MP5

Best way to ship NFA items?

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20 posts in this topic

I'm wondering what others do.  I have always shipped USPS Registered Mail for NFA items and other high value guns.  But lately, they seem to be taking way too long - example: two and a half weeks to go domestically, coast to coast -  and I'm not always getting timely and accurate tracking info.  What shipping method are others using? UPS? FedEx?  I'd appreciate hearing the pros and cons based on others' experiences.

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UPS won't ship full auto weapons, FedEx will cost you four times as much as USPS if you insure the weapon.  I am also not a fan of USPS, but not much of a choice.

Lance

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As frustrated as I get watching USPS Registered tracking showing the guns going to same cities along the route twice, going in the complete opposite direction  from the destination,  sitting in one place for four days, circling the destination post office for a few days, driving past the destination post office,  etc, they are still the best option.  I used to drive the guns if they were going only a few states away, but health doesn't allow it anymore. USPS Registered. Priority mail works if insurance limits allow.

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I always use FedEx, I'm not interested in saving money shipping an NFA item out for service/repair/etc. Don't get me wrong, I don't like paying anymore than I have to for shipping, but USPS is NOT an option in my mind. With FedEx, you can insure it for whatever the value, and IT WILL be delivered when it's suppose to be. The amount of sleep I would lose worrying about my stuff in the hands of the USPS would out weigh the difference in money for shipping.

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I don't use shipper insurance and I don't recommend relying on it.  Get your own insurance for your collection and make sure it covers incoming and outgoing shipping.  I use FedEx 2 day to ship MGs and USPS Priority to ship anything else, that said everything has been slow but eventually arrived during this last couple weeks of national shipping issues.

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59 minutes ago, b_san said:

I don't use shipper insurance and I don't recommend relying on it.  Get your own insurance for your collection and make sure it covers incoming and outgoing shipping.  I use FedEx 2 day to ship MGs and USPS Priority to ship anything else, that said everything has been slow but eventually arrived during this last couple weeks of national shipping issues.

Insurance for some collections are mutltiple thousands per year.

 

Fed EX, get insurance, no need to go cheap on a MG

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For all their quirks, USPS has always delivered and with Registered, they insure up to $50,000 now. I have had UPS and Fed Ex deliver to wrong addresses, show as delivered when it wasn't, shown attempted delivery when the GPS on their truck didn't even get within 10 miles of us (their dispatcher confirmed this for me). Once with UPS, I asked the counter person about insuring an MG for $8500 and they said yes. Dumbass watched me spend about an hour carefully wrapping,  boxing and taping gun and accessories. I went back to the counter and he said, I have to get a manager to approve. Manager wanted me to unpack it and show it to him. Then he didn't want to insure it. My local post office is rural and the clerks go out of their way to help. YMMV.

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Problems with UPS and USPS. FedEx, no problem. Told them it’s a Machinegun and they didn’t even blink. All they said was recommend doing overnite and should insure to amount to replace. Got there in less than 12 hours, safe and sound. 

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Another vote for Fedex.  I only ship NFA firearms Fedex priority overnight  and will generally insure them for full value even though my firearm insurance policy will cover them in transit.  I have had too many challenges with USPS Registered Mail and as a non-licensee many NFA firearms I can't ship with them anyway as they are considered "concealable" so are ineligible for a non-licensee to ship.

If the recipient will agree I will have the gun held at the Fedex depot for pickup.  Upon return receipt I always have the gun held at the local Fedex depot for me to pick up in person.

I would much rather remove the "last mile" from the equation as that seems to be where carriers fuck up the most with it bouncing around in the unsecured truck all day and/or then dropping it off at the wrong address, etc.

Just get to from the main Fedex shipping depot in City A to the main Fedex shipping depot in City B and back again.

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FedEx insurance is worthless in my experience. They find excuses to weasel out of claims.

USPS Registered is the only way to guarantee delivery.

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On 3/10/2021 at 6:00 PM, BDMERC said:

FedEx insurance is worthless in my experience. They find excuses to weasel out of claims.

USPS Registered is the only way to guarantee delivery.

The only problem I know of with FedEx is a shipper lied on the insurance form.  He shipped a title 2 gun and understated the value to save a shekel or two. Item got damaged and of course his stated value didn't come close to repairing the gun. Then  he went ballistic online calling FedEx every name in the book and a few I never heard of. Meh...I think he deserved it.

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2 hours ago, Shattered said:

The only problem I know of with FedEx is a shipper lied on the insurance form.  He shipped a title 2 gun and understated the value to save a shekel or two. Item got damaged and of course his stated value didn't come close to repairing the gun. Then  he went ballistic online calling FedEx every name in the book and a few I never heard of. Meh...I think he deserved it.

#^% that guy. He should suffer the bites of a thousand camel spiders. Cheap bastage.

In Liberty,

KristopherH

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He rolled the dice and lost.  That's they way it goes. He must have really been low balling it to not be able to repair the MG.

Also you need to bundle that like crazy.. Anything worth thousands of dollars I want to be able to survive a 12 foot drop!

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On 3/3/2021 at 9:41 PM, Waffen Und Bier said:

  I used to drive the guns if they were going only a few states away, but health doesn't allow it anymore. USPS Registered. Priority mail works if insurance limits allow.

Are you allowed to drive items across state lines to be dropped off?  Does that require a completed 5320.20?

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3 hours ago, JJ1234567 said:

Are you allowed to drive items across state lines to be dropped off?  Does that require a completed 5320.20?

An approved Form 4 obviates the need for a 5320.20.

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2 hours ago, b_san said:

An approved Form 4 obviates the need for a 5320.20.

Apologies - In this instance I was thinking about transporting for to a smith for repair or something similar.  I.E. My MP5 needs refinishing.  The shop doing the work is across state lines, and Id rather just drive it to them than deal with shipping.  

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Posted (edited)

21 minutes ago, JJ1234567 said:

Apologies - In this instance I was thinking about transporting for to a smith for repair or something similar.  I.E. My MP5 needs refinishing.  The shop doing the work is across state lines, and Id rather just drive it to them than deal with shipping.  

Personal delivery, if you are not a licensee then yes technically you would need a 5320.20 as you are carrying it to another state and are not defined as a common carrier.  Shipping, no as the common carrier is exempt and the receiving FFL doesn't require transfer paperwork for gunsmithing.

Edited by b_san

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Thanks for the clarification. 

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Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, b_san said:

Personal delivery, if you are not a licensee then yes technically you would need a 5320.20 as you are carrying it to another state and are not defined as a common carrier.  Shipping, no as the common carrier is exempt and the receiving FFL doesn't require transfer paperwork for gunsmithing.

FWIW -

Prob. ~10 years back, I was purchasing an NFA item from a seller who lived in an adjacent state but close enough to drop it off  to a local FFL/SOT in my state. 

In addition to filing F4, the Seller had also filed a 5320.20 for the inter-state delivery.  He was contacted by the examiner approving the F4; she questioned the purpose of the recently filed 5320.20 and then explicitly cancelled the approved 5320.20  and told him it was not needed.

No idea how ATF would do this in 2021...

 

Edited by mattnh

-- Matt

 

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Fed-Ex (2-Day). Hundreds of guns, dozens of NFA items and couple-three decades. Never an issue.

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