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Bump Keys versus Snap Gun

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TomSwango

Newbie

Posts: 1

Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:48 am

Location: Florida

Post Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:40 pm

Bump Keys versus Snap Gun

I am a novice just starting to learn lock picking. My question is: What are the advantages and disadvantages of bump keys versus a snap gun and tension wrench?

I do not understand what the advantage is of having a ring of bump keys when it appears that a snap gun and tension wrench would perform the same function.

Thank you in advance for your input.

Tom
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Robotnik

Familiar Face

Posts: 146

Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:01 pm

Location: Oregon

Post Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:51 pm

Re: Bump Keys versus Snap Gun

Each has many positives and negatives. A pick gun may have difficulty with paracentric keyways, for example, while a bump key (at least in my experience) is more apt to cause physical damage to a lock.
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norwoodgolf

Familiar Face

Posts: 68

Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:55 pm

Location: Arizona

Post Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:02 pm

Re: Bump Keys versus Snap Gun

I own a ring of bump keys and an electric pick gun.

Bump keys are cheap and they are easy to master. The electric pick gun/snap gun is more expensive and requires a lot more practice. I don't even take my electric pick gun in the field with me any more--it's too much work.

My advice: only buy a snap gun/electric pick gun if you have disposable income AND you have a burning desire to own every type of lock picking tool.
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huxleypig

User avatar

The Prestigious and Powerful Porcine Prelate

Posts: 880

Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:59 am

Location: West Mids, UK

Post Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:19 pm

Re: Bump Keys versus Snap Gun

I have had mixed experiences with bump keys. Obviously, some locks bump easier than others but I have found them to be rather hit or miss. I have a cheap and nasty Klom EPG and I think it's great! It has opened quite a few locks in the past where picking and bump keys have failed.
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WestCoastPicks

Familiar Face

Posts: 175

Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:45 am

Location: British Columbia, Canada

Post Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:05 pm

Re: Bump Keys versus Snap Gun

They both do the same thing essentially. The benefit of a bump key is that you can always fit it in the lock if you have the right one, and you're sure you're contacting the pins every time.

The benefit of the gun is that it's one piece, the force is controlled for you, and you can machine-gun it. Also can be done with bump keys if you use a spring or rubber o-rings.

If you aren't in to picking and you just want to get locks open, you'll find that you want both. If you're more in to picking locks rather than getting them open at whatever cost, you won't use either of them.

If you're in to picking, I'd say save your money and buy locks, picks, tools to make picks or metal for pick making. A well practiced picker can open a lock faster than most people with a snap gun or bump key. And there are a TON of locks snap guns and bump keys can't get open but picking can.

Just my honest opinion ☺

-Harley
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norwoodgolf

Familiar Face

Posts: 68

Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:55 pm

Location: Arizona

Post Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:27 pm

Re: Bump Keys versus Snap Gun

Get a cheap KwikSet deadbolt from Habitat for Humanity or just buy one at a hardware store. Use a square file to make one of the keys into a bump key and try it out. Here is a video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDju9bBFvA4

You don't really need to install the rubber bumpers--it will work without it. Bumping will damage locks, so I would never try and bump anything in use. Next, take that bump key and attach it to an electronic toothbrush. Here is that video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDlZbQ20aLI

If you are handy at bending and shaping wires you can make a snapper. More video (just shows a snapper in use):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mZCOcjO1IY

All this stuff works. It's just matter of what works best for you.
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Neilau

User avatar

Active Member

Posts: 741

Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 4:29 am

Location: Australia

Post Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:04 am

Re: Bump Keys versus Snap Gun

In my experience locks that can be bumped open are REALLY easy to pick and snap guns are not as easy as they are made out to be.

I have tried both when I was getting into it and after playing with them for a few weeks I haven't touched them in years. They are somewhere in the back of a cupboard somewhere.

If you want to spend the money and try them out, go for it but I bet that you will forget about them fairly soon and stick to picking.

My thoughts.
Clark's Law (Arthur C)

For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.
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Patrick Star

User avatar

Familiar Face

Posts: 179

Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:40 pm

Location: Sweden

Post Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:09 pm

Re: Bump Keys versus Snap Gun

There seems to be some locks that won't open with a snap gun but can be bumped. I haven't studied the phenomenon though - it might simply be that they open with something better than a standard gun (straight "line of impact", more force, etc.)
I usually don't try bumping locks since it tends to leave ugly marks on my little cute play-things, so my ability to study this is somewhat limited...

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