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"How small do you go? -- How small do you go?"

January 15, 2021 11:50AM avatar
Naturally, I am referring to search coil size, the detectors they work well on, and the types of sites where we take advantage of their size and performance ability. If I turn the clock way back to 1965, the first Metal / Mineral Locator I built had an 8" diameter round coil. It was a BFO detector, and all those I made from March of that year until the summer of '68 had a layout for an 8" diameter coil. To me that seemed to be a 'standard' coil size. Then in the summer of '68 my brother Ed & I started using a factory-produced model, a White's Ghost-Towner BFO, and the 'standard' coil on it was a 6' diameter wooden coil. That was my 'introduction' to using a smaller-size (smaller-than-standard) search coil, and that was a good thing.

It taught me to be more patient, make slower and more methodical sweeps, and at-the-time it was really a blessing in disguise. Why? Because way back then most parks and schools and other popular-use locations, that had a lot of coins lost in them, were very plentiful. One detector and each of us with a rounded-off screwdriver, would set out for a 2½-to-3 hour hunt and end up with a pint jar full of coins. So many coins to be found and in such quantities, that having the smaller-size coil helped us to find and isolate (pinpoint) so many targets that were very close to other coins, and having the smaller-size coil let us find more, faster, as well as easier.

on through the '70s and into the '80s I only used an 8" coil now-and-then to test a detector or for a specific application. Most of the time I was using 6" and 7" coils, especially on my Garrett's. Then in '82 we got slow-motion / quick-response 2-filter detectors from Fisher, but they didn't handle iron nails and such very well so I kept using the 7" coils on my Garrett's, Gold Mountain VIP or other VLF/TR-Disc. models. Then in July of '83 we got our first good 2-filter detector from Tesoro, with the Inca, and it worked fine, but had an 8" diameter Concentric coil. I swapped it for the 7" Concentric off their Mayan, and from that point on, almost every Tesoro model I used had a 7' diameter Concentric coil mounted. The smaller-than-stock coil simply worked a lot better in the very trashy environments.

Note, if you will, the majority of places I have mentioned hunting had a lot of coin targets and / or were very trashy locations. Both types of conditions where a smaller-than-stock coil has an advantage to work in and around and between a lot of targets. Yes, from time-to-time I did hunt some more open areas and used a 'standard' coil, but I spent most of my time in ghost tons, homesteads, renovation projects, and similar trashier environments so smaller coil saw the most use. And as time progressed, we got better-size smaller coils, and also better-performing detectors to use smaller coils. So along the way I made changes in my personal outfit.

I liked the Blue Max 350 coil on some White's Classic models, but mainly used White's 6½" Concentric coils. The Garrett 4½" Concentric worked well on some of the Garrett models I used to use, and with Tesoro's favorites, I used the 7" Concentric until their thin-profile, light-weight 6" came out and now that is the only coil I keep mounted on my Bandido II µMAX and Silver Sabre µAX. My Nokta FORS CoRe keeps their mall 'OOR' (Out-Of-Round) 4.7X5.2 DD mounted full-time, and my Nokta FORS Relic spots the 5" DD coil. In my Garrett Apex selection, I have their Ripper and Raider coils mounted for general use or open area use, but my 3rd Apex is going to have the new NEL 5" 'Sharp' DD mounted to work in and around building rubble, dense vegetation, and provide an 'edge' where smaller-size coils can have an advantage.

I'll use my Vanquish 540 w/5X8 DD and Simplex + w/5X9½ DD as well as my main-use Apex w/5X8 DD 'Ripper' for day-to-day general hunting tasks where it isn't very littered or iron-trash challenged, and 2nd Apex with the 8½X11 for freshwater beaches, plowed fields and other open-area / sparse-target searches. But other than those models and coils, I'll stay busy working the smaller-size coils on my CoRe and Relic, Bandido II µMAX and Silver Sabre µMAX, and Apex as needed to take on the more challenging sites with a dense amount of trash to deal with.

So I wonder, how small do you go with your search coil selections? What or where do you prefer a smaller-than-stock search coil? Any favorite model and coil that you rely on?


"Your EYES ... the only 100% accurate form of Discrimination!"

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
I'm now located in Clyde, Texas
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
Detector Outfit: A selection of my favorite makes and models, with the best coils mounted, for the tasks I'll take on.
Pinpointers: Pulse-Dive & ProPointer AT .. Headphones: 'Hornet' & 'Wasp' .. MS-3 Z-Lynk .. N/M Green edition
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***
Subject Author Views Posted

"How small do you go? -- How small do you go?"

Monte 256 January 15, 2021 11:50AM

I know I want to 'go smaller' with my Garrett Apex.

Monte 121 January 22, 2021 09:30PM

A deep thought for this winter.

UtahRich 139 January 18, 2021 02:18AM

Re: A deep thought for this winter.

OregonGregg 116 January 18, 2021 10:18AM

"It is the rifleman and not the rifle."

Monte 144 January 18, 2021 06:10AM

Re: "It is the rifleman and not the rifle."

OregonGregg 107 January 18, 2021 11:41AM

Re: "It is the rifleman and not the rifle."

UtahRich 113 January 18, 2021 04:45PM

Re: "It is the rifleman and not the rifle."

OregonGregg 128 January 19, 2021 10:46AM

My time has come and gone . . . . .

UtahRich 154 January 19, 2021 10:26PM

Re: My time has come and gone . . . . .

OregonGregg 109 January 20, 2021 09:33AM

Re: My time has come and gone . . . . .

D&P-OR 108 January 19, 2021 11:00PM

Re: My time has come and gone . . . . .

OregonGregg 106 January 20, 2021 09:36AM

I missed it by THAT MUCH . . . . .

UtahRich 125 January 20, 2021 09:08PM

Re: I missed it by THAT MUCH . . . . .

OregonGregg 116 January 21, 2021 10:07AM

You crack me up! ... Personally, I liked the Sound of Music clip. N/T

Monte 93 January 20, 2021 10:53PM

Re:LOL, Now that’s Funny.grinning smiley N/T

DW-BGW 100 January 19, 2021 01:38PM

Re: "How small do you go? -- How small do you go?"

DW-BGW 211 January 16, 2021 09:28AM

Re: "How small do you go? -- How small do you go?"

EL NINO 100 January 17, 2021 05:50AM

Re: "How small do you go? -- How small do you go?"

jmaryt 121 January 16, 2021 01:25AM

Re: "How small do you go? -- How small do you go?"

OregonGregg 115 January 15, 2021 06:50PM

"For me, the CoRe & 'OOR' coil has been a good combination." -- thumbs up N/T

Monte 88 January 15, 2021 08:20PM

Re: "How small do you go? -- How small do you go?"

D&P-OR 139 January 15, 2021 01:21PM

Back to you, Del.

Monte 95 January 15, 2021 08:58PM

Re: Back to you, Del.

D&P-OR 101 January 15, 2021 09:44PM

Well, In My Opinion ....

Monte 93 January 15, 2021 10:17PM

Re: Well, In My Opinion ....

D&P-OR 97 January 15, 2021 10:51PM

Re: "How small do you go? -- How small do you go?"

dixiedigger57 108 January 15, 2021 03:50PM

Re: "How small do you go? -- How small do you go?"

Monte 102 January 15, 2021 10:08PM

Re: "How small do you go? -- How small do you go?"

Coinboy 103 January 15, 2021 07:08PM

Re: "How small do you go? -- How small do you go?"

Coinboy 123 January 15, 2021 12:16PM

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