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Handgun travel case recommendation needed


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#1 ming

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:38 PM

Can anyone recommend a TSA compliant (locking, hard-sided, etc.)handgun travel case for flying with a single pistol (e.g., Glock 17 or Sig P226). There seem to be so many available that I'm having trouble comparing/choosing between different models and sizes.

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#2 pyre400

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:54 PM

Can anyone recommend a TSA compliant (locking, hard-sided, etc.)handgun travel case for flying with a single pistol (e.g., Glock 17 or Sig P226). There seem to be so many available that I'm having trouble comparing/choosing between different models and sizes.


It used to be that you could use a non-tsa compliant lock to lock up your firearm - it probably still is. This means that if someone wants in your bag, you generally have to be present. They can always cut the lock, but the check in process should allow you to be present during the luggage screening.

This also allows you to put gun inside your check'd luggage with your underwear and other personal effects, making it less obvious to thieves than using a specialized container that SCREAMS "There's a gun inside!!". Another benefit is that your other, non firearm effects, will be respectfully searched in your presence. No "Get your freak on, girl" love letters to read later.

http://deviating.net...ing/report.html

http://www.tsa.gov/t...orial_1666.shtm

Please verify this information is accurate - hope its of some help to you.

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#3 xmikex

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:07 PM

I've just used the case my Glock came in. Wrapped a cable-lock a few times around the handle area. Glock case went in my checked luggage. Worked fine.

If you don't have a cable lock, you could use a padlock that could fit around the handle.

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Edited by xmikex, 02 April 2012 - 04:09 PM.

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#4 vezpa

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:31 PM

This is exactly the one I use. Have flown with it a handful of times with no issues. Very good quality item at an affordable price. Fits a full-size pistol and extra magazine.
Has a very sturdy key system. Highly recommended.

Sportlock Aluminumlock Series Single Pistol Case

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Edited by vezpa, 02 April 2012 - 04:33 PM.

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#5 milq

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:23 PM

They don't want a TSA approved lock on them, they are NOT supposed to open it. If they want it open they are supposed to call you and you open it for them.

I bought a small "strong box" at a local store, it's steel and has a decent lock and was only $15. Took it home and cut some foam to keep my Kahr from moving around, worked like a champ when I flew to Salt Lake last summer.
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#6 xbaltzx

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:07 AM

When traveling for work, I use a Pelican 1170 case and two combo or key locks. The Pelican 1170 is large enough for one full size 1911 with mag and fits nicely in most checked bags.

#7 Xwing

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:31 AM

Any hard-sided locking case will work. It should not be TSA compliant (e.g. able to be opened by TSA). It goes into your normal luggage. The whole point is that the TSA can only open it with you there.
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#8 junglebob

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 07:05 AM

Any hard-sided locking case will work. It should not be TSA compliant (e.g. able to be opened by TSA). It goes into your normal luggage. The whole point is that the TSA can only open it with you there.


This is great news to me. A couple of years ago my wife and I flew to Arizona to visit her sister for a few days. I went to several gun stores looking for a pistol case that would lock and be compliant. I could find no case for holding just one pistol. I finally gave up. I have a non-resident LTC, would have been nice to do so in a "free state".

I was looking at Menards sale ad and see they have a locking .18 cubi foot fire chest that locks, I wonder if that would work? Only $15.95 on sale.
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#9 Mr. Fife

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 09:50 PM

It might. But those fire safes are usually pretty heavy and bulky. Also, they are not as secure as a real safe. I had one that came apart, the locking part appeared to be simply glued on to the rest of the safe. It might be good for a fire, but not too good for security.

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#10 lockman

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 10:44 AM

If your traveling with a hard case luggage already, I just used the small key locked container with a cable and locked the cable to the suitcase structure. Then locked the internal box and locked the suitcases regular combo lock and a secondary non- TSA combo suitcase lock. Advantage is anything packed in the case gets the addition protection of the enhanced security.

As I have mentioned here before, within a few weeks of the introduction of TSA locks I had ground crew from a major airline attempting to get the master key for the TSA locks.
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#11 Mr. Fife

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 11:39 AM

I understand the box inside your luggage must have a non-TSA lock. Are you saying that the luggage itself can also have a non-TSA lock? Doesn't that make your luggage stick out to those who might be looking for that sort of thing?

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#12 junglebob

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 01:17 PM

This is exactly the one I use. Have flown with it a handful of times with no issues. Very good quality item at an affordable price. Fits a full-size pistol and extra magazine.
Has a very sturdy key system. Highly recommended.

Sportlock Aluminumlock Series Single Pistol Case

Posted Image


I found this one avilable from Sportsman's Guide too. I see this one comes with a cable too, that makes it nice for use in a vehicle.

Edited by junglebob, 08 April 2012 - 01:18 PM.

Disarming the people (is) the best and most effectual way to enslave them. George Mason

Remember the 1991 Luby Cafeteria Massacre of the Unarmed (Kileen, Texas before Texas Concealed Carry) Do we need 23 people to die in a similar incident before we're allowed effective self defense?

Three school masacres have been stopped by civilians with firearms. Two with handguns and the third by a guy with a shotgun. (Pearl, Ms; Appalacian School of Law; Edinboro,Pa)

#13 pyre400

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 07:23 AM

I understand the box inside your luggage must have a non-TSA lock. Are you saying that the luggage itself can also have a non-TSA lock? Doesn't that make your luggage stick out to those who might be looking for that sort of thing?



The hard sided luggage becomes the gun container. Therefore an non-tsa lock can be used to secure your luggage (containing both the firearm and cloths). No extra container would be required inside of the luggage, to contain the firearm. Therefore, traveling with a firearm in your suit case offers the additional benefit of allowing you to secure your suit case with a non-tsa (more secure lock)

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#14 Xwing

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:25 AM


I understand the box inside your luggage must have a non-TSA lock. Are you saying that the luggage itself can also have a non-TSA lock? Doesn't that make your luggage stick out to those who might be looking for that sort of thing?



The hard sided luggage becomes the gun container. Therefore an non-tsa lock can be used to secure your luggage (containing both the firearm and cloths). No extra container would be required inside of the luggage, to contain the firearm. Therefore, traveling with a firearm in your suit case offers the additional benefit of allowing you to secure your suit case with a non-tsa (more secure lock)


I'm not sure the TSA would allow that though... My understanding is the gun needs to be in a hard-sided locked case. I believe you'd need a seperate case within your luggage. I understand your logic, but am not sure that would work. Have you traveled this way before?

And to Mr. Fife: If you have a seperate case within the luggage, that case needs a normal (non-TSA) lock. You can put whatever you want on the luggage, but would run the risk of the TSA chopping off the lock (as they often, but not always do) if it's not a TSA lock.
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#15 pyre400

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 11:26 AM

I'm not sure the TSA would allow that though... My understanding is the gun needs to be in a hard-sided locked case. I believe you'd need a seperate case within your luggage. I understand your logic, but am not sure that would work. Have you traveled this way before?

And to Mr. Fife: If you have a seperate case within the luggage, that case needs a normal (non-TSA) lock. You can put whatever you want on the luggage, but would run the risk of the TSA chopping off the lock (as they often, but not always do) if it's not a TSA lock.


I must disclose, I do not travel (mainly due to the TSA - I even canceled a fishing trip this year), but the advice I have provided has not been done so haphazardly - I think even FF has traveled recently, and may have considered the advice I provided above. Still, I have 2 friends who have recently traveled with the advice given, and their trips through the TSA screening were unremarkable (only stressing ammo was carried in original packaging)

http://deviating.net...ounts/0048.html # Deviant's account of ORD firearms transport (he goes through ORD quite often). He has a running log which is fantastic. If you have travel experience, you might consider contributing to his site. IMO its one of the best resources on the topic.

The gun must be in the locked, hard-sided container (i.e. suitcase), while ammo needs to be in packaging (or as deviant has it contained in magazines, which are in a pouch). The container must be secure and not be able to be easily pried open from a side. Here' is an example from from the site in my quote.

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From TSA:

http://www.tsa.gov/t...orial_1666.shtm

Traveling with Special Items

Firearms & Ammunition

Attention all passengers traveling with firearms. Please note the following:

Travelers may only transport UNLOADED firearms in a locked, hard-sided container in or as checked baggage. All firearms, ammunition and firearm parts, including firearm frames and receivers, are prohibited in carry-on baggage.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.

Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.

Also, please note that other countries have different laws that address transportation and possession of firearms. If international travel is planned traveling internationally, check the regulations of the destination country to ensure compliance with their requirements.

There are certain limited exceptions for law enforcement officers who may fly armed by meeting the requirements of Title 49 CFR 1544.219. Law enforcement officers should read our policies on traveling with guns.
Photo of a firearm improperly packaged
Photo of a firearm improperly packaged.

Failure to adhere to the following regulations will preclude passengers from traveling with firearms, ammunitions or firearm parts:

Travelers must declare all firearms to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process.
The firearm must be unloaded.
The firearm must be in a hard-sided container.
The container must be locked. A locked container is defined as one that completely secures the firearm from being accessed. Locked cases that can be pulled open with little effort cannot be brought aboard the aircraft.
If firearms are not properly declared or packaged, TSA will provide the bag to law enforcement for resolution with the airline. If the issue is resolved, law enforcement will release the bag to TSA so screening may be completed.
TSA must resolve all alarms of checked luggage. 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.
Travelers should remain in the area designated by the aircraft operator or TSA representative to take the key back after the container is cleared for transportation.
Travelers must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
Firearm magazines and ammunition clips must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm.
Small arms ammunition, including ammunition not exceeding .75 caliber for a rifle or pistol and shotgun shells of any gauge, may be carried in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as it follows the packing guidelines described above.
TSA prohibits black powder or percussion caps used with black-powder.

These regulations are strictly enforced.


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#16 MAdler

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:58 PM

I+ am planning on travelling from ORD to las vegas next week with my 1911. I am going to lock the gun in a small metal container which holds one pistol and has a non-TSA lock on it. i am going to attach that via supplied cable to the inside of my regular suitcase and lock that suit case with a TSA approved lock.