What Type of locks for Gun Case and International Travel?

While a number of us don't agree with TSA's policy of allowing their locks on firearm cases, you can do it.

Right from the TSA web site

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. For civil enforcement purposes, TSA also considers a firearm to be loaded when both the firearm and ammunition are accessible to the passenger. For example, if an individual has a firearm in accessible baggage and ammunition in his/her pocket, or any combination where the individual has access to both, the firearm is considered "loaded" for purposes of assessing a civil penalty. 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. 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.
Here is the page that the above came from:

 
Would you like to feel better about the Master locks you are using?
 
As they say, locks keep honest people honest.

If a baggage handler wants your rifle he'll take the whole case.

He looks less conspicuous packing a whole case than he would packing a rifle.
 
On the Pelican 1700, you only really need to lock the two out lock holes…those that are reinforced…but would have a couple small combo locks for the inner two holes in case you have an ill informed agent at some point.

For locks, look at “American Locks” as they are a nightmare to remove as I discovered when someone, TSA or Customs put two on my lost rifle that was finally returned last night…after it’s wander about after Frankfurt. The cut my Abus locks (tossed them in for good measure to rattle around on my Rigby) and put two honkin American Locks on (not 4). Through TSA in US, at JNB checking back and all the places the rifle went after, only ever had the two reinforced holes filled.

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On the Pelican 1700, you only really need to lock the two out lock holes…those that are reinforced…but would have a couple small combo locks for the inner two holes in case you have an ill informed agent at some point.
That makes sense to me. However if you go on the airlines websites their rules may vary from the TSA. This is from Delta. This might be open to interpretation. I would not want to be in line and have to come up with a few locks.
  • The case must completely secure the firearm from being accessed. All areas designed to be locked must be locked.
 
TSA locks on ammo and gun cases. 10 trips with my rifles No issues. Knock on my wooden head.
 
Don't use TSA locks. Use locks that only you have the combo/key. If they (TSA) want to see your rifle and ammo they will come and get you to unlock your cases.
 
My son and I used 4 TSA locks each on our Pelican 1700 cases on our recent trip to South Africa, 2 of mine broke off, my son lost one on the way over. We will order more substantial locks all keyed alike for the next trip!

Sorry but the TSA locks are just not up to it. You live and learn.
 
I just return from South Africa and I used high security Master lock that we're key the same. I had no problems from TSA or delta airlines!
 
I plan on using a Pelican Vault V800 for two rifles. Unsure on locks still.
 
On this topic, international airline company employees interpretation of the rules is more likely an issue than theft or the TSA.

On my recent travel leaving Harare one employee was adamant that the ammo had to come out of the suitcases. And travel separately. We of course eventually resolved that. Seems Zim has to have 6 experts checking your ammo and rifles at the same time. Each of the 6 giving me different instructions. Luckily my PH had someone helping with the process.

Then, while going through one of many carryon bag screening at Doha an employee called the 3 rifle scopes in my carryon bag. Sniper accessories. Military items.

His supervisor finally shows up and agrees with employee number one that they are illegal and can’t even be checked.

The place is bursting at the seems busy, (Doha has gotten too big for its current britches) they need an expansion and overhaul of their current process.)

So supervisor number two pulls out the rules, I explain (again) that I am returning from hunting animals not humans and he then says they are rifle parts.

I am now resigned to the fact that I’m going to be forced to check them. Or forfeit them. $5k in scopes.

Finally after showing him pictures of the scopes on the rifles while hunting in Zim does he get tired of not understanding what I’m explaining and tells his employee to let me go.

Never again. The scope stays on my rifles from now on.

So back to my original point. I’m more concerned with overseas Airline employees misunderstanding the rules than the TSA
 
My first to trip to Africa, someone in Jberg broke lock on guncase. 2nd Trip someone in Jberg sprung lock on gun case. I now use heavy Yale locks (on Amazon via England). I only use combo lock and carry spare lock in rifle case. Combo lock avoids issue of losing key. One trip to bots airline employee mad that he got chewed out by air crew for causing 30 minute delay so he demanded that I turn over my gun case key to him B4 he would load rifle case as we were boarding aircraft. He shut up when I told him it was a combo lock. Air crew interceded and got keys to my buddy's lock or otherwise my buddy's keys would have stayed in Botswana.
 

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