In this review I’m going to tell you about Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro metal detector. Moreover, this time the review is also a feedback from me as a real user.
I’ve had a chance to go metal detecting with it and I spent over 100 hours or even more using the device. I’ve found both Roman Imperial coins and rusty Nazi helmets (yes, I live in Europe and quite various treasures can be found here).
So, today I’m sharing my experience with you upon a request from my friend from tenrows.com.
If you have read the article about the best metal detectors, then you know that Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro was acknowledged to be the best one for the beginners. I agree with this point of view because I used it myself and advised my friends on buying it.
Therefore, if you aren’t sure that this hobby is for you, you don’t have enough money to get a professional metal detector or just want to have some fun, then Ranger Pro is a good choice indeed. I’ll give my reasons for such POV a bit later, but now I’d like to say a few words about the product line itself.
These detectors are produced by an American company First Texas Products. Thus, it means that American quality standards and guarantees are the priority and you can find company’s service centers all over the country. But if you look closer you’ll see a likeness between these MDs and Fisher metal detectors.
However, it’s no wonder since First Texas Products owns all three trademarks: Teknetics, Bounty Hunter and Fisher Labs that have different target population within various price brackets.
When choosing a metal detector for myself, I studied all their characteristics but still decided to by the top MD model. I do recommend you getting this model, since those two MDs have sufficiently poorer functionality while the price difference isn’t that high.
I can’t say that BHLRP is something new on the market, but on the scale of metal detectors market this device is quite new. It was manufactured in 2014, which is almost yesterday for this conservative market.
The device has rather poor package contents, which is rather common for the beginner level MDs. Here is how it looks in the field.
I decided not to add its picture inside the box – there is nothing special about it – just a box and a manual.
The device appearance
As you may see, the metal detector is classically designed. It has a shaft with a control unit, a shaft and a coil. The device is very light-weighted (2.5 pounds) which is a big advantage.
I’d spent hours with it and my hand was never tired. You just should adjust the shaft length. Since if it is too long, you’ll have to bend your arm and it’ll get tired eventually. I made this mistake in the beginning, but even though I walked for quite a long time with the MD without any rest. It was just less comfortable.
The MD operation frequency is 7.69 kHz. It is a multipurpose one, since it is the best for locating both large and small sized targets. As a rule, all metal detectors for beginners work using approximately this frequency.
11 inches large coil
The coil itself is worth attention: it is solid, oval shaped, 11 inches large and the main thing is that it is a DD coil. Not every metal detector in this price bracket has a DD coil. See more details about DD coils here. In a word, such coils locate targets better, because their radiation spreads as a band, not as a cone like in all other MDs.
The coil is fixed to the shaft by means of a screw. I’ve never had any trouble with this kind of fixation, though quite often coils of other metal detectors have broken edges. The only demerit is that there’s no spare screw in the device set and you can easily lose or forget this one somewhere.
In the picture you can see how the shaft is fixed, so I don’t think any comments are required here. The fixation is rather tight, although if the coil isn’t fixed properly its tilt angle may vary.
However, I think that connection of the cable and control unit requires some comments, since this is one of the device’s drawbacks. As you can see in the picture the connection isn’t strengthened at all. It has no screw like other devices.
The jack plug is just plugged in, but it’s not enough when the device is actively used. As a result, when the MD touches trees, bushes or stones its user gets false signals. Especially, if the device has high sensitivity level set at 8 or more. I’ve got used to this quite fast, but still it annoys in case when the area of treasure hunting is very bushy.
The MD gets its power from 9V battery. It doesn’t come in the device set, that’s why I bought both batteries and a battery charging set. Let me mention that when using rechargeable batteries, the device working time is less than when using ordinary batteries (but this is true for any metal detector). Though it is quite possible to work the whole light day on a single battery charge and some power will still be left for the next day.
Therefore, no further comments are required here, unless I tell you the secret – how to the extract the battery with one sweep. Although it is written in the manual…but who reads it?
A jack plug for headphones connection. It is well-designed, no dirt can get there. I’ve never used the headphones, since it is rather hot where I live and I don’t like when I can’t hear what is happening outside.
However, I’d advise you buying them, because sometimes you dig in crowded places and you don’t want to draw any unwanted attention. The most important thing about the headphones is that you can hear a target, that the device speakers may not signal to you.
Therefore I recommend buying headphones that go in Bounty Hunter HEAD-PL set.
An elbow board. Well, there’s nothing special here. It is rather convenient both if you’re wearing something or put a bear arm on it. The elbow board is quite solid and it doesn’t crack.
Control and settings
The control unit is placed on the upper shaft. Its large display is its main feature. You’ll see any data on it regardless of weather conditions. Though the display has no illumination, I’ve never had a case when I needed it.
In the picture the device discrimination scale in on top, 0-99 target identification, the depth is indicated in inches, program number, battery charge, settings: sens, volume, ground balance, disc level, v-break, notch.
As you can see from the picture, discrimination scale is focused on American coins. For example, if you need you can notch out iron, and the device will ignore it. As for me, I’ve never used this option, since I prefer getting the whole available information.
The device discrimination function is quite ok, but only at average depth. Those targets that are deep in the ground, especially rusty ones, the MD defines as non-iron metal. In this case your experience is all that matters – you still have to dig out couple of dozens of rust nails, buckets, horse shoes and other rubbish to become experienced enough.
As for the depth – the scale on the right indicates it in inches, however the precision isn’t very high, so I just don’t focus on it at all.
There are 7 search programs:
- program # 2 – two-tone audios
- program # 3 – three-tone audios
- program # 4 – four-tone audios
- all metal
The feature of the first three programs is that you can’t set the ground balance there, it is a pre-set value and the device shows no response to iron and some other metals like foil and aluminum.
In the Coin mode you notch out iron, aluminum, foil and zinc. In the Jewelry mode all these are present, but iron is notched out. In the relic mode iron is notched out partially, you’ll just hear signals with higher VDI value.
I used these programs to search in iron infested sites. In this case the iron signal suppresses all other ones. Your metal detector screams and shouts and you are getting crazy because of all this noise. This is when I switch to a jewelry mode as the best possible one.
Search modes 2,3,4 differ only in the number of tones. They have two, three and four tones correspondingly.
All metal mode has no discrimination and it’s monophonic. This is the most sensitive mode with the maximum depth of detection. Though, in the real life it’s worth using only in not iron thick areas.
The 4th search mode (the one with 4 tones), it has sensitivity level about 7-8 and volume about 6-7. If you watch some videos about this MD on youtube, you’ll see that other treasure hunters mostly use exactly this mode. You wonder why?
Well, because it clearly indicates various metals and provides good sensitivity and discrimination at the same time, so you’ll never miss your treasure. As I’ve already mentioned above, I used “all metal” mode only in sites with low level of various rubbish. As for the jewelry mode – it is good for treasure hunting in iron infested sites.
Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro MD has a pinpoint mode. When using it you’ll define precisely where the coin is and avoid digging a large pit in the ground. Not every metal detector has such a mode, although I’d still recommend you buying Garret Pro-pointer (find the detailed review here).
Unfortunately, the pinpoint push button (an oval PP button in the picture) isn’t of very good quality. Some time after pushing the button the mode switches off by itself. So, once I pushed the pinpoint button and started looking for the target. Suddenly the signal was lost, though I still hadn’t found the target exact location.
I looked at the device display and saw that the pinpoint mode went off. After talking to my colleagues, I found out that they had the same problem. It turned out that the button performs properly only if it is pushed hard on its center.
It has to be really hard push and exactly in the button center, otherwise the pinpoint mode goes off by itself. Luckily, after a while I stopped using the pinpoint mode at all, since I’d learnt to locate target only by its signal.
Another feature of this MD is an automatic and manual ground balance adjustment. You can perform it just by pushing the corresponding button. Therefore, adjusting the device to any ground type isn’t hard at all.
Let me remind you, that automatic ground balance adjustment isn’t available in coin, jewelry and relic search modes. To configure the MD ground balance manually you should switch to Ground menu and set the required ground balance values by shifting the scale.
Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro is the best metal detector for beginners. It is light weighted with a quality coil, ground balance function, search modes both for beginners and experienced users, excellent discrimination and pinpointer function. As for the device disadvantages, there are some.
It gives false signals when touching stones, bushes etc. and it has poorly made pinpoint push button. However, all these drawbacks don’t seem to be rather significant when contrasted with the advantages you get buying this metal detector. The main one is its price.
I bought my Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro on Amazon.com (here is the link). However, I had to sacrifice the warranty, since I’m in Europe and American warranty is of no use here. Nevertheless, I spent 2 years using this device and I had no problems with it. Currently I’m thinking of replacing this MD with a new, professional one.