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Chris Gholson

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Posts posted by Chris Gholson


  1. I was able to get out this past weekend with my buddy Dean for a morning of coin/relic hunting. It’s still so hot here in Arizona that you have to get out there super early, otherwise by noon you are cooking! We got in a couple solid hours of detecting and came up with a few cool finds. 

    The metal cap gun was buried about 8” deep and almost gave me a heart attack! As I was down in the hole sweeping away dirt with my fingers the outline of a trigger guard appeared. Then, I swept a bit more aside and saw a handle. My adrenaline was pumping, I had found a pistol!!! :lol: (or at least I thought). Once out of the hole I quickly realized what it was. Not the outlaw gun I had initially thought, but still a pretty cool find. This one was made by Hubley Manufacturing Company of Lancaster, PA which was incorporated in 1894. This gun was not that old, but I am thinking perhaps the late 1940’s. 

    The other interesting discoveries were the two metal pieces on the left side of the photo. These are Tent Slips, or a Tensioner. They are typically made of brass and were an integral part of setting up camps in the wilderness. From what I see online and it looks like they were patented in the 1880’s and used by the military, railroad builders, miners, etc. I also found a tiny silver buckle, a 1941 Wheatie, two harmonica reeds, and the back to a pocket watch. All found with the CTX 3030 and 11” coil. 

    I hope all of you are well and surviving the summertime heat - stay safe out there!  
     

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  2. This is one of those stories I would have never believed, had it not happened to me. I have been metal detecting for over 20 years and I can honestly say this is one of my biggest surprise finds ever!

    It started early one Saturday morning in July. I decided to brave the Arizona heat and go check out a place I had spotted on Google Earth. What I saw on the screen sure looked like the remains of several old buildings. Was this an early homestead, an abandoned ranch, or maybe something from the days of the railroad? I had no clue who had lived there, but I sure hoped they had left behind some silver coins or cool relics for me to find. 

    The road getting in was dirt, but I didn't need 4WD and I easily found the spot. Sure enough, there were two crumbling foundations from what were likely small houses. Based on the look of the concrete and the trash lying about, I dated the site to roughly the 1930's. All of the usual rusty garbage was there, and unfortunately so was a layer of modern day junk. It was obvious from the stone fire rings and countless shell casings, that this was a popular hunt camp. 

    I decided to start in what I dubbed the "parking lot". It was a nice flat area in front of the foundations that looked the most likely to hide coins. I fired up my Minelab CTX 3030 and went to work. Even with a low level of discrimination, the machine was blanking out virtually everywhere. I knew I would miss targets, but I figured I would try to cherry pick the most obvious signals first. 

    About ten minutes into it, I get a mixed-up sound beside a bush. As I swept the coil, the threshold blanked out, then gave a clipped high tone. The target ID came up as 12-40. I envisioned a silver coin near the surface surrounded by garbage. Using the side of pick I scrapped away about two inches of the loamy soil. The target moved immediately, which I didn't consider a good sign. I sifted through the dirt until I found the source of the signal; a smooth, heavy slug of metal. It was gray to brassy in color, and was covered in dark spots, almost as if it had been burned. I rubbed off some of the grime and noticed its' surface was pitted and deeply scratched. I assumed it was a molten blob of lead or brass and slid it into my pocket. I continued my day, never giving a second thought to the weird lump of metal. 

    My new spot didn't turn out to be the relic bonanza I had hoped for. I found a handful of old buttons and a few clasps, but not a single coin. When I got home later that evening I was disappointed to tell my wife and daughter that I hadn't found anything good. As I emptied out my pockets onto the table, my daughter asked, "What's this?" holding up the mystery metal blob. 
    "No clue." I replied.
    She wandered over to the sink and held it under the water. "It almost looks like gold."
    "Yeah right," I scoffed.
    "No I'm serious!" she replied.
    I took it from her outstretched hand and held it up to the light...she was right. I got into the cabinet and took down my digital scale. I dropped it on and the scale responded 14.8-grams. I hefted it a few times in my hand. God, this thing was dense! It was a convincing color and weight, but that was impossible! The nearest gold country was over 50 miles away! Unable to accept the evidence that was piling up, I went back to the cabinet, this time for my 30X light scope. 

    "Do you think it could be?" she asked.
    "Ha ha, I wish! How cool would that be!?" I grinned as I lowered my eye to the scope. I adjusted the focus and literally couldn't believe what I saw below. It was gold - solid gold! I looked closer, down into the bright yellow crevices and could see sugary crystals of quartz and patches of limonite. This was, without a shadow of a doubt, a genuine, authentic gold nugget! 

    I have had many incredible finds over the past twenty years. Some have been nuggets much larger than this, but this is the first time I have ever struck native gold while hunting for coins! It makes no sense at all, but there you have it. A half-ouncer, found with the CTX 3030 in the middle of a parking lot surrounded by broken beer bottles and spent cartridges. Definitely one of the most bizarre, and amazing surprises of my life. 

    P.S. The pics show before and after cleaning in a mild acid. 
     

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  3. For all our Equinox users, Minelab has just released a new upgrade for the 800 & 600’s. See details below. 

    What's new? A new Single Frequency of 4 kHz has been added to the existing 5, 10, 15, 20 and 40 kHz options. This new 4 kHz frequency enhances the detection of large deep targets, particularly those found in parts of Asia. As a result of optimizing for these conditions, this new frequency may respond differently for users compared to the other single frequencies. 

    All other single and multi-frequency settings are unchanged in their performance. 

    In addition to the 4 kHz upgrade feature, various stability enhancements have been included. 

    Get the Upgrade here: https://www.minelab.com/equinox-software-update-3-0
     

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  4. My buddy Dean and I headed out this week to go explore some new country. It’s still too hot down in the desert to look for gold, so we went scouting for some coin & relic spots. Our hiking paid off when we stumbled onto the remains of an old rock house hidden in a canyon. The house looked to be from the late 1800’s, but based on the mixture of trash, it was apparent that it may have been inhabited up unto the 1940s. 

    There was a ton of metallic junk everywhere, so it was really slow going. I picked my way through what seemed like hundreds of targets, until a nice high tone caught my attention. It ended up being a silver dime; our first coin of the day! After that the goodies started to come a little quicker. Unfortunately by 1:00 the clouds rolled in and the rain started to fall. We finished off the morning with: two silver Rosie’s, a couple of Wheat cents, a Buffalo nickel, and a beautiful 1945 Mercury dime. I was swinging the Minelab CTX 3030, and he used the Deus. It was a fun spot that should hopefully produce a few more good finds in the future. Happy hunting everyone - enjoy the weekend! :)
     

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  5. I got a batch of the EVOLUTION Coils by Nugget Finder in from Australia. With all the virus stuff going on it is really slowing up the shipping, but I have most all sizes in stock. The only exception is the new 25" Mono. Those sold out immediately, but I will have more coming soon. For our forum members, I am offering FREE SHIPPING and a FREE Backup Skid Plate with each order. f you are looking to boost the performance of your Minelab GPX, GP, or SD gold detector, the EVO Coils are a great option...Have a good weekend all! 

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  6. I hope everyone here had a wonderful Fourth of July holiday weekend! It was so hot down in the desert I decided to head for the higher elevation to do some detecting with my Minelab CTX 3030. Years ago while hiking out of a canyon I spotted a place where it looked like someone may have had a small campsite. There weren’t many clues, only a couple rusty cans and a few bits of scattered broken glass, so it definitely wasn’t a permanent camp.  Because it was such a tight area it didn’t take long to hunt out.  I came up with a collection of nails, two harmonica reeds, and the best find was this 1902 Liberty Nickel. Often called V nickels, these coins were minted from 1883-1912 and are about 75% copper…I hope all of you are out there swinging and staying safe - happy hunting! :)

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  7. I finally got my new SAGA Swing Arm hooked up to my GPX-4500 this weekend. Although I haven’t actually gotten out into the field with it yet, I am thus far impressed with the design, overall feel, and quality of the product. I think the install took me about 20 minutes. The Swing Arms offer so much better coil control and they really do help disperse the weight of the machine. It is a really nice upgrade, especially if you swing bigger coils. I also like how it stows out of the way when not in use. Great job Doc, this version was worth the wait! :)

    If anyone is interested, I do have several in stock. They will be going up on the new AZO website next month; or just call me in the meantime. 
     

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  8. Hi All,
    I wanted to share some info from Minelab about upgrades that are coming to the SDC 2300 gold detector. Below are the new changes: 

    NEW FEATURES SDC 2300

    The SDC 2300s will now include:

    • Re-designed headphones
    • Armrest protector
    • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
    • A clip-on coil joint protector has been added to the swivel joint for added protection of the coil joint while detecting.

    All new accessories are compatible with existing SDC 2300s purchased before the ship date and may be purchased individually. 
     

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  9. Hi Everyone,

    Here are some current MINELAB Specials that will be available on all purchases from now until July 31st, 2020. If you have been looking for a new detector now is the chance to score some FREE accessories with every purchase. And as always, we offer FREE SHIPPING on all detectors! 

    • Minelab GPZ 7000 Metal Detector ($7999) - FREE 19" GPZ Coil
    • Minelab Equinox 600 Metal Detector ($649) - FREE Minelab Pro-Find 20 Pinpointer
    • Minelab CTX 3030 Metal Detector ($2499) - FREE Minelab Soft Padded Carry Bag & Minelab 6" CTX Coil
    • Minelab Go-Find 22 Metal Detector ($149) - FREE Go-Find Carry Bag
    • Minelab Go-Find 66 Metal Detector ($249) - FREE Pro-Find 20 Pinpointer
    • Minelab Equinox 15x12 Coil ($239) - FREE Equinox Lower Shaft

     
    Please give me a call today to order while supplies last!
    1.928.777.0267
    info@arizonaoutback.com


  10. I am selling a few pre-owned search coils. I only have one of each. Please contact me at 928.777.0267 or info@arizonaoutback.com to order, or with any questions – thanks!

    Coiltek 9” ELITE Round Mono Coil: This coil is in excellent condition and has seen very little use. Includes Litz Wire windings and the Camo wrap design. It is an ideal size for general detecting, or for tight areas amongst the rocks and brush. It is very sensitive and gets good depth for its size. Compatible with the Minelab GPX/GP/SD Series gold detectors. Shaft not included. Price is only $199! 

    Nugget Finder Advantage 24x12” Mono Coil: this coil is an awesome patch hunter! It offers great sensitivity and covers a big chunk of ground with each sweep. It has been very popular not only with prospectors, but also for those that use a PI machine to detect the beach. Skid plate included. The coil is used, but works great. Compatible with the Minelab GPX/GP/SD Series gold detectors. Price is only $125.

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  11. A good friend spent a couple of weeks out in the Arizona desert social distancing and swinging his Minelab GPZ 7000 metal detector. The photo below is of all the gold he found, which totals over an ounce. The two biggest nuggets combined weighed in at 14-grams. Congratulations on your success, you added some beautiful pieces to the collection! :) Thank you again for letting me share with everyone. 

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  12. Hey Rob, wow what a blast from the past! Great stuff man, I love the pics. The good old days, when I had hair and the nuggets were stacked half a foot deep on the bedrock! :D If I remember right, that top photo was the day we hit that 1/4-oz pocket with your 4" dredge. Lots of good memories from all those trips we made into the back country. We need to plan something for the fall. In the meantime, here are a few I found on my computer...

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  13. Hey JP,

    I do remember those trips we made into the Bradshaws. Those were a lot of fun! There's good gold in the desert, but just about everything here in central AZ can either poke, bite or sting you. The prickly pear are no picnic, but its the cholla that are the worst to me. Those things stick like Velcro!

    Great tips on how to manage the weight of the GPZ. I appreciate you sharing that, I think this evening I will re-do my bungee setup like you recommended. Any reduction at all will just mean more time swinging and less wear & tear on the shoulder. I hope you and the family are doing well down in Oz, be sure to say hello for me. 

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