Lock Pick Gun
A pick gun can be a great aid in lock picking. To use a pick gun, insert its blade into the keyway below the last bottom pin.
Tips for Buying Picks
- Buy a good selection of picks of various configurations.
- Buy the thinnest picks you can find.
- Get picks with comfortable handles.
Hold the pick gun straight, and then insert a torque wrench into the keyway. When you squeeze the trigger of the pick gun, the blade slaps the bottom pins, which knock the top pins into the upper pin chambers. Immediately after each squeeze, vary the pressure on the torque wrench. You will likely capture one or more upper pins in their upper pin chambers and set them on the plug’s ledge. Then you can pick each of the remaining pin sets, one by one.
Before attempting to pick a lock, make sure the lock is in good condition. Turn a half diamond pick on its back, and then try to raise all the pin stacks together. Then, slowly pull the pick out to see if all the pins drop, or if one or more of the pins are frozen. If the pins don’t all drop, you may need to lubricate the cylinder or remove foreign matter from it.
Hold the pick as you would hold a pencil—with the pick’s tip pointing toward the pins. With the other hand, place the small bent end of a torque wrench into the top or bottom of the keyway, whichever position gives you the most room to maneuver the pick properly. Make sure the torque wrench doesn’t touch any of the pins. Use your thumb or index finger of the hand that’s holding the torque wrench to apply light pressure on the end of the torque wrench in the direction you want the plug to turn.
While using a pick, carefully lift the last set of pins to the shear line, while applying slight pressure with the torque wrench. The shear line is the space between the upper and lower pin chambers. Take a mental note of how much resist-ance you encountered while lifting the pin stack. Release the torque wrench pressure, letting the pin stack drop back into place. Then, move on to the next pin stack and do the same thing, keeping in mind which pin stack offered the most resist-ance. Repeat that with each pin stack.
Next, go to the pin stack that offered the most resistance. Lift the top of its bottom pin to the shear line, while varying
pressure on the torque wrench. Apply enough pressure on the torque wrench to hold that picked top pin in place. Then gen-tly move on to the next most-resistant stack. Continue lifting each pin stack (from most resistant to least resistant) to the shear line. As you lift each pin stack into place, you are creat-ing a larger ledge for other top pins to rest on. When all the top pins are resting on the plug, the plug will be free to turn to the unlocked position.
No amount of reading will make you good at picking locks. You need to practice often, so you develop the sense of feel. You need to learn how to feel the difference between a pin tumbler that has been picked (that is, placed on the ledge of the plug) and one that is bound between its upper and lower chambers.
To practice lock picking, start with a cylinder that has only two pin stacks in it. When you feel comfortable picking that, add another pin stack. Continue adding pin stacks until you can at least pick a five-pin tumbler.
When you’re practicing, don’t rush. Take your time, and focus on what you’re doing. Always visualize the inside of the lock and try to picture what’s happening while you’re picking the lock. For the best results, practice under realistic circumstances. Instead of sitting in a comfortable living room chair trying to pick a cylinder, practice on locks on a door or on a display mount.
With a lot of focused practice, you’ll find yourself picking all kinds of locks faster than ever.
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