International arms trade!
One of our members who lives in Guatemala would like me to shop him a Remington UNC 14Ga. shotgun shell. It is a no go through the US Post Office. Anyone have any ideas how I could I could ship with out breaking any laws. I do not know if it is black or smokeless power. The shell is live but I would guess the the primer may or may not still be live. Gary P. Hansen
I collect cartridges and have shipped to other collectors in countries all over the world. The sad news is that you'll have to inert the shell and then it can go USPS. You'll also need a customs declaration so don't expect that you can send it without saying what it is.
You'll also need to conform to any laws of Guatemala. That may prove to be the hardest part of all. Simply finding out what the laws are may be difficult.
Sending inert cartridges out of the US is easy. Receiving them at the other end is the hard part. Most countries have laws similar to ours but you'd be surprised at those that are more restrictive, such as Canada.
"he sad news is that you'll have to inert the shell and then it can go USPS."
How, would you go about that. It is not like I could just fire it in my 14Ga shotgun! Gary P. Hansen
Gary, the primer must be replaced with a fired one, or just plain removed, and ALL of the gunpowder would have to be removed in order for the shell to be declared inert. The powder could be replaced with maybe talcum powder, or black pepper to maintain the shape and weight?
Removing the primer safely without opening the shell isn't going to be easy...
Is it a paper shell? or plastic. Can it be opened and refolded? What is the intended purpose once it gets to its destination? to be fired? or sit on a display shelf? or just to be measured for dimensions?
One way to possibly kill the primer for safer removal would be to use a hypodermic syringe and fill the case will oil or WD-40...not a good solution for a paper shell, but would work for a plastic one... this isn't a perfect solution, but would certainly lessen the chance of a surprise detonation on primer removal.
BE VERY CAREFUL!
Cheechako, it is illegal to ship any ammunition component out of the US, without being a liscenced exporter, and having an export permit, end user certificate ...
The US now has some of the most restrictive export laws in the world, not just for firearms stuff but almost anything.
Well, if you want to don't want to open the shell up this is how I'd do it:
Drill a small hole, maybe 1/8", in the base between the primer and the shell wall.
Shake out the powder through the hole.
Hold the shell vertically, base down, and use a syringe to inject a small amount of WD-40 into the hole. WD-40 will dissolve primer compound.
Let it sit for a few minutes and drain the WD-40 back out. If it is slightly greenish, that's the primer compound.
Repeat a couple of times.
Now, if you are really sure you did the last two steps right, you should be able to drill out the primer. Make sure you wear some safety glasses.
I've made a dozen .22 rimfire dummy rounds for training classes like this, minus the drill out the primer step.
As a commercial loader here is another way to remove the primer.
Take a syringe and needle, inject oil into the base of the shell.
let it bleed over to the primer and soak it.
then the primers is safe to remove
All of the above advice is good. However, you have to go back to my comment about the laws in Guatemala. If it is OK to send an empty shell with the primer killed by oil, and the wads and shot loose, then that would be the way to do it. That is legal in the USPS system. The guy on the other end could re-load it if it was legal for him to do so in Guatemala. OTOH, Guatemala laws may require that the primer be removed and the primer pocket drilled out so that it could not be re-loaded. And it may be that you cannot send the contents (wads and shot) in the same package as the case.
The guy in Guatemala should be able to tell you what his laws are. If he is wrong he would be the one in trouble, not you. Put a note in the package saying that you have complied with all the laws of both countries, to the best of your knowledge. I can send you a sample note to include.
Try to get someone to answer your question and you'll know what red-tape & bureaucracy really is. What I've been told is that it is technically illegal to ship any ammunition or components out of the US without State Dept paperwork. However, the requirement isn't typically enforced and so collectors do it all the time.
Canada has some screwy regulations that prohibit shipping or receiving inert munitions through the mail (USPS & Canada Post). The catch is that they won't define "munitions" because they want the law wide open to keep bad guys from going around it. So, some will say that it is technically OK. But most collectors that I know won't send or receive inert cartridges with someone in Canada. Instead, we will smuggle them across with a shooter going to a match, or with some guy who crosses the border everyday for work. So, we break one law to avoid another.
I remember once reading an explanation for a strange 9mm cartridge as being the result of the second most favorite Italian pastime, that is, figuring out ways to get around the bureaucratic regulations of Italy. It seems like that is becoming a popular pastime almost everywhere.