picking more locks

I’ve previously mentioned that I’m getting into lockpicking, and I continue to practice in small pieces of spare time. Last week I picked my first non-practice lock, a 5-pin dead bolt in my apartment. Just tonight I sat down to try it again and picked it three times in 6 minutes. I’m a little scared, but happy with my progress!

I’ve been able to start to actually feel the various “gives” when a pin is set, as well as the sounds. Sometimes there is a small give in the torque when a pin clears. Sometimes a small click. Sometimes it is the lack of tactile response from the pin when it is set and the spring no longer pushes down on the pick. All of these evidences are getting more and more common. I’m even surprised more and more at how easy raking a lock open can be. Raking involves moving a jagged rake pick in and out of the key way such that several pins quickly set, as opposed to picking the pins one by one. Insert torque, slide in a rake pick, and before I’ve even completed two “rakes” the lock is open. I’ve done that a few times much to my surprise. If you know what a bumping is, raking is smack in the middle of the spectrum between bumping and pin-by-pin picking.

Sunday evening I watched War in the theater and for the first third of the movie and through the previews had a lock and pick in my hands just opening it over and over, while not trying to create a pattern of it. I don’t want to unlock my locks just because I follow the same pattern each time, but rather to open them through actual semi-conscious effort.

So far it has been working, and is quite a nice little idle activity. I might move up to my cut out spool pin lock this week. You can see a picture of a spool pin towards the bottom of this really interesting page on lockpicking. This page looks like something nice to read. I especially enjoyed skimming down to the part about unset/unbinding pins and the various states, plus how they feel so as to identify the state.