Tag Archives: Iron

Back to silver

29 Oct

I returned to the park this morning where I found the token the other day with the aim of exploring more deep signals with my XP Deus metal detector. I have been using the 9 inch coil lately to try to get around the trash.

I selected an area I haven’t explored in several years. I remember this area was heavily infested by foil and pull tabs but today I was amused to find out that the area was relatively clear of shallow trash. Seems like other hunters have been working the spot. After an hour of nothing but deep chunks of rusted iron, I changed my strategy. One of the beautiful things about the XP Deus is that it is ridiculously fast. At its slowest setting, it is as fast as many other machines at their fastest. This is known.

So I raised my recovery speed to 3 and moved to the 5’x10′ area where I have found 99 percent of all coins at this park. I actually watched a guy with an Etrack several years ago grid this very same spot and come up empty handed. I myself have come up empty handed several times but today, I was in a good mental place and got in the ‘zone’ quickly. I must add that the reason why a high recovery speed is necessary at this location is that if you sink your digger to about seven to eight inches randomly, you will likely find rusted nails and several small round pieces of amorphous rusted iron. I know that in the 30’s and 40’s there was play equipment here but why all the nails and other rusted iron are there I’ll never know. Here are my non-ferrous targets:

The round piece of rusted iron is a steel wheat cent. This is either the third or fourth I have dug since I began back in 2011. The rivet, I was told by my friend lawdog1, is likely from a pair of old overalls. The two mercs were around six inches deep but barely gave a signal as they were heavily masked by iron. I wonder how many more coins are there being silently masked by the insane amount of iron.

I will continue to explore this spot in the coming weeks to see if I can squeeze more silver from it.

Thank you for stopping by!


Three Ringer Circus and other things

10 Mar

This past Saturday, Maurice and I were invited to hunt an awesome site out in Western Kansas (Thank you Keith!). The scenery was Dances With Wolves beautiful and the history of the area is fascinating; a history which includes (it is claimed) Custer himself.

It was a great hunt on a beautiful day with some great company. I always believed that I would never find a three ringer bullet unless I went East, to the hallowed fields of the Civil War. But I was wrong. I found my first three ringer bullet at this site. I will post a picture of it later. Although slightly flattened, the bullet is complete. I found two other three ringers but they were heavily damaged, I would guess when they made contact with a person or an American Bison (known around these parts as Buffalo). I also found a pouchful of cartridges, most of them as old as the history of the place. All in all it was a fantastic trip, one which I hope to make again.

Today at lunch, I went to Riverside park to begin one of many experiments regarding masking. I posit that there are many coins that are being masked by deep iron. So I’ve decided to spend 30 minutes every hunt digging deep iron signals. Today, I dug 9 iron signals. Only the second iron signal revealed an hitherto masked coin. I am excited because although the ratio of iron to non-iron targets in this experiment was 9:1, I am betting that all coins being masked by deep iron are very old coins. This coin was a dateless Buff but I think I can make a very faint 16 at the end of the date, which could conceivably make this Buff a 1916 coin. I will keep you posted.

Thank you for stopping by!

I Guarantee It!

10 Mar

So the weather has now turned and we are enjoying some well deserved mild winter days. The temps are in the 60’s and the sun is shinning and no wet stuff anywhere around.

For me, this is all for naught as I returned to walking during lunch. Walking every lunch hour has made a big difference on my health so I need to keep on walking but, I intend to hunt more on the weekends time permitting.

However, I thought of something this weekend as I spent some time looking for gold in one of our city parks and I can now guarantee you that if you do as I say next, you will find hundreds of silver coins this year.


If we accept that thousands of silver coins are masked by iron then the the way to find all that silver is to dig every iron signal.

It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Thank you for looking!

Call me crazy…

8 Aug

…but I am beginning to get a real appreciation for iron signals! As I said before, I finally was able to configure my Deus metal detector in a way I really like. One of the things I’ve done with Maurice, is to open the iron all the way; I have no iron discrimination. I did however, set the iron audio to 1, the lowest before you turn it off completely. This makes the iron signals come in as a well defined buzz. This buzz is soft and dim and it doesn’t interfere with the other tones.

So when I hunt an iron infested site, I get a rather pleasant series of buzzes. This has really improved my hunting. Also, I dig a lot of iron signals and yes, many are rusted nails but also, many are interesting pieces of iron. I have a large selection of rusted pocket knives and I am quickly amassing the largest collection of bottle openers this side of the Mississippi.  What I don’t dig very often is iron foil. You know what I mean, those nasty flat pieces of old coffee cans and such.

It bears repeating that many, if not all, non-iron objects, will sound like iron once they have reached a deep enough level.

I will also repeat a piece of advice I give all coin-shooters: Coin-shoot like a relic hunter. You won’t regret it!

Thank you for looking!

Off The Deep End

7 Jun

I stopped at a park on my way home from work last night. The spot I selected to hit with my XP Deus metal detector was a spot I hunted often in the past. I’ve pulled many a keeper from here including old coins, cool relics, and silver and gold jewelry. I’ve hunted it to the point that the high tones are scant.

Knowing that the high tones were all but gone, I decided to do something I’ve threatened to do for a long time and that is I decided to hunt the iron grunts. Yes, you heard me right. I went after the signal practically every other hunter works hard to avoid.

Right off I want to tell you that hunting iron grunts is not something you should do often. It will drive you mad. Nonetheless, there I was, digging the old rusted iron.

My protocol was simple: dig any grunt with a shape, that is, any grunt that repeated from all angles:



Not pictured here are about 12 pieces of amorphous rusted iron that included many pieces of iron foil. From left to right you are looking at a spatula handle that was about a foot deep, two open pocket knives, a complete harmonica reed and a few nails. I was surprised that I didn’t dig any more nails.

I also dug up any wrap-around iron signal I came across with surprising results:



The “pin” is something I’ve dug elsewhere in Wichita and I don’t know what it is. It has a logo but as in the past, I can’t quite make it out.  The small button-like round objects are all lead.

So there you have it. Even though it is not something I recommend you do often, I do recommend you do it at least once but only at a very old site so that at least you can end up with some interesting junk.

Thank you for looking!

Doing the Wrap-Around

9 Apr

I have been going on and on about how I am digging iron signals and finding stuff that is not iron. I was digging around an old park yesterday at lunch happily unearthing rusted nails when it dawned on me that I have not been 100% accurate while describing what it is I am doing.

To be precise, I am not hunting iron signals but wrap-around signals. To understand what a wrap-around signal is, picture your VDI scale from 00 to 99; 00 being iron and 99 being a nice shining silver dollar.


Now take that VDI scale and fold it into a circle:


That’s what the real VDI scale should look like. Wrap around happens when the sweet signal from the high 90’s –97,98,99, bleeds into the low iron readings, 00, 01, etc.

I don’t pretend to understand why this happens but it is common to all detectors. Now, when I am hunting iron, I am not digging the low grunts. Those may be good targets but I bet that when the Deus generates a low grunt, it is accurately identifying iron. I set my Deus with a very low iron discrimination. What I am digging are those wrap-around signals and so far my method is somewhat good as I dig many items that are not iron with those high tone wrap around signals.

One thing I would like to share is the broken nature of a rusted nail signal. Often, the wrap-around signal generated by a rusted nail is broken, kind of like static. Non-iron wrap-arounds are often solid beeps. The other thing about the wrap-arounds is that if I really pay attention, coins that fall in this category of signal still have that sweet audio signal albeit harder to discern. It takes practice; lots of practice. That is the reason why I still gleefully dig rusted iron. It’s all about educating the ear.

So there. Now you know what I am doing.

Thank you for looking!

Iron Semantics

21 May

Do you want to discriminate iron? Or do you want to identify it? There is a subtle difference here. To be sure, your detector has to identify iron before it can discriminate it.

I believe the term discriminate comes to us from the time when detectors only had one tone and had no visual identification system. Basically, the machine would beep and then you would adjust a discrimination knob until the beep stopped. This was how you could tell if the beep was iron or if it was something else.

Nowadays, with the digital displays and with the multiple tones to help us id the targets under the ground,I think it’s important to know when the detector has identified iron. Knowing if your ground is laden with iron is very useful. Also in some machines anyway, if you discriminate iron, you may miss good targets sitting next to the iron. In other words, let the machine tell you when iron is present.

I run my machines wide open and I let the detector tell me when the iron is there. It’s all about getting more information about what’s under your feet.

Does it make a difference? I think so.

Thank your for looking and Happy Hunting!