December 24th, 2016

TSA Tips for Traveling with Firearms — What You Need to Know

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA

If you will be flying with firearms this winter, you should read this article. You need to familiarize yourself with current Federal Regulations on gun transport before you get anywhere near an airport. Thankfully, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a web page that states the important requirements for airline passengers traveling with firearms and/or ammunition.

You’ll want to visit the TSA Firearms and Ammunition webpage, and read it start to finish. In addition, before your trip, you should check the regulations of the airline(s) with which you will fly. Some airlines have special requirements, such as weight restrictions.

Here are the TSA’s key guidelines for travel with firearms:

1. All firearms* must be declared to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process.
The term firearm includes:

    – Any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.
    – The frame or receiver of any such weapon.
    – Any firearm muffler or firearm silencer.
    – Any destructive device.

2. The firearm must be unloaded. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 – “A loaded firearm means a firearm that has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm.”

3. The firearm must be in a hard-sided container that is 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.

4. If firearms are not properly declared or packaged, TSA will provide the checked 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.

5. TSA must resolve all alarms in checked baggage. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm.

10. 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.

11. TSA prohibits black powder or percussion caps used with black-powder.

12. Rifle scopes are not prohibited in carry-on bags and do not need to be in the hard-sided, locked checked bag.

NOTE: The 12 guidelines are reprinted directly from the TSA web page here: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition.

More Airline Travel Tips from Tom McHale
Tom McHale has written an excellent article for the Beretta Blog, Ten Things You Need to Know about Flying with Guns. We suggest you visit the Beretta Blog to read this informative story. Here are two of Tom McHale’s Travel Tips:

Weigh your gun case and ammunition
Most airlines will allow up to 11 pounds of ammunition. And, like any luggage, you will be charged more for any baggage weighing more than 50 pounds. This sounds like a lot, but when traveling to the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun competition last year, my case with shotgun, rifle, pistol and ammunition tipped the scale past the 50 pound mark.

Pack ammo in the same locking case
This is another area that’s misunderstood and full of internet myth. Your ammo just needs to be stored in some type of safe container and not loose. Technically, you can keep ammunition in magazines, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It meets the letter of the law storage requirement, but too many airline and TSA agents will give you grief. Use a plastic ammo box or original cardboard packaging and you’ll be fine carrying that in the same lockable case as your gun.

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA

*Please see, United States Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44 for information about firearm definitions.

Permalink News, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
June 17th, 2013

Locate Ammo and Reloading Components with GunBot.Net

accurateshooter.com gunbot.net ammo and reloading primers supplyHave you been struggling to find brass, powder, and (especially) primers? No luck finding rimfire ammunition or loaded ammo for your pistols or hunting rifles? Well, now there’s a free web-based search service that can help you find what you need. The service costs nothing and you don’t have to sign up to run searches.

GunBot.net employs “search bots” to scour the internet for available inventories of ammo, powder, primers, brass and magazines. GunBot.net checks the inventories of over sixty retailers, including leading vendors AmmoMan, Bass Pro, Brownells, Cabelas, Cheaper Than Dirt, Grizzly, JG Sales, Dan Killough, Midsouth Shooters Supply, Midway USA, Powder Valley, Rainier Arms, Sinclair Int’l, Sportsman’s Guide,, Wholesale Hunter, and Wideners.

Results can be sorted by price or time (most recent results first). You can even get email alerts notifying you when the product you need is available. (To get alerts, you must first log-in and create an account with GunBot.net. There is no charge for this service.) GunBot.net’s search spiders work constantly, so results are normally very current. Pages auto-refresh when new “matching items” are found.

Primers Found Efficiently with GunBot.net
GunBot.net saves us time by instantly checking inventory at many dozens of online retailers. In May, we were looking high and low for large rifle magnum primers. Then a quick search with GunBot.net revealed that site sponsor Powder Valley, Inc. had some in stock. We placed our order and had the primers in our hands the next week. Here’s a screenshot showing primer inventories on June 17, 2013:

accurateshooter.com gunbot.net ammo and reloading primers supply

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 9 Comments »
July 6th, 2010

How to Find Cool Stuff in Daily Bulletin Archives

AccurateShooter Daily Bulletin Search ToolsThe AccurateShooter.com Daily Bulletin now includes over 2800 articles. Having access to all that content is great, IF you understand how to find material from months past. Folks email us regularly saying: “Hey, there was an interesting item in the Daily Bulletin, but I can’t find it now.” Take heart. Every Bulletin story is saved in our archive. You can always navigate to all previous posts using the “Older Entries” link at the bottom of this page.

If you want to go back to a particular day, week, or month, you can click on the calendar to select a date, or use the pull-down menu to select a past month — such as August 2009. If you are looking for a story about a recurring event or important match that happens at the same time each year, try the date search tools. This is also a great way to revisit our popular “April Fools” Editions.

How to Search by Topic or Keyword
The fastest and easiest method to find older posts is simply to search by keyword, or click one of the topic headings. If you want to see a video, for example, just click on “Videos”. If you’re looking for all stories about scopes, click “Optics”. To find a particular item, such as the story on Barnard actions, just type “Barnard” in the search field and click “Search”. Our search works very fast! Try it, you’ll like it.

AccurateShooter Daily Bulletin Search Tools

Permalink News No Comments »
January 9th, 2010

Plan Your SHOT Show Visit with Interactive Show Planner

Are you headed to Vegas to attend the 2010 SHOT Show, Jan. 19-22? To do the show right, you need a plan. Wandering randomly among the 1800 exhibits (on TWO floors this year) wastes time and energy. By the end of each day you’ll be exhausted and you won’t have seen half what you wanted to see.

Here’s what to do — log on to the SHOT Show Planner website. There you’ll find floor-plans for the whole show. You can alpha-search for particular companies, and the interactive planner will automatically plot their locations on the grids. What’s more, you can “mouse-over” booth locations on the grid and the planner will display the company name and booth number. Say, for example, you’ve located RCBS at booth #14638. You can just slide your mouse around the nearby area to find Sierra Bullets at booth #14934 and Nosler at booth #15938.

SHOT Show 2010 planner

Log In to Create Customized Exhibitor List and Show Navigation Maps
If you sign up with a name and password, you can save all your search results and even print out highlighted floor-plans with your “targeted” booths. The SHOT Show planner will create (and remember) a customized list of the booths you want to visit. Then you can print-out custom floor-plans with your choices marked on the grids.

SHOT Show 2010 planner

Using the SHOT Show Planner, you can quickly identify all the exhibits you want to visit, and then create personalized show maps with your “destinations” marked. When you’re at the show, bring your customized maps and simply “connect the dots” from one pre-marked booth to the next. That lets you proceed efficiently from one location of interest to the next, without backtracking or wasting time.

CLICK HERE to access SHOT Show Planner. (Log-In Required for some features).

Permalink News 1 Comment »
September 14th, 2009

Find Craigslist Bargains Nationwide with SearchTempest.com

If you haven’t started using Craigslist.org yet, you should. Craigslist is now the #1 Classified Ad resource in the nation. Like eBay, you can find just about anything on Craigslist — from cameras to classic cars. While you won’t normally find firearms for sale on Craigslist, you will find scopes, rangefinders, reloading equipment, gunsafes, and other shooting-related merchandise. Just use the search function and dig through the “for sale” listings.

Craiglist has one major shortcoming that can make bargain-hunting tedious and time-consuming. Craigslist is organized by community. So, typically, you can only search for stuff in one metropolitan region at a time. That’s fine if you’re looking for a gunsafe, where local pickup is important. But otherwise you may want to scan listings from multiple cities, multiple states, or even the whole country. Until recently, there was no way to do that efficiently. SearchTempest.com has changed all that…

New Service Scans Craigslist Ads Nationwide
Using SearchTempest.com, you can now quickly and easily search Craigslist entries anywhere in the country. Or, if you prefer, you can search for relevant ads within a given distance (say, 500 miles) of your zip code. You can set minimum and maximum prices, or limit results to ads with photos. The results will be organized by region, near to far, top to bottom. Unfortunately that means you’ll still have to do a lot of scrolling, but at least you only have to search once.

Craigslist SearchTempest.com

Shown below are the results of a search for “Binoculars Zeiss” within 1000 miles of Denver, CO. This shows just the top three, closest regional entries (Denver, Boulder, Ft. Collins) — there are dozens more pages with matching “hits”. The search results start with “nearest first” and will cover the entire region you selected.

Craigslist SearchTempest.com

SearchTempest finds EBay Items Also
Along with Craigslist entries, SearchTempest lets you search eBay listings at the same time. This can be handy. When searching for gun accesories or reloading gear we recommend you activate SearchTempest’s eBay search.

Permalink News 2 Comments »
June 16th, 2009

New 'Google Squared' Search Delivers Tables of Data

Google has launched an innovative, web-based search function that delivers a wealth of information in data-rich tables. Now when you search you can get more than just a list of websites. Called Google Squared, the new system delivers a collection of search results in a chart (table) format. The chart will contain a variety of different clickable entries, such as article titles, photos, product descriptions, and prices. Google Squared returns a huge amount of information and data from a single search.

Link: www.Google.com/squared

While Google Squared can search virtually any topic from Astrophysics to Zoology, we’ve found it can be very useful when researching firearms subjects or searching for shooting products. Shown below are the results of a search for “Spotting Scope”. By default, data is grouped in six columns. However, Google Squared allows you to add other data columns, and Google can even “intelligently” suggest choices for additional columns. In this example, Google suggested Eye Relief, Magnification, Exit Pupil, Lens Coating, and Prism System — all important optical parameters. That’s pretty smart! You can also delete any column of data if it’s not needed.

Spotting Scopes

Google Squared can also be used to research a particular product or do price comparison searches. Shown below are the Google Squared results for “RCBS Chargemaster”:

RCBS Chargemaster

Google Squared is still in the development stages, but it promises to be a useful tool for veteran web users. Give it a try, and see how it performs for you.

Permalink New Product, News 1 Comment »