Friday, January 1, 2016

My Metal Detectors

It is very important to choose a good metal detector if you are going to search for old coins, treasure or relics.  When I was young I was super excited to get my first metal detector for Christmas.  My parents knew that I wanted a detector and went to Walmart and purchased a cheap model by Bounty Hunter.

The unit didn't have much of a discriminator and would beep for any and all types of metal.  My dreams of finding coins soon were dampened after I pulled out countless trashy items.

As I grew older my interest for the hobby only grew.  I saved up my money and did a lot of research and finally decided to purchase a Whites Mxt-pro . You can get it on Amazon for just over 800.00 for this package below.  What I liked about this particular unit is that it has a great discriminator and the user face let me know what kind of target was most likely in the ground.  It was almost 90% accurate on whether or not I had found a coin or silver target.

I broke the machine in hunting my dad's old church in Minnesota.  The church had first been built in the late 1800's and their were plenty of old coins, buttons, etc to be found.  My very favorite find happened to be the two coins on the left.  The first coin is a 1906 Barber half dollar.  The second is a standing liberty quarter.    

Keep in mind that I was fresh out of high school and really did not know much about coins at all.  These coins were completely new to me.  I pulled the quarter out of the ground first and rand back in to the house to show my parents.  I was so excited.  My parents didn't know much about coins either and told me I should look them up online.  I hunted most of the day and several days after that.  I  ended up finding quite a few wheat pennies, Indian head pennies, silver dimes, quarters and this half dollar pictured above.  The half dollar was worth the most and I ended up finding it underneath an old pine tree. I found an old picture of the church that I was hunting.  You can see the old cars parked on the lawn of the church.  I know that they used to have gather for meetings and pick nicks out on the lawn in the summer time.  I can imagine how kids and young adults would being playing sports in the yard and silver coins ended up rolling out of their pockets.     

When people ask me where they should hunt with their detector I tell them that it's really quite simple.  Find an old spot where people used to gather.  If you buy a good detector you are going to find coins.  If you want to find old coins hunt in old locations.  Schools, churches, parks, houses, etc.. will all have old coins in the yard.  The older the structure the better.  If you don't find coins when you are hunting the most likely reason for this is that either it has been hunted heavily before or their is fill dirt.  Fill dirt is new dirt that has been brought in when a landscaping project was undertaken.  For instance if the septic system needed to be replaced the old system would have been dug up.  All the old coins, buttons and other treasures would have been dug up with it.  If they hauled away the dirt like when they are putting in a parking lot or other addition then say goodbye to coins.  But most of the time you can find an area that has not been hunted or back filled if you do your research and just get out and swing your detector.  Just make sure you ask permission from any location that you do not own.  Tell them that you will fill in your holes and keep the place looking nice and you will be excited to learn most people are find with letting you hunt their yards.

I ended up selling my MXT Pro and purchasing a top of the line detector.   I went back to some of my old hunting spots, including, my dad's old church and found a lot of items that I had missed.  This detector is incredible.  If you want the best metal detector money can buy I would have to argue that this is it. The CTX 3030 by Minelab  is submersible up to 10 feet and has search programs that my old detector did not have.  The test was when I went back to those old spots that I had previously thought I had hunted out and found many more items.  See my post 2013 finds to see the items that I found using this detector.  Amazon sells the package that I purchased for 2,499.00  If you have the money to spend and are serious about the sport.  This is definitely the machine you want to get.  If you don't have that kind of money I would get the MXT-Pro .

(Pictured Below is the Machine I currently use). 

The final detector that I would recommend is the metal detector the guys use on Diggers.  Garrett's AT Pro is a quality machine that will produce a lot of coins and relics as well.  I am less familiar with this machine but have talked with people who use them. I still can out hunt any of those guys using my CTX 3030 but for the price point Garrett makes a good unit.  One final thing to remember is that if you plan on hunting mostly by salt water beaches I would use a completely different machine from any of the ones that I have suggested.  The CTX 3030 does have a program for salt water and will do just find but if you will only be hunting salt water you will need a totally different machine.  I  bought the CTX 3030 because it is the best machine for the type of hunting I do.  I hunt old locations like school buildings, fields, parks, rivers etc...  I get to hunt the ocean once a year and have been happy with how my Minelab performs there.