Note: In this series, we have selected 100 metal detecting finds that were extremely difficult to detect and recover, and provide details on the circumstances and techniques that contributed to their successful recovery.
KEEPER: This is a fairly scarce bullet. The Confederacy imported Enfield rifles from England along with the .577 Enfield ammunition, which are easily identifiable because they don’t have the rings like most Civil War bullets. To avoid dependence on England, the rebels manufactured their own Enfield ammunition at arsenals such as the one in Selma, Alabama. These bullets are identical dimensions to the imported ones, with the added 3 “grease rings”.
SITE: Backup site: A site that had been hunted a lot before that we hunted at the end of a day just to get in an extra site.
SITE EVALUATION: 5 of 10 Site had been hunted heavily in past
PERMISSION: Previous permission by my hunting partner
Deep and Iffy: Right in the center of the backyard I dug this and another great bullet. They were well over a foot deep, and initially showed as nails on my machine and audio. Closer examination showed jumpy audio and numbers so I knew I had something deep that was probably not nails. This technique is usually only effective when the ground is not trashy, has been hunted a lot, where most of the remaining targets are very deep.
Falsing Nail Check: People are surprised I don’t dig a lot of nails while trying to dig deep targets outside of the effective target ID range of my detector. I check each iffy target at at least two angles – I’ll turn 90 degrees and analyze the audio and numbers again. If it doesn’t behave similarly at two angles I’ll suspect it is a falsing nail.
Dig / No Dig Decision: No guarantees that a deep target is or is not a nail or trash. While I can usually sniff out a good deep signal vs a deep nail most of the time. I’m more likely to dig even the iffiest of signals on a site that has been good to me. Sure I dig a few nails, but I dig a few more goodies as well.
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