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Finding Musket Bullets / Balls On Fields With Equinox 800?


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On 8/21/2020 at 8:52 PM, Stu said:

Any special things to think about, or something else?

Hi, no idea on detector settings - I was reading the comments but looking at the field!

I have found musket balls in all kinds of places, but if a battlefield the sides of the ridges, the old treeline (if there was a map or any clues it has moved?), hedges, or a description of the action. The tactics of the time may give some clues, routes in, numbers of men in lines shooting at who, where?.

Each find is likely to be a clue to a bigger picture. Un-fired musket shot (normally no marks),  spent (just grazed slightly) or direct impact  - normally flattened or mushroomed. Other finds would be expected. The or something else in such a big field is to keep a note of what found where - it makes the big picture easier to see in the long run. Hope you find what you are after.

 

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Hi and thanks for your reply Stu.

I have also thought, and tried to figure out what it might have looked like 300 years ago. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be much information or maps in the place I want to search.

Thanks for the info, I have not thought that the musket shots often become flat, very good to know, and that is the un-fired ones. What about does fired, that miss the targets and did go down in the ground in battlefields, what could and should we expect them to look like after 300 years in the ground, in general?

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On 8/21/2020 at 9:36 PM, GB_Amateur said:

Small rusted iron (typically nails) and ground sound quite similar.  But if pumping the coil up and down *everywhere* gives sounds then your ground balance is off.  If pumping the coil in several different locations typically results in no noise then it's ground balanced and the 'grunts' are iron.

Important Note:  The above applies if you are *not* discriminating out the lower TID channels.  When you turn on the Equinox it comes on *with* discrimination meaning (unless you've programmed it differenly than default) the low channels are ignored -- in sound, not in Digital Target ID.  So push the horseshoe button and notice that the incomplete circle (approximately 8 o'clock to 4 o'clock) of boxes around the outer, upper part of the screen are all dark.  Then check your ground.

Some (like I) always have iron (low channels) active, but turn down the volume some.  If you leave the iron volume turned up the sounds can get tedious if you're in iron infested areas, which is pretty common around buildings, for example.  But other people like to block out the iron tones completely.  There are 50 Digital Target ID notches (-9 thru 40) on the Equinox and you can blank out any you desire.  Detector presets have the lowest 10 or so blocked.

2nd note:  I'm specifically talking about the Minelab Equinox, but most detectors with ground balancing capabilities work similarly when it comes to ground noise and how to know when you're out-of-balance.

 

Great points, thank you GB_Amateur.

 

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By the way, do you guys hunt with the headphones or without them? I have been hunting with my brothers and then without headphones so we can all hear the sounds, but I read somewhere that some people think that you hear better with the headphones and that you otherwise risk to miss some sound, that is hard to hear otherwise? What do you think about it?

 

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On 8/20/2020 at 10:22 AM, Hello said:

Thanks again schoolofhardNox. Cool that you found so much of them! From some war?

A:  Yes, mostly from a 1637 battle. But also from a 1674-1675 battle. Occasionally from an 1812 Battle.

Some questions.

What do you mean, that  "Fields can be tricky for the Equinox, especially if plowed" ? Does it become more difficult to find objects then? Why?

A: Sometimes loose dirt has an effect on detectors. Not sure the science behind it, but I prefer undisturbed dirt. Also plowing can bury deeper the round ball you are looking for.

What would you say are the benefits of using Gold 2, over Field 1 or 2 when looking for musket balls in the fields? Does it work better or as well as field modes, would you say?

A: Not necessarily better, but different. I find the Gold alerts me quicker to a target than any of the other modes. I like that fast response.

Sorry, what is MA?

A: MA stands for Massachusetts, a state in the USA

Sorry for my bad english, but what do you mean with this: "Dig iffy targets in the lower number range to make sure you do not miss the small shot. "?

A: Iffy targets are targets that do not come in very well. They bounce around on the numbers. Some people only dig signals that are perfect, but when you are relic hunting , some targets do not sound very good. I find the smaller round ball are harder to find as they get deeper. So, the lower numbers are usually the small ball.

" If there is too much EMI switch to 20khz or 40khz."  If it's interference from powerline, then I go from multi to a single frequency, I understand what you mean here I think.

A: Yes, go to 20khz or 40 khz if you are having too much trouble in multi near power lines.

When it's EMI, how do I know? How does the equinox-800 react then, to tell me that there are disturbances? Is it when it beeps all the time on everything?

A: EMI happens almost everywhere, but it is much stronger the closer you get to power lines. Someone posted to turn your machine on and don't move the coil. Listen to the detector, if it makes noises when it is still (not moving), then it is EMI. You can noise cancel but it probably will still be there. This is when you try the single frequencies and not multi. I usually ended up on 20khz or 40khz.

Do you know how close to a power line the metal detector needs to be to be disturbed by it? Is it if you stand under it, or a few meters away or is it a longer distance as well?

A: The closer you get, the stronger it is. I have been 30 yards ( 27+ meters) from a big power line and have been affected by it. You will learn how the machines sounds when you get interference from EMI. I find that I get interference from a lot of sources but power lines a strong source. Electrified rail road tracks, people's electricity in houses, street power lines, radar, etc. are some other sources.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 8/20/2020 at 10:30 PM, Badger-NH said:

 

A false signal is one that is caused by the ground and not a metal target. False signals are random beeps caused by the ground conditions. They move around and cannot be pinpointed. If you are experiencing ground noise, that is when you need to do the GB procedure.

 

When I tried yesterday and searched in the woods, it started beeping, then I used pinpoint and it gave sound several times, in a couple of places, but when I then picked the detector up and used pinpoint again at the same spots, the sound was gone and it no longer makes sounds and it happens quite often. What could it be due to?

 

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3 hours ago, schoolofhardNox said:

 

 

3 hours ago, schoolofhardNox said:

 

 

Thank you very much schoolofhardNox.

Interesting about the battles. Yes Massachusetts, I guess that makes sense, in the east coast in the heart of the oldest parts of USA, many battles in the history there I guess.

 

schoolofhardNox: "Also plowing can bury deeper the round ball you are looking for."  

Yes, and I guess the machines can also unfortunately break the bullets? Sometimes it can be positive if you are lucky, that the machines, on the contrary, plow up what you want to find so it will be easier to find, right?

 

schoolofhardNox: "I find the smaller round ball are harder to find as they get deeper. So, the lower numbers are usually the small ball. "


Good to know. The small bullets, are they usually from musket pistols, rather from musket rifles?


The musket bullets you found from 1637-1812, how did they look in general? Where they round, and did they look like musket bullets/balls, or where they flat and rather unrecognizable metal objects? After they have been fired and lying in the ground for 200-400 years, maybe they have usually changed a lot and do not look like typical round musket balls/bullets?


schoolofhardNox "A: Yes, go to 20khz or 40 khz if you are having too much trouble in multi near power lines."

And if too noisy, then go down to 15 kHz or 10 kHz etc as Badger-NH wrote, right?

But 20 kHz lean more towards lead (like musket bullets right?) as Badger-NH pointed out, but just a slight advantade over 10 or 15, the differences is not to big right, is that your experience too?

And then first use a recovery speed as you wrote 3, or 4 as Badger-NH wrote, but then if too much noise then raise it to 5-6, and in extreme amount of iron, raise to 7 or 8, you do that too?

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14 minutes ago, Hello said:

When I tried yesterday and searched in the woods, it started beeping, then I used pinpoint and it gave sound several times, in a couple of places, but when I then picked the detector up and used pinpoint again at the same spots, the sound was gone and it no longer makes sounds and it happens quite often. What could it be due to?

Difficult to say without being there with you.  One thing I've learned (and have to remind myself) -- once you get the hang of a detector you can quickly tell a true target from a false one, but it does take time.  If I get a true target, there is some kind of metal or magnetic mineral there.  Digging and finding nothing means I've likely misjudged its location, lost it in the removed dirt, changed its orientation to an undetectable one,....  The list goes on and on, but it didn't disappear and it wasn't a ghost.  😉

We don't know your Swedish soil so it's hard to help you with things like ground mineralization and hot rocks (assuming you even have the latter).  You seem rather new to detecting -- so welcome -- but if that's the case it might be that you've taken too big of a step out in the wilds (woods and fields) where uneven ground, for example, can make things more difficult.

Do you have access to milder landscape, such as parks, schools, even the yard of a residence?  If so you may be better off in the long run putting some time into hunting those first, as training for your more ambitious sites.  (Of course know the laws because some European countries seem to be pretty strict from what I've read.  Again, you might be the first Swedish detectorists to post here so I don't know what your situation is.)

I suggest starting in either Park 1 defaults or Field 1 defaults if you can practice on some 'easier' sites as I've suggested.  It sounds like your intended use is relic hunting which might mean Field 1 (default is just two tones -- low for non-ferrous and high for ferrous) is the better training choice.  Park 1 has 5 tones -- each tone covering 10 of the 50 digital Target ID channels.  (Always refer back to the User Guide until you have it practically memorized!)

The other thing to keep in mind is that lower gain/sensitivity settings are easier to use.  I think factory default is 20, but going down to 15 will still finds lots of targets for your practice sessions.  For the first 1 1/2 years I used the Equinox I didn't go above gain/sensitivity of 20.

You gotta learn to walk first before you try to run!

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8 hours ago, Hello said:

 

 

 

 

schoolofhardNox: "Also plowing can bury deeper the round ball you are looking for."  

Yes, and I guess the machines can also unfortunately break the bullets? Sometimes it can be positive if you are lucky, that the machines, on the contrary, plow up what you want to find so it will be easier to find, right?

Yes the plow helps you as well. Some finds do come closer to the surface. For small items like round ball, the plow doesn't hit them very often.

schoolofhardNox: "I find the smaller round ball are harder to find as they get deeper. So, the lower numbers are usually the small ball. "


Good to know. The small bullets, are they usually from musket pistols, rather from musket rifles?


The musket bullets you found from 1637-1812, how did they look in general? Where they round, and did they look like musket bullets/balls, or where they flat and rather unrecognizable metal objects? After they have been fired and lying in the ground for 200-400 years, maybe they have usually changed a lot and do not look like typical round musket balls/bullets?

The small ball can either be from a pistol or can be fired from a Musket. More than one can be loaded together and fired together

Here are a couple of shots of freshly dug round ball from May 26, 1637. It was a one day battle. These round ball were found in areas along with brass kettle points during a withdrawal from the battle by the English. Some are flat on one side but usually you can always see some of the round part of a ball no matter how hard it hit a rock or tree. Most are round and all are usually white from oxidation.


schoolofhardNox "A: Yes, go to 20khz or 40 khz if you are having too much trouble in multi near power lines."

And if too noisy, then go down to 15 kHz or 10 kHz etc as Badger-NH wrote, right?

But 20 kHz lean more towards lead (like musket bullets right?) as Badger-NH pointed out, but just a slight advantade over 10 or 15, the differences is not to big right, is that your experience too?

Experiment with each one. Your conditions will tell you which one is better.  There is no right or wrong one to choose. Only the one that works for you.

And then first use a recovery speed as you wrote 3, or 4 as Badger-NH wrote, but then if too much noise then raise it to 5-6, and in extreme amount of iron, raise to 7 or 8, you do that too?

Recovery speed is not for helping with noise. It is for helping you when there are a lot of targets close together. It makes it easier to hear close together targets. You can either raise it to separate targets or just swing your detector slower.

 

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Just to add, worth checking detecting laws, archaeological zones in Sweden. If you find a lot of musket balls, the site could be of an archaeological/historical interest and one can get into trouble detecting there. Some countries are stricter than others.

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On 8/24/2020 at 5:56 PM, GB_Amateur said:

Difficult to say without being there with you.  One thing I've learned (and have to remind myself) -- once you get the hang of a detector you can quickly tell a true target from a false one, but it does take time.  If I get a true target, there is some kind of metal or magnetic mineral there.  Digging and finding nothing means I've likely misjudged its location, lost it in the removed dirt, changed its orientation to an undetectable one,....  The list goes on and on, but it didn't disappear and it wasn't a ghost.  😉

We don't know your Swedish soil so it's hard to help you with things like ground mineralization and hot rocks (assuming you even have the latter).  You seem rather new to detecting -- so welcome -- but if that's the case it might be that you've taken too big of a step out in the wilds (woods and fields) where uneven ground, for example, can make things more difficult.

Do you have access to milder landscape, such as parks, schools, even the yard of a residence?  If so you may be better off in the long run putting some time into hunting those first, as training for your more ambitious sites.  (Of course know the laws because some European countries seem to be pretty strict from what I've read.  Again, you might be the first Swedish detectorists to post here so I don't know what your situation is.)

I suggest starting in either Park 1 defaults or Field 1 defaults if you can practice on some 'easier' sites as I've suggested.  It sounds like your intended use is relic hunting which might mean Field 1 (default is just two tones -- low for non-ferrous and high for ferrous) is the better training choice.  Park 1 has 5 tones -- each tone covering 10 of the 50 digital Target ID channels.  (Always refer back to the User Guide until you have it practically memorized!)

The other thing to keep in mind is that lower gain/sensitivity settings are easier to use.  I think factory default is 20, but going down to 15 will still finds lots of targets for your practice sessions.  For the first 1 1/2 years I used the Equinox I didn't go above gain/sensitivity of 20.

You gotta learn to walk first before you try to run!

 

Good points GB_Amateur, thank you.

I do not know if I understand your definition of "hot rocks", can you explain it? (When I search for the picture, some music group comes up) In any case, I dug up large stones that the machine found and made noises from.

I went up in a dense forest, by a big mountain, when big rocks, many roots, etc., so was probably a difficult terrain. But I later tried with the detector on a field, set to Field 1 and multi, and then I found a lot easily, found old bullets from Swedish mauser rifles among other things, so it went well. Thought about what you guys wrote in the thread, tried different frequencies, etc. And I think if I found such bullets etc in that field, it is probably  that I can find the musket bullets in the similar field, because they are probably coarser than the bullets from mauser gevers.

 

 

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