The Finer Points of Crevicing and Underwater Gold Sniping (Conclusion)

As I wind this series down I want to give a shout out and a big "Thank You!" to all you military veterans out there whether you served during peacetime or like myself, in some current or nearly forgotten war. One thing that most folks who never served don't understand is that being in the military is a sacrifice at any time and any place whether you're in a combat role or not. Just wanted to get that out there. Now let's move on to the business at hand.

I thought the following e-mail sent me by T.V.V. in Illinois deserved a second look by all of you since this series is about crevicing and sniping:

Some Looked All Wrong...


My coin hunting buddy and fellow prospector clued me in on this one. Those hand-held, waterproof pinpointer detectors are NOT just for finding coins in yards or for scuba divers. I always hated my Whites TRX waterproof pinpointer as it had too many control settings for just one mode which got me all confused. But my buddy showed me what to do with the TRX pinpointer and there are some good YouTube videos on them as well.
If you're a gold sniper working a creek and looking for crevices, shove a waterproof pinpointer into likely bedrock cracks and listen for beeps or vibrations, or the flashing of the pinpointer LED indicator light. Don't listen for gold so much as for any beep that might tell you that there's iron junk in that crack, divot, or mini-pothole.
For example, we found some bedrock divots that appeared at first glance to be nothing special, but when we scanned them with the pinpointer, some of them caused the pinpointer to beep. We dug into  a couple of these apparently shallow crevices, divots, and mini-potholes that were actually six inches deep and full of nails. I got no gold but I did recover a small copper nugget.

 (White's TRX waterproof "Bullseye" pinpointer.)

Some of these small crevices or "dents" in the bedrock looked all wrong but the pinpointer beeped on them anyway. Without the waterproof pinpointer probe, we would have ignored 95% of these spots.

We got some old silver coins below a modern highway bridge, including one dating back to 1873. We found the coins in limestone bedrock potholes. In addition to my pinpointer I used my waterproof Detector Pro Headhunter.
To look for potential bedrock crevice and pothole indications my buddy would pinpoint and recover using his Whites TRX pinpointer. It was serious teamwork. The silver coins were all covered in heavy crust or oxidation so they were not really worth much, but they were still fun to find. By the way, that bridge area was likely used during stage coach days as a ford and the river is a known gold carrier."

Potential Treasure Chests

I know we've talked about the use of metal detecting pinpointers in the past here at Bedrock Dreams, but not at any great length. As for myself I've never used my own pinpointer to work bedrock cracks or crevices in placer gold locations, but T.V.V's account here brings a different dimension to the topic. There's no doubt that a  good waterproof pinpointer can be an asset to your gold crevicing and sniping activities, as well as it's value in coin and beach hunting. By the way, T.V.V's account also brings up an interesting point. Even if you don't live in what is normally considered "gold country," local creeks, streams, and rivers can be potential treasure chests if you are good at working bedrock crevices. Coins, jewelry (both silver and gold), and artifacts abound in many areas...especially at spots considered old swimming holes or as T.V.V. pointed out...where old stream crossings once existed. My thanks to T.V.V. for his e-mail and for telling us what other types of "goodies" can be found by gold crevicers and snipers.

 (Even non-gold bearing streams can be "treasure chests for snipers and crevicers.)

Again, Your Best Bet

I've said it before and I'll say  it again here. Overall, underwater sniping is your best bet for finding and recovering gold in wet placer areas as a sniper or crevicer. Now don't freak out here if you're getting to be an old timer like me with aches and pains plaguing you or you're not a very good swimmer. Most underwater sniping is done in fairly shallow water flowing over bedrock that's either exposed or covered with shallow overburden. Deeper diving is done by some underwater snipers who use a hookah breathing rig and that's fine but not a requirement for underwater sniping. Basically all you need is a good wet suit/hood, a mask and snorkel, some basic crevicing tools, and decent knowledge of gold deposition factors as they pertain to bedrock cracks and crevices...including those we've discussed in this series of posts. Some underwater snipers I've known in the past didn't even go this far. They used "snipe tubes" to peer down into the water and look for good crevices or actual, visible gold. I knew one old timer back in the 1980s who made a killing this way. He was, in my opinion, the absolute master of the snipe tube approach and had the gold to back this estimation up. But here's the deal. I've used snipe tubes in the past and their main drawback is that you spend a great deal of your sniping time bent over from the waist peering through these things. I am six foot three inches tall and this approach just kills my back which is already plagued with arthritis in the lumbar region of  my spine. So it's a "no-go" for me anyway.

Read This Book

The whole underwater gold sniping approach needs to be addressed separately and completely. I can do that for you in another series of posts but I think you'd be better off reading Underwater Sniping for Gold by Sam Radding and Jim Garlock. I prospected, mined, and beach hunted with Sam in my early mining and treasure hunting days and he clued me in to many "insider" tips. He also built my first motorized "puffer" dry washer and was/is a master guitar and Appalachian dulcimer builder. Sam moved from SoCal up to the Northern Motherlode Region of California about 15-18 years ago and with Jim Garlock the pair eventually transformed themselves into a couple of the best underwater gold snipers around. Sam and Jim's book is an absolute must for anyone starting out in underwater gold sniping and I can't recommend it enough. Underwater Sniping for Gold contains detailed sections on sniping techniques and tools, gold information, maps of gold sniping areas, building a suction tube, and gold mining and prospecting clubs you can join. If you read this book and follow the advice therein you'll be well-prepared to start your own career as a gold sniper no matter what state you live in. I can tell you from personal contact and experience that Sam is a straight shooter who knows his shit when it comes to getting the gold and any book written by him is well-worth the folding green. You can purchase Sam and Jim's book at by clicking this link.

(Sam Radding.)

Since we're on the topic here, watch this YouTube video by "Two Toes" who puts out some of the best gold crevicing and sniping (above and below the waterline) information and tips out there:

That's about it. Enjoy your Veterans Day weekend.

(c) Jim Rocha 2018

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. Hello Jim, First off, I hope you have a great Veterans Day, and thank you !

    Next, I don't have one of those pin pointers, but have thought about getting one. Do you know of a waterproof one that is not expensive? I never thought about using one in this way, partly because I didn't know they made a waterproof one.
    I don't do much metal detecting, but one of those things is small and compact enough to be useful for a lot of different things.
    Anyway, good post, and have a great weekend! You earned it.

    1. I'm partial to Garrett products Gary and have been for nearly 40 years. So I use one of their waterproof pinpointers for my coin and beach hunting endeavors. I don't recommend a "cheapie" even though I realize money is tight. The Garrett I use runs about 115-130 dollars with $125-$128 being the norm.


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