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I was able to get out into the desert a while back to hit one of my old patches with the Minelab GPZ 7000. This was a spot I had done really well over the years with the GPX machines and taken a lot of nuggets from. Most of the pieces were less than 3 grams, but a few were in the ¼ and ½ oz. range. I knew it would be a great spot for the 7000 because all the easy, obvious targets were gone, and I thought most all the trash would be too…at least that’s what I thought. 

Within five minutes I picked up my first nugget. I use the term nugget loosely because it probably only weighed 0.1g. I kept spiraling around the hillside and was blown away by how many small bits of trash were still left. Some of the wire fragments that sounded off on the GPZ blew me away; I could barely see them in my hand! I even found a target in one of my old dig holes.

Most of what I pulled from the old patch was trash, but I did walk away with 18 nuggets for a grand total of about 6-grams. Not too shabby. The GPZ is a heavy machine, and to be honest I still prefer the “feel” of my GPX, especially when putting in long days. However, if you don’t mind digging lots of holes chasing small targets, the 7000 will pull even the tiniest nuggets at amazing depths. I was totally impressed...Now only if they can get the electronics of a 7000 inside an Equinox housing! :) Happy hunting everyone – stay safe!




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Man those scratches in the top of the coil look nasty, those cactus you work in sure do a number on anything that comes close.🙄 I remember the tops of my work boots looking like that after I detected with you and Bob Dansie all those I years ago and that was only a couple of sessions!!😯

Good going on the gold Chris the GPZ sure is a beast on those old patches. I find placing the bungee wrap at the balance point then wrapping the Minelab bungee around the handle just below the pod (starting from the left side if your right handed) pulling tight and then holding in place with a zip tie were the bungee crosses itself in combination with a Hipstick on a good solid webbing belt takes a lot of the weight off the GPZ. I also use the guide arm to help control the coil, it’s a plus in hilly terrain to help push and pull the coil on the steeper slopes.



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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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