JTT: Don’t Get Locked Out

| August 15, 2017
Categories: Learnin'

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JTT: Don’t Get Locked Out

Alexander Crown

As some of you may know from one of my previous articles, I enjoy lock picking and have found it handy more than once. I covered a pocket-sized set before but if that seems too burdensome for you, here is Just a Tactical Tip for you to ponder. I admit, this tip was picked (see what I did there?) up from Reddit. If you’re interested in lock picking and can stand Reddit, head over to r/lockpicking for some fairly good info.

Before we begin, let me say, again that lock picking can be a fun and safe hobby as long as you abide by one rule: only pick locks you own or have permission from the owner to pick — you know we pretty much had to get that out of the way. As long as you aren’t going to do some illegal or unethical we can continue with my (just the tactical) tip.

There are a couple of companies that make slim or flat tension bars and smaller sized picks flat enough to be stored in your cell phone case. I use a piece of tape to hold the picks in place so I can get my phone back in without everything shifting to one side. (While we’re on the topic, it’s worth noting that you can keep other stuff behind your phone like cash, ID, or dried seaweed for those times when you need to make sushi on the go.) Really, you’re only limited by your imagination and anything thicker than a couple sheets of paper. I’ve found lock picks to be a little handier and seeing as how I, like most Americans, rarely go anywhere without my phone, this method makes sense.

Just the Tip: Lockpicking - Don't Get Locked Out

Yes, I realize the pick set may scratch your phone, but so does dropping it when you get out of your car and kicking it across the parking lot. Don’t act like you’ve never done that, because everyone has.

If you’re like me and have the mammoth iPhone 7 plus, then you have ample space to bring a flushed-out pick set with you everywhere. I’m not saying you can use this method to get picks somewhere to do nefarious things, James Bond, and maybe someone with X-Ray or similar experience can comment below on whether or not this would get you in trouble with TSA. I’m just asking for science’s sake.

Not to beat a deceased equine, but again, I am not advocating anything illegal or immoral with lock picking. I’ve just found this to be a useful skill on more than one occasion just in the office. If you have any lock picking tips, please share them with us. If you are interested in lock picking I encourage you to give it a try, even if that means watching a YouTube video on using bobby pins to pick a master lock. It really can come in handy.

-Alexander Crown

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About the Author: Alexander Crown was the littlest big mistake Gemtech ever hired–and they even manage to continue to promote him to higher positions. Prior to his early retirement (caused by an enemy winning a marksmanship award at the cost of his hamstring), Alexander served in the 3/509 PIR out of Ft. Richardson and spent a little time in Iraq. In addition to dabbling in the world of silencers and science fiction, he has a BS in biology and is an avid gardener — like, the kind of gardener Hugh Farnham would appreciate and Alec Holland would envy.

1 Comment


    I have a metal “business card” from a security consultant who spoke at a certain school in Kittery, MA that has picks “outlined” in it. After hundreds of passes through TSA and D.C. security checkpoints I have only had it pop once, and the guard let me through with it, and since more and more high end credit cards are metal it is almost a non-issue now a days. I got a few and have used one to get back into the house after being locked out, I would recommend the wallet route over the phone for convenience sake, but YMMV.


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