Monthly Archives: April 2012

How Much is Enough?

I enjoy checking out a lot of metal detecting websites and seeing what people are finding, and the quantity and quality always impresses me. Recently I started  hearing about “Blisstool” detectors (manufactured in Bulgaria). Continue reading


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First Came Lazy and Now Comes the Heat…

Have been somewhat lazy the last few days, but hoping the weekend turns out to be somewhat better. Heading Northwest toward the Oklahoma border  Continue reading

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Whatever Happened to…

Not sure about you, but it seems that everyone who enjoys this pastime is talking about relic and water hunting.  What happened to coinshooting?  Are our ranks thinning?  Are the coins disappearing?  What’s up?

When I started in the late 70’s, most everyone searched for old coins, silver coins, and we were finding them with some regularity.  This preoccupation continued for quite some time, and if my ability to gauge time periods is correct, it started changing in the late 80’s.  Not that we coin hunters stopped looking…. just that the manufacturers realized beach and shallow water hunting was becoming popular.

Detecting beaches was pretty easy, and finding just one gold ring made your day.  The rush was then on, and all the manufacturers started  designing models that were supposedly entirely waterproof.  I use the word “supposedly” loosely because I knew of a few that were surely not.

In the past few years relic hunting has taken off, and I think it’s partly because of rural areas becoming more readily available, and because of the just “dig everything” approach.

Now, having said all that, we coin hunters have to start speaking up, promoting our passion, and in particular the forgotten art of probing.  Back  in the early 80’s using a probe was not all that uncommon.  If you wanted to hunt a small town park or homesite, you had to be proficient in this method  of recovery.  Being able to “bring up a coin” neatly was the test, and the price of admission to many good areas. Today?  Not sure 75% of detectorists even have a probe, and it just might be that’s why we are facing so many restrictions?

My tools of choice….

I don’t intend to dwell on this subject, but when I see all the many YouTube detecting videos I see large plugs being dug, and many times replaced hastily.  Yes,  I sometimes see drop cloths being used, but why aren’t we seeing anyone probing, and why isn’t it being promoted by the manufactuers and clubs?

Probing is not all that difficult, and with a little practice you can become quite proficient….

  1. Once you pinpoint your target with your detector, insert the probe in the ground where you think the target is located.
  2. Setting your detector down, probe the area until you actually touch the coin (target).
  3. Lift the probe slightly and push forward about three or four inches (keeping tip centered on the target). Then do the same from left to right.
  4. This leaves you with an “X”(or at least I hope so) in the ground (while the tip of the probe is still centered on the target).
  5. Then, either using your probe or a long handled screwdriver, gently pry the coin to the surface.
  6. Once you have the find in hand, push the folds of the grass back together and continue on detecting.

I looked long and hard online for a video demonstration but was not able to come up with one.  If you have or know of one please let me know. It’s an art that needs reviving, and one that just might take you to all the right places….



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More Malamute Saloon Madness…

My Email in-box was graced this morning with “MalSal #60″….. which means the big guy from the UK has sent an update to the Malamute Saloon, his 60th to be exact. While I frequently belittle him, insult him, and always cringe at the things he writes, the Malamute Saloon link always get’s the largest number of hits from the visitors to Stout Standards. What can I say? There are just a lot of sicko detectorists out there just like him….(that’s scary stuff).

In this recent rant he does offer a tip for all the Garrett AT Pro users when it comes to beach hunting, and then educates us all on the in’s and out’s of the professional archaeologist. So if you want to better understand where they are coming from be sure to read his blurb titled “The Rosetta Stone of Cod Archaeology”. To read his  latest submission in it’s entirety click on the Malamute Saloon link…..


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A Gift From Julius

Received an international package in the mail today, nicely padded, and with the feel of something great, like an old medieval relic.  When I saw it was from John Howland I thought, “Jeez, just maybe the old fart has finally decided to repay me that fifty dollar loan of many years ago…”

I should have known better! After carefully opening the package I found this…

The note inside read…

Yo Bubba:

“Unsurprisingly, I also have one of these wine-stoppers, and through great personal expense, inconvenience, and substantial, procurement difficulties, I have acquired one for you”.

“But knowing that (well not so much you) that Fay appreciates ‘class” and ‘elegance’, I have enclosed this stylish wine-stopper for your gratification and eternal enjoyment”.

“So raise a glass or three to your old buddy across the pond! That’s ME!”

Bubba H.

What can I say….it brought a tear or two to my eyes, and a lump in my throat…Thanks John.

  I will get even with you one day you SOB, and eventually get that money too.

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Neil McElroy & His Merc


My old friend from the greater Northwest, Neil McElroy, had a very successful weekend, and sent along a photo just to rub it in….  He went to Portland for some weekend fun, and decided to tie in some detecting.  Hunting his old stomping grounds he came away with…..

  • 1921-D Mercury dime (Semi-Key!)
  • 1927-S Mercury dime
  • 1906-S Barber dime
  • 1951-S Roosevelt dime
  • 1954-D Roosevelt dime
  • 1958-D Roosevelt dime
  • 1960-D Roosevelt dime
  • 1992 Kennedy Half dollar
  • 1895 V Nickel
  • 1913-S Wheat Cent
  • 36 other Wheat cents (dating from 1917 to 1956)
  • RCA advertising medallion/token
  • 1942 Canadian Cent
  • and tons of pocket change….

Looking at the condition of the 1921D I am guessing it’s value falls in the $150 to $200 range.  Not bad for a few hours of detecting.  Am I envious?  Nah, just pissed  off. Hope you find a zillion “hot rocks” next time Neil.

Neil McElroy

Neil is a member of the Coil and Diggers Club of Lane County, in Central Oregon. Great bunch of people…..



Over the past couple of weeks I have been working on a “blog type” of site that will somewhat mirror Stout Standards, but will not have all the photos, nor all the writeups for the past two years. It is not meant to be a replacement for my site, just one that will be a little easier  to navigate, one that will load much faster, and offer just the latest ramblings. Take a look at Stout Standards/Wordpress.

This blog site will also have a place for your to comment, should you wish. Please understand this is still a work in progress, and yours truly is not the brighest lightbulb (Oh jeez am I going to hear more about that comment…) when it comes to learning new things. Please don’t stop sending photos for Stout Standards. This site will still be here, and I will continue to build on it, despite your continued nasty comments…..



Sorry to just be getting around to posting anything, but I have been busy…. Baseball season is back, and watching my Yankees has taken  up some time, as did my yardwork. In any case I have not gone detecting, but hope to this weekend. At least that’s my goal….

Also, if you remember back a couple months ago I told you about Fay finally retiring. Well, she’s having way too much of a good time. I had a call on Saturday from someone at the farmer’s market, asking that I come and pick her up. Apparently she fell in love with some gear that one of the vendors was selling, and wound up scaring the hell out of everyone there…….

“I knew when she retired I was going to have problems….”



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American Diggers Show…Ask Someone Else!



Had five emails from various people wondering what I thought of the two most recent “American Diggers” shows. Frankly I didn’t watch them, and will not watch any more. Hopefully this will tell you all you need to know…..



Carthage Missouri Detecting Day

Metal Detector Turns Up a Bit of World War
II History

Lost Ring Return

455 Roman Coins Unearthed

13th Century Coins Dug Up On Farmland



Feeling better the past few days, and hoping that I can get out to do some detecting soon. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even care if I find much of anything… only that I get out in the fresh air and hear a beep. My stamina is not what it was, but then again not much of anything I own anymore is what it was. I thought I understood
the aging process, but apparently I didn’t research it enough, and for that I am embarrassed.



Just wanted to share another great club newsletter…. The Prober is the official newsletter of the Michigan Treasure Hunters Club, and it’s another one of those that I anticipate each month. My old friend Chuck Williams does a great job with it, and I hope you will ask him to add you to his mailing list…..




I often check Paul Barford’s blog to see who he is putting down (after all that is his sole purpose in life), and he never fails to disappoint me. He obviously has no day job, and only dwells on those finds that detectorists make, and then puts them in a less than flattering light. Let me be blunt Mr. Barford, “why didn’t you or your fellow archaeologists find them first?”

You are quick to paint us as thieves and robbers, but bottom line? If we didn’t search for them, recover them and share them, you and your compadres sure as hell wouldn’t even know about them. End of story…..

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