There’s a dark spot in my past, so bleak that I’ve remained silent about it for close to a decade. During this time my unit was assigned to clean up some of the worst atrocities in American history. We’ve seen some things … things that’ll change a man … things that will make you question God. I and the other members of Brown Team 2 have taken a vow of silence, hoping to never have to relive the events of August 4th, 2013 … a day that no matter how hard we try to forget will forever haunt us. Today I break that vow.
It was day three of the 15th annual Lollapalooza music festival, approximately 1400 hours. The Cure had just taken center stage. As a sea of confused millennials and annoyed Gen-Xers found themselves being brought down, they unanimously realized that there was no better opportunity to void their bowels. It was the worst kind of mass evacuation.
It was a nightmare. Porta potties were going down left and right. The next 2.5 hours of chaos ended abruptly as every attendee had finished what they set out to do and went back to the concert floor. This left behind an army of flies.
They were everywhere. Many believed they just came out of the trees, and to this day I can’t entirely dismiss that theory. As we fought off onslaught after onslaught of the winged invaders it took everything we could to press on, even as our brothers fell, protecting everything we believed in. We lost a lot of good men out there and I could have very well been among those brave souls, which is why I owe everything that I have today to my savior and my mistress, the Bug-A-Salt air-powered salt shotgun.
It would be years later, at the 2022 NSSF SHOT Show, where I would come face to face with this trusty piece of kit, now in its third revision. For those of you not familiar with the basic premise, the Bug-A-Salt is a spring-air powered gun that uses salt for ammunition. When pushed down the barrel at high speed, a few grains of salt become a lethal projectile to soft-skinned insects like flies, mosquitoes and even most spiders. The booth reunion brought forth a wave of emotions, and I just needed to get one back home for a closer look.
The 3.0’s improvements can be seen with just a simple glance, notably the cross-bolt safety. This was a welcomed addition as we had a few training “incidents” prior to The Battle of Lollapalooza. Some might say it is now doubly important, as the new spring system provides more power and the trigger has also been lightened from previous versions.
Bug-A-Salt’s newest revision also features a pair of squared three-post sights, which makes life easier for the new guys (back in my day, we needed to learn how to shoot from the hip). The new breed also features something that looks dangerously close to a Picatinny rail but, alas, it is a tad shy of 20mm. On the other hand, with the right amount of Fun-Tak, one can mount a holographic optic, albeit not permanently.
As I started to get down to business I took note of the updated salt reservoir, which now holds more, and is built to be a bit more durable, two features that become very important when “it” hits the fan.
As I racked the pump back I also enjoyed the reduced cocking effort as well as the smoothened motion overall. At the completion of rearward motion, the aforementioned rear sight pops up, which also allows it to serve as a cocking indicator. From here I put my safety on and paced off 3 yards from my test target, a sheet of standard-thickness aluminum foil.
I chose this material because it dents up when hit, even by a grain of salt. This would let me measure the gun’s pattern and get an idea of how far its bug-lethal range might be. After squaring up the sights on the center, I flicked the safety and let one off the chain. At 9 feet the salt produced a nearly-perfectly concentric circle that measured 6 inches across. Some of the grains even pushed straight through.
The sights were right on the money too, something that is always a concern when dealing with the fixed variety. I finished my test with an additional 45 shots, all off of a single fill of salt. Patterns were consistent and became increasingly more powerful the closer I got, without any sort of malfunctions of misfeeds to speak of. The gun even fed salt when completely vertical, which is important for those looking for a means of handling ceiling-dwelling spiders. On that note, I was also pleased to see that the salt had enough power to dispatch these critters but wasn’t so potent that it damaged common building materials and finishes.
For those looking to add to the fun, Bug-A-Salt offers laser sights and a host of other accessories, including mounts to hold a cell phone—allowing you to capture your most spectacular kills. These Bug-A-Salt guns make for a fun addition to any BBQ or family event where uninvited guests tend to show up, and even serve utility beyond novelty.
After all, salt is safe to eat (in moderation) so this becomes the optimal device for pest control in a kitchen or even on the dinner table. Furthermore, the salt travels far faster than the average person can swing a fly swatter, meaning more kills on your first attempt. Lastly, it’s a great way to introduce friends and family to the concept of leading a target, prepping them for a day on the sporting clays field, or even a duck hunt once the season opens. For more information and to get your own visit bugasalt.com…and let’s never speak of the events of August,4th 2013 ever again.
This article may be an NRA Family April Fool's special, but the Bug-A-Salt 3.0 is very real. You can get one of your own right here. Special thanks to Christopher “The Tactical Outdoorsman” Scarpitta for the nods loaner and his photography prowess!