Relic hunting with the White's Vision/Spectra V3 metal detector.

Day One:
The weather forecast finally predicted four straight days of sunshine in conjunction with a weekend. With a few days off from work, I decided to make a trip to Fauquier County, Virginia for some relic hunting using my White's Vision/Spectra V3. My local friend could not take me out so I was restricted to my uncle's 14 acres. If you read the other Civil War Relic Hunting stories, you know that the home on the property was occupied by Union forces during the war.

I was using the relic program with some tweaking for both depth and preferences. I decided to try the lower part of the property to search for the deeper bullets. These were almost always the dropped .58 caliber three ringer. After about a half hour of searching I dug one at 9.5 inches according to the depth meter. A little later another .58 caliber at the same depth. After four hours of hunting this was all I could find in this area. I knew Jeff and I had thinned the bullets out over the years but was sure I could pull out a few more. The soil in this area is not as mineralized as the soil on the upper level of the property. I started detecting my way back to the house through the pines. I didn't find anything in the pines and the property opened up to a large field which is mowed by my uncle. The soil in this area is extremely mineralized and gave my XLT and DFX fits. Not so with the Vision. I was using the standard 10 inch DD coil. Within thirty minutes I had dug five bullets in an area that I had hunted many, many times over. The only difference this time was that the bullets were in the 6 to 9 inch range. The VDI would read anywhere from +95 down to 0. If I could get a solid hit both ways, I dug it. I could not however, tell the difference (at the 6 to 9 inch depth) between a nail or a bullet...they sounded the same. Nails that were closer would give the old double blip and were not dug. This first half day I ended up with a total of 7 bullets.

Day one civil war bullets.
L-R First four are .58 caliber three ringers.  Last three are .52 caliber Sharps.

Day Two:
The next day I started hunting exactly where I left off from the previous day. The bullets were all in the 6 to 9 inch range and were sounding off loud and clear. The digging was hard. The soil was extremely rocky. It seemed like every time you would place your foot on the shovel and press, it would be right on top of a rock. Move over a couple of inches and bingo, another rock! And then 9 inches down - a nail! Or the nail would be on the side of the hole causing you to dig to China. That's all part of relic hunting. If it is a solid signal, especially in mineralized ground, dig it. There were times when I dug thinking it was not a bullet but had better check it anyway and a bullet would pop up. And along the same lines, dig a target that I was sure was a bullet only to be presented with a nail.

I found 27 bullets on the second day. 24 three ringers, 1 fired Williams Cleaner, and 1 pistol bullet. I was very happy with these results and knew that it was because of the Vision and it's depth capability in the mineralized ground.

Day Three:
Day three was variety day. I continued to hunt from where I left off on day two. The bullet on the first row, left is a .54 caliber Burnside with a cupped bottom. Other bullets to make an appearance are .54 Merrill's carbine, .44 caliber Colt, .44 caliber Colt Dragoon, .36 caliber Colt, .52 Sharps, .51 Smith's carbine, and of course the .58 caliber three ringer.

The .44 Colt Dragoon was the first one I have ever found on the property. It is on the bottom row, first bullet on the left.

While digging a target I found a small piece of a pipe bowl. The feathers can be seen on it. Also found was the top portion of a spoon (unmarked), a rivet, and a belt hanger.

Again, all of the bullets were in the 6 to 9 inch range and were easy targets for the White's Vision. I was also using the wireless headphones which made digging easier since I was not "tethered" to the detector. The only complaint is that the headphones get uncomfortable after a few hours. After the fourth day, my ears were actually bruised. The headphones need a deeper padded earmuff to make them more comfortable.

The brass items were found in one small area along with the brass items from day four. This area needs to be gone over again and searched at a different angle. I also have the 12" DD super coil but did not use it on this trip. The closer I got to the house the more junk signals I received, to a point that it was too difficult to hunt. I have the 5.3" coil and will use this near the house on the next trip.

I finished the day out with a total of 36 bullets.

Day Four:
Day four was also variety day and brass day. I continued the hunt where I left off on day three. The bullet on the top row is a carved .52 Sharps. At first I thought it may be a .54 Starr, but it is the same diameter and length as a Sharps. Another .54 Burnside (cupped base) made an appearance along with the .54 Merrill's, .51 Smith's, .52 Sharps, .44 Colt, and the .58 three ringers.

More brass was dug on this day. Two different belt hangers, a snap hook which is part of a rifle sling, and a ball-rivet. The rusty object is either the tip of a bayonet or a three sided file. It is too rusted to further identify.

Total bullets for the day was 33. This comes to 103 bullets from a field that I have been hunting since 1974. I have used just about every White's detector on this field, but it took the Vision to bring these relics to light.

Click pictures to enlarge.

Field that produced 103 bullets over 4 days.
This is the field that was hunted for four days that produced 103 bullets.