them behind has really never entered my mind. If I didn't take a .404 Jeffery to Africa, when would I ever use it?

A few years ago Canada put an embargo on Canadian hunters taking rifles to Zimbabwe, and I was forced to rent a local rifle. I had problems with the scope, and with the ammunition, both of which seemed to have constant issues. And while I can't swear to this as a fact, I certainly feel I didn't shoot as well with unfamiliar rifles.

Travelling with guns is certainly a pain, but in my estimation, it's a significant part of the hunt, and I wouldn't leave home without them.
 

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It is always nicer to shoot your own rifle which you are familiar with. I have noticed a trend though of more and more hunters requesting to use my rifles.
 

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Prefer my own and taking again for cape buff in RSA this May, but thinking next time i will use a loaner, as its easier traveling and a lot less hassel.....
 

enysse

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I strongly prefer my own rifle, for me using my rifle and my handloads are part of the experience and the rifle then holds a lot of those memories. I've only been to Africa once (so far) and the guns went through fairly smoothly, except on the return trip. We flew into Richards Bay and then when we left 9 days later from the same airport they said we could not bring guns into the airport and they could not be placed on the plane, SA Express to Joburg. We told them we came into the same airport with the same company 9 days earlier, which they said was impossible. The outfitter was furious with them because he uses that airport for clients often. I don't know if someone was just looking for a "payment" or just doesn't know their job, but finally they allowed us an exception and thankfully the plane was an hour late or we wouldn't have made it. I plan on going back with the same outfitter, I guess we'll just have to try and get the official verdict on rifles at Richards Bay airport ahead of time or fly to Durbin next time. I'll always try to use my own rifle when possible.

I'm guess it was hand out time. I think I've heard 10 different excuses for extra payment to get the gun on the plane. And every time I think this is no way to treat a tourist.
 

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Take em if I can, especially if long or difficult shots are a possibility. For the average African hunt though a loaner would be fine and for the extra cost involved, I am seriously considering leaving mine at home next time I go to Africa. Sheep hunting on the other hand... another story all together.
 

Jim Rea

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Question for any knowledgeable fellows out there. I and another hunter flying into South Africa to plains game hunt in August. Any problem with having two different hunters guns in the same case? To save airline space, ya know.....Sorry about high jacking the thread.
 

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Should be no problem. Police don't care at the airport. Never tried it without both permit holders present though if that's what you have in mind.
 

Jim Rea

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We would be there together, we are booked on same flight. Thanks for the reply, we will go that route...
 

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