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Aught6Fan
04-03-2013, 07:50 PM
I have to bring a couple of guns back from my mom's and was wondering what you guys think is the best case for airline travel? I've not used a Pelican gun case, but have used their other cases at work and they seem really nice.

After getting these guns back home, I plan to use it for other hunting travels ... must fit a scoped rifle (maybe two?) or a shotgun with barrel removed. Any recommendations?

Thnx.

Fink
04-03-2013, 08:12 PM
I use SKB bow and gun cases. I've not used them for airline travel, but it their cases will hold up to my abuse, then I doubt even the worst baggage handler could tear them up.

packmule
04-03-2013, 08:38 PM
I use the Boyt H51, it's stood up well to airline abuse.

hoshour
04-03-2013, 08:45 PM
My concern is that no rifle hard case I can find has total dimensions of less than 62 inches, which is the dividing line between regular baggage and oversize baggage that gets a $75 or more extra charge from every airline I know. The smallest single rifle case I can find totals 65 inches for width X length X height.

Do you guys get docked for the oversize fee when you fly with your rifle case? I've been shipping my rifle UPS but it costs $65 each way and it has to go to and from the UPS regional service centers, which is a hassle.

packmule
04-03-2013, 11:02 PM
Ive gotten charged more than they've let it slide.

Fish
04-04-2013, 10:22 AM
I have an SKB double rifle case. Its been to Africa and back 4 times with no problems.

JMSZ
04-04-2013, 10:56 AM
Pelican 1750 Long case. It's about 70 linear inches, but when I brought it on the plane, they didn't say anything about it.

Tough, waterproof and lightweight, plus the long cases have rollers on them, which is nice when you have it loaded up.

You can get it with or without the pick-n-pull foam to form to your guns. I just put my rifles in it with their soft cases and stuffed some other things in to keep them from bouncing around.

Kevin Root
04-04-2013, 11:20 AM
+1 for Pelican cases. I just picked up a Pelican rifle case with the foam. It looks pretty bomb proof. I found a nice youtube clip on how to cut the foam and layout here as well for air travel as well, noting things like keeping the serial number facing for easy viewing on check in ect.... I'm going to lay mine out with scope, binos to configure mine more for hunting travel and for the range.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXhT7WtIsTg

Aught6Fan
04-04-2013, 07:25 PM
Fish, Fink - Which SKB model do you fellows use? Looks like they have a couple the say can be used with double rifles.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

ssliger
04-04-2013, 07:32 PM
Great thread. I am also in the market for a case. I have a hunt booked for Caribou in Quebec in 2014. I am looking for a case that will hold my rifle and my bow. I saw the SKB case that says it can do both.

xtreme
04-05-2013, 06:32 AM
More important than case may be the airline you fly. The United flights I used on a bear hunt were very bad. I saw my gun case being dragged on a luggage cart. One end was on the cart and the other end was on the pavement. I could see the gun inside, the new aluminium case.
TSA had also reopened the gun case and even left a letter inside, this after being inspected and sealed. Take down guns have the advantage of being packed in a musical instrument case and the won't recieve sush harsh treatment. The video Kevin Root provided about the pelican gun case may well be the best solution.

hoshour
04-05-2013, 10:52 PM
I ended up buying a used SKB scoped rifle, tapered, hard case today. The dimensions total 64 1/2 inches, just 2 1/2 inches over the allowable size limit.

That's close enough that with the strong taper, maybe most airline counter help won't charge me the oversize charge. I'll find out next month when I fly SW Airlines to ABQ and DEN.

Sawfish
04-08-2013, 03:01 PM
Check the airline regulations re: cases. Each airline is different, but most allow a rifle case as "sports equipment", which like snow skis are exempt from the size surcharge. A lot of guys going to Canada, etc, have been using the SKB hard case that is designed to hold a golf bag. Pack your guns in cases, and put your clothing, etc. around them for padding. You still have to declare that you are carrying firearms. If you prefer a conventional gun case, I have used Pelican, Ziegel, Americase, and Kalispell. All have taken some pretty hard knocks, with no damage to the guns. Both Americase and Ziegel will modify a case to your specifications, including tamper proof locks. I use padlocks on some of my ice chests when traveling for hunting and several times a padlock has been ripped off by baggage handling equipment. I try to avoid any hanging appendages on sports equipment for that reason.

I flew Southwest to San Antonio in December for a hunting trip, and found them to be very firearms friendly. I looked at the regs, and I do not remember anything about oversized gun cases. It is buried in their baggage regulations.

hoshour
04-08-2013, 08:16 PM
Here's the link for SW Airlines baggage regs on guns and ammo: http://www.southwest.com/html/customer-service/baggage/special-luggage-pol.html

Here's their reg on oversize baggage: Maximum weight is 50 pounds and maximum size is 62 inches (length + width + height) per checked piece of luggage. Effective for tickets purchased on or after December 15, 2012, for travel on or after February 13, 2013, overweight items from 51 to 100 pounds and oversized items in excess of 62 inches but not more than 80 inches (e.g.; surfboards, bicycles, vaulting poles) will be accepted for an overweight and oversize baggage fee of $75 per item.

Those are the rules, but, as some have said, enforcement probably varies by which agent you get at the counter.

NDHunter
04-08-2013, 08:40 PM
I think Pelican cases are a very solid choice. The 1700 is right at the limit for size.

Aught6Fan
04-10-2013, 08:08 PM
Thanks again guys. Hearing a lot about the Tuffpaks making your gun look not like a gun, any thought?

Getting short on time, I'm heading back in mid May, so gotta' get one soon.

Sawfish
04-11-2013, 01:30 PM
Thanks again guys. Hearing a lot about the Tuffpaks making your gun look not like a gun, any thought?

Getting short on time, I'm heading back in mid May, so gotta' get one soon.

That's true, but you still have to declare any firearms at check in.

ThreeTikkas
04-11-2013, 07:24 PM
I have the Do-All Cape Buffalo Flight Proof double scoped rifle case. You will pay the oversized charge for it. It's well over 50# with one scoped rifle in it. Absolutely indestructable. But,it's been discontinued I believe. I would have to think it has replaced by another model though. If you don't mind a hernia now and then,and can find one, I highly recommend it.

Aught6Fan
04-13-2013, 05:25 PM
That's true, but you still have to declare any firearms at check in.

Yep, understood, Sawfish. The thing I kept reading about the Tuffpac, and probably true for the SKB or any other over-sized case that is dependent on additional materials for the padding, was that the TSA (et al) may choose to reopen the case after the initial inspection and may not pack it back a carefully as you did.

Thanks for all the suggestion guys I really appreciate it, looks like I've decided on the Pelican 1750. I was at Sportsman's Warehouse earlier today (heads up to you north central Idaho/SE Washington folks, there's a new Sportsman's Warehouse in Lewiston, ID :cool:) and was looking at one. Looks like it will do what I want.

Thanks again.

ljmelea
05-26-2013, 06:47 AM
I use the hard case meant for golf bags,The thing looks like clubs,so the anti- luggage guys don't throw it around for sport.I pack mine with clothes till i approach the weight limit.Spray painted the ends orange,easy to spot that way.Larry

smokepole
06-16-2013, 07:31 AM
If you haven't bought one yet, you might want to look at Americase. These cases are built like Ft Knox. Here's the link:

http://www.americase.com/

Aught6Fan
06-17-2013, 08:18 PM
Thanks for the tip, Smoke. As it turns out a friend offered to loan me his old LL Bean aluminum case that worked nicely. Since I've postponed the purchase, I'll give it a look.

hoshour
06-18-2013, 03:05 PM
I flew four legs on my recent trip with my single rifle tapered case and wasn't asked to pay oversize baggage fees once.

On the other hand, my zero was off by more than a foot when I checked my scope after I landed. I don't know if a bigger, more stout case would have prevented that or not. My gun case is pretty stiff with good, dense foam.

Makes me wonder what those baggage handlers do with these cases. All they've got to do is stack them.

Sawfish
06-29-2013, 02:46 PM
[QUOTE=smokepole;55282]If you haven't bought one yet, you might want to look at Americase. These cases are built like Ft Knox. Here's the link:

Americase also offers a lifetime guarantee against just about anything, including airline damage. They replaced the piano hinge and "feet" on my Safari Case, and re-lined the lid of the case at no charge!

Sawfish
06-29-2013, 02:49 PM
Yep, understood, Sawfish. The thing I kept reading about the Tuffpac, and probably true for the SKB or any other over-sized case that is dependent on additional materials for the padding, was that the TSA (et al) may choose to reopen the case after the initial inspection and may not pack it back a carefully as you did.
.

TSA regulations require that the case be locked by the owner, and that the owner retain the key. If TSA chooses to look into your case it will be at check in, and in your presence, so you can ensure the case is repacked properly.

Aught6Fan
06-29-2013, 10:28 PM
TSA regulations require that the case be locked by the owner, and that the owner retain the key. If TSA chooses to look into your case it will be at check in, and in your presence, so you can ensure the case is repacked properly.

Yes, at the first visual inspection you lock it and keep the key. But below is an excerpt taken from the TSA webpage on firearms transport...

TSA must resolve all alarms in checked baggage. If a locked container containing a firearm alarms, TSA will contact the airline, who will make a reasonable attempt to contact the owner and advise the passenger to go to the screening location. If contact is not made, the container will not be placed on the aircraft.
If a locked container alarms during screening and is not marked as containing a declared firearm, TSA will cut the lock in order to resolve the alarm.

As I read these two, a locked case marked as containing a firearm may alarm for some reason other than the firearm or they wouldn't be leaving it off the plane, if the airline cannot locate you to resolve it. Bullet two does seem to imply that if the case is marked as containing a firearm they wont cut the lock, but that the TSA does have the right to cut locks to resolve content issues. I understand this is why numerous companies are now making a TSA friendly locks that TSA agents have a master key for. This allows them to open the container, resolve issues and re-lock the container without the owner present.

I haven't had this issue myself, but a few people on other forums, I found while reviewing cases, mentioned it has happened to them.

Topgun 30-06
06-30-2013, 08:46 AM
"I understand this is why numerous companies are now making a TSA friendly locks that TSA agents have a master key for. This allows them to open the container, resolve issues and re-lock the container without the owner present.
I haven't had this issue myself, but a few people on other forums, I found while reviewing cases, mentioned it has happened to them."

***My buddy moved to Florida several years ago and when he flies into Rapid City,SD for me to pick him up for our annual pheasant hunt he has a lock that TSA can open with their master key to avoid any reason for cutting the lock off his shotgun case.