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Bug-A-Salt 2.0 Insect Gun - The Salt Shotgun for Flies


Assault Rifle - er, A Salt Rifle - for fly eradication.

I remember when Lorenzo Maggiore's original IndiGoGo campaign for the Bug-A-Salt was going on and remember it being  a neat idea. Maybe not neat enough to get on board right away with the crowd-funding effort, but neat enough to put a definite mental pin in it as something to keep my eye on. That campaign garnered nearly 4,000% of his $15k goal, raking in well over half a million bucks from almost 11,000 supporters on the (then) patent-pending novelty.

The original video from the IndieGoGo campaign:

The concept is pretty simple and well executed - it's a spring-powered airgun that shoots salt like a miniature plastic shotgun. Load it, cock it, blast the ever-loving crap out of insects. Like I said: pretty simple.

We have the Bug-A-Salt 2.0 model. The company recommends using ordinary, everyday table salt, although you can also use magical pink salt dug from mystical mountains by Pakistani child laborers. I'm not sure if this imparts any supernatural properties into the actual functioning of the Bug-A-Salt, but we get Pink Himalayan salt for relatively cheap at Costco and Hippies are into having chunks of it laying around, so I guess having a few extra pinches of it scattered through the house and office might help open up some chakras or something.

The salt (enough for around 80 or so shots) is loaded into a hopper above the barrel of the gun, which also offers a view port on the side to let you know when your ammo supply is running low.

I was a little dismayed when the Bug-A-Salt that we ordered first arrived. We have a sunny, south-facing window in our house that tends to be where a few flies congregate in the summer months. I've had an ongoing beef with this family of generational freeloaders hanging out around this window, so I was pretty vindictive. I wanted them dead. Really dead. So I took my brand new, bright, shiny, black and yellow Bug-A-Salt, loaded up with enchanted pink salt, crept into my firing position, drew a point-blank bead (which I was sure would splatter all over) and KA-POW!

That little sucker was nowhere to be found! I must have reduced him to atoms! Nope. Now he was just hanging out about a foot further up the window - not vaporized, only mildly annoyed. I discovered that if you are too close, I think the puff of air that propels the salt shoos the fly away before he gets the scattergun blast of salt. With this newfound knowledge, I backed my tactical firing position away to about 10-15" and was soon anchoring the winged enemy with one shot. Before long, I had laid waste to their entire army, sending their disgusting souls on to Fly-Valhalla or wherever dead bugs go.

It continues to pattern well and be plenty effective out to around 2-3', making it an invaluable tool for when we have the smoker or grill going for a BBQ outdoors.

There are plenty of warnings all over the Bug-A-Salt about not shooting it at people, pets, or anything other than bugs you're trying to kill. That's no joke. At close range, the expended salt has no problem denting aluminum cans, leaving a pattern of small dents like a small scale birdshot-on-a-car-door. From about four inches, it will sting the palm of your hand pretty good, it has no problem completely penetrating newsprint paper, and I can confirm that it is capable of bead-blasting off lacquer wood finish. Oops. Although it's not exactly a lethal weapon, the Four Laws of Gun Safety should still be followed.

It isn't a tremendous amount of salt expended per shot, but it is enough that you will need to sweep after an extended engagement like the one we had in The Battle of South Window. One thing that I learned early on is the importance of keeping the Bug-A-Salt level while pumping it to ensure the the salt feeds from the hopper into the firing mechanism. In the heat of battle, I had to keep reminding myself that I couldn't just pump the action from whatever firing position I was in, such as sharp upward or downward angles or performing tactical barrel rolls.

The sights on the Bug-A-Salt 2.0 are kind of a joke, consisting of front and rear U-notches. The front notch is mostly obscured by the salt hopper and the rear notch is recessed until the gun is cocked. I suspect that its use as a sight is secondary to its primary purpose as a cocked/loaded chamber indicator. One annoying "feature" is the auto-engaging safety mechanism. Upon cocking the Bug-A-Salt, the rear sight notch pops up and the thumb safety also engages, requiring the shooter to manually disengage it for each shot.

After accompanying me on some "hunting" expeditions, both my Mrs. and 8 year old niece claim that I have too much fun with the Bug-A-Salt, I happen to think that I have just the right amount of fun with it. Practical fun, too, mind you. I'm not just running around the place like a lunatic throwing around condiments; I'm exterminating nasty, dirty pests. And I'm doing it without spraying chemicals on everything, smearing bug guts on the wall, breaking mini-blind slats, or ripping up the pages of whatever periodical I happen to be holding when I spot the winged menace.

At first I thought that $40 seemed pretty steep to spend on a fly-killing toy. The Mrs. REALLY thought it seemed like too much, although once it arrived she had to admit that it was a lot cooler than she expected it to be. It works great, it does what it's supposed to do, and it's a lot of fun. It's a must have for grillers, BBQers, or anyone with fly issues.

I took down a couple red wasps with my 2.0 this weekend, but it took more than one shot. Got a deer fly yesterday but he fell under the porch and I could still hear him moving around. I can't get them out of the air  :(

It holds a relatively tight pattern. 
1.25" at .5' (close enough for the air to push them away)
2.5" at 1' (borderline for the air to push them away, but good splats)
3" at 1.5' and 3.75" at 2' (optimal range).
At 30", it opens up to just over 5.5" but much fewer good dents in Reynolds Heavy Duty foil.

It takes some practice to get them out of the air.

At close ranges, it shreds right through the foil.

We have not tried the lawn & garden or 3.0 models to compare power/pattern to the 2.0, but I would like to find out.

I think I already killed all of the insects around here. I'll have to fire up the grill and see if any more show up this weekend.


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