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The Bug A Salt 2.0

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Bug-A-Salt 2.0.

This report covers:

  • Enter the Bug-A-Salt 2.0
  • How the gun works
  • Automatic safety
  • Testing the Bug-A-Salt 2.0
  • Patterning
  • Best projectiles
  • Other insects?
  • Aerial shooting
  • Not at Pyramyd Air

I’m writing today’s report in memory of Edith, because she asked me to. She was fascinated by this little insect zapper, and when it was advertised on television recently she bought two for us. Like everyone, we have occasional houseflies that annoy us whenever we sit still. It’s especially bothersome when we are trying to watch television. For many years I killed them with a rubber band, but that was troublesome and Edith never was able to do it, so I was the designated fly-killer in the house.

Our three cats will watch flies all day long without doing much more. One of them — Dale Evans — a little female calico, even catches them for sport. But it’s a catch-and-release program for her — the number of flies stays pretty constant.

Several years ago we bought one of those electronic tennis racquet-looking things that electrocutes flies on the wire grid of the racquet head. They’re great and they really do work, but Edie got cocky and took on a couple wasps with one. When you whack a wasp inside your house you want to make sure it stays down. Otherwise you’ll be chased around your own home, and that’s never a good thing. So Edie whacked the wasps pretty hard and she broke the handle of the swatter against some furniture. The racket still works — it’s just not much fun to use because the handle is taped together.

Many years ago the Beeman Company started selling a pistol-like fly swatter. When Beeman was sold to the Chinese, the fly swatter went off the market for a time, then Pyramyd AIR brought it back under the Air Venturi brand name.

Air Venturi Fly Swatter
Air Venturi fly swatter gives you the pleasure of shooting the flies with a gun.

I haven’t test that one yet, but I know how it works in principal. The round swatter is propelled from the gun by a spring and kills the flies on impact, just like a normal swatter. It’s tethered to the gun so you can recover it quickly and reload.

Enter the Bug-A-Salt 2.0

But the Bug-A-Salt 2.0 is a real gun! It’s a shotgun whose charge is common table salt. One fill of the reservoir is enough for 80 shots, and a clear cap on the reservoir tells you what’s inside. I can’t tell whether the powerplant is a catapult, where just the power of the spring propels the salt, or if it is a spring-piston, which would be much more powerful. What I do know is it works — and it works at distances I would not have believed before I tested it.

The salt reservoir holds enough for 80 shots. The cover is clear so you always know the status of the charge.

Yes, there was a first model. It was much less powerful than the 2.0, and it held salt for 50 shots.

How the gun works

The Bug-A-Salt 2.0 is entirely plastic on the outside. It has an orange tip to signify it isn’t a firearm, but I got the yellow gun that looks nothing like a firearm. There is now a camo model for those who hunt flies while dressed in a ghillie suit.

Cock the gun by pulling back on the sliding handhold under the forearm. It’s sculpted to fit the hand for an easy grasp. Not much force is required to cock the gun, but every time you do the automatic safety is set. You must then rotate the safety switch forward before the shot can be taken.

Automatic safety

The automatic safety is the only feature that bothers me about this gun. It’s ergonomically located to allow access by the shooting hand when holding the gun, but I want to just cock and shoot. If there are many targets, its a hassle to have to keep taking the safety off every time. Maybe that is why there is a You Tube video showing how to disable the mechanism. I’m not going to do that to my gun, though, because — let’s be honest — this isn’t a gun I use that much. I just want it when I need it and I can put up with how the safety is designed.

The safety comes on automatically every time the gun is cocked. Push forward to fire.

Testing the Bug-A-Salt 2.0

When I first got it, our house was unnaturally free of insects for a week. Just prior to the package arriving I had killed 2 flies using rubber bands. So the first test was out at my rifle range! We always have a lot of flying bugs out there and I killed 2 common houseflies the first time I used the gun. Both flies disappeared when shot, moving in line with the direction of the salt.

I also discovered at this time that a good substitute for a fly is an empty .22 rimfire cartridge — and there are plenty of them on the ground at a rifle range. They are light enough to move when hit by the salt, so you can learn how to aim your gun without the need for flies.

I should mention that the 2.0 version of the gun does have a front and rear sight. The rear sight only pops up when the gun is cocked. Maybe it will help some people, but I just point and shoot.

Then I finally found a bug in my house. Not a housefly, mind you, but some sort of beetle-looking thing about the same size. I shot it from 2 feet and blew it away — despite the beetle’s outer shell. This was a smaller beetle whose shell wasn’t as hard as some of them get. I wouldn’t shoot this at a Texas water beetle! Those things have been known to scare cats!


Okay, let’s see how this thing shoots. Bug-A-Salt recommends using household tinfoil as a medium for patterning. And they recommend using ordinary table salt. They don’t specify whether it needs to be iodized, but mine wasn’t.

I shot the tinfoil from 30 inches back and got a larger pattern than the Bug-A-Salt literature says — about 3 inches, rather than the 2-1/4 inches shown in the literature than comes inside the box. The difference might just be in where the pattern is declared to start and stop. The pattern is so dense that nothing inside would have been missed by the salt crystals. I then backed up to 36 inches and shot a second time. This pattern was larger by nearly an inch, but the inner pattern was still dense enough to hit any fly. I think I would get as close as I could, but from what I’ve seen I would not hesitate to shoot from 30 inches. That is so much better than the 1-2 inches I have to be from the fly when using a rubber band!

This is the pattern for table salt at 30 inches. The pattern is round, with evenly dispersed salt crystals.

The pattern at all the useful distances is both round and the salt crystals are evenly distributed throughout.

Best projectiles

The internet is loaded with chatter about the best projectiles to use in this gun. Besides table salt, poppy seeds are recommended in many places. John McCaslin, the owner of AirForce Airguns, told me he has found kosher salt to work better than straight table salt. That’s because the salt crystals are larger. I haven’t tried that yet, but it makes sense. Maybe you should think of table salt as number 6 birdshot and kosher salt as buckshot.

One thing you do need to know is this gun is very safe to use, as long as you respect it. Yes, there will be salt on the floor after each shot, but I have shot mine in the house for this report and have yet to see any granules lying about. Maybe that’s a blessing granted by my advancing years? Anyhow, I vacuum and dust often enough to take care of it. It isn’t like I shoot a fly every day.

The fly will not be splattered. It stays whole, but dead. You will be able to find it after the shot, but expect it to move several feet from the impact.

Other insects?

Here is where it starts getting dicey. I would use this gun on insects that are known to have softer bodies, with the common house fly at the top of the list. However, as the insect becomes more armored, I would consider carefully whether this is the best method. Yes, the wings of a wasp are probably damaged by the blast, but I would be more careful about an insect that can fight back. Spiders, on the other hand, usually have softer bodies and I would take my chances. However, since some of them are venomous, I would not recommend picking one up until it has been thoroughly squashed.

Aerial shooting

Almost everyone who sees a Bug-A-Salt for the first time wonders if it is suited for arial targets. I would have to say no. Flies usually move so fast that they are hard to see in flight when they get close enough to shoot, plus this gun is as far from a natural pointing shotgun as it is possible to get. It doesn’t cost anything to try, though. Decide for yourself.

Not at Pyramyd Air

I know you are wondering whether Pyramyd AIR will carry this gun. I would advise them not to, because the gun is widely sold through discount channels that have destroyed any potential for making a profit. That’s something Pyramyd AIR must consider for every item they stock. They might sell a couple thousand salt guns in a year’s time, but the profit margin is so low that it would actually drain their cash to handle it. If you aren’t into retail operations this statement might sound absurd, but not everything that sells is good for a company.

That’s my review of the Bug-A-Salt 2.0. We bought 2, which I consider to be a lifetime supply. Yes it will wear with use and yes, there are some parts available, but let’s face it — this is not an heirloom airgun. What is is, though, is one of the cleverest ways I’ve seen for dealing with the common housefly.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

149 thoughts on “The Bug A Salt 2.0”

  1. Looks like a fun little bug killer.

    But maybe somebody could set up a ultra mini feild target course in the house with some ping pong balls randomly placed and maybe some of those little paper Dixie cups turned up side down.

    Or maybe kids could shoot at ballons on a board for a birthday party game.

    Just guessing. Maybe the bug a salt doesn’t make enough power. But it still be fun to try.

    • Gunfun1
      Watch the video on their website as it shows a complete an army base scenario setup and the fly’s and other bugs being blasted with it as well as the army men and it is like a mortar sized scattergun in relation to the bugs and army men as it blows them off their feet with ease

      Where was this gun when we were growing up and playing with our army men as we would have never lost a battle with one of them at our side. We used to get the blue tip matches and wrap the heads in tin foil and het it with another match until the sulfur exploded to create our own artillery shell as it would blow the tin foil off the match that was carefully propped up in the strawberry crates and aimed at oncoming enemy troops to destroy large group of enemy troops in one swift blow much like a mortar would itself and won many a war with our blue tip mortars.


      • Buldawg
        I will have to check out the video.

        And yep I remember those matches. We use to take the small (A) size Estes model rockets that were about 6″ long and about 1″ in diameter. We use to put model cars out in a open plowed feild and try to shoot them. If you figured your distance right the wadding and charge at the end of the rocket engine would explode out at the time it hit the ground.

        And no we never hit one of the model cars in the plowed field. But we shure had fun trying.

        And now I really shouldn’t hit the post comment button because my daughters might read this and want to try it. I know how we get on 4th of July. But it can be very dangerous if you ain’t got enough room or the feild is not plowed and there is dry grass or such around.

        And I haven’t looked in awhile they may not even have the model rockets anymore.

        • Gunfun1
          Oh yea the Estes model rockets are as big as ever and probably even bigger as far as rockets go as I see them all the time when visiting hobby lobby and those bring back memories as well. The motors are still the same A.B.C and D size like always and we would strap them to model boats and launch the boats in the canal behind the house but never could get the center of thrust right as they always ended up being submarines instead of boats but the motors burn underwater just as well as on land.

          I would bet firing them on land with no rocket attached was fun and dangerous at the same time as no way to predict the flight path and insuing burn trail they left behind.

          Yea you need to hide this post from your daughters or you may find burn trails thru the yard after they read this or will bug you until you show them just what you did as a kid LOL.


          • Buldawg
            We didn’t do the Rocket engine by itself. We but it in a little 6″ tall rocket. And we wouldn’t pack a parachute in the Rocket. Just some of the wadding that was usually used to keep the parachute from melting.

            You could buy those little 6″ inch rockets for 3 for a dollar. You know what we did with our lunch money our parents gave us. 🙂

            • Gunfun1
              Ok yea I shot off a bunch those little rockets with the bug I think the C size engines or it might have been the D size but if I am remembering right the D size were bigger in diameter than the A thru C size motors but we put the biggest engine that would fit the smallest rocket you could get so it would go as high and as fast as possible and most would disintegrate in flight due to the over powered engine accelerating the rocket past it capabilities.

              We would also put frogs or mice in the bigger rockets payload area and launch them to see if they could live thru the launch and separation at the end and the fall back to earth since I grew up in Cocoa Beach where the space program was in full swing we had to have our own space program going as well.


              • Buldawg
                Yes that A size was the smallest.

                What was cool is if I remember right the C and D size had 2 different types of engines. O me type was the charge at the end was like a explosion that popped the parachute out like on the smaller size engines. But the C And D sizes had a engine that you used for the 2 and 3 stage rockets. It didn’t explode but ignited and burned to light the 2nd stage.

                If I remember right I had a Saturn 5 multi stage model rocket that we launched a few times. I may be wrong about it being the Saturn 5. That just pops in my mind for some reason.

                But yea they were fun to launch.

                • Gunfun1
                  yea there was two types of C and D engine now that you bring that up and one did have the charge to pop the chute out and the other was for igniting the second or third stages on the big rocket like the Saturn five.

                  I remember watching the real Saturn five rockets go up and they would shake the ground like a class five earthquake does and if you had knick knack on the shelf in your house they would be on the floor after a launch. there were two launches that went up in the early morning hours and one the night shy was so clear that it could be seen as far north as Virginia at 2 am in the morning and in Cocoa Beach it was like 2 pm as it was as bright as the mid day sun when it launched. very cool .


                  • Buldawg
                    I would of loved to see the full size rocket launch. It would have to be a exciting event.

                    You don’t have any pictures by chance do you? Text or email me some if you do.

                    Just take a picture of the pictures with your phone. Still should be good enough detail to see.

                    That would be some cool history to have.

                    • Gunfun1
                      I got to watch almost all of the Gemini launches, all the Apollo launches and all the space shuttle launches until 1993 when I moved to Alabama.

                      Yes that was a very cool experience indeed to see all those rockets go up and feel the ground tremble as they took off and it was an even worse experience to watch the space shuttle Challenger go up and watch as it blew up and you could see all the pieces fall back to the ocean, not cool at all


                    • Gunfun1
                      I remember it liked it was yesterday as it was a unusually cold day for January 28 1986 in Florida as we had freezing temps overnight and there was still ice on the wings of the shuttle and it should have never been launched but it had been delayed 6 times already and NASA was hell bent on getting it off the ground come hell or high water and so it went up and came right back down. Piss poor decisions by people that had no clue as to the safety issue involved with launching in those temps.


                  • Buldawg
                    That’s what was bad about that whole space shuttle disaster.

                    That should of been a no go for that day. Lost life’s and lots of money too.

                    If they wanted to get that mission done because of time. Well another reason they lost out.

                    That was all just a big mistake the whole world got to see.

                    • Gunfun1
                      Yea it was not cool at all and the Morton Thycol engineers tried to tell them not to launch but as I said it was NASA big wigs that did not have a clue that forced it to be launched with disastrous results and then tried to blame Morton Thycol for the explosion.


                • Yes, if you know what you’re doing you can stack those stages.
                  And if you’re willing to pay the dues you can get rebuildable engine cartridges and just refill em

              • Though it was considered controversial to launch live payloads, I put electronics and a radio in a rocket and telemetered and recorded a mouse’s respiration rate during its “ride.” Centuri rocket motors were available in “F” class back then (80 newton – seconds). $6 per launch was a lot of paper route money!

                • Calinb
                  Yea they were controversial back then for NASA but our space program did not have the big brother to satisfy so we had no restrictions placed on us as to payloads or safety concerns as we only had to get it off the ground to be considered a successful launch.

                  Never thought about monitoring for health or stress levels as it was not expected for the payload to survive the return to earth.

                  Its been so long I don’t remember all the size motors they had or the specifics as to burn time or payload capacities we just always went with the more is better engineering principles and it worked pretty well, but we did have some failure on the launch pad from more power than the rocket could handle.


  2. Too bad it is not more stealthy. Our most frequent encounters with flies are at some of our local restaurants. How cool it would be to blast flies while waiting for your Big Mac and fries . That opens up another question. Does this weapon fall into the gun free zones ? Thanks for a neat blog BB .

      • Gunfun1
        They do make a camo model so you can sneak up on those pesky flies.

        I got to get one for the wife as she gets so aggravated by those flies and I could use it with ground up rock salt to shoot the wasps outside with my trusty brake clean at my side to get the ones that it does not fully incapacitate by destroying their wings as brake clean instantly melts their exoskeleton and they drop to the ground instantly without any time to counter attack you. best wasp spray there is as it shoots a fine stream with the straw attached 15 feet with ease so you can hit them before they get close to you just make sure it is not the eco friendly green bottle stuff but I use the CRC brand from wally world in the red cans.


          • Gunfun1
            I would get some rock salt and a mortar and pedestal and grind my own buck shot up to horsefly size or what ever your prey may be just as you would for birds or ducks and so on as you got to use the appropriate size shot for the size flyers you are after.


            • Buldawg
              As long as it didn’t slow the velocity down so much that it wasn’t effective enough.

              Our you could mix 2 types of salt sizes. Kind and of like how they do the shot gun home defense loads.

              • Gunfun1
                The possibilities are endless with it and it sound like it is a must have as the wife would be in heaven being able to do battle with those pesky flies the=at drive her crazy.


                • Buldawg
                  Yea I could keep one by my side when I’m out in the breezway shooting my other guns outside.

                  Ain’t it funny how you can have just one window open to the outside and every bug in creation seems to find its way in.

                  I got a feeling if we got a bug a salt at my house we would be fighting over who gets to shoot it.

                  • Gunfun1
                    Yea I would never get it out of my wife’s hands as she would go thru a pound of salt a week as just coming in and out the doors seem to let all the bugs there are in at once.


                    • Buldawg
                      Maybe I better not get one. The next thing that will happen is I will go broke buying salt.

                      Oh no then will have people start buying up all the salt they can get. Then there won’t be any on the shelf.

                      And that would be bad because I like my salt on my food.

                  • Gunfun1
                    Yea we will have a national salt shortage just like 22lr have been for 3 years now or more.

                    It would not affect my eating as I don’t use salt on anything other than what is in it already and salt does not taste good to me or add any flavor to food as far as I am concerned.


                    • Buldawg
                      But on the other hand if we had a salt shortage maybe we would have more healthy people.

                  • Gunfun1
                    Yea as I said a salt shortage would not really affect me as I don’t use it on food but it is excellent to kill weed and shrubs you don’t want because if you saturate the ground with enough salt nothing will grow and it is not harmful to the environment.


        • Michael

          Yep I wonder if it’s digital break up camo. I kind of like that design.

          And don’t you know its all about what you wear. They have the camo clothes that kill the magnetic waves that your body throws off.

          There is a advertisement on the hunting channels with a hunter wearing that product and he sneaks up on a turkey and grabs it.

  3. My brother wanted one of these for Christmas, so I got it for him. I KNEW it was overpriced plastic junk. But I got it for him anyway, because that’s Christmas.

    I was right. It is expensive for what it is, and it is all plastic–including the trigger.

    But I hadn’t counted on the fun factor. What this gun wastes in cheap, it makes up for in fun. With a range of less than 3 feet, flies on the wing become dive bombing Luftwaffe. Shoot then down! Yeah, while they are flying!

    Of course, I didn’t find this out at Christmas. There are no flies to shoot at Christmas…So don’t buy it then. Buy it now while you have something else to shoot at other than tin foil and peanuts–which I also practiced on.

    As a matter of practicality. I really like that it doesn’t obliterate the fly. There is no horrific blood splatter on the wall or table–at least not with the one we enjoy. It just slams the fly and drops him dead. You can see slow motion videos of this on YouTube. So, no nasty mess to clean up. Just pop the fly in the trash can and move on to the next challenge.

  4. I could see adding one of these to my arsenal. This could be great for shooting the carpenter bees while they are hovering. Would it be possible to mount a red dot sight on the black rail behind the salt reservoir?

    • RR,

      You may be onto something! Carpenter bees wouldn’t be killed — I don’t think. But this would probably mess their wings up and make them drop to the ground so you can stomp them. It won’t do their eyes any good, either.


      • If they remain feisty with table salt you can always go with larger shot but the question remains: how big is too big?
        I’ll probably be picking one of these up, I’m sure it will work better than a blast of air from the 2400.

      • When the tree behind the house is in bloom, I shoot them with my Daisy 99 when they land on the blossoms. When they are flying around I use a racketball racket to swat them, a lively game of “Bumble Ball”.

        • RR
          I think somebody mentioned putting some wadding in a air gun and pouring a little salt down the barrel.

          Now I just may have a use for them felt cleaning pellets or whatever there made out of.

          Maybe a smooth bore 760 and a cleaning pellet and some salt would do them carpenter bee’s in. It be fun to try anyway.

        • AAAAAAAHHHH! DON’T KILL BEES OF ANY VARIETY! Wasps, hornets, horseflies, go for it and more power to ya, but international hive collapse is an ongoing disaster. Bees could be extinct before this decade ends.

          Imagine a world with no fruits or vegetables. No wine. Probably half of the varieties of distilled spirits would be gone. Very few spices. No flower gardens anywhere. That is what a world with no bees would be like.

          This is not a political issue involving only tree-hugging hippies. It crosses political lines.


          • Michael
            We have already had this conversation on the blog many times.

            First my dad had 5 honey bee hives out on the farm that he took care of. And he did say how important that are to the eco system. Especially that he was a farmer.

            But there’s no place for a carpenter be around my house even if they polinate flowers and crops.

            And maybe since we do keep encountering this subject of bees on the blog I have a question.

            Do carpenter bee’s polinate flowrrs? I have never seen them land on a clover flower yet. But all the honey bees are working their butts of getting pollen.

            • Gunfun1,

              I do believe,…. that Edith,…;),…..found info. that said that they preferred the “nightshade” variety of plants such as tomatoes and whatever else falls into the nightshade family of plants.

              • Chris USA
                Now that you mention it I do believe I remember Edith saying that.

                I don’t like killing bee’s just because of what I said about what the bees do for our survival on the planet.

                But yes I agree. If they are where they are suppose to be then great. But if they are in a place that could cause a problem then they have to stay away. My oldest girl is allergic to bee’s. So I do what I have to do. Just the way it is.

          • Michael,

            I think most here share your thoughts and concerns. I also think that most ALSO share the idea of,… If “they” leave me alone, I leave “them” alone.

            If “they” go for me, or my house,……sorry,….it’s “on”.

                • Carpenter Bees are damaging, to be sure. They are a mixed bag when it comes to plants. They do pollinate certain flowers and vegetables, but cupped flowers such as roses and tulips are often torn by carpenter bees who are trying to get their nectar.

                  I’ll research bee repellants and post here if I find some. That would likely be a more effective way to protect your home than sniping them.


                • O.K. According to World-of-Honey (no kidding) Tee/Tea tree oil, lemon grass, peppermint oil, and citronella mixed together with water and sprayed liberally on their nest holes and on wood surfaces in general will keep bees away. RepelAll adds lemongrass and wikiHow adds catnip oil to this list.

                  If this does not work, try diluting distilled white vinegar with water and spray that. I have no idea what the acidity of the vinegar might do to your house, however.


  5. Great report. While I heard of these awhile back, on here, I have yet to see one. I’m sure Wally World will carry them if they don’t already. I was surprised by the patterning test,….that tin foil showed some nice dents.

    As for alternative bug related targets, my choice would be spiders. I hate em’. In Ohio, we have Wolf Spiders. The biggest I have seen was as big as a 50 cent piece, with most bigger than a quarter. And if the name does not sound scary enough, they are aggressive. They don’t run,…yes I said run !,…away from you….they run towards you.

    (Here’s a Wolf Spider related injury for you)……20 years ago,..me in shorts, nothing else. Mr. Spidey has spotted me and apparently thinks I look “tasty”. In the house, I grab a fly swatter and prepare to do battle, (feeling a bit under armed). This was one of the bigger ones.

    The “standoff” started at about 15~20′. I moved, he moved,..I moved, he moved. Finally, and quickly, the spread had closed to the 3~5′ range. (While a bit fuzzy now,.. I swore I saw big fangs, beady eyes and pretty sure I heard a grimacing “snicker”).

    Bare foot, heart pounding,…I drew back and let go with swing that could have split a log. I pulled my arm back and jumped back at the same time, increasing the distance back to a safer distance of 8′ or so.

    Well,… the spider (appeared) to jump that 8″ and land directly on my bare foot !!!!

    As it turned out,.. the squished spider had stuck to the fly swatter,.. but due to it “massive” size, the body fell off the swatter and onto my foot. In the process, my shoulder dislocated and went back in, all in an instant. Pop, pain, pop, pain and sore for days.

    So yeah, that “Bug-A-Salt” sounds pretty good. I really like the ready back up shot(s) feature.


    • Too funny Chris!!

      I can relate, I had a fear of spiders that has taken me 40 years to overcome.

      I find them quite interesting now and have a pet dark grey with black and brown mottled River Spider (Dolomedes) with a leg-span the size of my palm that lives in the shed. She will usually come on to my hand to accept bugs that I bring her but she is carrying a marble-sized egg sack right now and won’t come over.

      Not many bugs in the shed!

      • Vana2,

        Sorry,…..yuck!!!! The story is 100% true,…no BS.

        Ok, the fangs, eye’s and snicker “might” have been a bit of a “stretch”,…..but all the rest was how it went down. I’m pretty sure I did see 8 miniture tennis shoes on him though ! 😉 Them suckers move !

        Worst pain I ever felt,…instant cold sweats, unable to speak for like 5 minutes and sore for days.


        • Chris USA
          I dislocated my shoulder at work working on a machine. I couldn’t see straight till I popped it back in place on a steel beem.

          Seriously true. Was the weirdest feeling.

    • Chris, USA
      You must have a rare strain of wolf spiders in Ohio as in all the years as a mechanic especially in Florida I have encountered many a wolf spider while under a car on my back on a creeper and while I am not fond of spiders either I have had those medium to large wolf spiders jump on me as well and scare the beejezus out of me ( banging head on under side of car ) but have found that they do not bite but just jump around on you in curiosity or I have just been lucky in that I have not scared them enough to be threatened to bite ( must be much braver than me ) and have been able to just flick them off with a finger.

      The ones I have encountered are very stealthy and never saw them coming until the were on me and after banging my head several times I learned not to panic and just get good at the finger flick and follow up smash and stomp routine.

      The one that truly scare me now are the black widows and brown recluse as they do bite and within seconds your flesh begin to rot away as I have a friend that was bitten by a brown recluse while cutting grass and did not realize it until hour later and spent a week in the hospital with a tube in his calf and being pumped full of antibiotics to stop the flesh eating process and still to this day has a huge chunk of his calf muscle gone as the tissue never regenerates.


      • BD76,

        Yup,…got the brown recluse up here too. Never saw one and never want to.

        The one thing I do remember is that it has a “violin” shaped mark on it’s back.


        • Chris,USA
          The brown recluse does not have any marking on it rear abdomen like you say as that is the black widow and it is an hour glass shaped red marking on the top of it rear abdomen and is its very definitive marking.


    • Chris, USA
      One more spider fact that most may not know and that is that the docile and seemingly harmless daddy long legs spider is actually the most venomous spider known but is not dangerous to man since its mouth in not large enough to be able to bite us but to the insect world it is the top dog of the predators in the spider world and one bite instantly paralyzes it prey and they are dead within seconds.


      • Buldawg and Chris and Vana2

        We have big Wolf slides around here. Also big yellow and black banana spiders. And last but definitely not the least the dreaded brown recluse.

        The banana spiders don’t bother me so much but the other 2 I don’t like. Sounds like more bug a salt practice time to me.

        • Gunfun1
          We had the banana spiders in Florida that would get as big as a grapefruit and I hated hitting their webs when dirt bike riding as they don’t kill you but their bite will make you wish they had as they make you very very sick..

          I have never been bitten by a wolf spider even though they have been all over me when working on cars and want nothing to do with the brown recluse or black widow as the bikes that would sit at Harley for months between tests we had to pressure wash before working on as they were perfect havens for the brown recluse and black widows as we found more than I was comfortable seeing on them all the time.


          • Buldawg.
            Yea I didn’t like the banana spiders in the woods riding the dirt bikes. But at least they were big enough to see if you were out walking in the woods.

            And the brown recluse are ridiculous around here. Got bit by one on my arm when I was a kid. Still got a little scar from it about the size of a quarter. But yep the other spiders can kill all the bugs they want.but the brown recluse have to go. Bug a salt material for sure.

            • Gunfun1
              I was lucky and hit many of banana spiders webs but never got bit by one when riding bikes and they were easy to see when walking thru the woods.

              we have both brown recluse and black recluse but the black are far more rare to find as compared to the brown recluse and we also have black widows as well and either one is most definitely bugasalt prey or just plain old brake clean as it has an effective range of 15 feet as compared to 3 or 4 feet of the bugasalt.


          • Gunfun1,

            Yea, we have banana spiders here also and brown recluse and black and brown widows. I’ve never seen a recluse but have seen people with the effects of a bite. It’s very nasty, sort of like a pygmy rattler bite, which we have here also.

            As I understand it, if you frighten a banana spider it will shoot web silk at you. When you see a banana spider web without a spider you can be certain that a bird got it.


            • G&G
              I never heard of the web shooting froom the banana spider. But it doesn’t surprise me that they do.

              And yes the poison from a brown recluse starts desolving your skin and meat. You will see a red line from the bite making its way up your arm to the glands in your arm pits or behind your legs at you knee area.

              The brown recluse is nothing to mess with. We use to but bugs and other spiders in a jar with a little bit of grass and sticks. The brown recluse was always the winner.

            • Tandwweir
              I don’t know what a pygmy rattler bite does but I have had one friend that got bit by a diamond back rattler while riding dirt bike as he was trying to cut the rattler in half with his rear tire and I had to show him how it was done with my 500 dirt bike and the snake came out from under my rear tire in two pieces but it had managed to knick him while he was trying to cut it in two and did not know it till 12 hours later at 2 in the morning when his leg was swollen up five size to big and the doc at the emergency room said it was to late to do anything but go home and drink fluids and keep the leg wrapped and immobile until the swelling went down.

              Another friend was bit by a brown recluse cutting grass and was about the same as he did not know it until hours later when his leg started turn black and spent ten day in the hospital with a tube thru the calf and on IV antibiotics and still to this day has half his calf missing from that bite.

              I have scared many a banana spider and never had any spit webbing at me and do not doubt that a web without a spider was eaten by a bird but have never heard that so it is new to me.


      • Care to know how many varieties os spiders are venomous? All of them.

        Venom is how spiders kill their prey. Only a small percentage of spiders, such as the Brown Recluse — extremely dangerous — have venom strong enough to kill a healthy adult human. Black Widows and tarantulas can make a healthy adult human extremely ill with a bite, but death-by-spider-bite is uncommon compared to death by many other animals. For example, if you are in a tropical rainforest and see a small, brightly colored frog, take a photo, but for goodness sake, do not touch it! A surprising number of Americans are gored and/or stomped to death by White Tail deer, especially if it is rutting season.


        • Michael
          Yep that is true as that is how they paralyze and kill their prey before the suck the innards out of the bodies.

          yea spider very rarely bite humans as we have to invade their homes and allow then to be on our body long enough to actually bite as its not like a snake bite that happen in the blink of an eye they have to be able to get in the right position to complete the bite fully.

          I am well aware of the frog as that is it only protection from predators is the poison on it skin and deer are very crazy in rutting season as I had a friend that had a buck jump thru the passengers window of his truck while he was driving down the road at 30 mph and he slammed on the brake and put it in park as the buck proceeded to destroy the interior of the truck and the insurance company totaled the truck as it had holes thru the dash seats and the front and rear windows shattered and it got out of the truck and trotted away as if nothing had happened.

          You need to also be careful walking in the shallow water at a beach as I was gored in the calf of my leg while walking in the surf by a stingray and their tail have a barbed bone in the end that is like an arrow that it can only be pushed thru the skin in one direction with out shredding the wound from the barbs, not a pleasant experience at all.


  6. B.B.,
    Nicely done! I would not have thought someone could write a professional blog on a toy like this, but here we have it! My only remaining questions are, do you think the Metal Breech version is worth it, and does it have Picatinny or 11mm rails?! 🙂

    • HS,

      No, I don’t think a metal breech is needed. This gun is just right as it is. No one, after shooting the gun, would ever want to mount an optical sight on it. Imagine a derringer pistol with a scope. This is very similar.

      The confusion is caused by the shape of the gun. It looks tactical, when in fact it is just a shotgun. Like I said in the report, it has a front and rear sight, but I never use them. This is a shotgun — a very short-range shotgun. Point and shoot. That’s it.


      • Good review.

        One thing I’ve never been into is guns posing to be tactical when they are not. I’m ok with simple.

        This seems like it would be a fun gun for kids who are responsible enough to not shoot their eyes out.

        Aquanet hairspray works great for “bugs on the wing.” They just kinda melt and fall out of the sky.

    • In a search to find an aerial gunner sight like I’m hoping this gun has I found the gyroscopic sight I believe it wasChris USA brought up the other day.
      Wish I could share it but it’s on Wikipedia if anyone’s interested. A little large and cumbersome fo most airguns(IMO) but it’s real!

      • Reb,

        No bull !?!?!? It was a joke,….but the more I thought about it, the more I would bet that the military had something along those lines,….at least a gyroscopic something or other.

        • It was developed for and used by gunners in airplanes and the gyroscope minimized the effects of doing maneuvers at the same time,that’s about as far as I got before I came back here

  7. Thanks, Edith! What I memory – your wife buys you both a fly mod-u-later. Cannot repress a chuckle. You will have to put one of these away with the other relic airguns. Still feeling for you, Tom.

  8. Great blog B.B.!

    I looked into the Bug-A-Salt when somebody mentioned them here a while back but it would have cost over $75 to get one shipped to Canada. 🙁

    A Bug-A-Salt would be a fun-thing to have around. Think it would be great for deer-flies. I am wondering if coarse sand would be better for tougher game.

    I will be watching the local Wally to see if they carry them in Canada and will get one to go with my nerf-gun. 🙂

    • Vana2
      We have what we call horse fly’s and they do bite humans. They will make a horse jump when they get bit. They hurt alot when they bite. I can feel the hair stand up on my kneck when ones flying around.

      I would for sure use the bug a salt on them. I can’t stand them things.

      • Gunfun1

        We have the horse-flies here as well. They are bigger than the deer flies but not as common.

        Also got what I call “moose flies” – those biters are twice the size (and more) than a horse fly – if there is one of those in the area I stop what I am doing and go after it – best to be the aggressor with them.

        The Bug-A-Salt would be great for wing-shooting the deer flies as they like to make multiple passes close to you before they land to bite. Just checked around, best price is $72. May convert a Daisy BB gun to shooting salt.

        I am always glad when the larger “Darner” species of dragonflies hatch – the biting flies are their main food source. These Darners will often perch on you using you for bait and nabbing the deer flies when they approach.

        • Vana2
          I don’t know if these are the same. But we have what we call dragon fly’s. We also call them snake doctors. For some reason if you see them flying around there will be a snake close by out sunning on a nice hot day.

          • Gunfun1,

            If your dragon flies have about 2″ long stick straight bodies with 2 pairs of wings and huge eyes they are the same as dragonflies. Never heard of the snake connection though. There was a very good show about dragonflies on History Channel 2 recently. Watch if you get the chance. They start out as very nasty aquatic larvae. Eat just about anything alive, including fish.


            • G&G
              Yes that is what they look like.

              I never knew the larvae at fish. And yes we had a lake that came up to our ground out across the farm field. It was pretty much a gaurentee that a snake was around if we saw the dragon flies gathering in a area.

        • Amazon.ca I think the cheapest is from the makers of the gun but it ships from the US so it’s sloooow. I ordered it from another seller which name I forgot and they didn’t ship my gun expedited like I asked and got the gun a day late so I didn’t pay any shipping in the end, it was around 10$.

          It’s about the same price of a Nerf gun of the same size


  9. Vana– You are not the only person who keeps spiders for pets. I once kept a yellow orb-weaver ( named ida) in a 10 gallon terrarium. I would hold moths by the wings , and she would come and take them. I also have kept wolf spiders as pets. I don’t have to walk them when it rains or snows, there are no vet fees, and they don’t get taken to be groomed. Get an electric torch and look at your spider when it is dark. the multiple eyes reflect light like tiny diamonds. It is a sight that will excite any spider lover. Ed

    • Zimbabweed,

      Our spiders are tame wild ones that like the amphibians, birds, reptiles and other animals have come to accept us humans as part of their environment. We hand feed a lot of them. 🙂

      Yes, noticed that the spider eyes reflect the lamp light. Cool!

      As a kid I used to collect spiderwebs by spraying them with different colors of enamal paint and sticking several of them to a white canvas. I would sell these “artworks” to get money to buy more pellets 🙂

      My favorite spiders are the little jumping species, they are real friendly – with them I often wonder who is watching who.

    • Zimbabweed,

      Try spider sniffing at night. Hold your torch (flashlight) at the end of your nose and scan the ground. Every time you see the emerald green sparkle it will be the eyes of a spider. You can find some big ones that way.


  10. Nice job B.B., something different for sure, I have seen these around on the web and videos of them being used on various targets. One of the guys on my Facebook page had brought them up not long ago as well, they seem to be gaining popularity. I think flies and spiders for me would be my targets, I can’t stand flies when I am eating and spiders when I am sleeping/napping. It makes me wonder what else you could shoot out of it. Thanks, Ricka.

  11. B.B. off topic question, have you seen the new Benjamin Phoenix? I can’t seem to tell what the difference is from any of the Trail NP2 rifles? Do they just want another similar rifle on the market?

  12. Thanks for the report, BB! The flies get pretty thick at the local dairy this time of year, and we’ve discussed bringing anti-bug weaponry along. This might be a fun addition to the DEET and flyswatters.

    Regarding Edith swatting wasps…I had to take down a large (about 15″ diameter) hornet nest up in the eaves of our 2-story house a month or so ago. I bought a big can of the foaming spray, waited for dusk, and climbed up the ladder. As I started hosing it down (and watching in horror as the foam that pugged the nest slowly dripped away, leaving a gap for a swarm of bugs to come out) the wife chose that exact moment to suddenly raise the venetian blinds on the nearby bedroom window. Needless to say, in my heightened sense of awareness, the “zzzziip!” of the blinds going up made me shift into reverse gear and floor it. Made it most of the way down unscathed, until my foot slipped to the inside of the 3rd rung from the bottom, which resulted in having to land like a paratrooper (tuck and roll) and then fend off the falling ladder, swarming bugs and laughing family members. Sigh…

      • BenT’s story reminds me of a time some 40 years ago when we had a yellow jackets nes tabout the size of a basketball in a hedge in front of our house . My brother, who worked for the Army Munitions Command at the time, came home with a couple of M-80’s (no longer used today as artillery simulators due to soldiers blowing their fingers and hands off playing “chicken” or who could hold it the longest before it exploded). I remember he lit the fuse, tossed it into the hedge and ran like stink. The resulting explosion and shockwave obliterated that hive and it’s occupants. Boy, what fun when we were young.

        Fred DPRoNJ

        • Hilarious, but I don’t know if that could be done today. My Dad told me that cherry bombs that were available when he was young would raise up huge waterspouts when thrown into the water.

          Your story makes one wonder about the ultimate story of bee conflict which is none other than the movie swarm. Some of the solutions were pretty creative like getting men in protective suits to shoot flamethrowers at the bees. But that idea seemed long on spectacle but short on effectiveness. That’s even before the bees got into the protective suits and caused the flamethrower operators to turn on each other in their agony. The ultimate solution, not unlike that of your brother, was to attract the bees to a floating platform with a broadcast of their mating call and then destroy the platform with missiles. It seems simple in retrospect but is worthy of the diabolical ingenuity of PeteZ who proposed killing the giant prehistoric snake, the Titanaboa, with a hand grenade attached to a bleating goat…


  13. Something I would definitely use on the porch and around the yard. Spiders and flies are my main problem. The wasps are my friends as they pollinate my coconut trees along with the honey bees.
    I am back home in Canada and will order one before I head South.


  14. For those who are understandably reluctant to shell out $60-$80 dollars for one of these, you might find certain Nerf guns to be a better modding platform than a Daisy Model 10 or 105.


  15. “In memory of Edith” is highly alarming. I’m assuming that all is well. Actually, I think that the tennis racquet idea cannot be surpassed for her who loves tennis so much. I don’t know if you use the kind with the electrified surface, but I once saw a guy fight bees with a squash or racquetball racquet with great effect. It was at a barbecue, and I think the guy had had a few. The strings transmitted such force that bee parts were sailing in all directions. I thought that the bees would swarm him or others, but they didn’t. Perhaps it was because they were honeybees and not wasps. On a similar note, I was at a picnic with another inebriated person who had brought along a kind of flat wooden reproduction of a medieval shield. He started attacking large anthills, and then as the battle escalated, he took to smashing the flat surface of the shield down onto the crowd of ants that were running about furiously. Ultimately, nobody sustained serious damage.

    As for the salt gun, my only concern would be getting salt everywhere. You can vacuum it off the floor, but it could get into other niches that are less accessible. For those whose spouses or partners resist their airgun hobby, this could pose problems.


  16. BB, Matttttt61–I just ordered a bug-a-salt. I do not want to use salt because of what Matt said and because the salt might absorb moisture from the air and cause jams. Some of my pills come with a small container of granular desiccant. I might try mixing it with the salt, or using it instead of salt. I plan to try iron filings and the chips of brass that my cartridge trimmer makes when I use it. I also have some fine sand that might work. Then there is ground pepper waiting to be tried. BB– Would a tube sight work? How about the ring and bead sight that was used in WW1 on aeroplanes? I never thought that killing flies could be so much fun! Ed

    • B.B. is right. I’ll make another plug for Lucky McDaniel’s book on instinct shooting that B.B. recommended to me. McDaniel makes fun of some guy who had paid a fortune for a customized English shotgun but could not keep up with McDaniel with some cheapo model. Equipment seemed to make no difference at all. He describes shooting things out of the air with a bb gun loaded with a matchstick!? The key was God’s own sighting system which was his method of instinct shooting.

      I tried a bit of it myself with the 1911 during my trip, shooting with the one-handed method used by the OSS in World War II. It seemed to work well enough at short distances.


  17. For those who made it down this far in the comment’s,….( and read em’ all),….

    Where else are you gonna’ find “stuff” like this,…..Answer: Nowhere ! 😉

  18. Chris USA part of the reason I go back and reread comments throughout the day, there are always good stories mixed in and good informative information passed around. I learn from B.B.’s daily blog and then learn more from all the other guys handing out news and information. Along with the fact that everybody is nice and civil and willing to help each other out.

  19. Someone asked about 2 flies at the same time… well I don’t have any flies inside but I do have dogs, dogs poop outside, poop attracts flies so a few at once yes 😀
    It is harder to shoot outside because of the grass, but it’s quite doable and fun.

    Wasps aren’t safe either, it may take 2 or 3 shots to get them but they’re dead all right.

    I love that thing.

    I asked my wife to shoot me from a good distance and it doesn’t hurt, even at close distance I’m sure it wouldn’t pierce skin.

    There’s no reason not get one of those. I probably look like a dork shooting in the air with a yellow plastic gun but I don’t care… I’m having fun!


    • J-F
      That was me asking BB up at the top if he has got two at one time when he mentioned the bug a salt to be a scattergun.

      Haven’t seen no posts from you for a long time. You always liked the Co2 bb guns/ pistols if I remember right.

      So you like the bug a salt. Have you had it a while? Do you think its durable to last for a fair amount of time? Have you tryed different ammo?

      • I’ve had it for a week now. Like I said I use it outside when I go out with the dogs. No fly bugs me. I’m pretty sure I made a dent in the fly population around my house LOL.

        The thing seems pretty sturdy, kinda like a nerf gun, I don’t see any flimsy or easy to break parts.

        I haven’t posted much and to be honest I haven’t shot much either in the past year… I bought myself a Colt Python a while ago and still haven’t shot it. I got new backyard neighbhors and they have small kids so I don’t want to be the wacko neighbor who shots in every direction and forces people to stay inside. I’m trying to put myself in their place and I wouldn’t want someone I don’t know shooting in the direction of my house with my kids in the backyard. There’s enough green to not see them or their house but you can hear it very well so no more shooting in the backyard for me and I got a promotion at work with new tasks and then I got an offer I couldn’t refuse to go work somewhere else so I got really busy and prefered to give my free time to my family. I kept up to date and came here at least once a week but didn’t have time to read all the comments and post my own.
        And yes I like CO2 BB guns and pistols but what I like most are guns that are FUN to shoot. No magnum springers that kick like a mule for me. Fun stuff only.

        I’m off to the grocery store to get me some kosher salt to try in the bug-a-salt.


        • J-F
          Well good to hear from you here on the blog.

          Yes that was one of the reasons I recently moved. I’m out in the country again. Back to my roots. Grew up a country boy and got lots of room with nobody around.

          All I do is shoot guns and do the ATV’s and watch the corn grow. Well of course with my family. My teenage daughters are loving it out here.

          But good it sounds like the bug a salt is a durable gun.

          And happy bug killing. 🙂

          • It’s good to be here. I saw that Edith was ill so I came back here and checked every morning to see the updates Tom posted and was very saddened (I somehow feel that word isn’t strong enough to express my feeling but since english isn’t my mother tongue I don’t have as much vocabulary) by her passing away.

            Yes the bug a salt seems like a durable gun, it’s still plastic but tough plastic 😉


            • J-F
              Edith’s passing was a big shock to me. It reminds me to much of how things went with my mom.

              And good I’m glad the bug a salt should endure.

              But I’m out shooting. And I wish I had a bug a salt right know because I got a pesky fly bothering me.

              Any way have a good one.

  20. B.B.,

    This review made me smile!! I have an idea — instead of a Bug-A-Salt, what if you wrapped a pinch of salt in a single layer of super thin (cheap?) toilet / tissue paper, and loaded it in the front end of the Colt Peacemaker cartridges? I think the rush of air when firing would tear away the tissue paper — do you think the salt would hold together ala shotgun pellets? Maybe Kosher salt? I believe some experimentation is in order. Ha ha!

    Jim M.

  21. Matt 61, BB–Instinctive shooting is the way that I shoot my longbows and recurves. I will try it with my bug-a-salt. Has any one tried smokeless powder? Like most reloaders, I have some cans with only a small amount of powder in them. It,s only enough for 2 or 3 cartridges. The granules are small and hard. J_F,I have some rolls of camo tape that I use during hunting season. Duct and duck tape come in a variety of colors. You can custom color your bug-a-salt the easy way if you don’t like yellow. Ed

  22. Michael,

    The nerf gun thing is a great idea. With 4 boys, and 3 of them going off to college, I have plenty of used foamarms (vs. firearms) to work with. Hmm…

  23. I found that the stupid automatic safety is engaged as soon as you pull the trigger NOT when you actually cock the gun. So I just take the safety off after each shot so I’m ready to cock and shoot but I’m probably going to remove the thing sooner or later, that youtube vid seems quite straight foward.
    My tumb was sore after a little shooting session the other day and when you’re trying to shoot a fly or wasps in the air fast reloads are important and useful.


  24. I’ve had one of these Bug-A-Salts for a couple years now. I’ve had to learn the hard way, to never shoot salt above my metal lathe! Got to stick with using the shop-vac with extension wands, for chasing bugs over the workbench until I get around to buying poppy seeds

    I’ve looked-up the patent number, which is very plainly cast into the side of the gun. The patent drawings were done well after the final design work, as they show the gun in fine detail as it exists now. The patents covers pretty much everything, including prototypes that use multi-pump pneumatic, PCP high-pressure air, CO2 in both disposable cartridge & remote tank

    But one thing that you need to know, if you’re like me and just need to take the gun apart, is it has a trick designed into it to prevent ‘prying eyes’: at the very front of the yellow side pieces, you will see three oval holes one each side, with black plastic backing them. The very forward most of these oval holes has a locking tab to the rear which catches against the black plastic. A very thin flat tip tool such as a ground down screwdriver will pop these catches loose. You only need to bend the tabs rearwards about 1/16″, or just under 1mm. If the tool is thin enough, it wont even leave a mark on the side cases. The catch on the tabs is not very far inside, so only push the tool in about 3/32″. The yellow outer case halves are what hold the shroud, releasing the outer case halves & spreading them open 1/8″ will allow sliding off the orange barrel shroud, which is itself holding two halves of the inner black plastic together. So it really is an interlocking design that was very carefully thought out to prevent teardowns

    Of course, the first thing I did was to mod the automatic safety so that it no longer works. I like having fast followup shots, and my thumb was getting sore from the constant operation of that safety

    The second thing I did was to open up the hole in the very forward end of the orange barrel shroud. I noticed it is able to partially obstruct the muzzle of the barrel, which can potentially upset the shot pattern. I only trimmed the hole about 1/3 of the way back. My metal lathe made very short work of this

    Also, the sights are perfectly aligned with a distance of 2~2.5′, which is around the maximum effective shot pattern I see on this gun. Some test shooting with aluminum foil will show how this works. I paint bullseyes with some black felt tip marker, then tried out various distances

    The gun uses a very straight-forward spring piston type power plant, the only interesting parts are for the loading mechanism, rear sight lifter and anti-beartrap features. There’s a very interesting set of rollers, cams & ramps inside, with levers and various minor moving elements. It’s too bad they wouldn’t dare to make a see-through version of this gun. It’s interesting to watch the parts moving as the action is cycled

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