Hey Everyone. Chief here....ya'll know me by now. I want to intro our new and extremely knowledgeable 'Clandestine Expert' that has recently joined the Gunmetal team. This is the guy that taught me how to bypass locks, taught me other various Clandestine Techniques & variations on each technique, and can/will demo his skill set at a moments notice. I first met X when I was 20 years old, and I didnt even know his full name until 10 years later. When I met him, he was sitting on the couch, picking locks with ONE HAND...Torsion Tool and Pick in one hand, as well as holding the padlocks. Talented? Ya...it was obvious he knew what he was doing. His father worked in the Clandestine Field as well, and had the tools to prove it. Concurrently teaching his son everything he knew, and perfected by the school of Hard Knocks and the finest training available at the time. After his father passed, he continued to train, learn, and develop new and faster techniques. And now, today, I have the honor of working side by side with him on these projects.
This guy is the Real Deal folks, so when he speaks about ANY Covert Activity, you should shut up, and listen up. Without further ado, here is "X"... the Gunmetal Clandestine Specialist.

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    We will begin with a warning: I, nor the Gunmetal Team, nor any manufacturers or anyone connected to this article is in any way liable for anyone doing anything illegal... and as such I do not recommend you try and do any picking that could land you in jail.

    "I do recommend" however, that if you want to take up this challenging pastime, that you first consult your local laws and make sure you are in the clear, before moving forward. That being said let’s give you the basics so that you may begin your journey through the rest of life without any troublesome locks impeding your way forward. ---->

Lock picking is a useful skill set that might allow one to save time, money and even perhaps your life or the life of  another. It could also save you or a friend from the embarrassment of getting caught out doors and having to admit failure and beg for help. Although the art of lock picking is often associated with criminal activities, I find it to be a fun pastime, an interesting mental exercise to keep my mind sharp, as well as a useful addition to my mental tool box in case of future need. Those who enjoy picking locks for fun consider it a challenge and often 'up the ante' moving onto newer and more difficult locks. This is known as “sport picking”.

Lock picking is in general, pretty basic and not too hard to “pick” up…. Oh c’mon it’s a little funny… Cue the crickets!?! OK, moving on...

There are two main reasons you will be able to pick a lock easily -

#1 – poor design

#2 – poor manufacturing tolerances

This in no way implies that you cannot pick more expensive or soundly made locks. I believe that any lock can be picked… in time and with patience as well as practice and the right tools.

My point is to prepare you by making sure you pick up your first tool and use it as it was intended. Yes that’s right, I am speaking of your brain. A little common sense can take you a long way as well as a bit of research and practice.

So knowing what I have shared already, you know that a more difficult lock will have tighter tolerances. So it will help you to beat the lock if you have the right tools. Tools that are too bulky or weak/brittle will only leave you out in the cold when you need them the most. So try searching out some good tools to get you started. They don’t have to break the bank just get a good basic set and in good time you will begin to know what more you may want out of your tools and find one that will suit your needs.For Example: SouthOrd Sells a Simple 5-piece kit with a easy to follow guide for only $16.50 http://www.southord.com/Lock-Picking-Tools/Lock-Pick-Set-5-Piece-PXS-05L.html

For now I will discuss the basic kit of five (1-5 listed from Left to Right in the picture). It consist of four picks and torsion or ”tension” tool as it more commonly known.

1 - Ball, the circular tipped tool.

2 - Diamond, these can vary a bit to be either a full diamond or triangle.

3 - Hook, for its obvious half hook design.

4 - Rake, I prefer the "Snake" Pick myself.

5 – Torsion tool, the one shaped like an upper case L.

There are a great many more tools that you can use but, I will leave that for you to discover as you go. We will however be reviewing and listing more Pick Sets and Tools in this Category on the Blog as we go. Though for now we would like to show you some pictures at the end of the article of a few sets we will be going more in depth with, and show pics DURING the article of some of these Sets in actual use(see below). 

A lock is a pretty basic mechanism. There are many different types but to get started let’s talk about the one you might encounter the most. (Pin Tumbler Locks, Illustrated below)

While they might have more or less, the average pin tumbler lock has five sets of tumbler pins consisting of a spring, top pin or 'driver', and bottom pin. The springs and top pins are usually the same length. The bottom pins vary in length to match the depth of the cuts in the key. Below you will see a basic diagram of how this works and what a Pin Tumbler lock looks like on the inside. This will aid in visualizing your "attack" on any lock you endeavor to open.

When a key is inserted into the lock plug this set of pins is raised, compressing the spring. If the proper key has been inserted the bottom pins are all raised until they are flush with the diameter of the plug. This is also known as the shear line. At this point the plug is free to turn and release or “un-lock”.

To pick this mechanism you will need to manipulate the pins into position, lining them up with the Shear Line so as to allow the plug to turn as in the picture below.

Most methods of picking this lock rely on the presence of tolerances as we discussed earlier. However, if you were to measure each part of the internal workings of the lock you would find the diameter of the pins and the corresponding tubes they fit will have a bit of play. A little known fact is: This play will allow you to manipulate the tumblers and shear line to your advantage. 

Picking, is basically applying a small amount of turning force to the plug with the tension tool while simultaneously using a pick to carefully probe each bottom pin to find the pins that seem to be binding more than the rest.

(Above you can see the SouthOrd MPXS-62 Set in Action picking an HK Gunlock. More pics of the SouthOrd MPXS-62 below.)

With the pick, slowly lift one pin after another until the top pin of each of them clears the shear line and hopefully catches and stays there.

(Above you can see the SouthOrd M2000 MAX High Yield Lock Pick Set (Grey Handles), All in all one of the most comfortable pick sets we have EVER USED!!) 

At this time, the plug may give slightly in the direction that torque is being applied, at which time the plug will be free to turn.

Raking is another type of picking used pretty often, likely because little skill is required. The lock is opened more by chance than by skill. A rake tool has two or three up and down areas and is used in an in and out and up and down motion. The shape combined with the random motion may with luck raise the bottom pins to the right level.

If a small torque is being applied at this instant the plug will turn. Another form of raking involves using a diamond shaped or triangle tool. This tool is inserted all the way into the keyhole and yanked out extremely quickly. This motion will throw the pins up because of inertia. This will open the area at the shear line allowing the plug to turn.

I would like to add one more important factor to your learning curve as well as girth of your wallet. When starting out you will be tempted to run about your house practicing on any lock you can find.


----- DO NOT DO THIS! ----- DO NOT DO THIS! ----- DO NOT DO THIS! -----

(pic from David Wirth 2012 Website)

Let me explain why, When picking a lock you will most likely be using tools made from spring treated steel or titanium which, for those of you out there who dont know metals very well, are much harder alloy's than brass. The tumblers in most locks are made from brass. So when using the harder materials your picks are made of the brass pins will begin to shave off and can do one or both of two things.

They will either shave down until the key intended no longer works or the shaving left behind in the lock can gum up the locks operation causing it to stick and no longer work.

So do yourself a favor and try finding locks that you have already removed when you replaced a lock on your house or pick up a few cheap locks at a dollar store or yard sales as you can find them. Besides it is a great way to increase the types of locks you can bypass as you learn. 

I hope that this brief explanation was useful for your beginnings into “lock bypassing”, as I sometimes like to call it.   Good luck, have fun and don’t get discouraged. After all, “practice makes perfect.”



In addition to X's well written instructional article, we would like to recommend a few good kits from SouthOrd...one of the BEST companies out there for Lock picks and Security Gear of all kinds. Here is a link to their home page: http://www.southord.com/   <-- when it comes to lockpicks, clandestine, and various security gear...look no further than SOUTHORD. 

So here we go:

A Few Kits we recommend (depending on skill level and how much a person wants to put into it) are the SouthOrd MPXS-62 Kit, which had everything and more than you could ever ask for and need. The thing we find so useful about it is the multiple sizes of each type of pick. As we all know, locks come in different shapes and sizes, which means sizes have to be different if you want the picks to be multi-use. 

If you're looking for a badass big kit to get you going in 'sport-picking' or lock-picking, and basically provide everything you will need for a long long time....then the SouthOrd MXPS-62 kit is for you. TIP: If you find the handles of these Solid Metal picks to be uncomfortable, you can either cordwrap them with thin cord, or you can buy small 1/2" Heat shrink tubing, and use your hair dryer to shrink a piece of that Heat Shrink Tubing over each handle. You an even double over each handle if you get the next additional size up too. 

Link to SouthOrd MXPS-62 Kit: http://www.southord.com/Lock-Picking-Tools/Lock-Pick-Set-69-Piece-Metal-Handles-MPXS-62.html


The Next Kit I want to recommend is the SouthOrd M2000 High Yield Pick set. As we spoke about above, it is literally one of the nicest and most comfortable pic sets on the market. The handles have cast polymer pieces around them that provide additional grip, and size which allows for stronger picking, and higher torque on each pick. They also use a higher quality and tougher steel than usual with these High Yield "MAX" Line of Picks.

SouthOrd really hit a home run with these sets. When you get a chance, pick up a set of these, you wont be disappointed.

They offer 3 different sets of the "MAX" kits, in two different thicknesses...at .031" and .023" respectfully. They offer the M2000 & M2000B sets, the M3000 & M3000B sets, as well as the M4000 & M4000B sets. All are incredible, and made to the highest standards...and each set includes a leather carry case, tension tools, and multiple picks. Here are some pics of what they look like in action.

Link to the SouthOrd "MAX" M2000 High Yield Kit: http://www.southord.com/Lock-Picking-Tools/Lock-Pick-Set-High-Yield-M2000.html

Anyways...these are two of the nicer kits out there from SouthOrd, however there are more "Covert Style" Kits made by these companies that you check into. Two of these kits will be reviewed and thoroughly tested by "X" and the Gunmetal Team very soon. Stay tuned for the Pocket Kits and Smaller more concealable kits we will be fielding soon.

As always, thank you for reading, and we will be putting up more detailed data results and info from each product and from each test. We wish you all the best of luck with your new found skill set, and if you have any questions regarding Lock Bypassing, feel free to ask. 

-Gunmetal team out.