Best Pumpkin Shooting Calibers

Best Pumpkin Shooting Calibers

Every year around this time millions of North Americans find themselves in a predicament. What do we do with the leftover pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns from Halloween?

Well, here at Please Don’t Tread embrace the idea of using organically grown, grain fed, non-GMO gourds as targets. Now the question becomes, which firearms (and ammo) are you pulling out of the gun room to do the job? The answer will all depend on what you would like to accomplish, delicate carving or 'ka-boom pumpkin pie filling all over the back stop' destruction! Let’s take a look.

.22 Caliber
You would think one would default to 3.5” 12ga slugs for the job, but instead, we’re going to start small. If you are the impatient type and can’t wait until November 1st to punch holes in some squash then this is the caliber for you. Not only can you fulfill your desire to shoot, but you can bring the kids along for some good ol’fashion pumpkin carving fun at the same time. The precise nature of a .22 makes it the perfect tool for the job… just, um… don’t look at the back of the pumpkin when you’re done...
Pumpkin Carving with .22 Rifle

12ga Slugs
Now if you’re a traditionalist and are just looking to have a good time then get yourself some slugs, the slower moving the better. Line up some squash, zucchini, tomatoes, or whatever other produce your partner is just going to let go bad in the fridge, and have at it. Just beware, slugs make these one-and-done targets, if your aim is true your target will disappear.

Pumpkin hit with shotgun shell

45-70 GVMT
If you like spaghetti westerns and the idea of using a rifle while obtaining similar results to the shotgun above then this is the caliber for you. The Headless Horseman’s pumpkin head will disappear in and instant and with any luck you could take his horse while he's not looking… I’ve always wanted a ghost horse. Also, why do they call him the Headless Horseman if he’s clearly carrying a Jack-O-Lantern for a head? But I digress. 45-70, 30-06, and 30-30 are great pumpkin shooting calibers for the cowboy in you.

45-70 Government vs Pumpkin

Honourable mention – 7.62 x 39 FMJ
Take your SKS and get innawoods with a pumpkin. This method is one of the best ways to get the most out of your delicate orange target. You can have some fun with ‘carving’ it while ensuring that you’re not tearing it to shreds after a couple of trigger pulls. Little known fact, SKS is short form for ‘destroyer of gourds’ in Russian, at least that's what Vladimir told us...

SKS & AK-47 Shooting a Pumpkin
No matter your choice the most important part is to be safe and have fun.

Have a Happy Halloween!