Coin Shooting is probably the most common type of activity undertaken by metal detector enthusiasts. While most people start off with dreams of finding gold nuggets, the reality is that most people aren’t going to strike it rich with this hobby. That doesn’t mean that you won’t, just that you are far more likely to enjoy yourself if you start off with realistic expectations.
Metal detecting isn’t just about striking it rich, many people join metal detecting clubs and have plenty of fun digging up the hidden treasures that have been left behind over the years, often in the form of coins.
Coin shooting can be a heap of fun, but only if you are in a location where there is something to find, and if you have a detector that’s suited for finding coins.
Finding the Right Location
There is a lot to be said for finding the right location when it comes to coin shooting and the best location isn’t going to be the same for everyone. As an example, if you are interested in finding penny’s or other more common coins, you will be best off searching in locations where there used to be a lot of people handling money.
I personally find that the best locations are places like:
- River beds
- Camping Grounds
- Old towns and stores that have closed
If, however, you are searching for relic style coins, like old roman coins, then you will normally need to look a bit farther afield and use slightly different equipment and settings.
Most people tend to stick with the more common types of coins and locations.
Best Coin Shooting Detectors
So long as you have a metal detector you have a chance of finding some coins, but if you are really serious about finding coins, it’s important to get a tool that is fit for purpose. There are plenty of coin shooting metal detectors on the market today, but you will need to understand to location you are planning on searching in and the type of coins you are hunting, before you will be able to make an informed decision as to the best metal detector to buy
Waterproof Metal Detectors
The first thing you need to consider is if you plan on getting wet when you go looking for coins. If you do, then you need to make sure that you invest in a waterproof metal detector. Note: The vast majority of metal detectors are not water proof, and will be broken if used in the water.
When it comes to waterproof metal detectors, I always go for the Garrett AT PRO. It is a great all round metal detector that is not only capable of finding coins, but is also great for plenty of other targets too – best of all, it’s waterproof.
Land only Metal Detectors
If you decide that you aren’t interested in getting your feet wet (you are missing out on lots of fun) then you have a far wider range of options when it comes to great coin shooting detectors. Your main consideration will likely be budget, as you can pickup great coin shooting detectors anywhere between $150 to $1,000.
For most people starting out, you can’t go past the Garrett ACE 250, it’s really cheap (less than $200), but it outperforms many of the more expensive rigs.
If you have more money to play with, and want to have a little more control/feedback, then your best bet is to look into the Fisher F5 ($500), or the Fisher F-75 ($1,000). Both of these machines are amazing when it comes to coin shooting, however, the F-75 is far superior.
Configuring your Metal Detector to Find Coins
The most important thing before you go racing out and looking for coins is to understanding the feedback your particular metal detector gives for certain types of coins. I recommend that you bench test your detector at home with some coins (and some junk) so you can get used to the feedback signals. This is important if you want to avoid digging up bottle caps and other junk targets. This will also aid you in configuring the settings more accurately.
Once you have a good feel for your detector, the next step is to ensure that it is configured correctly. The settings will depend on the make and model of the device, as well as the location in which you are hunting.
Coin Depth Indicator
Any coin shooting metal detector that’s worth it’s money will have some form of coin depth indicator. It’s pretty much become a standard feature on most detectors and it’s important to understand how to read and operate them.
If we checkout the interface for the Garrett ACE 250, you can see on the right side of the unit there are 4 depth levels that the ACE 250 can give you when searching for coins. Remember, the depth indicator isn’t going to be 100% accurate, but it should be pretty close.It should be noted that most of the cheaper machines will not go much more than about 6-8 inches (that’s in good conditions). If you are looking to go hunting deeper than that, you will need to pay more for the privileged.
As you get more familiar with your device and the different types of coins you can unearth, you will eventually be able to have an educated guess as to what type of coin you’ve found just through the tone it produces. Some metal detectors like the AT PRO, which has the PRO Audio, have amazing audio feedback, which when coupled with decent headphones, can tell you plenty about what you’ve found.
Understanding the varying audio tones can take a fair bit of time to get used to, so don’t be too concerned if you are unable to pick targets straight away just through the sound alone.
When it comes to tuning the sensitivity, you’ll want to make sure it is setup for the optimal settings for the ground that you are searching. The only way to do that is to experiment with different settings until you get it right – every metal detector is different and a lot will have to do with the type and size of coil that you are using.
Generally speaking, if you turn up the sensitivity to high, you will find everything, but that will include plenty of junk that isn’t worth your time digging up. If you turn it down too low, you risk missing targets. So you see, you really are looking for that Goldilocks zone.
The last thing I want to talk about is the ground balance. Most machines have auto ground balance as standard these days, and to be honest, the auto balance works pretty well. If you are new to coin shooting or metal detecting, just leave the ground balance set to auto. If you don’t have a machine that offers automatic ground balancing, you will want to adjust the ground balance to be neutral, then adjust up or down depending on the soil condition.
- Negative Ground Balance will get quieter as the coil is lowered to the ground.
- Neutral Ground Balance will not make any changes as the coil is lowered to the ground.
Positive Ground Balance will get louder as the coil is lowered to the ground.
Good luck with your coin shooting!