May 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 , as many new to the fold soon find out, is an intensive hobby in many ways.  It is time intensive.  It is labor intensive.  It is financially intensive.  And it is S P A C E intensive.  What starts out as a modest collection of a couple of rifles and pistols can blossom, seemingly overnight, into dozens of guns that seem to take over a room and overflow their allotted storage.   (This would be the appropriate  Ironoak Leather Products Sabre Small of the Back, Inside the Waistband Holster
time to tell the Cruffle-spouse about the amazing reproductive qualities of classic firearms and their amazingly short gestation periods.  .  .)  The Cruffler is then left with the agonizing question of how to store and display his guns in a manner that maximizes both efficiency and  the ability to see and enjoy the firearms easily.  This is a more difficult task than it would seem.  The guns have to be stored compactly, yet measures have to be taken to ensure that the guns are not damaged in storage by rubbing against one another.  Additionally, one wants the firearms to be reasonably accessible for inspection or admiration.   The answer?  One word:  Racks.

There are many types of racks available to the collector today.  The difficulty lies in finding a rack that is well made, practical, and a good value.

Enter Vern Grazer.  Vern is a retired machinist who operates a small shop with his wife, Carol in Sanger, California.  Vern started out making rifle and pistol racks for friends, and in 1994 began to build his racks for the shooting public.

Vern's pistol racks are all hand made from exterior grade plywood.  Exterior grade plywood is chosen both because of its strength and because it will not warp.  The completed racks are then sanded smooth and painted with a slow drying mastic glue.  As the glue dries, the racks are sprayed with powdered rayon fiber in either silver (gray), brown, or black.   Powdered rayon is used for a number of reasons; it doesn't absorb oil or water, it is very soft and will not mar the finish on even the most carefully blued guns, and it is reasonably durable.  It is, by the way, the same finish that is used on jewelry boxes.  As Carol Grazer pointed out, "If it's not going to harm your gold and and your silver, it's not going to hurt your guns."  The racks come in a variety of sizes, from a four pistol rack to a large one that will hold sixteen pistols.  Mind you, when we say "large," we're talking about an item that is 20" long by 10.5" high by 12" deep, or just about the perfect size for the far end of the workbench in the gun room.

After seeing Vern's website (,  one of our intrepid CRUFFLER.COM staffers called (Vern and Carol prefer that customers use their toll-free number for credit card security) and ordered one of the gray sixteen pistol racks for $60.00 ($50.00 for the rack, $10.00 shipping).  It was shipped the next day (Vern and Carol have a stock of racks, so there is at most a two day wait between order and shipment), and arrived on the east coast via UPS Ground shipment a few days later.  The rack was well packed and arrived without damage.  We immediately set it up on a workbench and placed it so that the back of the rack was against a wall.  This turned out to be  less than optimal, as the upper rack needs to be several inches from the wall to account for barrels that overhang the rear of the rack.  Moving the rack a few inches solved this problem.

We tried just about every size and shape handgun in the rack, from M1911A1 style pistols to Lugers to P.38's to large and small frame revolvers with barrels running from two to eight inches.  About the only guns that the rack wouldn't hold securely were tiny micro-autos like the Bayard M1908 and a Kel-Tec P32.  At the same time, the pistols, which are held at a 2.5" center to center distance, are kept far enough apart so that there are no worries about the pistols contacting one another while being inserted into or removed from the rack.

The rack we tested was solid and well made, and performed its task of holding and displaying the pistols extremely well, and we believe that it is certainly worth the price asked.  However, there are a number of things we would have liked to have seen as part of the rack's design:

In a nutshell?  Vern Grazer makes a good rack, one that will undoubtedly last as long as the pistols which it holds, and that is an excellent value for the money.  However, as we've mentioned, there are some features we'd like to see added to the racks.  Nevertheless, even without the extra features these racks offer excellent quality and value, and we recommend them.

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


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