“This device allows you to practice lock picking as though you’re having to reach through security bars, and the lock is not in clear view.“
When we first learn to pick locks, we often hold the padlock comfortable in our hands, placing it in the perfect position. This helps us to learn the basic, and get a feel for the craft. For hobbyists, not moving beyond this is completely fine. However, for professionals who utilize lock picking/bypassing in the field, practicing real-world scenarios is key.
The best way to practice lock picking is to position the lock in a way that you’re most likely to encounter it. For example, door handles, latches, and locks are required to be installed between 34 to 48 inches above the finished floor. So, it’s best to practice picking locks at this height.
Lock Picking Stand
In order for me to practice in this manner, I created a tool that holds padlocks in a way that simulates realistic scenarios when encountering a locked gate from the opposite side. I present to you the “Tactical Reversed Lock Picking Stand”. It doesn’t quite roll off of the tongue, but it gets to the point.
It also has other purposes, so keep reading. 🙂
The stand holds the locks within the required height of 34 inches (864 mm) minimum and 48 inches (1219 mm) maximum, and allows you to easily switch out locked padlocks by rotating the metal stop, and unscrewing the quick link chain shackle connector, making it perfect for training scenarios. This is an update from the original version.
Reversed Lock Picking
During assessments, there are instances where I encounter a lock that’s on the opposite side of a security gate. This is an extremely uncomfortable position, and unless it’s something you’re familiar with, it’s going to be a deal-breaker.
As I mentioned earlier, you want to practice what you’re likely to encounter. This brings up the main feature of this lock picking stand:
This device allows you to practice lock picking as though you’re having to reach through security bars, and the lock is not in clear view.
The standard building safety code has a requirement of at least 4″ spacing between the bars on security gates. Some states such as New York have a requirement of 3 15/16″ spacing requirement between bars on security gates.
Because this is a training tool, I want things to be even more difficult, so the spacing is only 3.5″.
Because not all security gates are the same, I added a horizontal partition in the middle. And, to provide even more training flexibility, I provided a few more options such as being able to reach down over the partition.
I also took into consideration those cases where you’ll encounter a security gate with only one side open for your arms to fit through.
I do want to mention that this setup does not account for the fact that locks used only for security purposes can be installed at any height. This is where good surveillance pays off, and where you’ll hopefully spot any oddly-placed locking mechanisms before attempting entry. This will allow you time to replicate the setup in your lab to practice.
I will be working to improve this prototype, and would love to hear your thoughts and ideas regarding it. I’m also happy to share the dimensions with you if you’re interested in making your own.