Handgun Cartridge on a keychain


June 27, 2003, 05:37 PM
There is a gentleman on Gun Broker who is selling a decorative keychain which has an empty cartridge/bullet attached to it, in this case, the impressive 300gr. 454 Casull. My questions are: Am I asking for a hassle if this type of "art" is seen in public? Is this the kind of thing that could easily be confiscated when displayed (along with other metal items) prior to going through a metal detector? I'd appreciate any comments regarding the legality as well as practically of carrying such an item. Thanks for your time.


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June 27, 2003, 05:46 PM
but I can tell you what happened to me several years ago (well before 911). I had a 45 ACP shell which had a horizontal hole bored near the web of the shell. They were quite common as key chain ornaments then. No problem until I had to fly. Put my stuff in the little plastic tray and got through the detector okay. But, some sharp eyed security guard saw the dummy shell and raised pure hell. Ended up taking it off the chain and gave it to the guard and went on my way. FWIW! Good shooting;)

June 27, 2003, 05:58 PM
I once had a really cool 44mag cartridge cigar cutter.

After pulling off the silver bullet the underside of the bullet had a circular
cutter that put a little round hole into a cigar.

It was taken away at the airport way before 911.

Once went to pick up my friend at the airport. He was coming back from basic training.

I had just come back from shooting and I forgot that I had 20 rounds of 7.62x54 in my jeans pocket.

I was about to go through the metal detector when I reached for my keys..

Went to the bathroom and dumped the rounds in the trash.

Standing Wolf
June 27, 2003, 08:24 PM
Well, heaven knows decorative unfirable cartridges are a menace to society!

June 27, 2003, 08:30 PM
as the above posters. They will take it from you at the airport. Had mine "confiscated" almost 20 years ago.

June 27, 2003, 08:48 PM
With reference to my immediatley previous posting, I must add that my "7.62 keychain" was obviously a dummy round and that I was traveling in my military uniform. The primer pocket held the little brass eyelet in place with crazy glue and the "ball" was actually loose. You could almost pull it apart with your fingers, but they wouldn't let me keep it. My question is do y'all notice that the concept of "zero-tolerance-no-use-of-cognitive-thought-process-permitted" is slowly becoming the norm in our culture. I work in an environment where going by the rules is just the way of doing things but I have found that there is absolutely no tolerance what-so-ever for an individual to exercise their common sense or their own judgement even when the individual agrees to assume all personal responsibility for making a judgement call. Where is all this leading too ???

Mike Irwin
June 27, 2003, 09:13 PM
They're not paid to think, Auto.

Ergo, they refuse to do so.

Nothing infuriates me more (well, maybe the statement "That's not my job... LIKE ???? IT'S NOT, I'M TELLING YOU TO DO IT!) than running into someone who refuses to exercise their synapses.

June 27, 2003, 11:38 PM
I guess I need to buy one with my NRA credit card or checks. Maybe I'll mail the order in with one of my 2nd Amendment return address labels, while wearing one of my gun rights shirts. I don't care what the "public" thinks about what I own. If the public thought at all, you wouldn't be worried about things like a damn key chain. If you are going to an airport, buy a bic.

June 27, 2003, 11:51 PM
I have a .38 Special dummy cartridge on my keychain, and I have had no problems with it. To be quite frank, if someone tries to confiscate it, I'll inform them to pay me what I paid for it since the last time I checked it wasn't illegal for me to have it on my keychain. :fire:

Hot brass
June 28, 2003, 12:12 AM
I had a decorative 45acp case with rnlb and fixture in primer hole to attach to my key chain. Had my keys out and a supervisor saw the lead bullet:cuss: He went off on me, telling me that bullet is grounds for termination. Not on company grounds, I`ll fire you right now. I let him howl for a few minutes and showed him the bullet. He calmed down, said something under his breath and looked at me and said if it was real, I would run you off.:cuss:

June 28, 2003, 02:43 AM
Mike Irwin said:

They're not paid to think, Auto.

Ergo, they refuse to do so.

Be glad they're not paid to think, Mike.

If they were, do you think you could possibly get your money's worth??


Mike Irwin
June 28, 2003, 03:44 AM
"I'll inform them to pay me what I paid for it since the last time I checked it wasn't illegal for me to have it on my keychain."

We'll send you soap on a rope and a cake with hacksaw blades.

Doesn't matter what's legal and what's not anymore. If a TSA person doesn't want you getting on the plane with something, you're not getting on the plane. It's your choice. Give it up and fly, or don't, and don't.

Case in point the article recently posted here about the chef who had special omelette pan confiscated.

Nothing says anything about omelette pans, either, and she'd flown with it before. But the TSA guy spoke, and that was that.

June 28, 2003, 08:20 AM
I once (not the operative word, ONCE) had a .50 BMG ball bullet (just the bullet, not the whole cartridge) on my keychain like this, and it was seized at the airport just like this. When I asked the shaved ape what I could possibly do with that item that could cause the aircraft harm, his 2-volt brain locked up and started smoking. I mean, the KEYS themselves would have made a more effective weapon than the bullet. Mike Irwin's right; these people aren't paid to think, and in most cases, they're simply not capable of it.

June 28, 2003, 08:42 AM
I've got a .45 ACP on a keychain.... a nice pewter NRA keychain.. wear it hooked to my belt loop for all to see! No negative comments yet.

June 28, 2003, 11:02 AM
Heck, they didn't let THR member Kaylee take the 1" long plastic Glock keychain she had on a plane. They'd completely flip over the pen in my purse: a .50 BMG round drilled to accept a ballpoint insert in the tip of the bullet. Hence, I don't fly.

June 28, 2003, 11:41 AM
I won't fly either.

I had various cartrides and an '06 ballpoint pen. Even before TSA , people looked at you like some kind of redneck. So I quit using them. I'd rather CCW and be low profile.

LEO buddy had his removed from his keychain and not even allowed to mail back to himself...A Major no less...flying out to a LEO conference.

I have heard of people getting Earrings, lapel pins...etc. confiscated. Even questioned for reading material, with anything firearm/weapon related.

June 28, 2003, 12:13 PM
The best example is when they tried to take away Joe Foss's congressional
medal of honor.

It was pointy and verboten and they had to go through 3 supervisors before one of them vaguely knew what one was.

June 28, 2003, 03:25 PM
I have a 480 round with the powder and primer taken out on my keychain. People have seen it and nobody has given me any crap about it.

June 28, 2003, 10:18 PM
Your not fooling anybody. I know what your sneaky little scheme was! You were going to smuggle aboard a lead ball. Have a buddy of yours bring on a "harmless" empty casing, and then have someone else carry the powder and primer. Also, You were going to get a reloading press aboard buy claiming that it was for "rolling cigarettes". I think that you're just miffed because the security guard saw right through your little plan you clever little terrorist ...

June 28, 2003, 10:25 PM
It doesn't say much for Airport Security if they can't identify a real threat from a keychain. If they are that poorly trained, I sure wouldn't trust them to keep me safe.

And they didn't know what a Medal of Honor was? I hope they profusely apologized for the error and gave him a free ticket. (Dreaming I know)

June 28, 2003, 10:28 PM
Stealth is the byword. Why advertise that you are a gun owner? That is just a pride thing. Be non-descript. Hanging a bullet on your keychain is asking for trouble, especially at the airport!

June 28, 2003, 10:33 PM
Good one Autolite.

This brings up something I think everyone needs to posess at least 1 of, more if you fly often. I ran across a site that has the Bill of Rights on a metal business card. You can keep it in your wallet.


Makes these. I suggest you do like the site says and say in a loud voice "Yes, please inspect or confiscate my Bill of Rights at your leisure."

Kentucky Rifle
June 29, 2003, 01:17 PM
There was a post on "The Firing Line" regarding one of those NRA Charlton Heston "Silver Bullets" someone had on his keyring at some airport. (Atlanta maybe?) Anyway, although it was obviously a fake cartridge keyring keepsake, it was confiscated. It was a shiny, .45 Colt that had a hole through it for the chain and was of one-piece design. Going a bit overboard maybe? Pretty silly.


June 29, 2003, 04:35 PM
Wow! I didn't know they actually sent out any of those Charlton Heston dummy cartridges. I signed up my son-in-law as a member, paid for it myself, and never got the perc. Also never got my Eddie Eagle video years ago for renewing. Finally left the NRA as they only seem to want to comprimise on everything.

June 29, 2003, 04:38 PM
Wow! I didn't know they actually sent out any of those Charlton Heston dummy cartridges.
I got four or five of them.
When I was young & dumb I made a keychain out of a 30 carbine cartridge. A live one with a hole drilled through the bullet. :what:
Carried it a couple or three years. Never tried to go through an airport with it though.

June 29, 2003, 06:08 PM
If you carry around an empty casing with a hollow point bullet in it on your key ring, just on your person, or loose in your vehicle you will be charged with posession of a hollow point bullet. I believe the fine is $1,000.00 for each round posessed, up to 18 months in jail and it is a crime in the fourth degree. :what:

Carrying it on your key ring does not fit into one of the "exemptions" provided by the state for posession of hollw point bullets.

:what: You see, it is the bullet itself that is regulated not the casing! :what:

June 29, 2003, 11:04 PM
What if you have on your key chain a "fired" lead ball? When is a bullet no longer considered a bullet? I'm losin' sleep over this one ...

June 29, 2003, 11:22 PM
I have a 44 mag keychain hang on my rear veiw mirror and and never had any problems!! I also work at the Tucson Airport , my trucks is parked there every day and i never had any problems!!! .:uhoh:

I also realy need to get the AK brass out of the truck:D :rolleyes:

June 30, 2003, 10:05 AM
I got stopped (pre September 11 '01) at airport security because of the dummy round on my keyring. I patiently explained to the security droid that it was an inactive round and that it could not fire. Eventually[0] he explained to me that he wasn't worried about it as a cartridge, but as a hand-to-hand weapon.

Granted, it was a .50-BMG round[1], and I guess you could use one as a kubotan with a nice pointy end.

It was a business trip, and I had to go, right then, or I might not have just given in and put the keyring in my checked baggage.

Still, it was worth the hassle, just to see the guy waving my keys around like a complete lunatic, shouting, "Look! Look! Is stabbing weapon! Stab! Stab! You see?" :D


[0] through a thick cloud of some language or other
[1] I still have it as my primary keychain. It's a wonderful conversation-starter.

June 30, 2003, 11:48 AM
Forgive me if I am incorrect, but what athority does Airport Security have to "confiscate" an artifact of my personal posession. Before or after 9/11??
I can understand(not condone) this action with HS children under 18 at School.
But for a grown adult to have a legitimate artifact confiscated without just compensation sounds like a violation of the 5th amendment (article 7)

"nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

if public use would be in the interest if public safety it would have to be taken.. then they still owe you just compensation.

Otherwise the only course of action I could see possible is to refuse you access to the terminal until you either returned the object to your car/home whatever.
Or promptly went to a ups or fedex counter and mailed it home. It's not a live round and therefore would not violate thier shipping regs.

Personally I would tell them to go shove it if they wanted to "confiscate" the object. Tell me I can't take in onboard fine. I'll dispose of it myself. Or as stated above put it in my checked luggage.

I am curious as to the definition of "confiscated" that has been used here?
Am I to believe that all of you willingly let them take an artifact of yours without just compensation?

Desert Dog
June 30, 2003, 01:48 PM
I have a 50 Beowulf dummy cartridge keychain right now I am using.

It does get attention in the wrong groups of people... :rolleyes:


June 30, 2003, 04:20 PM
I used to have a 38special case/bullet with the primer replaced by a loop for a key chain fob. It was totally inert, no primer or powder. I got into a hassle at the airport about ten years ago over it. I just let them have the thing. It wasn't worth arguing over once I could see that reason had no effect on the discussion. I can't even imagine how the same experience would go over now. I'd probably be in jail. Watch-Six

June 30, 2003, 04:35 PM
It doesn't say much for Airport Security if they can't identify a real threat from a keychain. Remember, most of these are people who couldn't make it in the challenging world of food service.

And bullets on keychains make nice stocking-stuffers around Christmas time for these poor, underpaid, public servants. (See . . . Want . . . Take)

June 30, 2003, 06:42 PM
I went to Fort Benning and watched one of the first demonstrations of the Bradley fighting vehicle. After the live fire of the chain gun, missiles and coaxial 7.62, I was able to go over and pick up several empty 25mm cases and links.

I assembled them and took them into columbus airport for the ride home.

The lady at the counter about had a fit and put them in a box with a big red label marked "dangerous explosives"

I Still got to keep them though :D

June 30, 2003, 08:22 PM
I made one of these for my nephew, 8 years old he thought it was cool. Drilled 4 holes though the dummy. He got caught at school with it an the, SHTF !

June 30, 2003, 09:19 PM
Forgive me if I am incorrect, but what athority does Airport Security have to "confiscate" an artifact of my personal posession. Before or after 9/11??

I though the people had willfully given up their stuff in exchange for an airplane ride. It never ocurred to me that they actually confiscated. If so you are right.

June 30, 2003, 10:12 PM
I used the word "confiscated" as that was the case. I was flying "duty" at the time so it was the federal government that obligated me to take the flight. I presume that it was federal law that prevented me from carrying on my 7.62 key chain and my non-carry on baggage had already been checked aboard. I didn't have the legal option of refusing the flight, ergo, "confiscated" ...

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