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Bounty Hunter -- good stuff at reasonable prices (biased but very well informed opinion)

Dave J.

New member
This post is adapted from a reply I made elsewhere to a customer inquiry about the BH Quicksilver.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When I first came to work for Bounty Hunter in early 2003, the Quicksilver (also known as Pioneer EX) was my first project. It got done quickly, and went into production with virtually no glitches. (I wish I could say that all my projects went that way!) Typically retailing for about $100, it's the least expensive American-made metal detector with target ID. Not a powerhouse for that price, but within its limitations it does what it's designed to do quite well. I love designing low cost stuff at least as much as I do slogging away at the challenges of high end leading-edge products.

In some other (non-BH) forums, you'd have guys swelled with pride over their over- $1,000 machines giving you a hard time for swinging a lowly BH. (The adult world is pretty much like junior high, only bigger, you may have noticed.) I'm a cheapskate myself, so I say have fun with your Quicksilver! If after while the hobby grows on you to where you want to put more money into it, by then you'll know a bit more about what you want to spend your money on. Of course having said that, it's my duty to point out that Bounty Hunter, Teknetics, and Fisher which were once different companies are now under one roof right here in El Paso, Texas, so we offer lots of choices all the way from about $60 to well over $1,000. It's our intent that each product offers good value in its price range.

And since I'm waxing enthusiastic about BH at the moment, I should take this opportunity to explain why an engineer whose name is normally associated with Fisher (and Teknetics and occasionally White's and Tesoro and Troy) would be happy to embrace BH. Here goes.

Most of the present BH line (and even the Fisher F2/4) traces its design origin to the legendary George Payne of "old Teknetics" fame. During the 1990's the earlier business arrangements fell apart, and for a while BH's were manufactured by a "certain company" who frankly manufactured crap. The designs were good but that couldn't make up for incompetent manufacturing. The present CEO bought out the BH operation in the late 90's realizing that what it needed was competent manufacturing, and over time he managed to turn it around. Early during that period the services of a local engineering firm, Sherwood Engineering, were engaged to assist in both revising designs for compatibility with more modern manufacturing techniques, and to design new products. Getting metal detectors right isn't easy, but Sherwood who were very good at electronics but had no prior background in metal detection proved themselves up to the task.

My own background in metal detection goes back to Fisher 1981 when I was hired to reinvent what a good metal detector was, and 16 months later we were shipping 1260-X's. I was hired by First Texas Products (manufacturer of BH) early 2003 and immediately set out to do major redesign on nearly all BH platforms to eliminate the remaining manufacturing problems. When we had that licked we went on to create a new Teknetics line, and then we acquired the failed Fisher and brought it back to life in El Paso with myself again as the chief design engineer.

A bad reputation is hard to overcome. The damage that the previous owners of BH did to the trademark is still not entirely repaired even though for a decade BH has probably been the most reliable metal detector on the market. And, you know what human nature is, the guys who found their personal best value at $1000 are going to sneer at the people who found their personal best value at a much lower price tag. .........I used to know a guy in Colorado with a lowly BH Tracker 4 whom I would pit against anyone swinging anything else no matter how expensive, in a tot lot or public park where digging a deep hole is a definite no-no. He made a lot of enemies by following guys with $1,000 machines and embarrassing them.

In the BH lineup, you're not getting the engineering expertise of someone in China who didn't even know what a metal detector was 12 months ago. You're getting the combined expertise of George Payne, Sherwood Engineering, myself, John Gardiner who has been the BH guru for nearly 20 years, and Jorge Anton Saad who was the primary engineer on the BH Platinum and Gold. In the entire metal detector industry, no product line has the breadth of engineering expertise behind it that the Bounty Hunter product line has.

The Bounty Hunter line may have been an embarrassment 15 years ago, but nowadays it is a solid as a product line can be. Superb engineering, proven platforms, and economies of scale that make it possible to deliver excellent value in the lower price brackets.

--Dave Johnson
Chief Designer, FTP-Fisher


New member
]thanks for the post Dave being the owner of both the tracker 4 and a landstar and loving them both . with lots of great finds at good depth i might add certainly adds to the faith i have in the bounty hunter line thanks so much :thumb up:


New member
I like that you're not afraid to get your hands dirty and that you're here answering questions and giving support !
I have a delta and just purchased a platimun.


New member
Percy said:
I like that you're not afraid to get your hands dirty and that you're here answering questions and giving support !
I have a delta and just purchased a platimun.
You will like the platinum. I have one and I think that it is the best you can buy for the money. Probably equivalent to other more expensive deterctors out there.


Active member
Thanks Dave,and Thanks to all the other engineers and workers at First Texas Products for thier combined efforts on bringing to market Bounty Hunter,Teknetics,and Fisher metal detectors for us hobbiest to enjoy...Markmac


Thanks for producing an affordable product...I love my Bounty Hunter Time Ranger (Cool Name). I have founds dimes over 6" deep with it. Also have found very small pieces of metal at about 6" deep...Keep putting out good products!!!


Active member
Nice post. The thing most people forget is the way most use their machine. While I enjoyed the awesome depth I had with my CZ-5, digging zinc pennies at 8" was no fun-and it all had to do with my sites I searched. Finally, I realized I wasn't a true professional in the sense of the word-I was only a hobbyist. The places I hunt have metal that is dropped recently and that's what I enjoy-especially the gold.Having been a Tracker fanatic before, I went back to it-just for the tone discrimination factor alone. Yes, you have to dig tabs to get gold-but I love it whenever the high tone sounds and there's a coin beneath a tab, or maybe a spill of nickels. Way too cool! And the lower discrimination is set just about right for most nuisance trash. BTW,, wasn't Mr. Gardiner associated with the AH Pro? I think it was the first off-resonance discriminator and I wish I still had mine.
Kudos to DaveJ and company! I let my BH505 go to a newbie who was frustrated with a unit he could not understand. regrettable for me, great for him. my plan is to go to a little more advanced unit and I am shopping some now, but it will be a fall purchase. I have an old BH900 the mystery unit being repaired and modded. and looking hard at Tek greeks and Fisher too. The platinum seems interesting now also---soo many choices at a good price. I cant pay the big buck prices! family first and finds sold for necessities and med bills. pennies to Granddaughter's bank.

Its a release, a hobby, a mind clearer, a make someone else happy with a return, a hobby that can pay for itself. and a great place to make friends. I hate the sour grapes and got myself caught up on another site. i did get my feeling hurt by another company -therefore here i am. Its a free economy and there are people, like First Texas who want to sell units to people like me. affordable enough , fixable so back to reviews and back to shopping!

I do need input on Middle Georgia soil. i live at fall line--southeast is sandy,northwest is red clay, and i live in mix. the soil can eat up a memorial penny in a couple years, they come up looking like termites ate them LOL! so high minerals to calm sand Macon, Georgia area any feedback and opinion welcome!


New member
Dave,i bought a bh 505 6 months ago and it is my first machine,ilove it,it has found me lots of coins ,the oldest being 1674,old world war badges,rings,old gold watch,old bullets etc


New member
Hell i own a Bounty Hunter Tracker II and love it. It finds the good stuff and loves rings. It kicks my Minelabs azz and gives my dfx a run for its money. Bounty is now a good company with some pretty reasonable priced products. Thumbs up.:thumbup:


New member
I have found lots and lots of goodies with my Time Ranger and Platinum. The Platinum seems to be much more stable than the Time Ranger, which my wife now uses. I wish Bounty Hunter did a better job of informing buyers of the Platinum as to which coils will work with it. There seems to be a lot of confusion among newbies as to what additional coils are available and where to get them.

I mostly use my "high end" detector (I guess I like to tinker with the settings) but I am not sure that I actually find more than I have with the Platinum or TR.

I would never "sneer" at anyone using a BH. As a matter of fact, I bought a Bounty Hunter Jr for my 8 yr old grandson. It's one great little detector!:twodetecting:

All the bells and whistles on the high end detectors won't help you a bit if you haven't learned the basics of detecting, research, and site reading.


New member
Just bought me a Bounty Hunter Platinum; upgraded from a BH Discovery 1100.
The Discovery was a nice starter MD, but the Platinum is a great MD, enough bells and whistles to keep me exploring. Tested the Platinum, and it goes deep almost 10" with the stock 8", more than twice the 1100. I also tested the Bounty Hunter 4" Gold Nugget Coil with the Platinum, and it works perfectly, not as deep as the stock coil, around 3-4" with the highest sensitivity. I don


New member
Hi Dave J!

What an interesting story. I started out with a Bounty Hunter Sharp Shooter 2. I found plenty of coins with that detector. It is simple to use & best all...light weight to swing! I've since 'upgraded' to a Minelab X-Terra 705 with a 10.5" coil. I'm still finding coins..... but I'm not convinced that I am any more than the SS2 did.The 705 does not consume batteries like the BH SS2, so it's better in that aspect. My reason for upgrading the BH SS2 was that I needed a bigger coil for the parks & sports fields I was hunting. Not more depth required just greater coverage. I've still still got that same SS2 detector.

Can you advise me as to whether my SS2 can utilize a Fisher F2/F4 DD coil? I keep hearing unconfirmed reports that it is compatible? I would love to keep using the SS2.

Regards from Down Under!


New member
Dave,what do you mean by most of the present Bounty Hunter line [even the F2 F4]traces it's design origin to the legendary George Payne? Are you saying that the present Bounty Hunters electronics are pretty much the same as the F2 and F4? Or am i understanding this wrong? I currently use the Landstar and in my opinion it's one great machine.Now i have had some higher end machines in the past most recently a Tesoro Vaquero and it did do a great job but the Landstar is just a super machine once you get the hang of it.I for one will not judge anyone on their choice of machine they use,to me it's all about having fun not about what you use.Rich
Dave is referring to George Payne's innovative patents and circuit designs that handled things like target ID in a radically different way. So yes, the method used is still similar, but the circuitry is kept up to date with current technology.

It's similar to your tabletop radio. The way it receives stations was developed back in the 1920's and 1930's, but today's radio is as modern as can be. Computers once filled an entire building, while today you can hold a much more powerful computer in your hand. Yet deep inside, they both deal with calculations using just ones and zeros.

In the metal detecting world, being able to tap into some of the best designs going is a great asset which Dave J and and the other engineers take full advantage of.



New member
:cool: Thanks for the post and thanks for being honest about the history of the company. I have been metal detecting since 1989 and have used many different BH models during that time period up until now. I have always been pleased with the BH units. My hunting partner who owns a Garrett 2500 ( paid 1,000 for it) got a little aggravated with me when I was picking up silver coins behind him using the high tones. If First Texas could possibly offer better customer service and a lifetime warranty like Tesoro then you would probably be pleasantly surprised at the outcome. My opinion of First Texas products has always been bitter/sweet. I love using the machines. I like the tones and ID displays, the lightweight designs, color schemes, accessories, etc. My only constructive criticism would be I don't like to see detectors mass produced in huge quantities but that's not a big deal. When I shop for a detector,..I always look for the best customer service and warranty. Tesoro holds the market right now in that area. New design and production is also important. I am by no means an "expert" but just another hobbyist who loves this hobby and knows what he likes and dislikes. Some companies look for customer input & buyer opinions and others are offended by it. So none of this is intended to bad mouth First Texas. It is a good company. :please:


New member
Im wondering if the bh platinum will hunt as deep as omega with 11" coil on both. I know omega offers more features but wondering about sheer depth. I dont park hunt, i hunt old home sights and relic woods,any input here would be great. The bh platinum seems like a lot of bang for the buck. Mr. Johnson do u have any thoughts. Or anyone else that might have experience with both.......jeremi in bama

prospector 55

New member
Bounty hunters work great I have found targets at over two feet with my Pioneer 505 in highly mineralized soil I would like to see anyone explain that one, when I use the 505 in all metal mode in highly mineralized soil this unit detects very deep, I was detecting on the Columbia river just looking for a few targets I hit a really good signal in all metal mode and dug down about 18 inches and found a two inch long piece of scrap iron about 16 guage that was very impressive to me that a bounty hunter was that sensitive, but after buying and using my GTI 2500 a Fisher Coin$trike and a Whites TDI and a Fisher Gold$trike and an Minelab X-Terra 70, also a Minetrash Eureka Gold, the Bounty Hunter Pioneer 505 finds about 99.9999 precent of what my other detectors find except for the P.I. that puppy is a very deep unit , the BH is not as sophisticated as the other units but for the price it finds everything my high end units do and mine is about 8 years old with absolutely no problems, BHs are not cheap just inexpensive!! I have been looking at a Time Ranger lately by BH looks to be a very versatile detector at a very reasonable price.Anyone who thinks BHs are just junk or kids toys are sadly mistaken, I really like the way my BH works and it is very light.:clapping::twodetecting: