Flying with a Firearm

Until this trip, I’d never checked a firearm while flying. It was an interesting experience. I took my Kimber Ultra CDP II and my Comp-Tac Minotaur holster. I’ve modified the Kimber slightly. At Chris Byrne’s suggestion I’ve added a stainless S&A mag guide with an arched mainspring housing, and replaced the original checkered Double-Diamond grips with a smooth set of Cocobolo grips cut for the magwell from Hogue. I packed these in the original Kimber plastic container along with the factory 7-round and one Chip McCormick 8-round magazine. To meet the “original packaging” requirement, I dug through my reloading bench and found a 20-round box that originally contained Cor-Bon 45ACP+P loads, and put 20 of my handloads in it, then locked the box with two sturdy Masterlocks.

The guy at the Phoenix Delta counter was pleased that I’d followed the rules, gave the pistol a cursory glance to ensure the magazine well was empty, and sent me on my way to the TSA guys and their X-ray machine. They did not ask to see the pistol.

On the way back, the ladies at the Norfolk Delta counter ooh’d and ahhh’d. “That’s pretty!” one of them said. “I really need to learn to shoot,” said another.

As Tam once put it, I love being in American-occupied America.

The TSA guy in Norfolk wanted to look at the gun. Again, all he did was check to ensure the magazine well was empty and the magazines were unloaded. “Nobody ever checks the chamber,” I commented. “We’re not allowed to touch the gun,” he replied, “but when I put it through the X-ray machine, I’ll be able to see if there’s a round in the chamber.”

As I noted below, I made the flight from Atlanta to Phoenix, but my bag didn’t. It’s an uncomfortable feeling knowing that your luggage – with a lot of expensive stuff in it – might not be showing up as scheduled. This further reinforces my resolve to drive where I need to go if at all possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *