Guide to Modern Metal Detecting

Guide to Modern Metal Detecting – preview (full book available on dealer page)

With Three Free Bonus Sections on Florida Ocean Beach Hunting

Author: John Rapp


About the Author 8
Introduction 9
What to Expect from the Metal Detecting Hobby 11
Modern Metal Detectors 13
Your Metal Detector Budget and Detector Selection 14
Beware of Manufacturer Product Launch Hype 15
Buy used or New 16
Advantages of Buying from a Dealer 17
Chinese Metal Detectors and Accessories 18
Some Very Good Non-American Made Detectors 19
Third Party Accessories 19
Biggest Beginner Mistakes 20
Target Types 21
Types of Locations to Hunt 22
Metal Detector Learning Curve Examples 23
What is Valuable? 24
How Metal Detectors Work 27
Your Budget and What Level of Detector Should You Purchase 29
Buy used or New 30
Types of Coils and Their Uses 31
Notes on Coil Size 33
List of Desired Features and an Explanation of Their Use 33
Headphones and Their Use 36
Good Ears 37
Youtube Metal Detecting Videos 37
Selecting a Pinpointer 39
The Art of Pinpointing with Hand Pinpointers 39
Dig or not Dig? What is Under Your Coil? 41
Setting Up Your Detector 42
Taking Care of Your Detector 43
Coil Swing Techniques 44
Iffy Signals 46
Strong Signals Given Produced by Aluminum Cans and Can Lids 47
Target Recovery 48
Ionization or Halo Effect 49
Detector Depth Ability and Mineralization 49
Hunting Deep Targets 50
Adjusting Your Detector Settings to Your Hunting Area 52
Your first Hunt 53
Trespassing 53
Suburban Metal Detecting 54
Urban Metal Detecting 56
Reading Site Signs of Human Activity in the Past 57
Hunting in Fields and Woods 57
Hunting Local Parks 58
Sporting Fields 59
Mountains 60
Fairs and Flea Markets 60
Old Schools and Churches 61
Old Mill Sites 61
Sidewalk Repairs 62
The Bulldozer Your Enemy and Friend 62
Creek and Lake Hunting 63
Hunting Gold Nuggets 64
Metal Detecting in UK and Europe 65
Hunting Expensive Rings 66
Probable Locations of Old Coins and Jewelry 67
Hunting Revolutionary War and Civil War Relics 67
Civil War Maps 68
Ocean Beach Hunting 68
Park Hunting 69
Curb Hunting 71
Digging Plugs and Covering Your Holes 71
Adverse Hunting Conditions 72
Selecting Digging Tools 72
Other Useful Accessories 73
Clothing Items and Insect Repellant 74
Snakes and Other Critters 75
Usefulness of Test Gardens 77
Doing Your Research and Improve Your Odds 80
How to Find Places to Hunt using Historic Aerials and Google Earth 87
Metal Detecting Rules and Etiquette 89
Your Go Kit Contents 90
Keep a Low profile When Metal Detecting 90
Hunting with A Partner 91
Metal Detecting Clubs 92
How to Track Good Places to Hunt 92
Obtaining Permissions 93
Sharing Finds with Property Owners 94
Where not to Hunt 95
Reporting Your Finds 96
Cleaning Your Finds 97
Where to Sell Your Found Treasures 98
Hunting Location Tools 98
Become A Youtube Star 99
Your First Detector Upgrade 99
Modern Metal Detector Features 100
Metal Detecting Lingo and Definitions 101
Bonus Section #1 – Ocean Beach Hunting 109
Bonus Section #2 – Locations of Florida’s 1715 Spanish Fleet Wrecks 134
Bonus Section #3 – West Coast Florida Beach locations 159


This book was written specifically for the novice metal detectorist who has never used a metal detector. It assumes the novice has virtually no knowledge about the science and art of metal detecting.

This book can be useful to those returning to the hobby of metal detecting after years away from the hobby. These individuals will have likely found that much has changed during their absence.

This book being published in the Winter of 2019 is much more current than most novice metal detecting books with the latest one being published in 2015. A lot has happened since 2015 with the introduction of new digital technology to the hobby of metal detecting.

About the Author

The author is a Graduate of Georgia Tech, and is now retired after his career in the information technology industry. He lives in North Atlanta, with his wife and English Springer Spaniel.  He has been detecting since 1987 where he began his interest in hunting gold nuggets in the North Georgia mountains gold region. He has since owned various metal detectors from different manufacturers. He has extensive experience in gold nugget hunting, ocean beach hunting, lakes, creeks, park coin hunting and field relic hunting for Civil War relics.   

Disclaimer: The author has owned and used metal detectors made by Fisher, Garret, Nokta Makro and Minelab. He is not affiliated in any manner with any metal detector manufacturer. He does offer this book which retails on Amazon for $29.00 to your better metal detector dealers to offer free to their valued customers on recent purchases at a specific value. The reason he refers to the Equinox detectors from Minelab is the 600 and 800 models in this book is that they represent the modern metal detector and he has been using the 800 model since March of 2018.

This in no way indicates that the author is recommending any detector model for the novice hunter. The purchase decision is solely up to the novice detectorist along with the advice from his or her metal detector dealer. He does offer the names of models that are known to be good for different typed of detecting.

To leave a comment to the author email to Any comments on correcting spelling, grammar or factual content are welcomed.

John Rapp


Welcome to the hobby of metal detecting. Few hobbies offer the health benefits and thrills from the early teens to the retirement period of a person’s life. One never knows if the very next signal that dug will be a cache of gold coins or a rusted tin can. Today’s metal detecting requires modern metal detectors along with skills and experience to be able to obtain the most out of the hobby. There is the joy of discovering that your historic research has found you a cellar hole that produced some revolutionary relics as well and a few early 1700 coins.

This book is designed for the beginner who is new to the hobby of metal detecting. This book takes you from choosing a metal detector suited to your type of hunting all the way to how to sell your finds. This is a teaching book which assumes you know nothing about the art and science of modern metal detecting.

The content of this book is a result of my metal detecting hobby experiences that started in 1987 hunting gold nuggets in streams in the North Georgia gold regions around Auraria, Georgia. It continues to today where I hunt old home sites and Civil War encampments and skirmishes in North Georgia in areas adjacent to Civil War battles.

I will start with an overview of what is required for different types of detecting and what to expect from these different types detecting. I will try to refrain from recommending any specific model or brand of metal detector. This is a selection process that you must research. A good starting point is asking questions on the various metal detecting forums.

The metal detecting hobby is a lot like golf. You will buy some tools and you go out and practice and play. It is good exercise and not too difficult to learn. In metal detecting as in golf you are competing against yourself. You are constantly improving your skills by learning and practicing. Unlike golf you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for the pleasure of enjoying your sport for a day. In fact, you can even make some money metal detecting.

When reading this book keep in mind that it is an introduction to the hobby for the novice detectorists. It is for those who just purchased a modern metal detector or even better those who are thinking of purchasing a modern metal detector.