June 2000:

Cruffling is often as much of a paperwork drill as it is the fine art of collecting vintage firearms.  For each C&R firearm that is either received or disposed of, a corresponding entry must be made in the individual cruffler's Acquisition and Disposition Record, or "Bound Book."  The types of information that must be recorded are clearly defined in the regulations governing the curio and relic license.     RK Enterprises Collector Record Book
However, as many crufflers soon discover, there are many other types of information of which to keep track, all of which are important.   "How do I know that I'veentered all the necessary information in the disposition record?"  "Which companies have my FFL on file?"  "Which parts of my collection did I buy with my FFL and which parts did I buy as a non-licensee?"  These are all important questions, and while most crufflers can devise mechanisms to record all this information, it is very easy to neglect one vital piece of information or another.

Enter RK Enterprises.  RK Enterprises is a Santa Barbara, California based company owned by Bob and Jennie Kohn that specializes in providing federal firearms license application kits, custom dealer forms, BATF required record books for dealers, gunsmiths and collectors, and a variety of other transaction record supplies to the federal firearms licensee community.  RK Enterprises has been serving the firearms community for almost 20 years.  The company got its start in 1981 when one of Bob's friends purchased a "dealer licensing kit" from a vendor advertising in the Shotgun News.  The kit turned out to be little more than the federal application form accompanied by some poorly researched "guidelines."  The kit's poor research and quality resulted in Bob's friend nearly losing his license, and finding himself in hot water with the local zoning board because the kit never mentioned the requirement for complying with all local laws!  Bob, a photographer by trade,  took a look at the materials, and then did some research of his own.  What he realized was that he could provide a product that was superior not only in quality of materials and aesthetics, but that would provide the correct legal and regulatory information and record keeping formats.   Bob and Jenny founded RK Enterprises and began turning out dealer, gunsmith and collector supplies.  Today, all printing is done on premises, and the company provides almost thirty individual products, ranging from licensing kits to record books to gun price tags and gunsmith repair tags, as well as product packages for the dealer, collector, and gunsmith.   More importantly, Bob, an FFL holder for almost twenty years,  is happy to spend time talking to his customers personally, discussing all types of issues relating to record keeping and the regulatory end of being a firearms licensee.

We contacted Bob and asked him to send us RK Enterprises product number SP-5, the Curio and Relic Collector FFL Package.  A few days later the Cruffler's Friend (aka the UPS man) knocked on our door bearing a package from RK Enterprises.  The package contained the following items:

Gun Wholesaler List
In a nutshell, we viewed the wholesalers list with what was going to become a recurrent theme with respect to the RK Enterprises products.  That is to say, it was something that an industrious cruffler could have come up with for himself, but the savings in time and effort provided more than enough value to justify the product's cost.  The list consists of a single double-sided typewritten sheet with list entries for some thirty-three wholesalers.  It is subdivided between those specializing in new firearms and those specializing in older and military surplus firearms.  Each list entry contains  name, address, phone and fax numbers, as well as payment options, and whether or not the wholesaler in question sends out catalogs periodically.  While the list is very comprehensive, we'd like to see URL's and email addresses added in the future.

FFL Copies Disposition Record
We loved this one.  It falls into that category of products labeled "Now why didn't I think of that?"  It's not that it's a complex or difficult amalgam of information for anyone with a spreadsheet program on their computer, or for that matter a pad of graph paper, to organize.  The unique aspect of this product is the thoughtful and comprehensive manner in which it is presented.  At a glance, the licensee can tell how many copies of his FFL have been sent out, the date each copy was mailed, to whom the copy was sent, their address, and the date the FFL in question expires.  There is also a section for any important comments so that the licensee can tell why that particular individual or organization received the FFL.  Additionally, each page of the FFL Copies Disposition Record has pertinent advice for the licensee (like "Never sign your original FFL") on the bottom of the page.

Collector Record Book
This is a handsome spiral bound volume with an almost indestructible laminated cover.  (We know this because we gave it to a cruffler with small children with instructions to "test it to destruction.")  Indestructible is a good thing in an Acquisition and Disposition (A&D) book as entries are often made with hands full of cosmoline, solvent, and 75 year old gunk that's late of some vintage firearm.  RK Enterprises thoughtfully encloses a pair of the latest versions of the Type 03 FFL application inside the front cover.  The inside of the cover and the frontspiece are literally covered with a "Cruffler's List of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers," complete with the appropriate regulatory and legislative citations.  The remainder of the book is equally divided between acquisition records on each left hand page with corresponding disposition records on each right hand page.  The format rigidly adheres to that specified in Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 178.125(f).   The back cover of the book is made of thick, heavy card stock.

Personal Firearms Record Book
Strictly speaking, holders of Type 03 FFL's are not required by either law or regulation to maintain a Personal Firearms Record Book.  These books are required for Type 01 FFL holders who acquire a personal, non-inventory, firearm using their FFL, and later sell it as a private individual.  However, the book is of use to crufflers (despite the fact that by definition crufflers cannot have "inventory") in that it allows them to maintain an accurate record of those firearms acquired without using their FFL.  In the unlikely event that the cruffler is inspected by the BATF and is asked to differentiate between those firearms acquired with and without the the FFL, this record provides an easy means to do so.  Each page is a complete acquisition and disposition record, and provides for a complete firearm description, acquisition and disposition record, and a record of any improvements and repairs made to that firearm.

Multi-Weapon Transaction Record
This is another of RK Enterprises' "Now why didn't I think of that?"  products.  While not essential for sales made by a cruffler, the forms provide a complete sales/transfer record for up to ten firearms.   The form provides space for complete buyer and seller information, detailed information for each firearm transferred or sold, payment data, and terms of payment.   Again, while not a legal requirement, it is a nicely done product that goes a long way towards ensuring that "all the t's are crossed and the i's dotted" with respect to any transaction.  We supplied a copy of the form to our resident attorney (yes, some of them are "gun people" too) for review.  His comment was that it was one of the best sales records he'd ever seen, for any type of transaction.  The "hidden feature" of this product is that it can be brought to a private transaction or gun show by you, the *buyer* and used to record all the seller's information, which may not be present on the seller's receipt or invoice, and will be very useful if a problem with the transaction is later discovered.

Record keeping supplies are certainly something that a cruffler can create for himslef at a minimal cost.  However, while the RK Enterprises products may cost more (the reviewed kit sells for $23.95 plus shipping) the are thoughtfully created, well executed, and entirely useful.  They provide a measure of certainty and peace of mind  in an arena where guesswork and ambiguity are best kept to a minimum, not to mention a degree of personal service that is hard to find these days.  Put another way, the cost of the kit is less than two boxes of factory .45 ACP ammunition.  We think that it's a more than worthwhile investment.

For information on purchasing RK Enterprises products contact RK Enterprises:

RK Enterprises
2616 Las Positas Road
Santa Barbara,  California  93105
(805) 687-1416
Fax:  (805) 687-4565

or email CRUFFLER.COM.

And now, our Buy-O-Meter rating for this product:


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