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Education / Training BUG-A-SALT SHRED-ER: Part 3



Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Impractical
  • So what?
  • No hip shooting
  • Got me thinking
  • Pattern for the fine salt at 3 feet
  • Five feet?
  • Back in the game
  • And the SHRED-ER?

Today we look at the practicality of the BUG-A-SALT SHRED-ER, and some other neat stuff.


What is an example of impracticality? How about an automobile that takes 20-30 minutes to start? How about the Stanley Steamer? In its day it wasn’t that bad because most cars were impractical in one way or another. The Stanley took a long time to get up some steam and also got about one mile per gallon of water, unless it recirculated the steam, which some did but others did not. The water tank held 30 gallons which was good for about 30 miles or so in the cars that didn’t recirculate. Today’s equivalent would be electric cars whose mileage is limited by battery technology. Like the Ferrari that gets 16 miles to a charge that we recently discussed.

So what?

So — a CO2-powered bug swatter that you have to depressurize at the end of the day will never be ready for that fast-moving water beetle that just ran across your living room floor. Or that large spider that came out on your front walk this morning. Unfortunately for him (or her — do insects still retain their gender without offense?) I am an airgunner, and when faced with impossible instructions I just do what I want. So I had installed a CO2 cartridge a couple days before today and had loaded a fresh clip for just such an occasion.

I actually had gone on safari over at my neighbor, Denny’s, house next door a few days ago, because he has a persistent batch of wasps that hang around his garage door when its open. But whenever I show up with the SHRED-ER, they never come around. Same thing for houseflies in my garage. It’s like they know.

No hip shooting

So, after my brief safari I went back to my own house and, lo and behold, there was a wasp hanging around my front door. She was hovering and moving so I fired two SHRED-ER shots at her by just pointing the gun in her direction and I missed both times. These were hip shots. Then she landed on my front door and I took careful aim. Bang went the revolver and down she went. She wasn’t dead but she’ll never fly again with the holes I put in her wings. She skittered out of sight before I could stomp her.

Guys — this is why “they” don’t shoot handguns that shoot shot at trap and skeet ranges. Or at least why B.B. Pelletier doesn’t need to shoot them.

Got me thinking

That wasp encounter got me thinking. Each time I shot at her by just pointing I could see the white pattern of salt for just an instant. It was round and dense, and I could also sense that it missed the wasp by just a little each time. That’s why the sights are so important.

Going back to the pattern test I did for Part 2, I was reminded of how uniform it was, but only for the SHRED-ER. The pattern from my BUG-A-SALT 2.0 was very open, with large fly-sized holes where there was no salt. I wondered if I shot salt that was finer would it make the pattern denser?

Shredder 2 three feet
This was the pattern my BUG-A-SALT 2.0 gave at three feet the last time I tested it.

So I dumped out the coarse salt that was in the 2.0 and loaded some sea salt. It’s a little finer than what was in the gun, but it’s still coarse.

BAS 2.0 sea salt
This is the sea salt I loaded into the BUG-A-SALT 2.0.

Then I shot another pattern at 3 feet.

BAS 2.0 3 feet
And this is the pattern that sea salt shot from the BUG-A-SALT 2.0 gave at 3 feet. It’s still way too open to hit flies reliably. In fact, it is more open than the pattern made by the coarser salt I replaced. You are looking at about 3 inches square in the center of the pattern.

Remember, guys, I’m not shooting the SHRED-ER now. I’m shooting my 6+ year old BUG-A-SALT 2.0. It’s the yellow long gun that cocks by pumping the sliding forearm. There is a reason I’m doing this and it does relate to the SHRED-ER.

So, I suppose I should be shooting finer salt in my 2.0? I looked around my kitchen and found some Himalayan Pink salt. I love salt on things and Edie kept a wide variety of salts around for me. Since she passed I haven’t gone through them all.

BAS 2.0 fine salt
I loaded this finer Himalayan Pink salt into my BUG-A-SALT 2.0.

Stock up on Air Gun Ammo

Pattern for the fine salt at 3 feet

Then I shot a pattern of the fine salt at three feet. Wow! What a difference!

BAS 2.0 fine salt pattern 3 inches
This is another roughly 3-inch square pattern of the finer salt made by the BUG-A-SALT 2.0.

Five feet?

This nice pattern made me wonder whether I could back up to five feet with the 2.0. So I did and shot a third pattern.

BAS 2.0 fine salt pattern 5 feet
This picture is of an aluminum sheet of about the same size as the others. The salt impacts are denser than the pattern made at 3 feet with the sea salt, but there are still some places in this pattern where a fly could slip through.

Back in the game

I think I’ll try to limit the 2.0 engagement distance to three feet. But hey — today’s test got the 2.0 back in the game. Since it doesn’t use CO2, I can use it on the one or two flies that bother me in the house and save the SHRED-ER for when things become more serious. Now, THERE is a reason to leave the SHRED-ER without a CO2 cartridge installed. And life is back to normal at Casa de Pelletier!

And the SHRED-ER?

Well, I just learned that finer salt works best for what these guns are doing. So, when it comes time to load the SHRED-ER clips, I will use the finest salt I have. From what I have seen so far, those BUG-A-Salt guys have figured this out very well. 

And I also have the work you guys have done on loading to follow. So, we are in good shape for Part 4!

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.

44 thoughts on “BUG-A-SALT SHRED-ER: Part 3”

  1. B.B.,

    The finest salt I know of is the kind movie theaters have to put on popcorn. It’s basically powder.

    What is your verdict on the Shred-er and CO2 Powerlets? For me that is the deal breaker. The competing product that slides onto the barrel of a 2240 looks interesting.


    • Michael
      If you got that other one and used it on a 2240 you would have the same situation as the Shred er.

      But if you used that other one on a Discovery or Maximus it would be ready to shoot all the time. And if you had a longer barrel on a 1377 it would be ready to shoot all the time too with that slip on one. Well other than pumping the gun up.

      I was going to get one of those slip on one’s too but decided not to since I already have the Shred er.

      Is that slip on one a repeater also? I forget.

  2. BB
    When I bought my Bug A Salt (not the Shred er) a little while back they also had a container of Bug A Salt brand salt for sale.

    I bought the salt from them just because I wanted to get it for what should I say but to have original Bug A Salt salt. Little did I know till I opened it and tried some that it is finer than table salt but not as fine as powder. Kind of inbetween.

    So yes I believe the Bug A Salt people have put thought into thier products. I’m happy with all of mine so far.

    Here is a picture of my Bug A Salt with the container of salt next to it.

    • GF1,

      Hey, you have a container of Official Bug-A-Salt salt. That is a cool thing. When your youngest daughter is old, gray and toothless it might be worth something. 😉

      • RR
        By then you probably won’t be able to own anything that has the word gun or ammo in it.

        So it won’t matter anyway if it keeps going the way it is. Even salt ammo.

  3. Hi folks,

    speaking of co2 guns… I never liked my Hämmerli S26 pistol very much because it just didn’t seem to be accurate and the trigger wasn’t terribly good. Recently, the velocity dropped a lot, especially in double action mode.

    I was somewhat ready to give up on the co2 stuff, but then I already had some magazines and a speed loader, so I decided to get a Colt Government A1 (which I think is one of the three original guns with the Umarex rotary magazine system together with the Walther CP88 and Beretta 92).

    Boy, what a difference! Just about everything about it is better, especially the trigger which I would say is *really* nice for a replica gun like this.

    I managed to shoot this group with it (10 meter one-handed). There should be ten shots in it, but I only see nine. I don’t really think I pulled one so hard it went off the target. This is very good for my level of ability and given that this is not a target gun with target sights. I could never even get close to that with the S26.

    I *really* like this thing 🙂

    P.S.: BB, you should really try RWS Meisterwürze gourmet target salt 🙂


    • Stephan
      Since you brought up triggers and pistols.

      I don’t remember if BB commented on the Shred er trigger but it has a very nice double action trigger. It’s very predictable.

      • RR,

        maybe I should have mentioned that I have the pellet version. They make a similar one that shoots BBs.

        I still find it more challenging to shoot than, say, my Weihrauch HW 75, which has a 1911-style lower frame as well but grips that fill my hand better, fully adjustable sights with a longer sight line and a better trigger.

        Given that the HW75 is almost a match pistol, costs twice as much and isn’t a repeater, I think the Colt is pretty cool for what it is 🙂


        • Stephan,

          I really like those pistols, too! Of course there is no blow-back, but that means they get almost twice the shots and a third more velocity than a comparable blow-back pistol. Those clips also work with the Walther Lever Action rifles.

          They were very expensive (and still are), but they are very nice.


        • Here is B.B.’s report on the fourth of the original pistols, the RWS C255, a replica of the Sig 225: /blog/2006/11/rws-c225-pistolanother-quality-pistol-from-umarex/

    • CptKlotz,

      Good shooting!

      After watching the Olympic 10 Meter Air Pistol shooting competition, I tried some Olympic style 10 meter single hand shooting with my Sig Sauer Super Target single stroke pneumatic.

      My greatest difficulty is establishing a steady aim at 6 o’clock on the black rings before taking the shot. There is one shot in the 5 ring at about 11 o’clock that is a little hard to see. For 10 shots, the total score is 71.

      • cstoehr,

        I know what you mean. Shooting pistols accurately is *hard* (and when I post groups like that, they are usually among the best I’ve ever shot with a gun).

        While the moving sights are distracting, most bad shots seem to be a result of poor sight alignment or trigger technique. The experts always say this, but it’s still hard to believe since the wobble is so visibly annoying. I am increasingly starting to see that they are correct 🙂

        P.S.: That Sig Sauer ASP Super Target must be a nice pistol.


        • CptKlotz,

          The Sig Sauer Super Target is indeed a very nice pistol. Although the trigger is adjustable, I didn’t make any changes to it. As received, the trigger is very light, and average trigger pull measured about 1 lb 0.6 oz. I really enjoy shooting it.

  4. BB,

    Some interesting patterning you’ve done. Expect that the jagged shape of the salt crystals are the main problem for the unevenness.

    I don’t have time to try at the moment but what about using those small round candy “sprinkles” that you see as decoration on donuts for “shot”? They should pattern and carry their energy much better than salt crystals.

    Another thought (since you have been modifying guns recently 🙂 ), how about polishing a “bell choke” in the barrel to tighten the pattern?

    Years ago I was commissioned to convert a .22 rifle to shoot those “rifle-shot” cartridges. After reaming and polishing the bore I found that adding a bell-choke made the pattern much more even. Gained another yard or so of useful range.


  5. So, who noticed the new dime?
    It shows Tom is a person that has a specific tool for every job (at least for measuring groups).

    Measuring pellet and BB targets, the venerable 1962 dime is removed from its safety deposit box handled with white cotton gloves to measure the group, then returned to its place of safe keeping.
    We all know as the group sizes get smaller, so does the coin, next comes the trime, then the gold dollar.

    With today’s blog, we are introduced to the hazmat coin, the 1998 ASALT dime, (its not designed for military use so it is not an ASSAULT dime) this coin is used specifically for measuring salt and other possible corrosive substances and groups.

    Cheers everyone!


  6. Always been a part of air guns I looked forward to. When acquiring a new one for my collection, I carefully tested it to see which pellet it liked best. Now I find I have to do the same think in respect to salt for my Bug-a-Salt gun too? Who knew?

    Fred formerly of the Peeples Demokratik Republik of NJ now happily in GA

    • Fred
      Ain’t that funny how that always seems to happen.

      I was just happy to get to shoot my pellet guns when I was a kid as well as my .22 rimfire and shot guns. Now look what BB’s blog has done. Now I got to analyze and study and all that other crazy stuff people do to achieve what they want.

      I’m doomed. But in a good way. 🙂

  7. B.B. and Readership,

    So why not custom GRIND or CRUSH your own?


    Salt Mills and Crushers are available from other suppliers but these folks at Stedman could put you into business!

    WHERE is your creativity people? ;^)


  8. Has anyone tried baking soda? Uniformly fine powder that carries well on a stream of air, as proven by its use in soda blast ( like a gentle sand blaster) equipment.

  9. paco
    I will give it a try. Don’t know if it will work when reloading with the method I have been using with the salt. Maybe it might dry up hard into one piece like a pellet and not break up when its shot.

    I will find out though.

    Hmm. Maybe we found a way to make pellets for our pellet shooting guns. Wouldn’t that be something if that worked out.

    • GF1 and others,

      There is a salt by a company called Superior Crystal Salt Sense that is for people that are trying to reduce their salt intake. It isn’t a substitute, it’s real salt but because of the way it’s ground- actually, I think it’s shaved salt- it has 33% less Sodium by Volume. It’s finer and fluffier than table salt and when you shake it out for a few seconds you get 33% less of it than you would if shook regular salt for the same period of time. I researched it one time and found that it is similar to the salt that theaters use on popcorn and fast food joints use on their fries. It sticks to the food better without falling down to the bottom. The point is, it’s a finer salt that’s easy to find at any regular grocery store. if you wanted to experiment. And if it doesn’t work, you can just use it on your food.


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