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Education / Training Bug-A-Salt is here!

Bug-A-Salt is here!

Pyramyd AIR is now carrying the Bug-A-Salt brand!

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

This report covers:

  • A cricket
  • Garage
  • A new Bug-A-Salt product
  • Used where?
  • May already have been tried
  • Pyramyd Air
  • Summary

Success at last! I have been lobbying, suggesting, whining and crying to Pyramyd AIR to carry the Bug-A-Salt products and now they are. Sometimes you eat the bear. 

Today I want to talk about my experiences with my Bug-A-Salt products  and to talk about a new product that doesn’t yet exist. Perhaps I should say a product I want to exist. Let’s get started.

A cricket

I should warn you, the images you are about to see are very graphic. They may not be appropriate for children.

Three months ago I had another cricket in my kitchen. I now have my three Bug-A-Salt guns placed strategically around my house for just such an occasion, and this one was about to experience it.

Bug-A-Salt cricket
In April this guy dared to cross my kitchen floor. Too bad for him!

I keep my Shredder in the kitchen, because that’s where I have seen two other crickets and a wolf spider. The flies mostly stay in the living room.

One shot from the Shredder and this guy went to cricket heaven. No, he was not singing When you wish upon a Star. If he had been I would have waited to shoot until he finished.

Bug-A-Salt cricket body
One shot from my Bug-A-Salt Shredder did this to mister cricket.

The Shredder separated a leg from the cricket.

On Sunday I shot a fly in my kitchen with the Shredder. The thing about the Shredder is it’s barrel is aligned with the sights. The Bug-A-Salt 2.0 and the Bug-A-Salt Black Fly 3.0 are probably also aligned with the sights, but their sights are harder to see — at least for me. The Shredder is perfect, plus it is effective to at least twice the distance.

But it uses CO2. CO2 cartridges cost money and, as an airgunner, I am cheap. But the Shredder is so effective that it overrides the cost issue (can’t believe I just said that). And, it gets even worse!


I was working on RidgeRunner’s Diana 34 in my garage last week when a couple wasps decided to join me. They didn’t have a project of their own so they wanted to work on mine and they kept getting in the way. I tried to shoot them with the Shredder but they were uncooperative; they refused to hover for me. I wasted about 8 shots with no success.

A new Bug-A-Salt product

To correct this problem I would like to see a Bug-A-Salt shotgun. I realize all Bug-A-Salt guns are already shotguns by definition. What I want is one with more power to shoot more salt. Carbon dioxide will work well for the power (velocity of the salt) because the Shredder is already powerful enough. I just want a wider pattern with the same salt crystal density. I would like a ten-inch pattern at 7 feet.

Used where?

This product would not be used indoors, or if it was it would be necessary to vacuum or sweep up after the shot. I know that good housekeepers already do that with the Bug-A-Salt guns that exist, but I’m a bachelor and something of a hobo.

Bug-A-Salt salt spot
This is the result of shooting at a hard-shelled beetle from 7 inches (upper right) and 12 inches with a Shredder. I had to step on this beetle because his shell was too hard.

Wasps and other flying critters that want to fly in my face could be taken down with such a gun because the salt will poke holes in their wings. Then they will fall to the ground, allowing me to stomp them. I’ve done this with occasional lucky shots from the Shredder. What I want is a salt gun that has more luck.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

May already have been tried

The folks at Bug-A-Salt may have tried this already. It makes sense that they would have. I’m just putting it out there in case it hasn’t been tried or perhaps the decision-makers can’t see the applications. Anyone with wasps, yellowjackets, and carpenter bees certainly can. I left hornets off that list because it you have them it’s best just to leave them alone. They are aggressive (I don’t care what Wikipedia says) and they work in packs.

Just to be clear, I’m asking for a wider pattern with more salt — not higher velocity.

Pyramyd Air

Pyramyd AIR now carries Bug-A-Salt products. That’s good news for those who haven’t pulled the trigger just yet. I jest and I’m being serious at the same time. Of all the bug-getters I’ve tried, these are the best!


I probably won’t write about Bug-A-Salt guns any more unless there is a good reason. A new product would be such a reason — hint, hint.

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.

41 thoughts on “Bug-A-Salt is here!”

  1. Tom,

    May I suggest a section of PVC pipe that will attach to the muzzle of an appropriate CO2 rifle (Crosman 160?) muzzle loaded with a paper shotshell (maybe half the size of a teabag) loaded with salt for your future shotgun needs?


  2. B.B., when you wrote, “I realize all Bug-A-Salt guns are already shotguns by definition. What I want is one with more power to shoot more salt.” It sounds to me like the current offerings are akin to a .410 with a full choke, but you want something akin to a 12 gauge with an improved cylinder choke.

    Or, you may want to practice your “quick kill” techniques with the bug assault. That may make you more (like) Lucky. :o)


  3. Aww, shucks. Thanks, B.B. I was eager to read the next installment on RidgeRunner’s Diana 34, but I guess we’ll have to wait.

    I recently acquired some Diana front globe sight inserts for my Winchester 435 (a rebranded Diana 35), and I tried out the aperture insert last night. It turned out to be too small for the standard sized 10 meter bullseye, so I had to draw my own 1/2″ bulls. Then the group sizes were about 1/2″ so I had a heck of a time staying on target. Note to self: use a RED or orange sharpie for bullseyes. I also found that though the trigger broke cleanly, it was sort of heavy. This trigger is the same sort as Michael’s Winchester 427 (Diana 27), “The Gaylord,” and has the front locking screw and the rear adjustment screw. I made very small, incremental turns in until the trigger became lighter and even crisper. There was a tiny bit of creep at the end of the first stage (reminds me of a compound bow let-off…the “wall”) then with a few ounces more pressure it fires.

    The gun has one issue in that it is a serious drooper. Even with the vintage Diana peep sight cranked all the way up, most pellets hit very low. Surprisingly, very light pellets and heavier pellets did best. Like the Predator GTO “Journey” wadcutters at 5.5 grains did well, but 7.0 grain pellets like Meisterkugelns hit about 3/4″ low. Then as I tested incrementally heavier pellets, the groups rose higher and higher. I capped off the night with 8.44 grain Air Arms Field Diabolos with 4.51 mm heads, which hit in the bottom half of the bull.

    Now I have two of the tapered post (“picket fence”) inserts. I am thinking of filing one down so I can get some more vertical adjustment back for the peep sight. Perhaps I can also source a front globe sight that sits lower, closer to the barrel. I want to keep the vintage-ness of this gun, but I still want it to shoot where I am aiming.

    Question: do you think replacing the suspected broken spring and getting a bit more velocity would make pellets tend to go higher or even lower? This barrel seems to want to shoot, but she’s definitely a bit droopy. :o(

      • Tom and Roamin’,

        I still have The Gaylord, but the mention here got me thinking of a different air rifle of mine with the three ball bearing sear: my Diana 28, probably a 1985 or 1986. Over the weekend I put the scope thedavemyster gave me on it. I think for better eye relief I’ll need to move the scope back a centimeter or two.

        This is the first time I have posted a photo of an airgun from my collection on the blog. Dave’s generous gift inspired me!


        • Nice Looks like you got that scope mounted as low as you could. I hope you don’t have barrel droop issues.

          Now you have me wondering about the differences and similarities between your Model 28, my 1987 Model 24J, and RidgeRunner’s 1995 Model 34, especially with respect to the trigger and trigger assembly.

          • Roamin’,

            As I am a close-up plinker, I thought low was the way to go. Besides, when has a Diana ever had barrel droop? ;^) I had it almost sighted in, but I need to back it up a little more. Then I’ll sight it in more seriously.

            I would think the Diana 24J is a slightly smaller, perhaps teen-sized model, although my 25 is the same length as my 27 and 28, so who knows? I think Diana continually changed model numbers to give the impression new models were more different from previous ones than they really were. My 28 and my 27 are different calibers from different decades, but otherwise they are very similar. RidgeRunner’s 34 is slightly bigger and much more powerful than 20-something models, I suspect.

            A very different animal is my Diana Model 50, also with the three ball bearing sear. It’s a medium-powered tap-loading underlever with a looong barrel. With the aperture sight I have on it, the sight radius is a precise 82 meters! (Seriously though, it is about 46 inches in length, and the relatively short length-of-pull makes for little of that.)

            The Model 50 specimens below are not mine, but mine is very much like the lower two.


            • My 50 is similar to the two lower one’s, but has the rotating front sight and the combo rear sight. RG had a go with it. They are nice air rifles.

              Here it is.


              • RidgeRunner,

                Those sights are truly incredible. Those are designs that should have stood the test of time to become the gold standard of today. Just amazing.


                • Michael,

                  They are quite nice. The issue is they are expensive. It is much cheaper to make molded in square blocky sights.

                  If someone has parts for these old sights, they are hanging on to them like the unobtainium they are.

            • I think the even numbers were introduced to phase out the odd numbered guns. I think my 24J is essentially a 24D with a shorter barrel. And the 26 and 28 are the same power plant with different stocks and sights, etc.

          • Roamin’

            Triggers! I forgot.

            The triggers depend, I think, on when the air rifle was made. 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, early 1980s, might be three ball bearing sear. Later than mid 1980s, probably TO series. I wouldn’t buy one without getting a good look to see if it has the two trigger adjustment screws right next to each other, in front of the trigger blade.


            • That’s what makes me so curious about RidgeRunner’s 34. It looks like the trigger on my 24 with the two screws (but they have a more pan head style), but B.B. says it’s not a ball bearing sear, and it is too new to be from the same species of trigger as our guns (which I assume are simply different trim levels of the same powerplant…24, 26, 28). I just want an engineer from Diana to explain all this history in clear terms with lots of pictures. Is that too much to ask?

              • Roamin’

                It is possible my 28 also lacks the three ball-bearing sear. However, at the bottom of page 391 the Blue Book 12th Edition says it would have a TO sear if that follows the model number atop the reciever. Mine has no “TO__” after the “28.”

                You might be surprised how many manufacturers with august reputations kept sloppy production records during their history. Gibson guitars has multiple periods during which they reused serial numbers from previous decades, for example. And some of their records, of course on paper, probably did not make the trip when they moved their facilities from Kalamazoo to Nashville in 1983.


      • Roamin’

        I did eat a few lemon ants (live, right off a tree trunk) in the Amazon Basin, but I would never eat a fly. :^( Why did I not hesitate to eat a half dozen or so of the ants? Seriously, because I knew for the rest of my life I could tell and write of my having done it! I confess. It’s true.


          • Dave,

            I could not have been too brave, though. On the same trip I went with some friends to a nice restaurant in Quito. My intention was to east some roasted Cuy (whole Guinea Pig). But someone ordered it at the table next to ours, and when I saw it brought out, the whole animal, head and teeth and all, I chickened out. Instead I ordered Churrasco (a big grilled skirt steak marinated in Aji — a citrus-based salsa — and served with two fried eggs on top). I just couldn’t eat something that looked like somebody’s pet.

            I found Ecuadorian food in general to be excellent. I regret not eating more Ecuadorian style Ceviche. If I ever go back, I’ll eat Ceviche Camerones every meal, even breakfast.


            • Michael,

              Lots of different animals are peoples pets; some folks even treat plants like pets…not much left to eat with that conception of what is to be eaten.

              Don’t the Camerones get served with all their body parts too! They did in Spain.
              Personally i prefer Enchilado de Camerones Cuban style.


              • shootski,

                I remember clearly they had removed the heads and legs from the shrimp, although the tails were still on. It was not so much a shrimp salad as a soup, so there was a little of that awkward reaching into the bowl to pull tails off. I have never understood (or eaten) bouillabaisse. I do like mussels, however. (And as an improvisational musician, I am more than familiar with “clams.”)

                Seafood from travels is always a great subject. One of my all-time favorites is a little hole-in-the-wall dive cafe in the middle of San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye, Belize. They have a famous lobster burrito the size of Popeye’s forearm! This was about 10 years ago, and Ambergris Cayo has become trendy since, but they were about $6!

                Hey, I wonder if Cuba will eventually have a lot of Cantonese and Hunan restaurants. The best Korean restaurant I’ve ever dined in was in Quito, so who knows. I’ve read that after awile one could get authentic U.S. style hamburgers in Okinawa and Subic Bay.


                • Michael, Cuba already had a thriving Chinese community going back to the 1920s, so there was good Chinese food to be had there. From what FM remembers, it was mostly Cantonese. Havana has its own Chinatown to this day.

                  What the state of Chinese cuisine is there these days, cannot say. Cuy was never on the menu, though. Rats!

            • Funny – that’s the same experience FM had with cuy in Cuzco, Peru. Culinarily-audacious FM thought he was going to have a go at cuy, until he saw a full-size prepared example on another diner’s table, little rodent teeth sticking out and all. Killed THAT appetite. Interestingly, our Peruvian guide on that tour said he never cared for it.

              Haven’t worked up the appetite to try iguana yet either; reviews seem mixed.

  4. Tom,

    I have a request. Please review the Norica Titan. I have seen some so-so user reviews of other models of Norica springers lately, but if the Titan were well made and accurate, it would be exactly the sort of springer some of us keep saying should be available, affordable, easy-cocking, low-powered, lightweight and adult(ish) sized.



  5. BB reloading the shell for my Gamo shotgun with salt really sends the unwanted insects to the promise land. Ballstol on a cotton ball after the hunt keeps things shiney.

  6. OK, [deep breath], I’m going against the conventional wisdom here (always a dangerous thing to do). Here is an exploded parts diagram with the Diana logo on it provided by an Italian website. It shows the Diana Model 26, 26 T03, 26 T04, 28, 28 T03, and 28 T04 all have the same three ball bearing trigger (note there is a safety with the curled metal end and the adjustment screws are no the same as the Model 27 you have). This is why I theorized that “T01,” “T04,” “T05,” etc. mean different things for different models, not just the trigger.


    Now look at this for the 34:


    Same three ball bearing set up. Interestingly, note the Model 45 T01 is actually a Model 34, but other models with the T01 have a direct sear. Now compare the Model 34 T05:


    No ball bearings, different safety, but similar pin placement. It also doesn’t show any adjustment screw at all, unless its that little bump along the bottom of the trigger.

    Food for thought…. Tastes better than ants?

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