Moving guns - relocation services


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blue_ridge
January 7, 2012, 09:24 PM
I am moving soon and will have professional movers transport our stuff for us. Will probably be staying in a Hotel at first until we can find a house. Anyone else have experience using movers to transport firearms? I am moving a small metal gun cabinet with a dozen or so firearms (mix of rifles, shotguns and handguns).

I'm wondering if I should wait until we find a permanent place to live and then drive my guns by myself. This would be expensive because it would take a few days driving. I think the movers just keep everything in storage until you're ready. Can I trust movers not to "lose" anything? Wouldn't care so much if someone stole a sofa, but I have a few guns that are pretty sentimental to me.

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Mr.Blue
January 7, 2012, 09:33 PM
I just went through the same situation. I did not want the movers to know that I had guns. We drove my guns from Wisconsin to Maryland, but I have a Toyota Sequoia which is cavernous inside. We moved the guns into our temporary housing (extended stay Marriott) until our house was ready. We had them there for about 2 weeks. I have two big dogs, so I wasn't worried about someone coming in the room. We also did not let the maid into the room.

Good luck.

snorky18
January 7, 2012, 09:34 PM
No, no, no, do not trust movers.

Lessons learned from my moves:
1) Many moving companies refuse to move firearms or ammunition (they have a no no list with some other things on it too like candles, some household chemicals, etc.)
2) You would not want them to move anything of any sentimental value anyway. DO NOT LET THEM MOVE YOUR FIREARMS even if it is allowed by their rules. My Hardcase that my BB Pistols were stored in made it to the new house, but it was empty when it got here. It was only maybe $80 worth of bb pistols, and the claims company paid out without any issues, but i had them since i was a kid. Other stuff of ours was missing. Other stuff not belonging to us showed up at our new house, and the movers didn't seem too concerned (ie they left it here).
3) It's not a good feeling to wonder where your wedding album is, and if it got lost, taken to someone's else's house, with no hope of being returned to you.

Personally, I made a special trip from the old place to the new place with all the things on the moving companies no-no list, including firearms, ammo, etc. For me it was only 7 hours each way, and was well worth it.

Remllez
January 7, 2012, 09:42 PM
Most are bonded and insured, for the guns.....the ammo is usually the problem. I ended up moving both guns and ammo in my own vehicle. There are regulations either legal or self imposed about the transport of ammo and powder by moving companies although it may vary by company and state.

dev_null
January 7, 2012, 10:00 PM
I packed the guns up in the safe and locked it, and had them move that with the rest of the household stuff. The ammo went into a footlocker and then into the car with me.

Pilot
January 7, 2012, 10:07 PM
When I moved across country, I rented a van and DROVE my guns, and other personal items.

leadcounsel
January 7, 2012, 11:18 PM
Consider a POD for some of the move. I had a great experience. Packed it myself, used solid locks, and no issues.

splithoof
January 7, 2012, 11:26 PM
The ONLY TWO SAFE OPTIONS:
* Rent a large truck, trailer, etc. and do it yourself or,
* Follow the movers every inch of the way, and let them know you are there.

rondog
January 8, 2012, 01:21 AM
If you have someone else move your guns, you'd better give each one of them a goodbye kiss first.

Ignition Override
January 8, 2012, 02:16 AM
And if you follow a moving truck and they say that there is a breakdown, and must divert from the planned route at about 1900 in the dark?

Maybe or a wife/girlfriend/child is very tired or has caught a bug?

Muprhy's Law often waits until the worst time to strike, and often in the worst place (snowstorm or very low visibility [fog/rain/snow: "300 RVR"] etc).
It is a very common element in certain "transportation industries".

Whacked
January 8, 2012, 02:45 AM
not just guns, anything of real or sentimental value should NEVER be left in the hands of "professional" movers.

Nuclear
January 9, 2012, 01:19 AM
I drove my guns before I had a safe, the next move (and last one, I hope!) I locked all the guns and as much ammo as I could stuff into the the safe and had them move it. The rest of the ammo I planned to drive cross country (it was cheaper than having the car shipped), but ended up shipping it UPS so I had room in the trunk and the rear end wouldn't bottom out on potholes.

doc2rn
January 9, 2012, 02:15 AM
It took 4 guys, 3 trucks, and half a day to move my ammo to the storage locker. I wont be doing that again!
The firearms got stored at various relatives and my 7 fav's came with. Never trust someone who lost a household of goods for 3 months at a move n store locked facility, and then only show up with half.

Stantdm
January 9, 2012, 12:09 PM
When we moved I used my enclosed trailer to move all the firearms, ammunition, and reloading supplies. I would not let a moving company touch them in any event. BTW, since I was in transient quarters for a month and half until we could get in the house I left the stuff in the trailer and parked the trailer inside a storage unit in the nearest town. That was my only option since we knew no one where we were moving. It makes for sleepless nights.

oneounceload
January 9, 2012, 06:40 PM
My last move, I packed my guns in a wardrobe box, sealed it,
I listed everything inside and bought the extra insurance for full replacement value and everything came out just fine.
Movers will not take your ammo, wider or anything similar
The paranoia against movers is unfounded, they do not want the claim, bad press, or anything else from having things get stolen or broken

mdauben
January 10, 2012, 11:23 AM
The paranoia against movers is unfounded, they do not want the claim, bad press, or anything else from having things get stolen or broken

I've never used movers to transport my guns, but I too have to wonder if the danger isn't overstated. Its not like if a box of pots and pans goes missing. If multiple guns are stolen or "misplaced" during shippment, not only is the company's insurance liable for what could be a sizable amount of money, but the police are going to be asking everyone at the company a lot of very pointed questions.

Now, if you are worried about them scratching, breaking or otherwise harming your guns, thats another story. Based on the damages that were done to my furniture and household itmes the last time I used a professional mover, I would be very warry of trusting them with anything valuable or of sentimental value.

GoWolfpack
January 10, 2012, 12:27 PM
You guys will hurt an old mover's feelings. It really all comes down to the employees. You'll be rolling the dice, either you get good guys or losers and there really isn't much you can do about it unless you're prepared to send them packing (no pun intended) if they show up to your house and don't look up to the task. Often times the same guys work for several different companies in the area so switching companies won't guarantee significantly better laborers.

blue ridge, your move will probably work something like this:
a) Packing day (depending on how much stuff you've got). Box up everything.

b) Loading day. Could have been some guys who do nothing but packing the first day, could be the same guys who will load your stuff. Depends. The boss will either be an independent driver with day labor help (lumpers) or a contractor who works from a fixed location (like the moving company warehouse). The warehouse guys normally have better help than the drivers. The ones working out of the warehouse work for the same company every day and (usually) genuinely want to do a good job. The lumpers are just in it for the cash and will work for whoever is paying that day. My experience is that these guys are worse than useless.

The one who is actually going to suffer if you file a claim is the driver. The help will be long gone and spent their money on an eight ball or 24 pack or whatever their poison of choice. Likely the real professionals will be inventorying and loading the truck while the lumpers schlep stuff out of the house.

c) Unloading into storage. Your junk will be stored somewhere until you're ready to have it delivered. Origin, destination, doesn't really matter. It'll get unloaded into a warehouse and either sit on the floor or in wooden vaults until you're ready for it. When the warehouse accepts delivery of a load they are supposed to do a full inventory to verify everything is still there.

d) Delivery out of storage. You see your stuff again, you sign papers saying everything is there and in the condition you sent it off in. If it isn't, you file a claim and it comes out of the driver's pocket. It will be a giant pain, but you should be given the option to check off inventory numbers of everything as it's brought in. You'll have to decide for yourself if that's worth it or not. The delivering agent will probably not be the same as receiving.


Most moving agents will take long guns but not ammunition, reloading supplies, or handguns. You can ship your guns to yourself at your new location if you prefer that to having movers handle them.

The safest bet is the move your valuables yourself. When I moved before we cordoned off a closet and saved a few days worth of clothes and valuables we would move ourselves. I would have to say the items to be worried about with respect to theft are pocketable items like cash and jewelery. Nobody is gonna run off with your flat screen TV under their shirt, but they sure will empty your change jar into their pockets and stroll out.

Send your wife, your kids and the dog all somewhere else for the day, be nice to the guys working for you, stay out of their way but keep an eye on them. I've seen some pretty shabby guys become much more motivated with the promise of a tip; try promising them one if they work hard (this is not a restaurant, $5 is not a decent tip. My standard is $20 per person for a full days work).

On delivery decide who is going to determine placement of the furniture and leave them to receive, everybody else get out. Nothing worse than trying not to drop a heavy couch with rugrats under foot.


Conclusion: give them a tip and stay out of the way.

THe Dove
January 15, 2012, 04:24 PM
Send your wife, your kids and the dog all somewhere else for the day, be nice to the guys working for you, stay out of their way but keep an eye on them. I've seen some pretty shabby guys become much more motivated with the promise of a tip; try promising them one if they work hard (this is not a restaurant, $5 is not a decent tip. My standard is $20 per person for a full days work).

On delivery decide who is going to determine placement of the furniture and leave them to receive, everybody else get out. Nothing worse than trying not to drop a heavy couch with rugrats under foot.

Conclusion: give them a tip and stay out of the way.

Couldn't have said it better!!! I transferred numerous times in my 20 year career and learned these leasons on transfer number 1 (initial duty station-CAD)!!!

The Dove

Hocka Louis
January 15, 2012, 06:15 PM
Lend nothing to anyone that you are unwilling to never get back.
Ship NOTHING with a mover you are not willing to lose.
How hard is this?

oneounceload
January 15, 2012, 10:00 PM
What part of insurance don't you get?
The movers have NO interest in your stuff, guns or otherwise

rondog
January 15, 2012, 10:28 PM
The movers have NO interest in your stuff, guns or otherwise


Wow. What fantasy world do YOU live in?

mljdeckard
January 15, 2012, 10:42 PM
The movers will tag every item they move, and have a checklist for when they unload it. You get a copy of the checklist. If anything is missing, you can make a claim. They get HAMMERED on claims when anything is lost or broken. They have done this before. Follow them around with a camcorder as they itemize.

I bet if you read the fine print of the contract, they refuse to move guns. Some of their movers might conveniently forget it. When I did a military move, it was to California, so I didn't even take my guns, I left them with a trusted family member.

Smokey in PHX
January 16, 2012, 12:47 AM
I have used professional movers eight times over the last 45 years moving my stuff to seven different states. All my moves have been great. I have used the same company out of St Louis to do all of these moves. The same family in the company was there with each move. They moved everything: guns (a lot of them), all my antique furniture refinishing supplies, and ammuntion. I never had a problem.

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