Bay teen joins elite gun group

BAY, Ark. – Six people per year are part of the elite group known as “Young Guns,” and a teen from Bay is one of those six for 2017.

Known as “Bullwhip,” in the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS), Nathan Higgins, 14, of Bay was selected as one of six Cimarron “Young Guns” nationwide, Tuesday, his father, Dr. Cliff Higgins, told NEA Report.

“I heard Cimarron firearms is looking for some young guns,” Nathan said in his submission video. “I’ll be your Huckleberry.”

The daughter of the Cimarron founder notified him via email.  Winners of the honor areimage2 members of the SASS, a group honoring replica-style single-action guns. The Cimarron website says candidates “aiming high in shooting sports, in academics, and in preserving our country’s history,” will be chosen.

“He basically represents their company,” Cliff said. “What they want you to do is keep them posted on your matches and periodically send in YouTube videos of you shooting. We’ll have a banner made and display it for him when we travel.”

On top of the honor, Higgins will receive two custom Pietta engraved single-action .357 revolvers and he will represent the Cimarron Firearms Company along with five other elite choices as a Young Gun.

“I am very excited to be selected as one of the six Young Guns for 2017, and to represent such excellent companies in the firearms industry,” Nathan wrote back.

Higgins father is a dentist in Bay. He, too, is a member of the SASS and has a love for the classic style firearms from the late 1800s. As members of the group choose aliases for their events, the dentist had an easy decision to make.

“I’m a dentist so I had to go with Doc Holliday,” Cliff said. “I’ve got a shoulder holster like Val Kilmer in Tombstone.”

He also has the same styled mustache – of which he said his wife is not a fan!

Doc and Bullwhip at the Cowboy Banquet in Hot Springs

Doc and Bullwhip have come together through the gun society in a way that is difficult not to appreciate. Both the father and son have a demonstrated passion for the style of weapon they shoot, but it goes beyond that. They regularly attend events, like a recent one in Hot Springs, with stages set up like an actual movie set might feel like.

“Where we shot in Hot Springs, it was ten stages,” Cliff said. “Every one of these big shoots, they generally use a movie theme. What they did with our state shoot, they did the John Wayne movie McLintock!. They had a train, a bank and a barber shop.”

The two seem to be on an adventure most father and son combinations only dream of but it began as a recent interest for the Higgins clan.

“What we did, for Christmas, I got our memberships to the Single Action Shooting Society,” Higgins said. “I got our memberships and started buying the guns and acquiring everything I needed, clothes period specific to the late 1800s.”

The two haven’t looked back since, attending shows and buying guns from their favorite era – or replicas of them, at least. Higgins said they go with a modern version because of safety and safety is what the SASS is all about.

“A lot of it is big on safety,” Cliff said. “Every time you go to a loading table, there are people who watch you set up. You’ll stage your shotgun and your rifle so you’re not running around with loaded firearms. You shoot the stage and you immediately hold them up and go to the unloading table, to take all of those unspent rounds out of your gun.”

Nathan displays a noticeable talent with shooting and his father plans for the two to continue their journey. Nathan said he hopes to follow in the footsteps of those like famed orthopedic surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, with a possible career in sports medicine.

View Nathan’s submission video to Cimarron.

Story by Stan Morris; Photos and video submitted by Cliff Higgins.

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