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It is known that during the Second World War, prisoners of war were many times allowed to go free, unlocking locks with skeleton keys. A perfect example of this is the mass escape from the German castle in Kolditsa .

The devices necessary for opening locks are generally simple, the idea of ​​using them is quite obvious. Everything depends on the acquisition of practical skills. For their development and maintenance of the form, many years of practice are needed, which makes it possible to "feel" different locks well.

All readers who may find the publication of information about this particular "art" irresponsible and dangerous, I can reassure. In order to learn only the very basics of this case . m was not required for about two years - and this is in the presence of a highly qualified instructor and constant practice. By the way, to note those who would like to seriously deal with this matter, I can report that in the UK and other countries there are legal educational institutions of this profile.


Most of the door locks released in the past twenty years are of 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 small diameter radial holes are provided in which the shear 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 with them springs are in the lowest position and overlap the joint between the cylinders, preventing their mutual rotation. When the key is inserted, the pins lift so that their cuts fall just on the contact surface between the cylinders, which enables the key to rotate the inner cylinder relative to the outside and unlock the lock In principle, to unlock the lock it does not matter how the pins are put in the desired position. This circumstance is used for non-standard unlocking of the lock in one of two ways. Both use the same set of tools, but different techniques for their use. These tools, here called skeleton keys, but with different names for professionals, countries are not sold, but they are easy to manufacture by themselves.

The pickpocket is, in fact, just a strip of podkalennoy steel, the end of which is shaped to allow it to enter the lock and move the pins, pressed by springs, to the desired position. In addition, a tension plate is required. This is also a flat metal strip, which is inserted into the keyhole so as to apply force, while turning the cylinder and fixing the position of the pins.

There are many designs of the above mentioned instruments, but the two that we have described are usually quite enough in almost all cases.

Quality of the castle.

The ease with which the 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 position 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 greater gap between the cylinder and the hull. Another common disadvantage of cheap locks is the poor alignment of the cylinder and the too large diameter of the drill for the pins; both of which greatly facilitate their unlocking.

The technique of unlocking the lock with the help of skeleton keys simulates the operation of the key. The tension plate acts as a key rod; with a sharp "shuffling" movement put the lock pins in the desired position, turn the cylinder and unlock the lock. This method of unlocking the lock is the fastest, and it is easy to perform, unless the pin sizes change too sharply, as in combination locks. Before you try to unlock the lock, you need to clear it of dirt and dust, which is best done by heavily blowing into it. After that, the master key is pushed to the pins from the rear end and quickly pulled out of the lock, running along the ledge along 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 effort should be sufficient to turn the cylinder when the pins occupy the desired position, but less than that from which the pins will jam. The choice of this effort is the key moment in unlocking the lock with a master key. If it is large, the pins hang, not reaching the triggered position. If it is too small, the pins under the action of the springs will return to their original position.

Lock picks

You can use such accessible items as pintles, such as safety pins or pieces of elastic wire, flattened from one end. They can be cut from hard plastic. The same one who deals with auto-mechanical work, can make himself an excellent set of master keys from probes, which determine the size of the gaps.

For unlocking, you usually have to repeat the procedure several times. If on the fourth attempt the cylinder does not turn, support it in a loaded condition, bring your ear closer to the lock and then slowly remove the load. If you hear a ticking sound from the fact that the pins return to their place, then you have applied too much effort; If you did not hear anything, you need to increase the load.

In another version of unlocking the lock, much more skill is required, since the pins are individually exposed. Feel the farthest pin and lift it gently. This should allow the cylinder to partially move. Moving towards the beginning of the lock, put a pin in place behind the pin until you completely release the cylinder. Another quick movement - and the lock is open. If you have a padlock in front of you, the task of opening it can be eased by sharpening the end of the master key sharply, like a needle. If you push it into the lock until it stops, the lock picking will catch on the metal. Try to move the plate, which rested on the picklock . in the top-down; sometimes the lock is unlocked.

A typical cylinder lock unlocks when turning the key of the inner cylinder. The cylinder is held in the locked position by cutting pins, which have a spring clip.

If you enter the key into the borehole, it causes the joint of the split pins to align with the outer surface of the inner cylinder (and the inner one - the outer one). This makes it possible to rotate the cylinder.

Here are the following tools for unlocking locks (from top to bottom):

two picklocks and a tension bar.

Always keep the master key with effort no more than it takes to hold a teaspoon.

At the same time, when you apply a small effort to the film, quickly pull out the picklock.

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

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

With the tension strip inserted, insert the picklock into the far end of the inner cylinder.

If you can not unlock the lock with a master key, hold it in place again , holding the bar in place, and listen to how the pins return to their place. A soft sound means that the pin is stuck at the far end.

In some padlocks, you can try to move the locking plate with an acute sharpened pick, without touching the pins.