In this guide we’ll look at the best metal detectors for civil war relics.
We’ve compared frequency, ground balancing, modes and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What is the Best Metal Detector for Civil War Relics?
More Detailed Civil War Relics Metal Detector Reviews
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Minelab CTX 3030 Metal Detector Review
Minelab makes top-of-the-range detectors and their CTX 3030 is the best metal detector for civil war relics in my opinion.
Using Minelab’s Multi-IQ simultaneous multi-frequency tech this metal detector pushes out several frequencies to find everything out there including the low to mid-range frequencies relics are most often found on.
The CTX3030 has a full-color LCD screen with a backlight and adjustable brightness that fully displays its excellent target ID, depth gauge, and numerical target ID.
These are great features on the best civil war relic detector because you can see what the target is most likely to be and how far down it is before you dig.
It also has multi-notch discrimination, manual/automatic sensitivity, and manual/automatic ground balancing so you can hone in on the metal you want such as bronze or iron with ease even in highly mineralized areas.
One of the best features of the CTX 3030 is its GPS tracking system. This enables you to save up to 100 locations and upload data points via the online Xchange2.
GPS makes it much easier to record where you have covered and what you found there. This is top-of-the-range stuff.
There are ten customizable modes with five pre-sets including the all-important ‘relic’ setting. The others are coins, beach, silver, high trash, and five custom modes.
It’s waterproof to ten feet and has a seawater function to work wet sands easily.
The audio on the CTX 303 is incredible. It has wireless headphones with WiStream tech and four tone iron audio – you won’t miss a single sound.
Last but not least the CTX 3030 comes as standard with an 11-inch DD coil with skid-plate, weighs 5.20 pounds, and has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
This is a pricey bit of kit, but if there are relics to be found the CTX 3030 will pick them up for you with no fuss.
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Garrett AT Max Metal Detector Review
You can’t go wrong with a Garrett. They are reliable, well-priced machines that don’t let you down. The AT Max is their best metal detector for relic hunting.
Working on a 13.6 kHz frequency which is mid-range and likely to pick up relics, the AT Max is an All-Terrain (AT) metal detector with a superb LED backlight for bright days and sunsets.
It has Garrett’s excellent numeric target ID that scores your find on a 0-99 scale to indicate what kind of metal it is. The depth indicator will tell you how far down you need to dig for it.
Adjustable ground balance means you can search on the highly mineralized ground relics are often found on. The AT Max also has a ground balance window to help understand the fainter returns and track the ground conditions you’re walking on.
There are four pro-audio modes of all-metal, custom, coins, and zero discrimination that get deep into the ground. Iron audio on its true all-metal mode gives you top-of-the-range discrimination.
The AT Max is something special when it comes to audio. It features built-in Z-Lynk wireless audio – no more wires on the included MS-3 wireless headphones means you can really concentrate on the sound.
Its zippy stuff and much faster than old Bluetooth tech, pinging out tones as you move over the target, not several steps on.
Waterproof to ten feet with Garrett’s 8.5 x 11-inch DD PROformance coils you can take this metal detector anywhere relics may be found.
It weighs a tiny 3.03 lbs and has a three-part stem for easy travel. A great choice, you can’t go wrong.
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Minelab Equinox 800 Metal Detector Review
Minelab makes some of the best metal detectors for relics out there.
The Equinox 800 is a cheaper machine than Minelab’s CTX 3030 but it has a huge number of top features including multi-frequency tech that ensures you have the right frequency for relic hunting all the time.
If you don’t want to pick up metals that relics aren’t usually made from then set it to a single frequency.
There are four search modes on the Equinox 800 and they all work in tandem with the numeric target ID. These are field – which is a mode for historical sites and perfect for relic hunting, park for trash-filled areas, beach, and gold mode.
Each of these modes has custom search profiles, so for example you can set your 800 to field mode and then save two custom searches on top of it.
Wireless audio is a massive plus and the Equinox 800 uses fast wireless audio on MW08 or aptX Bluetooth headphones
With a large LCD screen, waterproofing to ten feet, and an 11-inch DD smart coil the Equinox 800 is one of the best metal detectors for civil war relics you’ll find.
It helps that the whole machine weighs in at under 3lbs – that’s a whole day searching without any arm ache ahead of you.
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Nokta Makro ANFIBIO Multi Metal Detector Review
Nokta Makro ANFIBIO multi-metal detector is a great machine and one of the best metal detectors for civil war relics.
This is a multi-frequency detector that works on 5/14/20 kHz which is more than enough to cover the usual relic frequencies and target historical finds.
It has an easy to understand interface on a backlit LCD that reviewers love not least because it makes using the nine search modes far simpler than other costlier models.
The modes are GEN Delta, 2 tone, 3 tone, 4 tone, 5 tone, 99 tone, beach, deep, and cache. Cache and deep are the most suitable for relics but you can tune in the ANFIBIO to suit your preferences.
There are three target depth levels to show you how far to dig and a great feature called the ‘EUD function’ which is the ‘extra underground depth’ button to help detect metal hidden by ground conditions.
Wireless 2.4 GHz headphones come as standard and for those of us that struggle to hear clearly, the ANFIBIO also vibrates when you find a target.
It has an 11-inch coil, is waterproof to five meters, and has a LiPo battery charged by USB.
This is well worth considering as it boasts a lot of tech for the price and is amongst the best metal detectors for civil war relics.
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White MX Sport Metal Detector Review
White’s metal detectors have a dedicated army of fans. Their MX Sport is one of the best metal detectors for civil war relics out there.
It works on a mid-range 13.8 kHz frequency to pick up the majority of metals relics are made from.
It has six adjustable hunt modes including relics. The others are coins, jewelry, gold, iron, and beach.
There’s a depth reading so you know how far to dig, and it has adjustable notch discrimination, visual ID, and tone ID so you also know what metal it is before polishing off your trowel.
But it’s the audio department where White’s MX Sport really excels.
You can set up twenty tones each with their own volume setting on the MX Sport to wheedle out the specific metals you want to find.
It also has a rejection volume that can be set to a percentage, say 20% volume for gold, for example, so you don’t miss out on anything even when you’re looking for relics. You never know – a gold ring might be buried there too.
Essential automatic ground balancing with a tracking feature means you can search for relics on the majority of grounds. The extra salt track feature helps on wet sands – this is a real bonus.
The MX Sport is waterproof to ten feet, has a 10-inch DD search coil, waterproof sport headphones, and a big, bright LCD screen.
This is a multi-purpose machine but it still manages to be one of the best detectors for civil war relic hunting. It’s well worth your consideration.
How to Decide on The Best Metal Detector For Finding Civil War Relics
A civil war relic ranges from a coat button to musket balls, coins and belts buckles, cartridge pouches, and bayonets. It’s exciting to uncover a piece of history.
To find relics, look online or in the library and uncover areas where battles or encampments were held, but make sure you aren’t breaking the law. You need permission to search most battle sites.
Civil war relics are found in varying terrain but most frequently in highly mineralized soil.
This means you need a detector to cope with highly mineralized soils, so quality metal detectors are crucial. A beginner machine just won’t cut it here.
The Best Detectors For Civil War Relics
Metal detectors that will find the most civil war relics will have the following functions.
Very Low to Mid-Level Frequency
The majority of relics are made from low conductivity metals like iron, steel, and brass which are found on low to mid-level frequencies.
Excellent pinpointing controls so you can quickly focus in on the exact area where you need to dig are helpful. You don’t want to be leaving a whole load of mess on an important site.
Advanced ground balance
Relics are often found on highly mineralized grounds so your detector will need excellent ground balancing – preferably both automatic and manual.
This will help zone out the misleading signals minerals bring to the party.
Visual target ID
It helps to have a good idea of what the metal is before you dig it up, this will help decide whether it’s worth the effort or not.
A good visual target ID will tell you’ve found, it’s then your choice – dig or not to dig.
Alongside visual target ID depth display is handy. This shows you how far below ground your target is, helping you ID the exact point before whipping out the trowel.
When you’re on the search for civil war relics, be sure to do your homework first. There isn’t much point scanning ground that no army has touched.
When you have your information and necessary permissions grab the best metal detector for civil war relics hunting and set out for the day.
You can’t go wrong with one of my recommendations.