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I have been fascinated with metal detecting for years, but due to confusion, have never gotten seriously involved. I think I might like to, so here are my questions.

1. How much must I pay for a good, entry level machine that will be adequate for a rank amateur, but have the capability to serve if interest grows? Are there machines in the $150-300 range that will serve as sort of a "jack of all trades" for the beginner?

2. Frankly, some of the procedures described in detector literature seem highly confusing. What features are necessary, and reduce frustration to a bare minimum?

3. EVERYBODY says "My detector is better than everybody else. " I don't think that there are many bargains any more, so I assume that among detectors in the same price range , performance will probably be very similar.

3. "Horrible examples" of detectorists being reported by people, or hassled by police, or even robbed of their finds seem to be quite prevalent. How often does this sort of thing really happen?

4. The posts I have read seem to indicate that Bounty Hunter detecctors are popular. This is the only place I have found that this is true. The "big names"... White, Garrett, Tesoro, etc. seem to be what people are buying and using. Is this just because of price, or do the others have features not available on the BHs?
Are BHs adequate machines for a reasonable amount of money? Is there a quality difference?

Sorry for the book, but I figure I might as well get it all out at once. Thanks in advance for any advice. :)
 

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Flyboy, i mainly hang out on the mortar and cannon topics, anyway, i can't hardly believe that your questions have been un-answered after 5 days. I've been metal detecting 35 years, so i'll answer the best i can. get ya a nice priced Bounty Hunter, my old Bounty Hunter tr550d cost 150 bucks 30years ago. A simple machine with few controls, old technology, but i found a ton of stuff with it, including two small coin caches, one cache with pre revolution coins,still have them to show off. I also have a Garret Grand Master, a pain in the tail with super computer and new technology, sure wish i could fix my old bounty hunter,miss it alot. What i'm saying is start out small, ya don't need to spend alot to find alot. I'll talk about features if ya get back to me? only once was i told to "leave" while detecting, guess they thought i'd tear up the lake bed that was drained for dam repair. there are folks that don't cover their holes, and others that hunt protected battlefields, kinda gives a bad name to coin shooters. nobody has ever robbed me, most folks that see me stand around like a bunch of happy kids waiting to see what i pull out of the ground. but mostly i hunt old house sites with few if any folks around. anyway you should be able to find treasures with a 150-300 buck Bounty hunter, i know folks that buy top of the line whites and garretts and can't find nothing, guess they ain't looking in the right places ;D
 

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Flyboy
I think lance covered things pretty well. There are numerous machines at different prices out there today and it can get confusing. I personally have two machines one is higher priced, I bought it because I use it underwater. It definitely has a harder learning curve to it and takes some time to figure out. The other is a more basic but simple to run machine but works fine. The simple one is a Garrett Ace 250, which I chose after reading all kinds of stuff on the Internet. You really need to decide how much your going to use your machine and for what purpose.
Then I would say invest in the best machine you can afford. If your just starting out it's nice to keep it simple. But you don't want to go to cheep and get discouraged.
No matter how much you spend or what anyone tells you, the only way to know what the beep is. Dig it up.
Even with my high end machine I dig pop tabs and lots of other trash. One advantage to removing trash in areas you may search often (beaches etc.) You'll make it easier to find the good stuff next time back. I'm aware of No machine that sorts out just all the good stuff, if so everyone would have one.
Good luck.
Mac
 

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Mac, i've never done any underwater detecting, unless you count up to my ankles ;D most of that was the five years i was in Hawaii, those rich tourists sure do lose alot of expensive jewelry. I'm in the Virginia mountains, but i've detected Hawaii, Oklahoma, Colorado, the Carolinas and of course Virgina. just never done any diving for treasure, i'm jealous! glad to see that just maybe this treasure forum ain't dead.........
 

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When some one asks me what kind of detector to get has already been answered above.
Get the best you can afford.
I been using the Minelab 3500 now for a few years and the selection of coils you can get for it is good.
I have dug holes 2' deep and all I found was a .45 caliber bullet but also some fine gold nuggets.
It has been paid for some time back if I would ever sell what I find ;D

LP
 

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On the MineLab XT70, you can change coils for different frequencies, coin hunting, prospecting, or saltwater.It's a great all around detector.
 

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barber said:
On the MineLab XT70, you can change coils for different frequencies, coin hunting, prospecting, or saltwater.It's a great all around detector.
I hear minelab just came out with there new exterra series the high end one is the 705...wonder how they differ from the older exterras?

Ive never really cared for minelab as most have a very slow recovery which will cause masking on high iron sites or very trashy sites. the minelab sov GT is an awesome machine but just to dang slow. I like the simple tesoros{tejon,vaquero and cibola} and also the troy shadow X5{which is my favorite machine by far}
the best "do all" machine I have used is the whites MXT,its an awesome machine for anything from huntin play grounds to the gold fields. I recently purchased the new whites vision or spectra V3 and its pretty neat but Im not sure how I feel about it yet..I like it simple and this one is just a bit complicated for this boy.
 

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So flyboy, what did you end up with?
 
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