Losing rifle/gear ?

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
17,548
4,903
What are the chances of losing a valuable rifle, scope or other expensive gear on a flight from the west coast of America to South Africa for hunting?

I'm sort of weighing out how to minimize my risk of showing up in South Africa without a rifle... Wondering if I should trust the airline with my nice .375, or just take the plain-jane .30-06 instead. I'd just be ticked off if it was stolen. I'd be heart broken if one of my .375's was stolen. They're both excellent rifles.

What can I do to minimize those risks?

Thanks, Guy
 
If using a PH, I would question him about services his prior customers used to successfully get their items to him and back home safely. Some ammo is available in those hunting areas, but not handloaded stuff you may like to use.

Possibly checking with PH's references list will expose good ways to ship.

Of course, attach many $ of Ins. onto any weapons to be shipped abroad.

Keep us posted,
 
Guy Miner":21a2mmj4 said:
What are the chances of losing a valuable rifle, scope or other expensive gear on a flight from the west coast of America to South Africa for hunting?

What can I do to minimize those risks?

Thanks, Guy

There is always a chance or a probabillity..but with the 1000s of guns going through O´Tambo every week statisticwise of loosing a gun is very small.
I have used KLM only and feel very confident with turning in my gun in CPH(Copenhagen) airport. I feel they know that rifles & ammunition must be handled seperately from normal luggage and therefore gets an extra attention.
To ride straight and speak the truth I have heard on the "net" of hunters who have lost their in Tambo, but the PH I know in SA have never had any of his friends/clients comming from abroad, have lost anything.

I am again planning another 3-4 week of hunting in SA next spring, which I am again using KLM.

Hope this have settled an anxious and worring heart to a normal beat .. :mrgreen:
 
There was a thread on one fellow's African hunt on The Reloader's Bench but the site seems to have disappeared and trying to find that thread now would be difficult It appears they have changed servers and theads not active would be a it diffcult to call up.
The gist of all this is thefellow had a custom rifle built expressly for his African hunt. It never made it to the dark continent. :( He had to hunt with a borrowed rifle and while his hunt was very successful he was not happy about his rifle. Turned out when he changed planes in London, British customs seized the gun as contraband or something similar. Took a while but he did get it back. I'm thinking that if I ever got the opportunity to hunt Africa that I would go by any route that stayed away fom jolly olde England. I could try to find that thread if it's still there but it covers about 30 or so some odd posts from the OP over a rather lengthy period of time.
Seems they've gone to a new server and most of the old threads are no longer available.
Paul B.
 
Yes, I've been warned to not go through Great Britain on my way to Africa, apparently the place has quite a reputation for delaying the movement of hunting rifles.

Am plotting a course that skirts around such problems.

Likely need to upgrade my rifle case as well.

Guy
 
Guy,

I believe there are still non-stop flights from Atlanta GA to Johannesburg RSA. If you use this route you should have no problems what-so-ever. I've used Gracy Travel International 800-299-8558 in the past with great success, they can even arrange for VIP services through the airport and to a guest house for the first and last night of your trip, or your PH will have made arrangements for you? Mostly the European flights are the cause of the issues with lost guns not showing up in time.
 
We flew from San Francisco to New York then to Joberg. No problems. Did has TSA steal some Rand and a Backtracker out of my luggage in San Fran on the trip home. They way they treat guns in SA I would not worry about it. When we arrived in Joberg met a follow whose rifle never made the plane swith in Germany. He was not happy. He was from Denmark as I believe.
I would worry more about the airlines here than there myself. We took 3 rifles in 2 seperate cases. We also split up the ammo so if any came up missing we would still have ammo for all the rifles. Turns out we not not worry.
 
Guy,
Have to agree with LRH. We used Gracy twice with no problems. Actually there fixer in SA did a great job getting my rifle in country. My rifle arrived before I did and he got it through.
Russ
 
russ808":1r8yhs27 said:
Guy,
Have to agree with LRH. We used Gracy twice with no problems. Actually there fixer in SA did a great job getting my rifle in country. My rifle arrived before I did and he got it through.
Russ

I also agree, Garcy does a great job.

In general guy

Buy Insurance

Dont be penny wise and pound foolish. Take every precaution and be a stickler for detail and be willing to pay for assistance from those who know what they are doing

Try to only change planes once and dont make it a tight connection.

Try to make the one connection in the States, not in Europe. Definitely dont make your connection through Heathrow!

I try to always carry the scope in my carry on luggage, only take ammo that is correctly head stamped, ( gun to caliber ) hardly ever take a gun that cost over two thousand dollars, and act like Frank Sinatra as much and as often as possible. I tip everyone in sight and ask them to please take care of my belongings. I dont care if anybody else's luggage gets on the plane but make sure mine does LOL
 
On four trips to Africa, all my rifles arrived at the same time and on the same flight I did.

Out of a dozen or so trips to Texas, my rifles were delayed twice, but the airline had a courier bring them to my hotel that night.

Luggage can be late, lost or misdirected on any flight, any where. Buy extra insurance for the guns in advance of your flight.

The problem with South Africa is that SAPS will make you come back to the airport to collect them yourself (no courier can clear your rifles for you; don't believe anyone who says they can clear your rifles though Customs and SAPS for you).

If you must fly to RSA, you're far more likely to be held up once you arrive due to a variety of scams, bribe-seekers, and grifters.

George
 
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