In recent weeks we’ve covered a lot of topics when it comes to collector and antique firearms. How to ship firearms, international firearm shipping tips, and even tips on how to spot potentially fake collector firearms. The one topic of firearms collecting that we haven’t spoken to has been ammunition. Just as there are widely varying limitations and rules when it comes to shipping an antique or collector firearm itself, the rules behind shipping live ammunition vary from country to country and, here in the U.S. especially, carry stiff penalties should you violate federal guidelines. Below we’ve outlined some basic tips to take into consideration should you be looking to ship any ammunition to accompany an antique or collector firearms purchase. However, once it comes to actually shipping the items we highly recommend that you consult with your shipper of choice and ask about any additional regulations they may have.
Ammo + Firearms + Shipping = Bad
No matter the carrier, you cannot ship both ammunition and firearms together. Doesn’t matter if the firearm in question is collectable, antique, modern, active or deactivated. Both the firearm and ammunition MUST be in separate packages.
Shippers like UPS will allow you to ship ammunition separate from any firearm. The quantity that you may ship, however, is limited both in quantity and specifications. For example, UPS states on its website that “ammunition may not exceed 12.7mm (50 caliber or 0.5in) for rifle or pistol cartridges, or 8 gauge for shotgun shells.” The package also may not exceed 66 pounds and must be packaged in a way to cushion and protect against accidental discharge.
Hazmat or Hazardous Materials
Depending on the shipper, you may need additional qualifications in order to ship ammunition. Shippers like FedEx require that and shipments of ammunition be classified as hazardous materials and are treated as such. As practices vary from shipper to shipper, we highly recommend calling the shipper direct in this situation for any additional instructions or certifications that may be required.
Packages and Labeling
Unlike firearms, where most shippers require no identifying marks whatsoever, ammunition must be labeled. Most commonly, this means an ORM-D or limited quantity label be affixed to the outside of the package. Again, consult with your preferred shipper to ensure that you have all the appropriate markings applied to any ammunition package you ship.
Pickup and Delivery
Due to the nature of ammunition, most shippers will also have guidelines on when and where shipments of ammunition can be picked up or delivered. Often times, these packages must be taken to a carrier’s storefront or central office and cannot be simply deposited into a dropbox. Those receiving shipments of ammunition will likely be required to have someone at or over the legal age for firearm ownership be present and sign for the shipment upon arrival. No simply “leaving it on the front porch” for these types of packages.
While we’ve done our best above to outline some good, common sense tips when it comes to shipping ammunition, you will always want to check with your preferred shipper or local FFL to ensure that your shipment meets current guidelines. Federal and individual shipper requirements can and do change, so be sure to avoid a major penalty for a minor labeling mishap.