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Get your Weedies!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Bug Buster spawns crabgrass killer
  • Da bomb
  • Weedies
  • A side benefit
  • Safety
  • Dandelions may be possible
  • Summary

Most of you are aware of the UTG Bug Buster line of compact scopes from Leapers. They got their name from the practice in which some airgunners shoot bugs in their yard with pellet rifles. All the Bug Buster scopes parallax adjust (focus) down to 3 yards or nine feet, which makes them perfect for this pastime. Well, now they have spawned a new airgun product — the Weedie!

Bug Buster spawns crabgrass killer

Leapers owner, David Ding, was working in his yard pulling out crabgrass by the roots when it dawned on him that there must be a better way. Could an airgun somehow be converted into a crabgrass eliminator? He already had a line of scopes that was backyard-friendly; could they be used to also get rid of the tenanceous weeds?

David’s wife, Tina, knows quite a few people in local colleges and one of them is a young biochemist graduate student who is working on his PhD research project in herbicides. He is specifically interested in weed tolerance and their resistance to herbicides. More importantly for what is to follow — he is also an airgunner!

Da bomb

What he discovered is the absolute best way to eliminate crabgrass after it emerges is to inject a concentrated solution of of Quinclorac (3,7 dichloro-8-quinolinecarboxylic acid) into the center of the stolons, or tough round runners that give the weed its name. Where they come together is the top of the root of the plant. By breaking through the tough sheath of the stolons at this root, a very small amount of the concentrated Quinclorac will quickly absorb into the root bunch and kill the mature plant before it sends out seeds.

The amount of solution required is smaller than a drop from an eye dropper, and, because the solution has a high surface tension, the drops it forms are very small. The researcher discovered that he could put the right amount of solution into the hollow of a .177-caliber hollowpoint pellet, and just two pellets were all that was needed to kill each crabgrass plant! The process is 100 percent effective and results will be seen in less than 48 hours. The solution is solidified with a bonding agent, so the pellets can be handled safely. Exposure to the liquid in the crabgrass root turns the solution liquid again and the crabgrass root absorbs it readily.

One pellet will kill about 60 percent of all plants. Two pellets are absolutely positive. When hit in the right place with two of these pellets, no plant will survive. Now, you may think that it’s possible to just walk around the yard and shoot the plants at point-blank range, but where’s the fun in that? You can also poke holes in targets with a pencil and use your finger to knock down field targets, but it’s much more fun to do it with an air rifle.

All 2018 the researcher, Roger, killed crabgrass in David Ding’s backyard, and by the end of the year he had perfected his delivery system that consists of a Benjamin Marauder set to deliver the .177 hollowpoint pellets at 650 f.p.s. at the muzzle. Out to 35 yards that delivery system is effective. It does help to get some elevation over the lawn, to get the pellet down into the root bunch, and Roger found that a small stepladder worked well. But a deck is the perfect place from which to shoot.

In 2019 Roger took aim at the crabgrass in David’s front lawn and achieved 100 percent success. The next year the front lawn had less than 10 percent of the crabgrass from the year prior, and that was around the borders — undoubtedly from windblown seeds originating in the lawns of neighbors.

David was impressed by both the performance of the treatment and also by its application. Because some of the shots were very close, Roger mounted a Bug Buster 3-12X32 on his rifle and he let David share in the fun. Crabgrass may not move like an insect, but it is far more difficult to kill. Those pellets have to hit right in the center of all those long arms, which is the top of the root.

When a Weedie kills a crabgrass plant, the entire plant withers and dries out. You can leave it in the ground and it will be replaced by desirable grass or when you see that it’s dry you can pull it out of the ground easily. The root looses its purchase on the ground when the plant dies.

David Ding was so impressed by the success of this treatment and also by the unique application method that he commissioned Roger to hand-make 300 pellets for further trials. He then got three airgunners, including old B.B. Pelletier, to try it last year and each of us had the same results as he and Roger. I don’t know what guns the others used but I used a .177-caliber Diana 27S with open sights that is accurate enough out to 20 yards to deliver the pellets to the center of the crabgrass clumps every time.

Diana 27S
I used a Diana 27S to shoot my Weedies. So a spring-piston air rifle works just as well as a precharged rifle.

Weedies

David was encouraged by our early reports and he convinced a small U.S. pellet importer to make tins of 150 Wheedies that will retail for $15.95. While that sounds expensive (it’s just under 11 cents a pellet), compare it to the cost of commercial crabgrass killers that really work! They sell for a lot of money and usually get results in the 30-50 percent range. Weedies are 100 percent effective when used correctly! Because of the limited supply available, Weedies will be sold exclusively through Pyramyd Air.

A side benefit

While I was playing with my Weedies I discovered that they also kill St. Augustine grass that, in my opinion, is just as much a weed as crabgrass. My neighbor’s yard is St. Augustine and it was creeping over and replacing my Bermuda grass that looks better and which I spend a lot of time and money to keep up. St. Augustine creeps along the top of the ground like a weed and crowds out anything it contacts. As long as you water the heck out of it, it stays green, but the fat leaves look like crabgrass to me. And Weedies get rid of them! Oops!

Shop Benjamin Rifles

Safety

Because you are handling a highly concentrated herbicide, each tin comes with the recommendation to wear latex or nitrile gloves when shooting. At the minimum, if you don’t wear gloves, you have to wash your hands with soap and water after each use.

It goes without saying that Weedies are not to be shot at any living animal. Your only target is crabgrass (and St. Augustine). Roger says the pellet delivery system itself is more dangerous to mammals and rodents than the solution in the hollow point, but the solution is so concentrated that it will not do an animal any good.

Dandelions may be possible

Roger found that his formula isn’t as effective on dandelions that also infest yards, but he is working to perfect one that is. However there is a problem with that. So many people eat dandelion plants that he has to make his formula safe for human consumption. Because, if a person ate a dandelion plant after it was treated by a Weedie, the herbicide would be throughout the plant. So the dandelion Weedie may take a while to develop. On the other hand, Weedies for most types of thistles, including Canada thistle, are almost ready for market.

Summary

This report is unique in that an unlikely airgun product, the UTG Bug Buster, served as the foundation for another unlikely airgun product — the Weedie. Will Weedies prosper? That’s difficult to say and only time will tell for certain. I remember Flava Shots .

“Chef de Cuisine Antonio Bologna of the world-knowned Aria Diabolo Pallina game restaurant has created Flava Shots, the first edible pellet. It takes advantage of a new compression technology that creates a dense pellet that will not fall apart or crumble during loading and shooting. It’s so rock hard that it has the same penetration effect as a lead pellet. The Flava Shot pellet dispatches the game and later infuses it with savory herbs and spices during the cooking process.

To maximize the cooking process, Chef Bologna suggests that airgunners lube their airgun barrels with food oils. This reduces friction, delivers a small boost to velocity and brings a delicious flavor to cooked meat. His favorite oil is macadamia nut, but he’s also experimented successfully with plain and roasted sesame oils.”

Today we have learned about Weedies. They could be the next revolution in lawn herbicide treatments. We all laughed when chef Tony Bologna came out with Flava Shots, but who’s laughing now?

41 thoughts on “Get your Weedies!”

  1. B.B.

    Happy 4/1 to you too…

    Tony Bologna is on to something. We do not need tin pellets, we need accurate biodegrade-able pellets!
    FWIW-Monsanto already has the patent on the herbicide filled pellet.

    -Y

    • I was thinking BBs would be more suitable – no rifling, so no worry about the material standing up to the rotational stresses or gumming up the rifling. Mind you, I think I’ve seen some biodegradable airsoft BBs already, but I have no clue how well they actually decompose.

      • Chanman819,

        The AirSoft BBs are water soluble after a certain amount of exposure to UVB so It depends on how much moisture your area gets and amount of cloud cover and pollution. After a few weeks I cant find any remaining in my berms. But they might be edible and some creature might be eating them!
        I really don’t care about the mechanism of how as long as I don’t end up with drifts of them.

        shootski

    • Yogi and B.B.,

      I guess I will need to contact Monsanto for licensing!
      I already optioned the Ford Metro Vans and have ideas of a great paint job or more likely a wrap for identity and advertising.
      THIS is really a great potential for employing more undocumented labor here in purple Northern Virginia and the potential for profit is stupendous…and airgun FUN TO BOOT! I even have new Handle….

      I smell some great returns on The Day!

      shootweedies

  2. Good one BB! You had me going for a while! The problem is that your outlandish contrivements are always on the edge of plausibility, or something like that 🙂

    Brent

  3. What, this is an April fools joke? Far out. Just… heck. I’m convinced!
    Oh gosh I just have to show yet another pic of my gulp, rifle. It’s almost there…. it’s darn solid. Fours bolts hold it together. It’s not wiggly or lose. Locks up tight. Changing the butt position is super easy. Can swap from dioptre set up to scope in seconds. Next is the cheek rest which is not going to be easy…. but I have ideas. and diagrams. : – ) weedies indeed…. Robert.

  4. BB,

    You got me in the first five lines, then I remembered the date.

    I do though oppose to the notion that my namesake is to be shot at with herbicide pellets. Try .22 injection syringes. Then the numb plant can humaningly be displaced to a new terrain.

    Applause!

    August,

  5. BB,

    Good one! I was wondering what it would be this year. 🙂

    There was something on another blog/site awhile back on poison tipped hollow point pellets. It came about in a discussion of blow guns and blow gun darts and what the “natives” use to coat/dip their darts with.

    Among the many “brews” discussed, (nicotine) was found to be quite effective on darts,.. with many people doing concentrated home brews for years. Now,.. you can just buy a vial of the stuff, which potency far exceeds what you can make at home. I have never played with any of it,… but I found it interesting.

    Chris

    • Chris USA,

      I recall in High School when we soaked 2 cigarettes in water overnight. The resulting brown water when poured over some very hardy weeds resulted in a dead patch of weeds the next day.

      Siraniko

      • Siraniko,

        I have done a little research into homemade garden fungicides, pesticides and herbicides. I believe nicotine was used in some of the pesticide (plant/leaf eating bugs) recipes. Not me, but house plant people can get real serious about their homemade brews.

        Round-up is actually a concentrated fertilizer. It “burns” the weeds. Once diluted by rain, it acts like a fertilizer and can cause more rapid growth,…. thus the need to use (more) weed killer. 🙁 It does work pretty well though.

        Chris

  6. BB,

    If I were to shoot all the weeds in my yard, there would be nothing green.

    It seems that PA no longer carries the Flava Shot. Would you happen to know where they can be found?

    I have the old style 3-9 and the new 3-12 Bug Busters. I used to have a new style 3-9, but Gunfun1 ended up with it. I really like them. I do wish they would give them glass etched reticles though. It is a shame they did away with the fixed 4x and 6x. I would like to have one of each. These scopes are rugged and can stand up to a sproinger. The entire line has earned the coveted 3R rating. Unless you are shooting competition and have a mighty fine shooting air rifle, how much scope do you really need?

  7. B.B.,

    What future Airgun Hall-of-Famer will grace the premiere box of Weedies? Wait, that’s obvious — Tom Gaylord, of course. An excellent report for 4/1/21.

    Michael

  8. When is Pyramyd Air going to start selling the Stealth Anti-Drone Proximity Fuse Explosive Pellets FM has heard about “on the Internet?” Understand these come in .25 cal only and that Umarex has designed a new breakbarrel made specifically for these nifty projectiles – the LF88 G or LuftFlak88 Gewehr. Celebrities and other unimportant people want to know!

    Good one, B.B.; around here – S FL – St. Augustine is considered a “lawn grass.” It would take a lot of those pellets to eliminate it using the system described. My late mother-in-law used to call it “crabgrass.”

  9. BB

    Regular readers know April Fools Day is coming and look forward every year to it. Yet how many of us get fooled yet again and swallow hook, line and sinker before finally waking up. I confess, you got me yet again.

    Good one!

    Deck

  10. Very nice – I also liked the subtle tie to current events, with the effectiveness of one vs. two pellets mirroring the one vs. two covid vaccine shots for several of the brands . . . .

    Great job today!

  11. B.B.,

    Crabgrass, eh? If it were to kill quack grass, in Texas it could be used only from mid-November through January, otherwise it would be poaching. ;^)

    Michael

  12. The St Augustine vs Bermuda grass was a nice touch… but will there be an antidote pellet for if you hit a runner of one while aiming for the root of the other or vice versa?

  13. B.B.,
    Your blog was great fun today what an interesting topic! I hope the Crabgrass (and St. Augustine) pellets are as good as those Flava Shots were, those babies were so accurate, you could count on them hitting the POI every time!
    Best,
    Will

  14. B.B.,
    You got me, man!
    I read the whole article, and I was ready to forward it to my wife (the gardener) along with a preface, something on the order of, “Check this out; this is insane!” Then I realized…”Wait…that IS insane! I’ve been had…grrr…haha!”
    Yep, ever since retiring, I lose track of what day it is…Happy April Fools’ Day, B.B.!
    Take care & God bless,
    dave

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