Best Pumpkin Shooting Calibers
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.
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...
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.
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.
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...
No matter your choice the most important part is to be safe and have fun.
Have a Happy Halloween!