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I need help! I have been looking at buying a metal detector and I would like some advice. I am interested in gold prospecting. I live in Western Montana and plan to use it in this area. I am concerned about the over burden in this area. I am hoping to be able to find areas with exposed bed rock. I would like to keep the price around $1000. I have joined a couple of forums and have been trying to learn as much as I can about the deferent detectors. It seems like most people would recommend a PI detector over a VLF. Some people recommend buying a PI detector used. I have a hard time with spending that kind of money on used electronics with no warranty. I would appreciate any advice, comments, or suggestions.

Thanks for your help. Michael

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Sorry Mike but thats sort of the situation out there in reality.

If you want decent depth and the ability to ignore most hoT rock situations a P I (Pulse Induction) type machine is the way to go.

If you can handle less depth and spend the nessessary hours with learning the sounds of genuine targets a V L F (Very Low Frequency) will get you there.

You do have choices though. Even if you don't purchase used.

Ballpark prices,

Garrett makes the Infinium 11-1200

Whites the TDI 14-1500

I know you said 1,000 but these are the costs NEW.

NOW to get to the REAL MEAT of the question......

If you can join any clubs, or contact anyone in your general area that you could spend some time with seeing what works in your neck of the woods,you will benefit greatly before making a purchase.

There are GOOD choices to be made within the USED detector market that will get you where you want to be.

And should that be the course you take here are a few facts for you to consider,

Aside from spending some time with others who are actively involved in detecting for gold to learn what works and what does'nt in your area, I mention this again because it is to me the single most educating factor next to research and your own actual hands on experience.


Tesoro makes the Lobo Super Track

Whites GMT


MXT Good(combination machine gold/relic/jewerly)

Minelab Eureka

Fisher Gold bug Various models (older and newer)

These detectors all find gold

I'm partial to the GMT. I've owned and or used them all.

These detectors can be had new approx. 500-1000 used depending on the market 400 an up



Minelab SD 2100/2200 Older first models

V2 2100/2200 Newer Models

GP Extreme/3000/3500/4000/ Newest 4500

Garrett Infinium

Whites TDI/TDI Pro

OF all these the Minelabs are the most proven units to produce they've been on the market the longest I believe.

Used anywhere again depending on the market 6-7 hundred (good luck) to 4000 +

There are other makes and models of both vlf/pi but these are the I would say common tools of detecting gold.

BUYING USED be it a 400.00 or 2500.00 machine is a gamble we all take....a nessessary one for some of us.

You can eliminate most all of the gamble with some research on your own and experience spent with others who are using these machines in your area, they are out there you just have to take the steps to meet them.

This will allow you to make the "best" choice to start with.

Fact is there can always be a problem or issue with any used piece of equipment soon or long after acquiring it. But having some guidance and knowledge will get you into a better position to pick a good used piece of equipment.

My personal advise to you would be to get a VLF to start either new or used begin the learning curve for detector/detecting gold,geology and prospecting in general.And then progress to a P.I. OR if your pocketbook allows get both and get with it learning both. They each have their place in the field when hunting gold.

MOST IMPORTANT, ENJOY what you are doing don't forget to look around you when out in the field and Mother Nature will ASTOUND you.

Hopefully some prospectors will chime in here that are in your area and start you off on the right foot.

May you always have POWER in yer :batt: :batt: 's

Hapy Huntn Frank C Northwest Arizona

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Thank you for your advice and suggestions. With never detecting before, I have no idea what kind of the ground conditions we have here. I have tried to look into metal detecting clubs in my area, but I have not found any. So, if anyone knows of one in the Missoula, MT area let me know. I would also like to meet anyone in my area. Thanks again. Michael

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For about $10 you should be able to get the book " GOLD PLACERS OF MONTANA"

by Charles J. Lyden from the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. Lots of

pictures and extensive information on Gold mining in Montana..could be in local

Library or Bookstore.. Gas is expensive so do your homework and research before

going out--good luck on finding a detector--those mentioned a excellent machine

Check under gold prospecting clubs.

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Here is the web site for the club out of Columbia Falls with claims on Libby Creek.


Also there is a Ravalli chapter of GPAA and you would have to get a hold of Cliff Simmonson in Victor or look in a GPAA magazine. they list all the state chapters and the contacts with phone numbers.

hope this helps.


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