How to Blow Up a Pumpkin

Nothing says Halloween like blowing up a pumpkin. A time-honored tradition in America, exploding pumpkins is as much a part of Halloween as a late night sugar buzz or adult onset diabetes.

Methods and preferences for how best to obliterate a jack-o-lantern have been passed down through the ages so that today’s enthusiasts draw on generations of knowledge on how to get the most bang for their buck. Explosives are not cheap and nobody wants to waste a perfect piece of dynamite on a pumpkin that will still be recognizable.

We’ve highlighted a few of the most common methods in this brief tutorial…


The very first recorded method of blowing a pumpkin into smithereens was likely performed with fireworks, so it’s no wonder that common Fourth of July style fireworks are still a preferred method of annihilating a pumpkin into 1,000 pieces. In the following video three ways of using a large firework are demonstrated. The pumpkin suffers the greatest damage when it’s carved out and the firework is placed inside it. 


A great way to step up your pumpkin destroying ways is to do the job with a firearm. Choose the biggest gun you have and take aim in a safe location. In this next video the guys from ASDI Training Series show you the best way to blow up a pumpkin with a gun. Here we introduce exploding targets, which use tannerite. Also simply fill the pumpkin with water, put the cap on and hit it straight on with a slug and that pumpkin won’t know what hit it. 


Here is another example of tannerite on a pumpkin. This one is a 335-pounder. To blow up this monster, a half pound of tannerite was placed in a crease on the pumpkin, and it was shot with a Browning B.A.R. II 300 Win. Mag from a distance of 100 yards. Quite a way to go for such an amazing specimen. 

Sheer firepower

When in doubt, hit those useless pumpkins with as much sheer firepower as you can conceivably get your hands on. In this video dubbed the “great pumpkin massacre,” a  wall of heavy gun fire is unleashed on these unsuspecting pumpkins aided by a fair amount tannerite.

C4 and Detcord

Ok, now this is a method for those who do not want to mess around. Warning: Do not try this at home. The following Youtube video from FullMag demonstrates some remarkable uses of C4 dynamite and detcord, which is used by SWAT teams and US military. Watch this stunning display of exploding pumpkins that just might have you rethinking this whole endeavor as a creative art form.


Not to be forgotten when it comes to destroying food is the famed comedian Gallagher who made a career out of smashing food on stage, which would go flying into the audience. Though he was partial to watermelon, Gallagher was known to smash a few pumpkins in his time. The following is from his comedy special in 1983.

Photo credit: Warlord76 |