Part 1 - Paintball Markers / Paintball Guns.
Part 1A - What does the TSA say?
Part 1B - What this really means.
Well, paintball markers can fall into two main categories: "MilSim" & "Tourney". Putting a note inside your luggage stating that you have paintball equipment can save some headaches (like delayed luggage).
While you might think that anyone with a huge marker which resembles a SCAR-L or M4 or what-have-you is going to have problems, you really won't.
The best idea if you have a MilSim marker, is disassemble as much as you can from the marker itself: fore grip, sights and stocks should be enough.
Our "Tourney" brethren have this a little easier - it's a little hard to associate a VSC Phantom or DM8 as a weapon capable of putting .223 rounds into a body, your baggage is a little less likely to be checked - espically if you have that note in your gear bag.
Part 1C - Protective / Optional Equipment.
* Gun Cases like the ones listed here are typically designed to hold one or two markers and four or so barrels. Most will fit a good sized tourney marker, and a majority of paintball pistols, such as the Zeus G2+.
Part 2 - Propellant Systems.
Forward: There are three manufacturing standards for HPA/N2/CO2 tanks - DOT (USA), CE (Canada), Pi (UK).
You can use CE tanks in the USA. You can't use DOT / Pi tanks in Canada. You can't use DOT / CE tanks in the UK.
Part 2A - What does the TSA say?
Our Security Officers will NOT remove the seal or regulator valve from the cylinder at the checkpoint. If the cylinder is sealed (i.e. the regulator valve is still attached), the cylinder is prohibited and not permitted through the security checkpoint, regardless of the reading on the pressure gauge indicator. Our Security Officers must visibly ensure that the cylinder is completely empty and that there are no prohibited items inside.
Please note: Many of the seals/regulators used in paintball are not designed to be removed from their cylinder by the end user. The seal/regulator should only be removed and reinstalled by a factory trained technician.
Passengers considering air travel with a compressed air or CO2 system would be advised to contact its manufacturer for guidance in locating a qualified technician, or to consider shipping the system to their destination via a parcel service.
Part 2B - What this really means (HPA/N2).
Well, now you know you're not legally allowed to transport tanks with the regulator attached, you're going to either have to find a qualified Air Smith to remove the regulator, do it yourself (I *REALLY* don't recommend this method, there is a chance you can strip the threading, HPA/N2 tank missiles aren't much fun to play with!) or buy a new regulator (see "Part 2D").
Part 2C - What this really means (CO2).
Well, the same thing applies with CO2 tanks... however due to safety concerns where people have removed and retached their valves, and consequently turning into flying missiles, I do not recommend taking a CO2 tank on a plane with you.
Your real options are: Ship the CO2 tank ahead of time. Or - buy a new CO2 tank at your new location. Or - if you know someone driving where your going, ask them to take a spare/your one.
Under no circumstances can you take twelves (12G CO2 cartridges) onto an aircraft with you!!!
Part 2D - Protective / Optional Equipment.
* Tank covers such as the Dye Rhino protects your tank, not only in the middle of a game, but do you want your tank to get dinged when it's in your luggage? I didn't think so...
* HPA/N2 Regulators such as the Smart Parts MaxFlo Micro make air travel with your air system easy! (DOES NOT WORK WITH CO2!) The reason I direct linked to this paticular product is because this is the only one designed with air travel in mind!
* Regulator Covers such as this Empire one will keep your regulator from being damaged in transit.
Part 3 - Paintballs.
Part 3A - What does the TSA say?
There is no information about this on the TSA website. I aim to ask them over the phone on their exact reasoning and get a quote for you.
Part 3B - What this really means.
Well, in my personal experience when the TSA have checked my luggage, they informed me that paintballs are on the prohibited chemical list - so I'm passing this on to you guys, please do not attempt to take paintballs onto the plane with you, the TSA at my airport check bags in fron of passengers, because there's only 30 people that can fit on a plane, they check everyones bag and can avoid any problems unlike in the bigger airports.
Part 4 - Other Equipment.
Forward: As far as I am aware, there are no further restrictions, so these are just general tips. For the most part, you can take everything in your hand luggage except for items with sharp ends (screwdrivers, knives etc.).
Part 4A - What does the TSA say?
Well, we've moved on from the realms of real dedicated paintball equipment that the TSA really care about, do there isn't anything on their website.
Part 4B - Space.
So you've got your pods, and these things aren't exactly small, taking up space in your luggage - do what I do, stuff them with other things! I manage to fit my ATC-2K in one pod with a pair of socks as padding, all the cables and attachments in a different pod, tools in a third (this is good because the
TSA agent isn't going to impale themselves on your sharp screwdriver)... anything you can do, because space is really at a premium.
Part 4C - Protective / Optional Equipment.
* Stackable pods such as these VL 140 rounders fit inside each other to save space.
* Collapsable pods such as these Smart Parts 140 rounders squish down to 1/3 of their original size.
* Pod bags such as this Dye bag hold upwards of 20 pods together so they don't shift around in transit, and should the pod open, the contents won't have gone everywhere.
This post has been edited by SHRIMPED!: 26 March 2008 - 09:32 PM