One Gun to Get Other Guns? Just Thought I’d Leave This Here

The Truth About Guns doesn’t advise readers to break any law at any time for any reason ever. Don’t go picking other people’s locks without their permission (or your feet in Poughkeepsie). If however, you’re the forgetful type and don’t want to call a locksmith every time you lose the keys to a padlock, you might want to get a lockpick gun (ein speeranpflückengewehr). What could be easier? Well quieter. 


  1. avatar Timmy! says:

    FIRST! Oh, sorry. I forgot we’re not that kind of crowd.

  2. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    Ive been a locksmith for 42 years and NEVER needed one of them. Looks so easy in the video but it hurt my wittle finger squeezing one a billion times. I wont say its useless but magical it aint.
    By the way it doesn’t help your trigger control one bit!!!

    1. avatar Rick the Bear (now in NH!!) says:

      I’m NOT a locksmith and I have never been able to get this device to work. I thought that it would be fun. Not.

      1. I’m not a lock picking expert. But this ( ) has saved my bacon before.

        I practiced up with a regular set though to get the basics down.

      2. avatar James69 says:

        Mail it to me. 🙂

  3. avatar Jeremy S. says:

    The various styles of clear locks to help you visualize what’s going on inside are really cool.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      I’ve heard computer geeks seem to have a natural ‘thing’ for lock-picking.

      Is it a personality quirk?

      (Lock-picking has become a sport of sorts, with organized competitions, for those who may be curious…)

  4. avatar Mad Max says:

    It is easier to use a regular, simple, pick set on most residential locks and padlocks. Depending on the pinning combination, you may be able to open the lock in 20 seconds or 20 minutes.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      true. the circular key picker is nice, though. repo’d a lot of bikeys with that.

  5. avatar formerwaterwalker says:

    Well that was interesting…glad my larcenous daze are over.

  6. avatar Kroglikepie says:

    A bump key is faster for most residential locks.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      Bingo. One whack and it’s open.

  7. avatar Deutscher says:

    As a German speaker, I have absolutely no idea what a “speeranpflückengewehr” is supposed to be.

    1. avatar Kroglikepie says:

      I’m in the same boat as you. All I can make out is “javelin pick gun”. Aside from whatever that combination is in English, I can’t think of anything idiomatic either.

  8. avatar Mark N. says:

    And one gun to rule them all…
    Oh wait, wrong movie.

  9. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Bought myself a lock pick set for Christmas a couple of years ago….much smaller in size and it has been useful a couple of times. As a philosophical question, why is it I always find the key after I tossed the lock in the trash 2 plus weeks before? Sometimes when I am board or I am half watching the TV with my wife or daughter I will practice on some spare locks I have lying around.

  10. avatar strych9 says:

    I’ve been picking locks as a hobby for about six years now.

    I own a snap gun and a number of lock pick sets. Snap guns, IMHO are virtually worthless because they’re random. When they open a lock fast they’re impressive but it could take you a ton of tries. I can stick that thing in a lock on my house and sometimes it pops her open in seconds. Sometimes it takes half an hour. I can pick it by hand every single time in under 30 seconds.

    Most recreational pickers will tell you that in terms of manual picking you should try rocking first, then raking, then zipping and last but not least, bitch picking (going after each pin individually).

    I say fuck that. Rocking, raking and zipping are all random too. IME using a feeler pick to feel the pins and then picking them one at a time is much faster on an unknown lock simply because it’s not random. Sure, if the random attack gets you in on the first or second try, it’s faster, but if you understand how the lock works over the course of time attacking say, 10 unknown locks, the statistics say you’ll be faster using knowledge and skill rather than relying on random chance to set the pins for you.

    Of course you could just buy an expansive set of bump keys but that’s a pain to carry around with you.

    IMHO, bitch pick first. If you fail and get frustrated, then use a destructive bypass method if you don’t care or call a locksmith who’s got more skills than you.

    1. avatar James69 says:

      It’s about 95% tension wrench and 5% the pick. Lighter the touch, the quicker they open. I can usually get a master lock(blue stripe) on one draw of a med diamond pick. Tension,tension,tension.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        Agreed, Masters are about as easy as falling off a log.

      2. avatar strych9 says:

        It’s still random. I have yet to meet a pin lock I can’t bitch pick in under two minutes with one exception that was a shitty Chicom lock that even the key wouldn’t open (bought NIB at a gas station for funzies. Finally cut it open and found out it would never function because it was improperly manufactured).

        Random picking such as zipping, rocking or raking might work on the first try, might work on the 10,000th try. The odds are the same and such methods, against an unknown lock, are pointless when time matters.

        Learn to properly pick single pins and you’ll have guaranteed results in a quick space of time because you understand what you’re feeling and how the lock actually works.

  11. avatar anaxis says:

    Pfft… For padlocks, a crescent wrench and prybar is much faster. It’s amazing how often I had to do that as a motorpool mechanic.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Or bolt cutters…

      As a guy I used to work with would say – “You make it hard, I’ll make it easy.”

      1. avatar anaxis says:

        Funny thing about the bolt cutters; they were either nowhere to be found, had turned them in with multiple huge gaps on the blades (who tries to use bolt cutters like sheet metal shears on 1/2 Armox plate??), or already signed out to someone (who then lost ’em and forgot to tell us).

        So yeah, crescent wrench and pry bar. It’s usually faster too.

  12. avatar MikeJH121 says:

    As a Locksmith, I used one today to let plumbers into a condo with water leaking and homeowner out of town. Happens more than you know. Hint, never live on the bottom floor of a condo. The water will come down.

    It is not as fast as the video. Depends on the pinning, a deep pin next to a shallow (smaller) pin and you don’t hit the shallow pin. Some locks are easier picking by hand. Plus it also depends on the maker of the pick gun. Life by Lockaid cannot be taken apart. It is machine riveted together. But if it breaks it is guaranteed. Others you can buy are cheap and have bad triggers. Just like a real gun, nice trigger plus good control, plus practice equals success.

    Bump keying can work but it is not magic. Anyone who says it quick and easy, like the media often runs a story to scare the public. Never has had a Schlage 9 pin (.300) next to a 2 pin (.195). Or had a home lock that has pins that don’t move well due to corrosion, weather, wear, dirt, etc… Plus the bonus is, if you have lock picks the pick gun, or car opening tools and are not a Locksmith, or Cop you are in possession of burglar tools.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      “Plus the bonus is, if you have lock picks the pick gun, or car opening tools and are not a Locksmith, or Cop you are in possession of burglar tools.”

      Only in six states my friend, only in six states.

      Besides, who cares? A rock through a window is faster and a farm jack with a cheater bar will pull any door frame apart.

      In fact, give me about 20 minutes and I’ll weld some additions on to a farm jack that will rip most gun safes apart.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        As long as you have about $100 and Amazon Prime, who cares?

        Pretty much all safes are easy to open, if you have an IQ over 100, and the motivation…

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Sentry Safes are crap.

          This video is taking advantage of flaws in an electronic safe, which is crap.

          My point is that your big ass mechanical gun safe is openable nearly as fast. I just bend it with my farm jack and cheater bar. If that doesn’t get it 100% open, that’s what the giant pry bar is for. Bolted to concrete? No problem.

          No need for specialized knowledge of YOUR safe, I just need mechanical advantage.

          I could take a torch to it, but why bother?

      2. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “Only in six states my friend, only in six states.”

        In what 6 states, pray tell?

        1. avatar Jay says:

          Here is a link to a map that may help.

        2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          I’d question that map. Oregon for instance, has a “possession of burglars tools” in the statutes. If they are just sitting in your car, no big deal. Unless the tools are there, you are there, and it’s not your car. Then it’s an added charge.

      3. avatar MikeJH121 says:

        My “gun safe” was not built for them. Picked it up from the shop, it came from a company used to be a vault.

        3 inch thick hardened door 5 foot high by 3 foot wide. 3 1/2 foot deep. All other sides are also 3 inch thick. Has 15 1 1/2 inch bolts around the door locking into holes in the 3 inch thick sides, not just captured by some little steel edge. Edges are lined for fireproofing. Bring a crane and a plasma cutter to move or get into it. Anti manipulation dial.

        I am royally screwed if it ever fails to open.

  13. avatar James69 says:

    I “picked” this up as a hobby about 1990. Very handy to know how to open even the simplest locks. Recently I encountered a new style of warded lock made by master lock. It’s a warded type with a release bar in the top of the lock, VERY challenging. Pin type master locks are the most common, after learning how they work you might as well put bubblegum on the hasp. I’ve used my “hobby” to open lockers,”unpickable” disc locks,paddle locks, trailer hitches(note,make sure there isn’t an ant bed under the car first!) filing cabinets,vending machines, car doors,car trunks, cash boxes, trigger locks, cable locks,door locks, jewelry boxes and all manner of locked items. *All legally. BTW. My favorite pick is the med diamond pick. I keep a set in my wifes car and my jeep and have a “travel set” that goes on vacation. Very handy hobby that has paid for itself 100x. Also nothing like the confidence to know you can open dam near anything if any “problems” were to arise. I always get a good laugh while watching movies too, where the “hero” shoves something in a lock and in 2-5 secounds the door pops open. It’s right up there with “shooting” locks off of things. (don’t stand anywhere near a lock and try to shoot it off) Bottom line it’s a fun hobby when used by responsable adults (kinda like guns)

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      Get a set of warded picks. No challenge whatsoever.

      Insert, turn. Doesn’t work? Move to the next one. If nothing in the set open it, pull back a smidgen and find the sweet spot.

      Nothing MasterLock makes will stand up to this set. Tried it and proved it.

      This lock is opened by this pick, you just have to finagle it a bit. That lock is a brand new warded lock of the type you describe.

  14. avatar jwm says:

    I worked at a self storage place as a second job for a while. Had to open units that were being auctioned for non payment on a regular basis.

    2 tools i used most often to pick locks. A paper clip. A grinder. If the clip didn’t get it in 15 seconds I went nuclear.

    Time is money.

  15. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    I can teach a newbie how to pick a lock in about 2 minutes. I then tell them its 5% knowing how and 95% luck.
    There is no rhyme or reason picking locks. It all depends on the pin combination. Shallow next to a deep pin or deep shallow, deep can ruin your day. Most house grade 3 locks. Its 2 minutes at most spent if I cant pick it by then.
    Time for my rotary pick and a 5/32nd bit. During a lockout call if I pick it on the 1st rake or 2. Ill pretend Im doing something. Customers have to feel as though they are getting something for their $$$.
    They get pissed if I get them in too quickly. Some even try to not pay me ……………….Ive even relocked the door and begin to walk away on some like that……..Its been a fun job for my 40+ years mostly.

    1. avatar James69 says:

      I used to repair burglar alarms, same thing. Took extra time so the customer felt like I did something for the service call charge. Also of times it was a simple fix that took 30 sec. My boss loved me and the customers did too.

  16. avatar Frank in VA says:

    This is why I use Abloy Protec2 padlocks, made in Finland. Some of the strongest and most pick-resistant locks you can buy.

  17. avatar adverse4 says:


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