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Ammo BUG-A-SALT SHRED-ER: Part 4

BUG-A-SALT SHRED-ER: Part 4

BUG-A-SALT-SHRED-ER
The SHRED-ER from BUG-A-SALT.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • The clips
  • The point
  • Reloading the clips
  • Dubbing wax and paper
  • Targets
  • BB talks
  • Leave it charged?
  • No more wasps
  • Store-boughten salt clips?
  • The arrows
  • Summary

Well, this series is heating up. Today we look at some things BB has done with his BUG-A-SALT SHRED-ER, plus some attempts by readers at reloading the rotating clips.

The clips

I’ll start with the clips. There has been an extraordinary interest in reloading the SHRED-ER clips. And when I say that, I really need to say that this has expanded to include the Crosman Vigilante pellet revolver, as well as the now-obsolete Crosman 357. It’s obvious what people are doing. They are trying to build their own SHRED-ERs, rather than purchasing them from BUG-A-SALT. It’s the airgunner thing to do, but I’m pretty sure that we are missing the point.

The point

I showed you the main feature that the SHRED-ER has in Part 2. A bar over the breech breaks up the salt charge so it can exit the muzzle as fine salt, rather than big pieces.

SHRED-ER breech
The bar across the SHRED-ER breech breaks up the salt charge as it enters the barrel.

That is the one thing you won’t have if you use a Vigilante or a 357. I think it’s necessary, though with what I’m about to show you may not agree with that position.

Reloading the clips

Many readers have commented about loading the clips. Some were speculation, but a couple have actually done it. Reader Dave wrote the longest and clearest description of what he did, and with his permission I have included it and some of his pictures in today’s report.

Results of the Pseudo-Bug-Shred-ER

by Dave

Wishing a blessed Sunday to all.

Previously, I had told B.B. and Gunfun1 that I would let you all know the results of my testing of my Crosman 357 with 6″ barrel when loaded with salt; all I had to do was to wait for the dubbing wax to arrive.

I finally got my dubbing wax, this particular batch know as Low Tack SWAX from Loon Outdoors. It is very easy to use; I just spread some on my index finger and wiped it over the back of the Crosman “speed loader clip.” Then I applied the tissue paper I had cut out (yes, I had to use red paper from Christmas, as that was all I had, and pressed it in place on the back of the cylinder.

The dubbing wax didn’t say how much was in the container, but it’s pretty small. Still, I think it will be good for thousands of shots, and it was only 9 bucks, delivered, from Amazon.

wax
Dubbing wax.

Next I loaded up each opening with salt; I used regular Morton brand table salt, as that is all we have on hand (I attribute that to my Mom; it’s the only salt she ever bought). I wiped off the excess and saved it in a plastic bag for next time. Then I rubbed some dubbing wax on the front of the cylinder, then pressed down the precut wax paper (which had been cut out to clear the notches to ensure that the cylinder can rotate).


Here Dave is loading the clips.

Dave load clips 2
The loaded clips. The front on the left and the rear on the right. Dave calls these his Hank Specials, in honor of reader Hank (Vana2) who gave him the idea.

Dave trim clip
I trimmed the paper on the clip.

For some odd reason, unlike any other CO2 revolver I’ve ever owned, this one shoots a squib load on the first two shots. Hence, to ensure that I was testing the salt loads at full power, I fired 3 shots with a cylinder of pellets…and the first two fired weakly (even by the sound of them), but the third shot was at full power and punched through both sides of my soda can, so I was ready to test the salt loads.

Targets

I used tinfoil for targets, and I made a 1″ tall numeral on each one (something about the size of a wasp); I numbered them 1 to 5 in order, to test the gun from 1 foot to 5 feet. I shot down at the targets that were placed on the grass. I stood on concrete blocks (since I’m not 8 feet tall) for the 4 and 5 foot targets. I used a tape measure to set the distance of the muzzle from the target. On the first shot, I aimed at the bottom of the 1 (or else there’d not be a 1 left), but on all the other targets I aimed at the center of the number.

Dave targets
Dave’s five targets, top to bottom, left to right.

As you can see by the targets, at 1 foot, the salt blew about a 1-inch hole through the tinfoil. It failed to penetrate a Pepsi can at that distance. It did put about a 1/2″ dent in it, but none of the salt penetrated the can.

At 2 feet, I got a nice 3-inch usable pattern, and all the salt penetrated the foil. At 3 feet, I got a good 5″ pattern, and again, all of the salt penetrated the foil. At 4 feet, I got a 7″ pattern, with about 3/4 of the salt penetrating the foil. At 5 feet, I got a nice 9″ pattern, but only half of the salt penetrated the foil. Hence, I will try to keep my shots to under 5 feet, but I do believe that any insect hit at 5 feet would have its wings obliterated (even if you did need to stomp it).

soda can
The two weak pellet hits are circled in yellow and the salt hit from 12 inches away is circled in red.

After loading my second cylinder, I vaporized one small wasp at 3 feet, and also one fly at the same range. My third shot took down an old (vacant) wasp nest from a foot away. But then I noticed that the back of the cylinder did not look right.

I fired shot number 4 at a leaf on a bush, and saw no shot pattern. Epic failure! I did NOT use enough wax on the clip. As you can see in this picture, the front of the clip is fine. You can see the outline of all the chambers as darker against the plastic than the lighter shade over the salt. On the back side, the paper lifted up, allowing several chambers of salt to leak out. Lesson learned; use enough wax!

paper lifted
The red paper has lifted from the clip and the salt has poured out.

paper comparison

So, I am going to declare victory on this test. The gun is out in the carport right now,  all loaded up with Hank Specials and ready-to-go, but with nary a wasp to be seen.

My theory is, the word is out, and the wasps are all like, “Uh-oh! Ol’ Dave’s got him some kinda wasp blaster! We’d better skeedaddle, afur that boy puts a hurtin’ on us!”  Yep, that must be it.

Blessings and good shooting to all, Dave

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

BB talks

Okay, that was a guest blog by reader Dave that came through as several comments. Now BB would like to add a few things.

Leave it charged?

BUG-A-SALT tells us not to leave this gun charged, but the pests around BB’s house don’t cooperate. So, BB broke the rules and left a CO2 cylinder in the gun. That allowed him to do several things.

First, I shot a cricket that was trying to get in my front door. Some of you may be cricket fans, and, while I certainly like the music of Buddy Holly, when crickets get in the house Dale Evans eats them and then throws them up. I’m simply abbreviating the cycle of events and lessening my work load. 

Crickets are skitterish, so five feet was as close as I could get. I wondered whether the salt would penetrate the hard shell at that distance, but one shot was all it took. Shredded!

No more wasps

Like Dave said, the wasps have figured out that I have a SHRED-ER and they are avoiding my garage like the plague. Before I got it they would challenge me for my right to even be there, but now even the houseflies seem to stay away. Maybe BUG-A-SALT could make a large poster of the gun that we could buy for $10 or so. Hang them around the house at wasp/fly entry points and keep the bad guys away?

I have lots of geckos around the outside of the house, but they are too cute to shoot. Besides, they do take care of the smaller bugs. However, if one gets into my house, he’s fair game.

Store-boughten salt clips?

BB has watched several readers load salt clips, but as of yet he hasn’t loaded any himself. Dave’s report is pretty thorough, and GunFun1 has made his own report in a number of posts with pictures.

The arrows

Okay, I haven’t mentioned this yet but the body of the SHRED-ER is somewhat different than that of the Vigilante. Let’s look.

0Vigilante
The body of the Vigilante.


The body of the SHRED-ER has a wide ring in front of where the clip sits. There is an arrow on this ring and if, when you loaded the clip, you aligned that arrow with the one on the clip, you will know when the last salt cartridge has been fired, because the arrows will line up again. That is very helpful.

Summary

The BUG-A-SALT SHRED-ER is too handy not to have ready to go at a moment’s notice. So BB keeps a CO2 cartridge in the gun at all times — contrary to the manufacturer’s instructions.

I discovered today that the SHRED-ER is more effective on hard-shelled insects than I would have thought. 

You readers are also very interested in this bug weapon. Just remember, the SHRED-ER was designed purposely to be effective. We may approximate its performance with other CO2 pistols, which opens the opportunity to a lot more airgunners, but remember that the SHRED-ER is the real deal.

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.

81 thoughts on “BUG-A-SALT SHRED-ER: Part 4”

  1. “Maybe BUG-A-SALT could make a large poster of the gun…”
    Hey B.B., I really like that idea!
    And thank you for your editing of my comments into a guest blog; your editing job made me sound more intelligent than I am in real life. =)~
    Take care & God bless,
    dave

    • Dave,

      The poster would serve the same scarecrow-like purpose plastic owls do. Thing is, yep, after a while the plastic owl just looks like another lawn chair. I know of one long-perched plastic owl that has actually been defaced by sparrows relieving themselves on it! Sparrows are apparently more intelligent than we think.

      But for a while, that poster might work with wasps, depending on how smart they are. That brings up the age old question: which is smarter, a sparrow or a wasp?

      I’ve often wondered.

      Michael

      • “…that poster might work with wasps, depending on how smart they are.”
        Michael, thank you for this comment; it got a smile and a laugh out of me; great stuff! =>

    • Dave,

      Thanks for the report and testing my theory!

      The dubbing wax is available in different levels of tackiness so a stickier wax might work better.

      For other alternatives to dubbing wax, a wax toilet bowl gasket (a couple of bucks at the hardware store) is mostly bee’s wax and has high-tack. Glue-sticks might work but it could be more difficult to clean the residue off the magazines later.

      While you’re experimenting, one ply of Kleenex or toilet tissue might work as it has a weaker structure that the wrapping tissue you were using.

      Hank

      • “Thanks for the report and testing my theory!”
        Hank, you are most welcome! =>
        “one ply of Kleenex or toilet tissue might work…”
        That’s a good point, and is certainly worth a try. I DO have some white tissue paper on hand, but it is not the usual stuff; this material has some plastic mixed in with the paper fiber; it has WAY too much structure, so I did not think it would work out well; and that’s why I chose the regular red tissue paper. This Shred-ER set of reports B.B. did has been most interesting!
        Cheers, and thanks again for the idea,
        dave

    • Dave
      Don’t know if you have seen some of Bug A Salts email advertising and such.

      Heck they may already have a poster. Put it this way I think they got a good marketing department. Certian people might not like it though.

  2. B.B.,

    Just curious about the long term effect of the salt being shot through the Vigilante and Crosman 357 revolvers, shouldn’t the barrels be flushed with hot water at the end of the day to prevent corrosion? With the addition of wax being used to seal the clips maybe cleaning the barrel with an oil patch might also be in order.

    Siraniko

    • Siraniko,
      Yes, that is a very legitimate concern, and is the reason (when I couldn’t get a Bug-a-Salt Shred-ER right away) I was actually looking for an old Crosman 357 with an 8″ barrel (like the one I used to have, but gave away to one of my grandsons); the 8″-barreled 357 had a brass barrel, while the 6″ ones have a steel barrel. Salt on steel…not a good combination! I did look through the barrel after I fired off those first ten salt rounds, and although I couldn’t see any salt particles with the naked eye, that doesn’t mean they weren’t there…like perhaps fine micro-particles, just sitting there and waiting to absorb water and corrode my nice barrel! Hence, I did clean the barrel, with oil on a Q-tip (pushed through the barrel with a plastic pen insert) after this salt test; and I should have noted that in my report; thank you for catching me on that. =>
      Take care & God bless,
      dave

  3. BB
    I been breaking my own rule with the Shred er. I have been leaving the Co2 cartridge in mine also so it is ready at will to shoot.

    I have been doing like a reader suggested (sorry can’t remember who it was right now). They said once the cartridge gets pierced to back off the tightening screw some. My gun so far is a half turn before it will not seal right and start releasing Co2. So I go a little over a 1/4 turn loose after the cartridge is pierced. I have used 3 co2 cartridges in my Shred er and no leaks so far and I can verily see a imprintation on the seal.

    And here is a link to the blog we’re me and Dave and several blog readers were commenting on the reloading the salt clips. It’s towards the end of the comments is where to look. And I also posted some pictures at the end of how I been loading the salt and some comments between me and Dave.

  4. Off topic question: B.B. and follow blog-mates, I was looking for JSB Exact domes in .177 that B.B. often uses in his tests and often recommends in his answers to readers’ comments. At the time, PA was out of them, so I selected the JSB Exact RS. What does “RS” stand for, and other than weight, what is the difference between the RS and the “regular” Exacts? By the way, I achieved the best group of my life so far with the Exact RS in my Beeman R7.

    • RG,

      What does RS stand for? Really Short? Rally Sport? Rat S***? I myself could care less what it stands for. In some airguns, especially the lower powered ones like your R7, it is very accurate. If you really have to know, contact JSB.

      If you are like most of us, you will end up with quite a collection of pellets as you search for “THE” pellet. When I find “the” pellet for a particular airgun, I usually get a nice pellet holder such as a Wilkins and keep it with that particular airgun. They look really nice hanging with the air rifles in my great room.

      The thing to keep in mind is pellets are like fishing lures. Most fishing lures are designed to catch the eye of the fisherman.

        • Hi guys,
          Thanks to PA’s “buy 3, get one free” policy, I have many tins of .177 RSB RS pellets. Somewhere, in searching for pellets, I came across a comment that said that the RS stood for “Rapid Speed,” as the RS pellets are usually a bit lighter for their caliber than the typical pellet. My JSB RS .177 caliber pellets are 7.33 grains, where the old standard was 8 grains (wasn’t it? LOL); and my RSB RS .22 caliber pellets are 13.43 grains, where the “typical” ,22 pellet in the old days was about 14 grains.. The .177 RS pellets boost the velocity to 440 fps for my 40-year-old Tempest; and the .22 RS pellets boost the velocity of my HW30S from 450 fps (with 14-grainers) up to 485 fps. That may not sound like much; but with a lower-energy gun like that, it gives it a useful trajectory. Oh, and my Tempest shoots at 400 fps with 8-grain pellets. So, these “RS” pellets do seem to add a bit of speed to these lower powered guns.
          Blessings to all,
          dave

      • RIdgeRunner, you are right on the accuracy of the RS pellet, you are right about my growing collection of pellets, and right about the fishing lures (I grew up working in my family’s bait and tackle shop, and I was the unofficial field tester of all the unsolicited, new lures that the distributors would send). So, now I feel that I should look into a Wilkins Pellet Holder as well.

          • Gunfun, I will post two entries. First, I will show you the best group of all, which was shot two days ago, at 10 yards with JSB Exact RS domes, 7.33 gr. The group of 9 shots, measures 0.170″ center to center with one called flyer (the first shot of the ten) that would have made the group 0.38″). My best group ever in my short experience since rediscovering airguns. My next comment will list all the pellets I have tried so far in this rifle.

          • Gunfun, in order of my best group so far with each pellet, from largest group to smallest, center to center:
            Daisy PrecisionMax Wadcutters (7.8 gr.)
            0.9545″
            Crosman Premier Wadcutter (7.4 gr. in the milk carton)
            0.715″
            Predator GTO Domes (JSB)
            0.582″
            H&N Baracuda Green
            0.5175″
            RWS Meisterkugeln
            0.496″
            H&N Crow Magnum
            0.491″
            RWS Hobby
            0.4805″
            JSB Simply Pellets
            0.463″
            Air Arms Diabolo Express
            0.445″
            H&N Excite Econ II
            0.424
            RWS Superdomes
            0.4165″
            Air Arms Falcons
            0.4115″
            Air Arms Diabolo Field 4.52mm
            0.3985″
            RWS R10 Match
            0.373″
            Air Arms Diabolo Field 4.51mm
            0.357″
            JSB SCHaK
            0.3325″
            H&N Field Target Trophy
            0.3125
            JSB Match Diabolo Light Weight
            0.309″
            H&N Sport Match Green
            0.299″
            JSB Exact RS Domes
            0.17″

            I would note, that I am still learning, and the first pellets tested were shot on June 15th, shortly after receiving the R7, so I was really still getting used to the gun. Now that I have a better sense of the trigger and a better shooting technique, I will probably re-test many, but not all of these pellets. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the lead-free pellets. Similarly, the H&N Excite Econ II, and the JSB SCHaK performed very well for such inexpensive pellets, and they perform very well in my Umarex Embark as well, so I think I have a couple of accurate, cheap pellets for general practice and plinking, and a super accurate pellet for hunting. I will continue to test and get some sort of averages to make sure I can get repeatable results.

        • Roamin Greco, in 4 of my airguns, the JSB RS pellets have proven to be the most accurate, although, I do have a few others that really like the H&N Field Target. Still, JSB seems to make some very high quality pellets…and I’ve got a whole shelf full of them. =>

          • Roamin
            Yep good to have a chrono and tools.

            And when yoget some of those JSB exact heavy pellets let me know how they do for you. They are usually pretty good in the wind too.

        • Roamin
          The only one I didn’t see on your list is these.
          /product/jsb-diabolo-exact-heavy-177-cal-10-34-grains-domed-500ct?p=388

          They are my .177 caliber pellet I use in several of my guns. I had a hw50s that liked them.

          You should give them a try. They don’t shoot like a heavy pellet. They got a pretty flat trajectory.

          • Gunfun1, why not?

            My next purchases will likely be a chronograph, trigger guage, and a set of gunsmithing tools.

            I put the JSB Heavies on my PA Wish List. Thanks.

  5. B.B. why not take a pic of yourself holding the Shred-er, blow it up to poster size and hang it in your garage? That should scare the critters. You might even sell autographed copies to your fans!

    You coulda sung “Bye, bye Miss American Pie” to that unfortunate cricket as you shot it, but that might have been a bit too cruel. Good to learn the Shred-er has good bug armor-piercing potential. This might make a great gift for my little sister who is absolutely terrified of bugs.

  6. B.B. and Dave,

    So wax and tissue paper is the formula. Good work!

    “The time has come,’ the walrus said, ‘to talk of many things: of shoes and ships – and sealing wax – of cabbages and kings.”

    Michael

  7. BB,

    Taking about pest deterrents, Mr Topiniski (as kids, we used to hunt on his farm) had a good method for keeping crows away.

    He had a dummy (made from his old hat, cloths and boots) with a fake shotgun sitting in a rocking chair on the porch. When the crows figured that the dummy was no threat he would go sit in the chair and blast a couple.

    Mr Topiniski said crows couldn’t tell the difference between real person and the dummy and decided it was safer to keep away. Seems that even the young crows were taught to avoid the gardens around the buildings.

    Hank

    • Hank,
      My hat if off to you *tips his hat to you* for your idea.
      These “Hank Special” loads work very well.
      As Gunfin1 noted, my loading process is slow (5 minutes to load one ten-round clip), but that’s only because “I” and OLD and SLOW, hahaha! But the main point is, your process works great…just as long as I don’t skimp on the wax!
      Cheers, attribution, and thank you!,
      dave

      • Dave
        And remember I said my process was pretty fast and easy.

        But my loads had to dry overnight. Or I could use a hobby hot air gun and it added about another minute to my process which would make total time around 3 minutes for each of my clips.

        So either way how I’m doing it or your doing it Dave there needs to be I’ll say a routine in place to keep ahead on a supply of loaded clips.

        It reminds me of when BB talks about shooting certian powder burners and the routine or rythm he gets in when shooting.

        All in all fun stuff reloading the salt clips rather than buying them all the time. Plus your making custom salt loads to suite you likes.

        All good in my book.

        • Gunfun1,
          I just cooked up one of your loads using tape and alcohol. I’m just waiting for it to dry, and then I’ll try 10 shots with that and see how it does. It should be interesting, since my gun doesn’t have the bar to break up the salt. =>
          Awaiting the results,
          dave

    • Hank, when I was younger, I read a blurb in “Field and Stream” magazine that showed how relatively smart crows are. It claimed that it was common knowledge that crows could count by threes. So a local shooting club set out to trick the local crow population by running members in and out of a blind near a cornfield, first 3 members would run in, one would run back, then 2 would run to exhaustion, back and forth, etc., all in an effort to confuse the crows. Finally, a crow flew down to begin feeding on the corn, but there was no shot from the blind. The remaining shooter had collapsed from exhausion!

      • Roamin,

        We have a pair of ravens (named Gomez and Mortichia 🙂 ) that nest on my property and can attest to how smart they are.

        In the winter I supplement their diet with meat trimmings I get from the butcher. Gomez has a specific call that he uses to announce that he waiting on the backyard fence. If I don’t hear him he will fly to the deck railing and call to the dog so she starts barking. If I have something for him I point to his “feeding stump” he will fly over there, if I don’t have anything I wave and he flies off about his business.

        Smart bird – he knows the sound of my pesting rifle (HW 100) and will come to see what is being served up. He doesn’t bother with my other rifles though.

        Critters are fun to interact with.

        Hank

  8. BB,

    I’m thinking that one purpose of the bar across the breach in the Shred-er is there to stop people from putting pellets (spitballs? modelling clay?) in the gun.

    The second purpose might be to hold the tissue in place to prevent it lifting from adjacent cells.

    Don’t know that the bar is necessary to break up the salt.

    Hank

  9. BB

    I can claim partial credit for the advanced technology breakthrough for effectively being ready when a Teetsi fly happens to show up.:

    Decksniper July 22, 2021 at 9:05 am
    BB

    Are 8 gram CO2 cartridges cheaper? Better yet, ignore the command to remove CO2 at end of day.

    Deck

  10. Dave
    Another thing I imagine the wax is taking up some area on each side of the clip. So your probably getting less of a salt load then I’m getting with the way I been loading my clips.

    Here is a front and back picture of the clip when they are ready to use.

    This is the front of the clip.

    • Here is the back of the clip. Notice how the whole opening of the clip is full front to back with all salt. Plus I’m thinking that the way I’m loading with out the extra resistance of the wax and paper is making my shots leave the barrel with more velocity than the wax and paper. Plus my barrel is probably staying cleaner.

  11. Oh and I thought the same that just having the Shred er sitting there was deterring the pests. Thought maybe it was the color of the gun even.

    But low and behold I have been invaded by some medium size flys the last few days when I have been shooting in the breezeway with the window open. I think I fired more rounds from my Shred er in the last 2 days then the whole time I had my spring powered Bug A Salt.

    All I can say is these are some stupid fly’s that have been visiting lately. 🙂

  12. They could also make a double barrel shotgun version of it and use chokes. Terminating the flying insects would add to the fun. This was an interesting one, but $125 is too much for a toy.

  13. BB,

    Did you try it on a wall, TV, computer screen, mirror, window, and such fragile surface? My concern would be the damage around the house / apartment. It could turn into the most expensive spider hunt.

    Fish.

  14. Greetings fellow airgunners,
    I promised Gunfun1 that I would try his loads (tape the back of the disk, fill it with salt, and add a drop of alcohol), so I did that; although, I used a piece of packing tape, and that removed a bit of salt from the back when I removed the tape; I should have used a less-sticky tape as he did.
    Anyway, the results were pretty good, quite similar to my previous results with the Hank Specials; however, the first shot from 1 foot away sounded like a squib (even though I fired 3 pellets prior to loading up the salt cylinder); hence, I made up a second “1” target, and got better results.
    The most interesting thing now would be to buy some reloads for the actual SHRED-ER and try them in this Pseudo-Shredder.
    As B.B. noted previously, the SHRED-ER is a dedicated insect eliminator, where my gun is a compromise: you can eliminate some pests, close up, and then clean the gun and switch back to pellets to practice your double-action shooting. Overall, I am happy with the Crosman 357; I’ve gone through more CO2 cartridges in the past few days than I did all last year…not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. =>
    Peace & Blessings & good shooting to all,
    dave

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