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If you’re in the market for an upgrade to your old, analog metal detector, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind: budget, quality, and warranty.
Luckily for you, there’s a metal detector that comes to mind, the Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300.
The Discovery 3300 is the most advanced model of the series, and as a professional metal detector, it has the build to keep expert and intermediate users busy.
Priced well below its comparable alternatives, the 3300 already has a lead in the game.
At a Glance…
✔️ Best Feature: Preset & Manual Ground Balance
❌ Worst Feature: Build quality
👌 Ideal For: Shallow Water, Gold, Coins, Jewelry, Relics, Beginners, Intermediates
- Preset & Manual Ground Balance
- Motion & No-Motion Modes
- 4 Operating Modes
- Target ID
Our Verdict: It’s our verdict that the Discovery 3300 metal detector is well worth its price tag. It’s a mid-level unit that best suits intermediate users. Beginners will certainly get a taste of upgraded features if they’re ready to learn the ins-and-outs of what it takes to detect with success
Who is the Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300 Best Suited to?
The Discovery 3300 is a professional metal detector set at a price point that attracts all types of metal detector hobbyists. However, its interface and upgrade in features for its price is especially appealing to beginners and intermediates.
What about experts?
It certainly has enough to keep an expert entertained, but if it’s high frequency gold detecting that an expert wants, this may not be the metal detector for the job. The features that might attract an expert is the lightweight frame and easy-to-use interface. Overall, the 3300 is especially beneficial for long hunting sessions for relics, coins, jewelry, and any other goods you can dig up.
How Does the Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300 Perform?
The Bounty Hunter metal detector is a VLF single frequency unit that operates at 6.6 kHz. Its low frequency allows it to penetrate the ground at a greater depth. Minimum coin detection is 8”, but since you can adjust for sensitivity, ground balance, and discrimination, you can essentially fine-tune the Discovery to search deeper and find treasures that haven’t been dug up in years.
Features & Benefits
Preset & Manual Ground Balance
As a professional unit, it makes sense that it has manual ground balance. As an entry-level model, it’s astounding to have this feature. Whichever way you look at it, having manual ground balance is an excellent convenience.
Many metal detectors in this price range may have a factory-set, preset ground balance, but when you need to quiet the chatter when hitting sandy, rocky, salty, or wet environments, having the ability to manually calibrate the detector to filter out false signals is a must-have. It’s especially convenient if you go hunting in areas where soil conditions are constantly changing.
Motion & No-Motion Modes
Constantly having to find targets while moving the searchcoil can be a pain when you’re trying to hone in on a positive signal. Having a no-motion mode will enable the user to target a specific location and narrow down the dig. Using the searchcoil in any of the detection modes requires movement except for PinPoint. PinPoint mode allows you to hold the searchcoil still while the 3300 focuses on that area.
There will be some movement required as you draw an “X” or if you can outline an area larger than the searchcoil. Being able to determine what size target you have will depend on your ability to successfully pinpoint it. Larger or multiple objects grouped together should be able to easily disrupt the detection field of no-motion mode. Smaller and single objects will be detected when the inner coil passes over them.
4 Operating Modes
Depending on who you ask, the Discovery 3300 may have 5 or 4 operating modes. I say 4, because one mode can only be used in Discrimination mode. The main 4 detection modes are: All Metal, Discrimination, Notch, and PinPoint.
All-Metal detects all types of metal. Discrimination allows for increasing and decreasing the level of discrimination to silence out ferrous objects. Notch mode is essentially a custom mode where you can specifically eliminate certain metals from detection. PinPoint allows you to stop motion to detect where a target’s exact location is.
Before using PinPoint mode, you should always check to make sure the 3300 is properly ground balanced.
Zap mode is a feature that can only be used in Discrimination mode. While in Discrimination, you can pass over an object you consider as undesirable and “zap” it so that the 3300 knows to silence those signals on those objects with that Target ID. In order for these known and undesirable objects to be zapped, they must register within the Iron to Zinc segments on the Target ID scale.
Any data that helps to quickly further identify the type of metal you’re detecting, other than sound, is a great feature in my books. The Discovery 3300 metal detector has a Target ID feature in the form of a 3-digit number. When sweeping over an object, the metal detector will provide a 3-digit number to help you quickly estimate what type of metal it is.
For example, if the Target ID pulls up between 0-10, it’s likely iron. If it pulls up between 83-88, it could be a Wheat Penny. If it pulls up between 134-150, it could be a Silver Dollar.
4 Audio Tones
Audio tones play a large part in a detectorist’s ability to determine what type of metal they’ve found and its possible depth. While many metal detectors may only offer two or three tones, the 3300 has four. It has a Bass tone that detects ferrous objects like iron and steel and sometimes the smallest nuggets of gold.
The Low tone detects small objects like pull-tabs, nickels, and smaller gold nuggets. The Medium tone detects zinc pennies, larger gold, and screw caps. The High tone detects non-ferrous, high-conductivity objects like silver, brass, and copper.
The build quality is only somewhat of an issue for users. Some said it feels flimsy, but many don’t report any problems at all. From extending the shaft to full-length or issues with the battery compartment, it seems the build quality could be more fragile than you think.
However, the Bounty Hunter metal detector is covered by a 5-year manufacturer warranty. They will repair or replace your unit to rectify any issues you may have.
Is the Bounty Hunter Metal Detector Waterproof?
You can go shallow water detecting with the Discovery 3300 as the searchcoil and shaft are waterproof. The control box and coil connection to it are not waterproof, so avoid splashes and accidents where it could get wet.
Is the Discovery 3300 a Good Detector for the Beach?
You can try ground balancing to saltwater manually (yes, you have that feature!), and you must decrease sensitivity settings to quiet all the chatter that you may get. It will compromise your depth and detection success, but you may still be able to pick up a few items.
Regardless of manufacturing tactics, VLFs on a single frequency will experience erratic or false signals in saltwater and wet sand conditions. However, you can avoid breaking waves on your searchcoil, make metal detector adjustments as necessary, and be sure to rinse the searchcoil off with water after use to improve success and detector longevity.
How do you Install the Batteries on the Bounty Hunter Discovery?
There is a compartment door you must remove on the backside of the control box. The Discovery 3300 takes 2x 9V batteries, and you absolutely must use alkaline batteries only. The 9Vs are inserted into the compartment with contact points forward. You may have to exert a little muscle into it to clear the retaining tabs. Reattach the compartment door.
Can you Use Headphones with the Discovery 3300 Detector?
The Discovery 3300 has an external speaker, so you don’t have to use metal detector headphones if you don’t want to. However, the detector is very loud and there is no volume adjustment. Headphones are always recommended for metal detecting for privacy and audio interpretation benefits, but you’ll have to buy them separately and make sure they’re compatible with the ¼” connection point.
The Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300 metal detector has some excellent features that are valuable to the intermediate detectorist.
Having manual ground balance, four audio tones, and its various detection modes offer versatile use in a range of environments for multiple types of targets. Its 2.5 lb weight is an extremely desirable feature as you can hunt longer than ever without the strain and fatigue that comes with hunting.
However, where experts might want a little more out of their metal detector, beginners may find the Discovery 3300 offers just the right amount of an upgrade to kick their hunting to the next level.
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Last update on 2024-02-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API