Lock Bumping - ITS Tactical

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Lock Bumping

By The ITS Crew

lockbumping01Lock Bumping is quickly becoming a popular way of bypassing a lock without the need for picking. The method uses a key blank from the particular lock you’re wanting to gain entry to. The key blank is then filed with a square file to let the key pins drop to their furthest position on the lock.

The filed blank is inserted into the lock, and then tapped with a special lock bumping hammer at the same time the key is being turned. The tapping from the bump hammer jostles the pins and allows you to turn the lock as the pins line up with the shear line. This is a hard concept to explain with words, so we’ve linked to the following video to provide some  clarification.

According to LockBumping.org bumping locks originated in the 1970’s in Denmark.  The use of a bump key was not introduced until some time later and was first recognized as a potential home security or lock security issue around 2002-2003 in Europe.  LockBumping.org is a great resource for  continuing  your lock bumping education.

You can use anything from a hammer to a screwdriver handle to bump a lock, but there are also specialized lock bumping hammers available like the one used in the video above. Here’s one that’s available from 215Gear, but unfortunately it doesn’t have a picture.

We’ll be continuing with more about Lock Bumping along with more Lock Picking in future articles!

These lock picking tips and techniques provided in this article are only to be used in accordance with all local, state, and federal laws and provided for lock sport (recreational lock picking) use only. Lock sport should be used to learn about the illusion of security, and how to properly protect yourself and your possessions. Don’t do anything illegal.

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  • Interestingly, in the book High Security Mechanical Locks: An Encyclopedic Reference, by Graham Pulford, there is a copy of a US Patent application illustration from 1928, for what is called a “rapping key”. It is the same idea as a bump key.
    The idea has been around for awhile – It just took that while to filter from idea to application.

    • Morgan, thanks for the information! It’s very interesting that the concept has been around that long.

  • Brian

    Thanks! Valuable info for any operator. Looking forward to trying it out. The rake and throw lever can be tedious. A skill that opens alot of doors for you literally. I hope this doesn’t fall into too many wrong hands. The flip side is that I want to change my locks now.

    • Brian,

      You’re most welcome for the information. Our goal in showing what’s out there is to make everyone aware and hopefully proactive in protecting themselves. Let us know if you need some advice on bump-proof locks.

      Thanks for the comment,

  • michael

    Can a DIYer “fix” an existing lock to make it bump resistant or proof? perhaps an adjustment to the mechanism or tumbler?

  • Raven

    Video is kaput.

  • Spyke

    The video was pulled from YouTube but here’s a link to another that includes creation of a Bump Key: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwTVBWCijEQ

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