What's in your Range Bag, Philip Hemphill?

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posted on January 12, 2017
Watch the video above, featuring the Smith & Wesson revolver used by Philip Hemphill in winning five consecutive NRA National Police Pistol Championship titles. Video courtesy of NRA National Firearms Museum.

He may be retired, but he’s still shooting strong. Mississippian Philip Hemphill won his first National Championship Precision (Bullseye) Pistol title in 2011, repeating the feat in 2016. But winning is not new to Hemphill, a former state trooper, who has earned top spot at the National Police Shooting Championships 10 times over the course of his career. In 2007, NRA awarded Hemphill “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.” His .38 cal. custom-designed Smith & Wesson revolver is on display in the law enforcement case in the NRA National Firearms Museum.

Instead of a bag, Precision Pistol competition demands a box. Hemphill explains, “A box is stiff enough to support and hold all of the high tech equipment I have.” So, of course we switched gears and asked him, “What’s in the box?”

  • Pistols and Ammunition—At the 2016 Nationals, Hemphill used a Feinwerkbau AW93 paired with an Aimpoint Micro H1 for rimfire. Prior to this year, he used a Hammerli, but now that is his backup gun. For centerfire and .45 cal., he used a Rock River Arms 1911 paired with the same microdot as the AW93 that “shoots like a house on fire!” For ammunition, he used Zero Ammunition factory match 185-gr. jacketed hollow point.
  • Screwdriver to make a sight change if necessary.
  • Kowa 15-25 spotting scope.
  • Rosin powderRemember, he trains in Mississippi.
  • Hardware wire“to keep neighbor’s brass from burning me.”
  • Timer“to make sure I finish up on time.”
  • CMM brass catcher (which he prefers for Camp Perry because it is heavy and doesn’t blow over)“Besides, I’m too old and fat to bend over and pick up brass!”
  • Peltor ear muffs and soft plugs.
  • Tinted pair of Randolph shooting glasses with .50 correction.

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