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My apologies in advance for asking so many questions in one post. Two of us in Alabama are planning to drive west in October or November to go prospecting / nugget shooting for the first time. We plan to devote a solid 2 to 4 weeks to learning to find nuggets and placer deposits. Priority will be on shooting nuggets with metal detectors and experimenting with ground penetrating radar. What locations or regions should we hit? Northern Nevada seems favored by various blogs and the BLM claim data. Which two or three detectors should we buy given about $3000 to put towards detectors? Would it be better to get three detectors (one as a spare) or put more money into two better detectors? Steve's guides are the best resource I've seen and suggest the following detectors: Fischer Gold Bug Pro White's MXT or GMT Minelab X-Terra 705 Used Minelab GP 3000/3500 or GPX 4000/4500 Is interference a concern because two of us will be operating simultaneously? Or should we plan to operate some distance away from each other? Thank you!!
I currently have a GPX 5000, ATX, TDI, Gold Bug 2, Gold Bug Pro, and GMT plus some others. I should have a new Minelab SDC soon. Why don't I just keep the best one and get rid of the rest? Because there is not yet one detector that gets it all. When I look at my detectors I see a wide spectrum of varying and often overlapping capability with each having in some cases just one little thing it does better than the others. If you took them all away except one picked at random I would still go out and I would still find gold. Metal detector manufacturers sometimes give me detectors for free to go use. In the last two years I have received free detectors from Fisher, Garrett, Minelab, and White's. Why? Because if they send me one I can and will go find gold with the detector, and that helps them sell detectors. Metal detectors do not find gold. Prospectors find gold. Metal detectors are a tool some prospectors use. If a prospector can only find gold with one brand or one model of metal detector than in my opinion they are not all that good at metal detecting for gold. The secret is in putting yourself on good locations and then working like a dog. No matter what detector I have I am going to try and put myself someplace where I can find gold. If you have a "better detector" and I consistently put myself in better locations I am still going to find more gold than you. If we both know what we are doing but you detect a day a week and I detect seven, I am going to find more gold. In general. The reason I do well is I put myself in better locations than a lot of people and I work hard at it. I am not some kind of detecting wizard. I am just a very hard working prospector. Too many people think this stuff is easy and expect too much from too little effort. The only difference in having a detector that may not be up to your partners detector is you are going to have to work smarter and work harder than him. That said, get the best equipment you can afford, and if that means buying used then do so. Maybe that means you get a XYZ from a widow for a song. Then learn the detector, and research out good locations, and get to work finding gold. Any recently made model that is specific to prospecting will work. It can find gold. Or rather I should say I can find gold with it because detectors do not find gold! I have a passion for detectors and I love chatting about them and comparing them endlessly. But do not hesitate to just pull the trigger and get what you can reasonably afford and get with the program. Waiting for the perfect detector to arrive is just wasting time you could be out prospecting. I find no matter what as a serious prospector I need three or four detectors to cover it all. I just get the latest whenever they come along and let my detecting sort it out. I play around a lot detecting but when it is time to get serious certain units get grabbed and others left behind. Eventually if a unit sits unused long enough I sell it. Steve's Theory of Detector Natural Selection. What with my GPX and ATX and now SDC my White's TDI seems to be sidling towards the door. But I have a few more things I want to try with it before that happens so it keeps hanging on. But if it sits for another year it may be time to let it go. Get out there, get prospecting, work hard, but have fun. Good luck!