Flying with brass in check bags?


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griff383
December 8, 2012, 01:37 PM
I have a deal worked out with a fellow from the mother land for some empty once fired brass and will be flying home for Christmas. Instead of packing and shipping it I can fit it in the extra suitcase we are bringing to put presents in on the trip back. Some of it is primed and I cant find anything that forbids it on Delta but dont want to get to destination with an empty suitcase or the fuzz waiting for me at the gate. Im willing to take the primers out to be on the safe side but does anyone know where to look or have experience with this?

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WardenWolf
December 8, 2012, 01:48 PM
Primed cases are a big no-no. While it's legal to carry loaded ammunition, it is NOT legal to carry primers or primed cases. As for the brass itself, well, it's legal. But I guarantee you your bag will be searched.

griff383
December 8, 2012, 01:51 PM
That was quick, thanks for the info. There were only a few hundred cases primed so its not a big deal to remove. Might be better off flat rate shipping brass....

Hypnogator
December 8, 2012, 01:53 PM
Flying with ammo in your checked baggage isn't a problem, however airlines usually require it to be securely packaged, as in it's original cartridge boxes or in plastic boxes with spaces for individual cartridges.

Fired brass shouldn't be subject to those restrictions, although primed cases might. The problem is convincing the clueless idiots at the airline that empty brass won't accidentally explode and destroy the plane. My advice would be to box all the primed brass like it was loaded ammo, then, if you can't box all the brass, pray you don't get a hoplophobic idiot who can't understand that empty brass is just that -- empty brass.

Good Luck!

medalguy
December 8, 2012, 08:26 PM
USPS flat rate boxes. Free and really cheep to mail (well, somewhat cheep.)

Ehtereon11B
December 9, 2012, 06:21 AM
Delta's website quotes the TSA as ammunition being allowed to be in checked luggage. If you follow the TSA guidelines for loaded ammunition then I don't see empty brass being a problem.

The FAA requires ammunition to be properly packaged. The FAA and airlines may have additional restrictions on the amount of ammunition that may be placed in checked baggage.

My advice: Call Delta (or whoever you are flying with) at least a couple days before travel. Explain the brass to them etc and see what their guidelines are for properly secured. It will probably require putting the brass in a hard sided lockable case like firearms or loaded ammunition. You already know you CAN bring it, the question is how.

Old Shooter
December 9, 2012, 07:58 AM
When you refer to the "motherland" , is that a location here in the USA or is it a foreign country you are flying to?

I understand some foreign countries have some strange views as to anything firearms related, mayby fired brass might have someone waiting at the gate for you besides your loved ones.

Might have to ensure it is legal to have it on the arrival side of the trip.

Sav .250
December 9, 2012, 08:19 AM
When they go through the "scanner" the TSA scanner will tell you !

brickeyee
December 9, 2012, 03:18 PM
If you follow the TSA guidelines for loaded ammunition then I don't see empty brass being a problem.

Since it is NOT loaded ammunition it does not fall within the exception that allows loaded ammunition i checked baggage.

There may also be ITAR issues with taking it out with no intention of returning and not for YOUR personal use.

Warp
December 9, 2012, 07:55 PM
I would remove any live primers from the brass.

Empty brass cases itself...I cannot imagine that being a legitimate issue.

Also, I have flown with empty cases before. I didn't even think about it being an issue, and it wasn't

Stantdm
December 9, 2012, 09:15 PM
I'd probably ship it ahead and avoid the potential hassle. I would also check if your shipping it out of country for any restrictions.

Warp
December 9, 2012, 09:23 PM
I wouldn't want to spend money I didn't have to. It's brass. Seriously. Put it in your luggage and forget about it (if in the States, at least)

iShoot17
December 9, 2012, 10:21 PM
In case you decide you are just going to ship the brass.. It is legal to ship brass but it is not legal to ship live primed brass via USPS.

hq
December 10, 2012, 05:48 AM
ITAR defines brass as "ammunition components", which means that you'll need a license to ship it abroad. Otherwise having it in your luggage isn't restricted as long as it's unprimed.

The only way around license requirement is when it's for your personal use, for example when you're traveling abroad to attend to a shooting event and plan to use it for reloading at your destination. That has worked for me a number of times, with smaller quantities, and explaining that it's an alternative to traveling with ammo (special handling fees, 60rd limit). You just have to be prepared to present a written invitation to an event while checking in; pretty much any signed document will do, from a person at the destination.

Once you get there, you can do whatever you like with the brass. It isn't regulated and for non-reloaders it's basically just trash.

griff383
December 10, 2012, 08:59 AM
Im from Minnesota, I thought about shipping just the primmed stuff and taking the rest with me but I think its just easier to remove primers and send in a flat rate.

I have contacted airlines before regarding flying with firearms and related equip, it seems all the representative does is go online to their website and quote it. Then when you ask specific questions based on their response they give you a general answer that doesnt help.

oneounceload
December 10, 2012, 09:25 AM
In case you decide you are just going to ship the brass.. It is legal to ship brass but it is not legal to ship live primed brass via USPS.

+1 - no primers in the mail system

Ehtereon11B
December 10, 2012, 03:41 PM
Since it is NOT loaded ammunition it does not fall within the exception that allows loaded ammunition i checked baggage.

Obviously. I was making the statement that if the brass was treated like live ammunition then there would be no reason for the airline to deny loading it on the plane. Brass may not NEED to be in a locked, hard side case. But why take the chance of showing up at the airport with some TSA wannabe cop saying "we are going to treat this harmless brass as live ammo and you don't have a locked case."

Or you could just knock out the primers and ship the brass through USPS as suggested.

griff383
December 10, 2012, 04:08 PM
I removed all doubt and shipped primed brass ground as per the regs. Ill carry the empty once fired since its all processed and clean in my check bag.

This was a fun one, thanks for all the input

SlamFire1
December 10, 2012, 04:11 PM
Do not ever pack anything that looks like guns, ammunition, or war munitions on an airplane. The knuckle draggers who work for TSA canít tell the difference between a toy gun and a real gun, they certainly wonít understand that fired brass is nothing more than zinc and copper. Because you are dealing with extra stupid people, with the legal power to detain you for long periods of time, you run the real risk of some alarm bell being pushed if you pack fired 45 ACP brass in your luggage.

Send it home via the US mails.

Warp
December 10, 2012, 07:13 PM
Do not ever pack anything that looks like guns, ammunition, or war munitions on an airplane. The knuckle draggers who work for TSA can’t tell the difference between a toy gun and a real gun, they certainly won’t understand that fired brass is nothing more than zinc and copper. Because you are dealing with extra stupid people, with the legal power to detain you for long periods of time, you run the real risk of some alarm bell being pushed if you pack fired 45 ACP brass in your luggage.

Send it home via the US mails.

This is just plain silly. No...this is beyond silly.


There is nothing wrong with checking a gun (a real gun) for a commercial flight within the United States. Just declare it with your airline at the counter per regulations. I wouldn't go to or through New York City with a Handgun, but other than something obvious like that...why the heck not??

There is also nothing wrong with checking ammunition, magazines, etc. There is an 11 pound limit per piece of luggage for ammunition, and it needs to be in proper packaging, which can be the original factory box.

Always check the policy of your specific airline, though. Some have more restrictive rules. For example, AirTran would not let me check ammunition in the same piece of luggage as the gun. It didn't even matter that it was a 9mm pistol, I couldn't even keep the 12 gauge shells in that bag. lol

oneounceload
December 11, 2012, 08:04 PM
^^^^^ Agree, that previous post is just completely inaccurate.

OP - even shipping just brass will cause your bag to be searched, if for nothing else, the residue will trip their sniffer sensors that look for explosives, but it should be no big deal

Warp
December 11, 2012, 09:09 PM
^^^^^ Agree, that previous post is just completely inaccurate.

OP - even shipping just brass will cause your bag to be searched, if for nothing else, the residue will trip their sniffer sensors that look for explosives, but it should be no big deal

Are you sure about that?

All of my reading indicates that the above statement is a myth that just got made up somewhere, based on an assumption, and it not true

Sport45
December 11, 2012, 09:10 PM
If you want to remove all doubt, deprime the fired brass. That will make it much easier to demonstrate the brass is inert.

namvet68
December 12, 2012, 01:44 PM
I had a .45ACP round on my keychain and was stopped by TSA when I put the keychain in the basket. They would not let me through the checkpoint with it. I left it with a friend so I wouldn't miss my flight. The fact that there was a hole drilled through the side of the case simply didn't seem to matter.:banghead:

oneounceload
December 12, 2012, 02:49 PM
Warp, I got stopped the last time through - they told me their "sniffer' picked something up; the shoes I was wearing had been on me when I went to the gun range the day before - so is it true? I have no reason to say no at this point

brickeyee
December 12, 2012, 02:51 PM
Did they fertilize the grass at the range?

Warp
December 12, 2012, 09:23 PM
Did they fertilize the grass at the range?

Fertilizer is indeed a far more likely reason the shoes set it off, I agree.

griff383
December 12, 2012, 10:26 PM
Good thing the brass is processed, clean and deprimed so setting off any bells and whistles shouldnt be a concern.

rodregier
December 13, 2012, 11:59 AM
What I have seen reported is that residues from normal range usage don't seem to be part of the profile the sniffers are tuned for. OTOH, if you are tromping on ground
with "real" high explosive residues present, expect the sniffer to at least alert to your footwear. (Serving military on leave or rotation flights being a prime example). I would speculate that might include residues from Tannerite, so tread carefully.

With regard to dummy ammunition (keyfobs, necklaces), I have little doubt that the TSA minions are instructed to simply exclude anything that they can't say for sure is inert. I doubt they receive any training on approved methods for inerting safety cartridges.

http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/prohibited-items

Ehtereon11B
December 13, 2012, 08:40 PM
With regard to dummy ammunition (keyfobs, necklaces), I have little doubt that the TSA minions are instructed to simply exclude anything that they can't say for sure is inert. I doubt they receive any training on approved methods for inerting safety cartridges.

I can speak on that. A fellow soldier I deployed with works as a TSA screener. For his training at TSA he received little training on firearms or ammunition identification. Essentially if it looks like a gun or ammo, take it away. Emphasized by teenagers with bags with weapon decals getting held up at security over some shaped fabric.

I personally think they enjoy doing the explosive residue screening on soldiers. I was going back overseas after mid tour leave and was "randomly stopped" for the little sniffer machine. Big surprise my assault bag tested positive for explosive residue. Carrying everything from ammo to CompB, C4 and trip flares is bound to set off TSA.

mag41uk
December 15, 2012, 11:30 AM
FWIW I have travelled to the US alot over the years and on most occasions have brought back to the UK new and fired brass inc 50bmg cases and miscellaneous reloading kit. (nothing with primers in,big no no)
On a couple of occasions my hold case has been opened and there has been a note from TSA to say that it was them that opened it for security reasons.
No issues at either end.
In fact last October I flew back from DC with brass,die sets and a couple of scopes and the hold case was scanned right by the check in desk in front of me with no problems.
A friend has a house in Florida and brings back lots of shooting gear and on one occasion bought,on a whim,a jar of airsoft plastic BB`s.
He had this in his carry on bag and it was confiscated as it was deemed to be live ammo!
I also use my old pistol range bag as my carry on bag and have never had a problem with it being "sniffed" and its had 20 plus years of carrying guns and ammo and fired brass.
I think its just pot luck in the end!
Tony

Oddbod
December 16, 2012, 05:29 PM
Are you sure about that?

All of my reading indicates that the above statement is a myth that just got made up somewhere, based on an assumption, and it not true
When I flew out of Albuquerque in November 2011, my cabin luggage tested positive for explosives.
I had spent the previous evening cleaning guns & sorting brass before packing my bags.
What the test looks for is nitrates & obviously these are found in propellants as well as explosives.

I have flown several times with large amounts of both brass & bullets without having any problems whatsoever.

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