A year ago, I sent my model 650 back for repair. I got on the Taurus website, filled out a repair form, printed two copies, put one copy in the Taurus box with the pistol and then bubble wrapped it. It went into a standard cardboard shipping box. USPS will NOT ship handguns, unless you have a FFL registered with them. UPS and FEDEX require your to pay 2nd Day Air costs ($50 from Texas to Miami). I chose FEDEX - I insured the package, and told them that I owned the gun and that it was being sent back to the factory for repair. Read the rules on FEDEX website - Taurus will send the gun back the same way it comes to them (FEDEX in my case) to the originating address in a few weeks. They will NOT notify you that they have shipped it. Call the 1-800 service number, and give them the serial number to find out the status of the gun. FEDEX will only deliver if a person over 18 signs for the package. Warning - they will send the gun back to TAURUS if you don't come and get it quickly after they leave a notice at your door. The carriers (UPS and FEDEX) do not like handguns in their facilities and will be quick to get rid of it and potential liability.
Lots of info - PM if you have more questions.
I chose to use Fed-Ex as UPS posts their facilities as No Weapons per Mn state law. Why should I give an apparently anti-gun business money if I have another option? Plus Fed-Ex is easier to get to and I've had no hassles the two times I've shipped guns (1 sale and 1 warranty return). If you aren't there they leave a tag and will try 3 times (total) to get you. I usually call right away to have them leave it at the office and pick it up ASAP. Especially if you work an off shift on a regular basis.
And I think you are required to send it Next Day not Second Day.
From what I've heard unless you have an FFL you can't go USPS.
Here's a good case for having a good working relationship with your FFL dealer. I've shipped guns back for service, but my FFL dealer will ship them USPS Priority for my (at my expense, of course.) However, the cost for this is always less than $10. It takes a few more days, but who cares? Sure beats Overnight Air rates. Another way to do it is ship by common carrier (UPS, Fed EX) ground service, just don't tell them what you're shipping. If anyone asks, it's "machine parts". Address the package to "Service Department" and don't write anything on the package referring to firearms. Going through an FFL is of course the best way. The small independant guys need your business, and are usually happy to help you out if you're a good customer. I always have them ship back to my FFL as well, because then I know someone will be there to receive the package when it comes in. Look over the shipping guide link here from Gunbroker. This can answer many questions as well. http://www.gunbroker.com/Support/SupportFAQView.asp?FAQID=1118&NoCount=1
I shipped mine via FedEx and Taurus shipped it back to me via FedEx. Taurus is an FFL so they can send and recieve from private parties. It cost me about $40 to ship it. Taurus paid for shipping it to me. The fix was covered by warranty so all I really paid was the shipping to them.
cost me $50 from the main UPS distro in austin. that's quite a sight, early in the morning as all the trucks leave for their routes... all those brown clowns... ) had it shipped to my work address, and they needed someone over 18 to sign for it. yet, you have to be 21 in texas to own a hand gun, interesting.
i don't mind, it makes sure taurus gets it that much quicker. and as most of us can attest, the turn around time is kinda iffy down in florida.
but i'm not sure about the legality of sending it as 'machined parts'... if you're not caught, nobody's the wiser. but if the package is stolen, or opened, or left on your door step...