By Jeff Johnston, FE Hunting & Shooting Editor
I’m one of the most absent-minded people on the planet—just ask my wife. I know this because I’ve been traveling professionally with guns for 25 years, during which time I’ve had just about every gun-related violation you can have at airports around the world.
I nearly spent the rest of my previously AIDS-free life in a Nigerian prison when airport police found unreported 9mm ammo in my checked baggage.
I got taken down by a full-fledged SWAT team in Frankfurt, Germany for having .17 HMR ammo in my coat pocket. They thought it was submachine gun ammo, and I could hardly tell them otherwise with their jackboots on my neck. Don’t ask me how much that little blooper cost me.
Yep, I’m one of the morons who’s been busted at the TSA bag check at Dulles Airport for having a loaded handgun in my carry-on. (In my opinion, bags have way too many damn pockets these days.)
Two weeks ago I got harangued for a loose .308 cartridge at Johannesburg (TAMBO) International. The whole ordeal made my wife shake her head in embarrassment that she’s married such a dumbass. And the list continues.
While there is no one to blame but me, I attribute at least some of my transgressions to seldom having a set system for carrying my guns and ammo. It seems like some anti-gun activists at airline counters know their airline’s own rules, some don’t, and others just make them up. And so plenty of times I have to shuffle shit around at the counter, based on whatever the dude or big-haired broad thinks is appropriate at that moment in time. But I do know this: Per TSA guidelines for air travel, passengers must have firearms unloaded and placed in a locked container and separated from any ammo. Some Mensa-level TSA employees (incorrectly) interpret this to mean that the ammo has to be in a completely separate locked container from your firearm. When I encounter these beacons of brilliance, my ammo then gets shoved randomly into my checked bag and lost in a sea of socks and toenail clippings, only to resurface somewhere later at the most inopportune time. Because space and weight is such an issue, I don’t want to travel with two lockable boxes, but I’ve got to start doing something different.
Evidently someone at Hornady is a fan of minimalist packing and is also sick of TSA’s bullshit, because they recently launched a product called the “Dual Lid Lockbox.”
It’s a 16-ga. steel travel case that holds a handgun in one side and ammunition in the other. Thanks to the way the triangular compartments are oriented, the case remains compact and square. The folding carry handle stays out of the way until you need it. It also comes with a 1,500-lb. steel cable to anchor the case to a nightstand, truck console or luggage frame, so some lowlife thief will have to spend at least a few extra seconds employing a tool to swipe the whole thing.
I may be an idiot, but sometimes I recognize genius when I see it. So I’m pretty sure this is what I’m getting for Christmas … or at least before our next vacation … if there is a next vacation. $55
PROS: Dual compartments allow legal storage of your gun and ammo, in one case. Heavy duty, but not too heavy. The same key opens both locks.
CONS: Morons like me may not be able to keep up with the key to its dual locks.