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Thread: Rifles damaged in Air Travel

  1. #1
    Member zpoehler's Avatar
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    Default Rifles damaged in Air Travel

    Just purchased a couple rifles on my trip to AZ to visit family. One of them happened to be a 1967 Browning FN Belgian Safari Grade 300 win mag that is in mint condition....well I used one of my grandfathers old hard plastic cases to bring the guns back to AK...the case is in good condition and we outfitted it with a extra layer of foam and put gun socks around the rifles and had a pad lock on every corner...we did a couple shake tests with a couple of his old rifles and everything stayed in tact. After the flight home I arrived in Anchorage and went to customer service to pick up the rifles...first thing I noticed was the 300 belgian was actually sticking 6" out of the case, I opened it up and did a quick check and it looked ok, didn't have much time with a crying poop diapered baby and pooped out wife. Once home I opened the case up and first thing I noticed was the front scope ring for the .338 (other purchase) was completely twisted, the ring had actually turned inside the base and peeled back about 1/8" of metal to make a 90 degree turn...then I noticed the chip on the end of the 300 most likely due to it sticking out of the case and perhaps ramming into the ground? ...I know the case wasn't the best but it sure as hell wouldn't come apart like it did with normal baggage operations and I know how hard those guys are on bags, it would of had to have been dropped or something similar in order to completely twist a scope mount 90 degrees and another gun to protrude from the case which I can't even pry open with a large screwdriver when the case is locked up and believe me i've tried. So tomorrow I go in to file a claim, I'm curious what it would cost to fix the chip on the end of the barrel just so I have an idea and am not going in blind...it's only about 1/4" long and runs perfectly with the edge of the seam, looks like it was shoved hard into some cement at a 45 degree angle, it's noticeable but doesn't stick out too much, just burns me that I got this rifle in mint condition and now it's got a chip in the barrel...Sorry for the rant, not very happy right now.

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    That is a complete bummer and I hope all goes well with the claim. Someone told me awhile ago when I had a similar case with a bow that it is best to file a claim before you leave the airport. I hope that is not true. I had an "unbreakable" bow case that had the corner busted our from probaly a good drop. I never filed a claim with the air carrier and just had it replaced through the manufactures warranty.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    You should have filed the claim right there where the agent can see the damage as it is given to you. Once you take it home its not their problem.

    Also if you did not get extra insurance on the guns they only pay a few cents on the dollar in value.

    You need to get on line and research the airlines luggage damage policies.

  4. #4
    Member zpoehler's Avatar
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    I called as soon as I got home and was informed that as long as I made it back to anchorage by 1 pm tomorrow they would take care of the claim...sad thing is the belgian, I found a couple more spots where the stock was chipped, small but they were clearly not there when I sent the gun through baggage (very new looking white wood). It's looking more like the case was actually run over... how else could you turn a scope mount 90 degrees and actually peel 1/8" of metal from the base in doing so? That's a lot of force.

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    You are understandably upset, and I hope the Airlines attempt to make amens.

    I wonder if that kind of damage occurs on the conveyer system for baggage.

    When shipping long guns, the barrel is a sharp point and when mishandled, can punch through the case or package, and protrude creating more problems.

    I suggest that in the future, you might consider drilling a barrel size hole in a block of wood, and fastening that over the end of the barrel. That should help the problem of the barrel punching through to the outside of the case or package.

    I'm NOT saying that the Airline handling of the baggage isN'T at fault. IMO, they ARE, and should own up to it.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  6. #6
    Member zpoehler's Avatar
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    Well I was very impressed with the airline today, I went in not expecting much of anything but they agreed with me that something pretty aggressive must've happened on their end. Since it would be hard to put a price on it they decided to reimburse me for the work that needs to be done to both rifles. That says a lot for the air line since they didn't necessarily have to trust me due to me waiting a day to take it in but they did. On that note does anyone know any good gunsmiths in the anchorage area?

  7. #7
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    You are understandably upset, and I hope the Airlines attempt to make amens.

    I wonder if that kind of damage occurs on the conveyer system for baggage.

    When shipping long guns, the barrel is a sharp point and when mishandled, can punch through the case or package, and protrude creating more problems.

    I suggest that in the future, you might consider drilling a barrel size hole in a block of wood, and fastening that over the end of the barrel. That should help the problem of the barrel punching through to the outside of the case or package.

    I'm NOT saying that the Airline handling of the baggage isN'T at fault. IMO, they ARE, and should own up to it.

    Smitty of the North
    I have some of those old 60/70s spurn aluminum drinking glasses, use pipe insulation in that to make a muzzle cover and a small tennis ball (hand ball, racket ball?) with a hole poked in it so it has less bounce in the bottom of the glass. Spreads out the point load as well as protects the crown and sight. The tapered shape means the harder its pushed in the more the foam grabs on. If I didnt have the old cups Id go with enamel steel camping glasses . . . not any plastic stuff or PVC pipe. There are limitations to any amount of packing though.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by zpoehler View Post
    Well I was very impressed with the airline today, I went in not expecting much of anything but they agreed with me that something pretty aggressive must've happened on their end. Since it would be hard to put a price on it they decided to reimburse me for the work that needs to be done to both rifles. That says a lot for the air line since they didn't necessarily have to trust me due to me waiting a day ke it in but they did. On that note does anyone know any good gunsmiths in the anchorage area?
    I like Stan Jackson.

    349-3854

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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