Relic hunting with the White's Vision/Spectra V3i metal detector.

I was invited down to Dunn, North Carolina to do some civil war relic hunting on private property that bordered a nearby battlefield. The owner of the property had 39 acres of nice easy digging sandy soil. Problem was there was no civil war relics to be found. Lots of plow points, but no relics. Found out that the property did not border the battlefield and the battlefield was a good 3 miles away. To make the most of it, we toured the battlefield and one of the houses that was "occupied" during the war and used as a hospital.

To salvage the trip I decided to stop by my uncles in Virginia and see if I could find some relics. I got up early and drove 300 miles to my uncles and arrived at 9:30am. After visiting with my aunt and uncle I started detecting around 10:00am. They had recently received about 3" of rain so my area to detect was limited. The only dry spot to hunt was the side field. Could there still be bullets in this field as I have pounded it hard these last few years. I found about 8 bullets in the next few hours and then moved on up closer to the main road. I made an adjustment on my V3i to see if I could get more depth out of this highly mineralized ground. I bumped the All Metal setting from 75 up to 80, re-ground balanced and started hunting. I immediately started finding bullets, pistol bullets at the 8 and 9" level. The change in the All Metal setting was more than enough to reach down and find these small .44 Colt pistol bullets. I finished the day out with a total of 17 bullets.

The next morning I was back on the field by 9:00am. Late, but the morning low of 21 degrees made the ground a little crusty and frosted over. The sun was up and shining on most parts of the field, so I hunted out in the open, avoiding the shady areas. Using the same settings as the day before I started finding bullets right away. Sharps, Smith's, Merrill's, 3 Ringers, and Colt pistol bullets made for a nice assortment. I did find four unusual Colt .44's. Two are the Dragoon type the other two are plain Colt revolver. The tops have been twisted with what looks like pliers, possibly chewed, or even pulled with a tool of some type. See the picture below. I do not know if these were used for chess pieces or done out of boredom. It has also been suggested (by Terry Soloman) that they could have been used as fishing weights. The Rappahannock River is about 2 miles from where they were found. I found two pieces of brass...both rivets and one still has some leather attached to it. A rusty rifle musket gun tool also surfaced.

That second day I found a total of 42 bullets and for the trip a total of 59 bullets. This will be my last relic hunt for 2011. Got to wait for spring now!

Click pictures to enlarge.

.44 caliber Colt and Colt Dragoon pistol civil war bullets.
.44 caliber Colt revolver with extractor marks.
.58 caliber rifle musket gun tool.
.58 caliber rifle musket (three ringer) gun tool.
Rivets used for cartridge boxes.
Brass rivets.
Cast off lead from civil war bullets.
Cast off lead.

Click pictures to enlarge.

.58 caliber rifled musket civil war bullets.
.58 caliber rifle musket.
.58 caliber rifled musket with star in base civil war bullets.
.58 caliber "star" base.
.52 caliber Sharps civil war bullets.
.52 caliber Sharps carbine.
.50 Smith carbine civil war bullets.
.50 caliber Smith carbine.

Click pictures to enlarge.

.44 caliber Colt Revolver Bartholow civil war bullets.
.44 "Bartholow" Revolver.
.44 caliber Colt and Colt Dragoon civil war bullets.
Dragoon and Colt Revolver.
.54 Merrill's carbine civil war bullets.
.54 Merrill's and Burnside.
.44 Sage Waterproof Revolver civil war bullet.
.44 Sage Waterproof Revolver.