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Old April 24, 2010, 02:08 PM   #1
R.Lynn
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Can reloading bullets be taken on a plane?

I found some bullets I want while visiting family this weekend. I only have a small carry on bag with me.

Does anyone know the rule on this?
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Old April 24, 2010, 02:32 PM   #2
dzavoina
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Not in the cabin, just checked bags.
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Old April 24, 2010, 02:42 PM   #3
azar92
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I haven't ever confirmed this, but I have been told that ammunition must be in "the original factory container". Reloaded ammo obviously has no original factory container, so by that definition reloaded ammunition is not allowed even in checked bags. However, if you put ammunition into an empty factory box no one will know the difference. I usually keep one factory box for each caliber I have in case I ever have such a need.

As I said though, this was told to me but I have never confirmed it so it might just be a bunch of bunk anyway.
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Old April 24, 2010, 02:46 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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No part of a firearm, bullets or powder can be carried on your person or in your carry-on bag. Technically, an empty case should not be a problem but I personally wouldn't do it.


Loaded ammunition, in unlimited quantities for personal use, may be transported in checked baggage. Packaging requirements are that it be protected and secure. Original packaging, any package designed for ammunition or even loaded magazines with the ends protected are acceptable, technically. However, being as far from the "edges" of acceptable as possible can only make your trip easier.


I did the job for 2 1/2 years, but here is TSA's official word on ammunition in checked bags.

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...rial_1666.shtm
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; April 24, 2010 at 02:51 PM.
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Old April 24, 2010, 03:20 PM   #5
Mal H
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If I'm reading the question correctly, R.Lynn is talking about a box of bullets only, not loaded ammo, empty cases, etc.

I don't think that's covered in the TSA guidelines. You might want to ask the agent at the counter or a TSA agent before going through the security line. If you ask well before hand, and the answer is no, then you can have the bag checked instead of carrying it on (but the checked baggage fee may wipe any savings on the bullets and then some).

All you have is a bunch of lead and copper, nothing that should cause concern for a reasonable person. However, we all know that reason is not a commodity in abundance at airport security stations. I mean if 3.2 ounces of shampoo causes concern ...
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Old April 24, 2010, 03:33 PM   #6
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>>>>Loaded ammunition, in unlimited quantities for personal use

This depends on Airlines also. When I flew out west last year I was limited to 5lbs of ammo in a check bag.


Doug

Last edited by rdmallory; April 24, 2010 at 08:12 PM.
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Old April 24, 2010, 03:51 PM   #7
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It would probably be cheaper to send them via UPS to your home address from where you are.

I did this while out west as well. I found it was cheaper to ship them back to my home address than it was to check them.
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Old April 24, 2010, 04:13 PM   #8
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Bullets only, I see no problem at all.
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Old April 24, 2010, 04:26 PM   #9
Brian Pfleuger
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Trust me.

I was a TSA security officer for 2 1/2 years, I know.


You do not want to take a bullet (yes, just the bullet) through a security checkpoint. If they find it, there is a high probability that you will be speaking with a police officer. At the very least, you will lose the bullet. At the most, you will miss your flight, require extra screening, be embarrassed AND lose the bullet.


Don't do it.


TSA has no common sense and no sense of humor.
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Old April 24, 2010, 06:55 PM   #10
DennisB
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I love these type questions--

The reaction you get from screeners--most of whom don't know squat about reloading components, much less weapons, will vary between airports. So will the response by the local LEOs. Things that will get you cuffed in New York or Chicago may not raise an eyebrow in Texas. You're dealing with three different "jurisdictions" here. First is the airline. It's their airplane, and if they say no ammo, no way, then that's their call. Second is the LEO support, which enforces local and state law. Third, federal rules apply to weapons and other dangerous stuff at a screening checkpoint--cross those and you could get a "letter," whether you get arrested or not.

Bullets--the component--are NOT prohibited in carry on bags. Ammunition is. Problem is, items one and two above, complicated by a screener who doesn't realize that a box of inert bullets is no more a hazard than a glass of ice cubes.

I am a TSA guy, on the regulatory enforcement side of the house...
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Old April 24, 2010, 07:01 PM   #11
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An acquaintance of mine had a BIG problem when a fired case was discovered in her pocket. Don't give them an excuse to make you miss your flight. Mail them to your home.
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Old April 24, 2010, 07:55 PM   #12
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Bullets--the component--are NOT prohibited in carry on bags. Ammunition is. Problem is, items one and two above, complicated by a screener who doesn't realize that a box of inert bullets is no more a hazard than a glass of ice cubes.
You're right..... and both items have been prohibited in sterile areas and confiscated at checkpoints.

What should be is irrelevant. Reality matters.

I had to fight with the higher ups for several days to get a fired shell casing returned to a passenger who had brought it (yes, through another checkpoint) from a hunting trip after taking his first bear and was returning home. Our airport was a stop-over to visit his parents.

TSA has no common sense and no sense of humor.
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Old April 24, 2010, 08:24 PM   #13
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I think TSA subscribes to the KISS principle. Most of their employees aren't as knowledgeable about inert ammo components as peetzakilla so they will quite likely treat them as live ammo. Folks that refer to cartridges as bullets and magazines as clips or even the .45 Colt as the .45 Long Colt annoy me but I've gotten used to it. Some folks just don't and won't understand and I won't fight that battle over and over. Correct terminology or understanding how a given object functions just isn't important to some folks.
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Old April 24, 2010, 08:39 PM   #14
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TSA has no common sense. You can say that again. Once I traveled by air and I had a .50 dummy bullet, not even lead inside the bullet, just the hollow copper covering for the buller (NOT CARTRIDGE, BULLET) on a keychain and I discovered real fast that they do not have the slightest idea of the difference between a bomb and a dummy .50 bullet casing, not even a complete projectile. I did manage to make my flight, mostly because I was two and a half hours early for the departure.

In short, DO NOT take ANY PART of ammo on board a plane.
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Old April 24, 2010, 10:14 PM   #15
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Spend a few bucks and have less hassle by mailing the bullets to your home via USPS flat rate box. Even if they may, you won't know for sure unless you call or go to the airport and talk to someone of authority. By then, you could have gone to the local post office and be done with it.
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Old April 24, 2010, 11:16 PM   #16
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common sense is priceless, and seemingly harder to obtain.
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Old April 25, 2010, 12:17 AM   #17
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i agree with others. just ups it home and be done with it.
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Old April 25, 2010, 08:47 AM   #18
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bullets

Box it & ship it, FedEx & UPS are both struggling, if you have something to ship they are happy & there's no threat. The above are right on target!!
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Old April 25, 2010, 09:23 AM   #19
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Airport Security guards seldom know anything about firearms and have been given almost unlimited powers of search and detention.

It is not worth arguing with one that a jacketed bullet or a lead bullet is not dangerous.

I traded some small cash for a M48 rifle stock with a co worker in the parking lot. I rode my bicycle in that day so I thought I would store it in my office till the end of the day. The security guards in the building not let me bring it into the office. They saw that it was wood, but it was a "rifle" stock.

So it stayed in my Bud's car until we went home. At least they allowed that.
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Old April 25, 2010, 09:48 AM   #20
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Here's why a ban on bullets-only can make sense (and yes, in the abstract, what are you going to do with bullets--throw them at people?).

You bring bullets along in your carry-on. Pretty benign, right?

And you bring along some powder, carefully concealed in sugar packets. Sealed so they don't set off a sniffer. Carefully measured out.

And a few primed cases in a chapstick or lipstick tube that is metal so that the cases aren't apparent to x-rays.

And a device which can seat bullets--doesn't have to be obvious like a Lee handloader, but something more like a walnut cracker.

And now you have the ability to make ammunition in the bathroom.

All you need is some tube-like device as a gun barrel and there you are.

And in fact, you could have several people on the same flight, each carrying a different component in their carry-ons, and then assembling that stuff into ammunition after they pass through security and before they get on the plane.


Now, I'm not saying this is likely, or smart, or whatever. And if you could conceal shells in a lipstick tube, why not ammo?

I'm saying that there's some logic in not allowing the projectiles on the plane in the first place. I grant you that a terrorist would be very unlikely to present them, as projectiles, in a non-concealed fashion like a box of bullets, but then there you are.
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Old April 25, 2010, 09:57 AM   #21
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Ditto "the TSA has no common sense". A box of bullets is not ammo but I wouldn't try to carry it on. Put it in your chacked baggage or mail it home.
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Old April 25, 2010, 04:40 PM   #22
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slamfire
Airport Security guards seldom know anything about firearms and have been given almost unlimited powers of search and detention.

The problem is actually just the opposite of the TSA officers having too much authority or power. The problem is that they have NO authority. There are plenty of them that would do things a whole lot different and entirely understand that a bullet on (or off) a keychain, or an empty shell casing, is not threatening, but they aren't allowed to make decisions. Everything must be done by the unbending law of Standard Operating Procedure and the interpretation there of is completely at the discretion of the senior staff, who are not, and mostly never have been, on the front line.
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Old April 25, 2010, 06:42 PM   #23
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Foam rubber weapons?

Laws are laws and rules are rules. I was prevented from shipping a set of nunchaku (often incorrectly called num-chucks by some numb-nuts- "nut" as in one's brain, but that's another rant)

The thing is, they were made of foam rubber (and bought mail-order from New York City). But they were two foot-long objects connected by a string, so they qualified under the unbending, uninterpretable rule, and banned from my military baggage being shipped home from my tour in Korea.

Draw your own conclusion about how uncommonly you find common sense.

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Old April 25, 2010, 07:12 PM   #24
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I have been lead to believe that any part will be treated the same as the whole.

Same when going to Canada. No empty 22 cases in the trunk. I dont go to Canadaat all. I pass thru WI and IL as fast as possible. If I dont sent foot on the ground I consider it a successful. After the last time I emailed a couple of chamber of commerces and told them of my successes(I guess I bragged).
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Old April 26, 2010, 12:02 PM   #25
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The thing with rules is, as soon as you bend them, you no longer have rules. You have interpretations.

As soon as you allow people to use their common sense--something that certainly seems reasonable--you are allowing others who *do not* have common sense to exercise whatever it is they do have.


The rules that make it hard, sometimes, on passengers, are designed to also make it hard on terrorists. I suppose the inconvenience is the price we pay to avoid being even more inconvenienced, such as if our plane is brought down by a terrorist.
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