Article: Shipping Ammo with UPS

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Shipping Ammo With UPS | Heels and Handguns

Shipping Ammo With UPS
Lil Chantilly / December 28, 2012 / 2 comments

My brother in law gave me some ammo for Christmas, and for that – I was very grateful! I spent the Holiday in Colorado, and had to fly home today. I considered packing and declaring the ammo in my checked baggage, but since I had my kids with me, including my 5 year old son, I thought it would be easier to ship it home. I frequently hear that UPS is firearm friendly, so I researched their policy online. Yes, they do ship firearms and ammo. It said, ammo must be properly labeled and packed in a secure cardboard, metal, or plastic box. This ammo was in the original package, and I placed the boxes in another sturdy cardboard box.

I didn’t have the proper labels, so took my ammunition and went to the UPS store down the street. The young lady in that store nearly freaked out when I calmly told her I wanted to ship ammo. She said, “We don’t do that!” You could tell she was very uncomfortable. I told her that the UPS website said they did indeed. So, she called her manager. She was told that the UPS stores have their own policies and this store did not ship ammo, but she was very nice and directed me to a central UPS hub in Denver. She said they would do it, no problem.

Luckily, I had my mom with me, and she knew how to get around in Denver. We headed out to the UPS hub, and with the exception of my mom almost killing me in an intersection (ha ha mom – I couldn’t resist!) we found the hub easily. We walked up the the register with the cardboard box, still open, with no label, and told the lady there we needed to ship ammo. She said, ok, but it needs to be labeled properly. I then asked, “do you have the proper labels?” She said they did not. She just looked at me, I looked at her. It occurred to me that was the end of the conversation. Only, I wasn’t quite finished. So, I inquired, “well – where do I get the labels?” She said they were not allowed to tell us, and that people wanting to ship firearms or ammo were required to know the rules and have the box labeled prior to coming to ship it. I sighed, and just said ok. I was polite, she was polite. I understood she was following corporate policy. I started to walk out, and she asked me to hold on. She conferred with another lady, and they agreed to help me. She brought me a printed paper with the policy, and told me to draw the ORM-D label on the side. I did so as perfectly as I could, my mom even complemented my drawing! (Ha!) They sealed up the box, and then added the shipping label.


What did I learn?

I did research the UPS shipping policy. At the store, I learned that it was 100% my responsibility to fully pack and label my ammo (or firearm).

The UPS stores probably won’t ship these items, I recommend going directly to a main customer service center.

Would I ship ammo again?

Yes – it actually was easy, once I knew what the full expectation was.

I would like to thank the two ladies who helped me today, I will do it 100% right next time!



You can use a magic marker directly on the package also to make a label.
The Portland hub on Swan Island was very helpful and gave me a paper label so I could make copies.
Just make sure that nothing rattles when you shake the package.
If you ship 3 or 4 boxes of 223 it can be as little as 12 bucks. but it goes up fast, i shipped 10 boxes of 223 and it cost 26 dollars in shipping.
Yes, I had the same experience - the local UPS store rejected a case of ammo and told me to go to the local hub. Here's what I found:

"Limited Quantity" and ORM-D Labels For Shipping Ammo - Updated for 2011 -

"ORM-D labels are being phased out by DOT in order to harmonize U.S. shipping rules with United Nations standards. Here's the new "Limited Quantity" label to be used on ammo shipments from now on.


The good news is the new label doesn't have any indicator that the package contains ammunition. The bad news is the new label is gigantic compared to the old ORM-D label.

Here is a link to a PDF file for a sheet of these "Limited Quantity" labels. You are required to use one of the larger labels on one side of any package containing ammunition. If the package is too small for one of the larger labels then you are permitted to use one of the smaller labels instead. Because of the size requirement in the regulations, you only get two of each label on standard piece of printer paper.

You can continue to use the old ORM-D "Cartridges, Small Arms" labels until December 31, 2020 if you wish."

Bear in mind that the ORM-D label is a Department of Transportation requirement, not a UPS one. Also...UPS stores are semi-independent franchises that are allowed to refuse service to anyone they see fit. I am a 26 yr UPS driver, lately I have been delivering an average of 1000 rounds of ammo per day to various customers, even when the box isnt labeled I can tell whats in it just by the weight and the way the package feels and sounds. It comes in handy for me, on more than one occasion recently I have wound actually buying some of the ammo from the person I delivered it to!


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