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Open-Minded: Rare Element & Coyote Mountain Custom Lock Picks

Coyote Mountain (Left) and Rare Element (Right) picks.

To this point, all of my lock picking has been done with “production” tools.  Some cheap and flimsy, others high-quality. But this is my first foray into hand-made & custom lock picks.

Rare Element Lock Picks and Coyote Mountain Trading Post.

This review’s purpose is not to pit one against the other, but rather to showcase both on their own merits as they are different.  They are also custom-made for me, so your experience may differ.  With that in mind, here are my thoughts.

Coyote Mountain

I received a selection of picks and some other “tools” (including bump keys, handcuff keys, tiny patches, a glow stick & beads and a fantastic little pouch.

The picks themselves feature a variety of profiles.  They come wrapped in cordage and shrink-sleeved with a rubber covering.  Then they’re topped with little silver skulls to ensure a level of bad-assery when picking.

The grip and finish are fantastic, however I find that the handles are a bit narrow for my hands.  It’s not that it hinders use in any way, it just causes me to use a different grip.

These picks went through those locks with ease.

The only preference I’d change on these is the flexibility (bend from side to side) of the picks.  Yes, I know that I’m not supposed to be bending them from side to side, but I am used to slightly more rigid picks.  Again, personal preference.  This does not detract from their effectiveness, I just find that the feedback takes some getting used to.

The second set I received was a “pen kit” which is a super-minimalist kit which fits into a pen body – VERY COOL.  I took it along with me on a recent trip to New York and had zero issues with it.  It works equally as well as the “regular” picks, but the handles are bare and the turning tool is not as versatile as the full-sized one.

The finish and polish on these are great and there is no noticeable drag through the lock bodies in any of my practice cylinders or padlocks.

Rare Element Lock Picks

The hand-made custom set of Rare Element lock picks I received took a while (RELP has a waiting list for his stuff, so be patient, it’s worth the wait) and arrived in great shape.

I opted for a mix of rakes and some custom turning tools.  The picks came in two thicknesses and various similar profiles.  All were high-carbon steel.  One was even hand engraved.  VERY COOL!

The finish on these had an “acid etched” look to them which looked great and still benefited from the polishing they received.  No drag or snag in any of the tested lock bodies.

The only thing I found, well, needing of some adaptability, were the custom turning tools that came with the picks.  They had slightly different ends then I’ve been used to but once I got the hand of them and figured out a comfortable way to hold them, they worked very well.  Also, the handles are straight steel with no additional grips or wrap added.  This is personal preference.  They are wider than the CMTP picks, but this isn’t a negative.  Just different.

Smooth action and shaping made these practice locks a breeze.

Picking cylinders and padlocks went very well with both sets.  I have to say, it’s very difficult to pick one over the other, so I won’t.  Both sets are fantastic.  I would advise that if you have particular wants or needs that you contact each and discuss.  Custom jobs are for particular needs and have requirements that only the person making the items can take into account.  They’re top-notch, period.  If you’re just starting out then of course, wreck some production stuff.  But if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, or are working with these types of tools professionally, do consider checking what these guys have to offer.

Check them each out at their addresses below:

Coyote Mountain Trading Post

Rare Element Lock Picks

Till next time, Stay safe and stay crafty.

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Upcoming Training – Don’t miss out!

Elevate your operational capabilities with True North Tradecraft, offering unique skillsets for law enforcement and security professionals in Canada.

In cooperation with The CORE Group

Covert Entry skill sets increase operational capabilities for government, law enforcement and security operators across a wide array of situations.  Expand your skills today.

We still have a couple of seats left for our May courses in downtown Toronto…

Covert Entry Concepts  is $865 ($200 deposit to hold a spot) May 12 & 13.

For a description and course details, click here.

Email [email protected] to reserve your spot today!

Safe Dial Mechanics is $510 ($200 deposit to hold a spot) May 14 & 15.

For a description and further details, click here.

Both courses together $1,150 for 4 days of expert instruction and tools to keep!

Reserve your spot now before they fill up!  

E-mail

[email protected].com

today!

 

And don’t forget to register and attend the Blue Line Expo on May 3rd!

The CORE Group.


 

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Training Opportunity – Covert Entry Concepts – Toronto, July 2017

For the FIRST time in Canada….

The CORE Group

Covert Entry Concepts – 1st Canadian Offering
This course will teach Law Enforcement Personnel, Special Operations Forces, and Government employees and security professionals the principles of lock bypassing and making covert entries into buildings or properties.

This class is entirely hands on. From the moment you enter the course you will have tools in your hand and are working to exploit various locking mechanisms. Students will learn to recognize the vulnerabilities in existing hardware, how they are attacked, or sometimes even bypassed entirely. You’ll walk away with the skills needed to compromise most of the locks used in North America today. Students will be much better positioned to provide service in a variety of tactical areas: check welfare calls, search and arrest warrant service, establishing sniper positions, sneak and peak operations, surveillance operations, fire safe opening, and breaking and entering investigations.

Since the techniques taught in this class are largely nondestructive, agencies will also benefit by having a decrease in civil actions due to property damage.

The cost of the course is $675 USD or $895 CAD with a $200 deposit required to hold your place.

E-mail us at:

[email protected]

for more information and payment instructions.

(***See link to flyer at bottom***)

 

Schedule is:

Fri July 28: 1800hrs – late

Sat July 29: 0800hrs -1700hrs

Sun July 30: 0800hrs – 1700hrs

Included Equipment:

Included in the cost of the course is a comprehensive set of high quality tools that you can use on the job or practice at home to maintain the skills you’ll build in class.
• High Quality 12 Piece Pick Set
• Set of covert jigglers
• Set of warded picks
• Bump Hammer
• Bump keys
• An ez decoder
• Underdoor tool

***Friday dinner, Sat & Sun breakfasts, coffee and snacks included. Team dinner scheduled for Saturday night.

This course is being offered by The CORE Group      (www.enterthecore.net) , supported and sponsored by True North Tradecraft (www.truenorthtradecraft.ca) and Tactical Beaver Ltd.( www.tacticalbeaver.co ) .

“TB Classic” Logo Design

Tactical Beaver will have a selection of its Premier Apparel line available for sale during the duration of the course at a discount for attendees.

COVERT ENTRY CONCEPTS_July 2017 flyer

 

DISCLAIMER:  *Nothing in the course offering is intended to be used for unlawful purposes.  Consult with your local laws prior to employing these techniques in the field.  This is intended for lawful use ONLY.  True North Tradecraft and its partners do not condone or advocate illegal activities.*