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It is known that during the Second World War, prisoners of war many times managed to go free, unlocking locks with master keys A perfect example of this is a massive escape from a German castle in Colditz .

The fixtures necessary for opening locks are, in general, simple, the idea of ​​using them is quite obvious. It all comes down to the acquisition of practical skills. For their development and maintenance of the form, many years of practice are needed, giving the opportunity to “feel” well with various locks.

I can reassure all readers who may find the publication of information about this particular “art” irresponsible and dangerous. In order to learn only the very basics of this business . m did not take about two years - and this in the presence of a highly qualified instructor and constant practice. By the way, to the note of those who would like to seriously deal with this matter, I can inform you that there are legal educational institutions of this profile in the UK and other countries.


Most of the door locks, released over the past twenty years, belong to the cylinder type. In essence, this is a fairly simple device, which is formed by two cylinders inserted into each other. In them A number of radial holes of small diameter are provided in which the split pins are inserted. Each of them consists of two parts of different length, but the total length of both is constant. In the absence of a key, the pins under the action of coaxial springs with them are in the lowest position and overlap the junction between the cylinders, preventing their mutual rotation. When the key is inserted, the pins are raised so that their cuts fall just on the contact surface between the cylinders, which allows the key to turn the inner cylinder relatively external and unlock the lock In principle, for unlocking the lock does not matter how the pins are put in the desired position. This circumstance is used for abnormal unlocking of the lock in one of two ways. Both use the same set of tools, but a different technique for their use. These tools, called master keys here, but with various names by professionals, in most countries are not sold, but they are easy to make themselves.

The master key is, in essence, just a strip of tempered steel, the end of which is shaped to allow it to be inserted into the lock and the pins, which are pressed by the springs, moved to the required position. In addition, a tension plate is required. This is also a flat metal strip, which is inserted into the keyhole in order to apply force while simultaneously turning the cylinder and fixing the position of the pins.

Many designs of the aforementioned tools are known, but the two that we have described are usually sufficient in almost all cases.

The quality of the castle.

The ease with which a lock can be unlocked depends on three factors. Undoubtedly, the most important of them is the effectiveness of the tools that you use, and here, as in most practical tasks, it is better not to save on quality. Two other factors are related to the design of the castle. The first is the length and location of the pin, the second is the quality of the lock itself. Cheap locks are almost always easier to open than expensive ones. Usually they are made worse in the sense that in order to facilitate and reduce the cost of assembly, they have a much larger gap between the cylinder and the body. Another common drawback of cheap locks is the poor centering of the cylinder and the diameter of the holes for pins; both that, and another considerably facilitates their unlocking.

The technique of unlocking the lock with the help of master keys imitates the operation of the key. The tension plate acts as a key wrench; with a sharp "shuruyuschim" movement put the lock pins in the desired position, turn the cylinder and unlock the lock. This method of unlocking a lock is the fastest, and it is easy to perform, unless the size of the pins does not change too dramatically, as in combination locks. Before you try to unlock the lock, you must clean it of dirt and dust, which is best done by blowing heavily into it. After this, the master key is fed to the pins from the rear end and is quickly pulled out of the lock, running over the protrusion on the pins. But even before that, a tension plate is inserted into the lower part of the keyhole, with which a small force is applied to the cylinder - in the direction of unlocking. The force must be sufficient to turn the cylinder when the pins are in the correct position, but less than the one from which the pins will jam. Choosing this effort is key to unlocking the lock with master keys. If it is large, the pins will freeze before reaching the set point. If it is too small, then the pins will return to their original position under the action of the springs.

Lock picks

Available pieces such as safety pins or pieces of elastic wire that are flattened at one end can be used as master keys. They can be cut out of hard plastic. The one who deals with automechanical works, can make to himself a fine set of master keys from probes which determine the size of gaps.

To unlock, you usually have to repeat the procedure several times. If the cylinder does not turn on the fourth attempt, keep it in a loaded state, bring your ear close to the lock and then slowly remove the load. If you hear a ticking sound from the fact that the pins are returning to their place, then you have put too much effort; if you heard nothing, you need to increase the load.

In another embodiment, unlocking the lock requires much greater skill, since the pins are set individually. Feel for the furthest pin and gently lift it. This should allow partial relocation of the cylinder. Moving towards the beginning of the lock, put the pin behind the pin in sequence in sequence until you can completely release the cylinder. Another quick movement - and the lock is open. If there is a padlock in front of you, the task of opening it can be facilitated by sharpening the end of the master key as sharp as a needle. If you push it into the lock until it stops, the master key will catch on the metal. Try to move the plate, which rests on the master key . up and down; sometimes the lock is unlocked.

A typical cylinder lock is unlocked when the key is turned with an internal cylinder key. The cylinder is held in the locked position by split pins that have a spring clip.

If you enter the key into the well, it causes the junction of the split pins to be flush with the outer surface of the inner cylinder (and inner - outer). This makes it possible to rotate the cylinder.

The following tools are shown to unlock the locks (from top to bottom):

two master keys and tension bar.

Always hold the master key with no more than the amount required to hold a teaspoon.

At the same moment when you apply a little force to the film, quickly pull the master key.

1. The tension bar should be wide enough to rotate the cylinder, but at the same time leave enough space to easily insert the master key.

2. Gently move the tension bar back and forth. At the same time, you will feel the effort required to rotate the inner cylinder.

With the tension bar inserted, insert the master key into the far end of the inner cylinder.

If it was not possible to unlock the lock with a master key, hold it with a latch pa , holding the bar in place, and listen to how the pins return to their place. A soft sound means that the pin is sticking at the far end.

In some padlocks, you can try to move the locking plate with a sharply sharpened master key, without touching the pins.