I purchased the white 10x12 SEF coil for my White's V3i metal detector last fall and thought about how it would perform relic hunting in Virginia. I had to wait all winter and virtually all of spring because of rain. When I finally saw four days of sunshine on the weather forecast for Remington I headed on down. I was hunting my uncle's property once again and bullets are getting scarce (or so I thought).
Some of his spruce trees had been trimmed high enough that you could now walk under them. This was an area that I could not detect since the 1970's. I found a total of 21 bullets under the trees. Most of them were .50 caliber Smith carbine (rubber cartridge type) sprinkled in with a few .52 caliber Sharps. Most of the bullets were in the 10" range and easily picked up with the SEF coil.
Further out away from the trees I found a few .44 caliber Colt revolver bullets. Two of them have the same rifling marks when held in alignment. Also recovered were two .58 caliber three ringer about a foot apart that looked like they had both been fired into the ground.
The far end of the property is known for it's deep bullets. They sit on top of the clay about 12" to 14" down. I walked on down to the area to see if the SEF could find any of these deep bullets. I was running All Metal around 80 and the Gain at 5. Yes 5 because of EMI in the area. The first good hit was a .69 caliber round ball. I had my TRX handheld with me which has a ruler on the side that goes to 12 inches. The bullet measured 13" deep. I hunted all around this find and picked up 4 more .69 caliber round balls all being 13" deep. The round ball does not have a very large footprint as they are just over 1/2" wide (.64 inches). This just proves that one does not have to jack up the Gain setting for depth. Besides, too much Gain in an area with EMI will cause very erratic unstable detector conditions. Some of the times I hunted down to a Gain setting of 2 with no loss of depth. I also noticed that with a higher Gain setting you had to pump the detector more to ground balance it. The highest Gain setting I ran on this trip was 7.
One unique find is a .58 caliber rifled musket three ringer (second row, first picture on left). It has been fired with the ramrod/ramrod with attachment in the barrel. The hole in the top of the bullet is 1/2" deep and 1/8" diameter with no threads or rust. It has been fired as the rings are compressed. The impact created a "dome" effect on the star. This is truly a one of a kind bullet and the "star" cavity denoting the Washington Arsenal in this condition makes it a very rare bullet.
UPDATE: The "ramrod bullet" made American Digger magazine Nov.-Dec. 2014 Vol.10 Issue 6 in the Just Dug Here's what our readers are finding...category. In it noted bullet authority Jim Thomas says, "Whenever you see...that thin belt of "flashing" around the bullet, I believe it was fired with the ramrod. It is quite a different feature than a bullet that was simply rammed really hard." Read the magazine article.
Total civil war bullets found this trip: 69.
11 .50 Smith (rubber cartridge type), 3 .50 Smith (paper cartridge type aka Gallager), 5 .69 caliber round balls, 2 .44 caliber round balls, 4 .54 caliber Merrill's carbine, 14 .52 caliber Sharps, 1 .54 caliber Burnside with dish cavity, 4 .44 caliber Colt revolver, 1 .58 caliber William's Cleaner (pulled), 3 .54 caliber rifled musket, 20 .58 caliber rifled musket, and 1 .58 caliber Gardner with dot in cavity (Confederate).
Click pictures to enlarge.
Copyright © 2016 - All Rights Reserved - Metal Detecting In The USA