“Although people may not know my name, everyone pretty much knows who the guitar man is!”
Port Clinton, Ohio - Civilian Brian Keyser was the only competitor to place in the top three for both of yesterday's NRA National Championship Revolver Matches. Keyser was third in the Harry Reeves Memorial Revolver Match and second in Distinguished Revolver. He's been known by competitors for years as "the guitar man" and I was lucky enough to speak with him after this morning's Pistol Preliminary Match.
A carpenter by trade, Keyser was inspired to create innovative cases to replace the standard, small gun zipper cases.
When cleaning out his new home, he found a guitar case among the discarded remnants left by the previous owner. That's when it hit him ... "well this would be a funny gun box. I'll just use this for fun until I build something unique." Little did he know the tremendous impact it would have. Enough to end up making him famous.
After ten years of using a camouflage guitar gun case, Keyser began to think of a change. In 1999, he found the very guitar case pictured above and painted an American flag. Although Keyser claims not to be artistic, one can appreciate the hard work, time and creativity that went into his efforts.
Not only is the outside a custom job, but there are also custom compartments for his equipment and tools inside. Keyser glued layers of foam together and made created another layer of protection with a pillow. Using a hanger heated by a blow torch, he cut away a portion of the foam to hold his gun and magazines. His finished product now holds two guns, barrels, magazines, spotting scope, screwdriver, oil, spare firing pins, stop watch, powder—basically "everything you probably need on the line."
Keyser has more than just the American flag guitar case — there are two more musical instrument cases for his revolver and air pistol. Probably for the best when considering that the last time he brought a regular pistol case to a match, the competitors peppered him with "where's your guitar case" questions. Thus inspired, he purchased a mandolin case for his revolver, which he used at yesterday's matches.
Since 1993, Keyser and his unique gun cases have been a part of Camp Perry. He loves the challenging aspects of the National Championships and he finds these trials a unique aspect of the area. Keyser laughed when telling me, "the first year or two or three at Camp Perry—all bad stuff happens to you." That might be because he only used blinders to prevent loss of concentration when he started shooting. Now, however, Keyser has a pair of blinders that also takes care of the blinding sun.
Although Brian Keyser first brought out his a guitar gun case as a joke, his creative idea has become a conversation piece that allows him to meet a lot of people. So if you are planning on competing at Camp Perry in 2013, keep your eye out for "The Guitar Man - Brian Keyser."