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Training session 22: Lockpicking
Difficulty: Medium
Learn the principles of Lockpicking
Creator: m101


Locks are used everywhere to stop people from doing things. In most cases it is much simpler to just cut the lock, but its kinda evident you did it, and if you really dont want to get caught, is rather stupid. This is basically how a standard padlock works in simple terms. A barrel has a series of pins on a spring in it, each pin has a groove in it at diferent points. When all the grooves align the lock opens. Its a bit more complex than that, but to learn lockpicking, that is enough to start off with. Think of the following illustration as the teeth on a key:

_-__--_-_
_________

Now if we examine the lock that this key opens, the pins would look something similar to this:

_________
_-__--_-_

_________

The center line represents the grooves in the pins. Now when the key is used it pushes up the pins so the pin arrangement looks something like this:

-_--__-_-
---------

-_--__-_-

If even one of the grooves do not align the lock will not open. This is demonstrated below:

-_--____-
------_--

-_--____-

There are more than one level that the pin can be at, but for the purpose of learning let us just work with one. If you take a lock and push in a pin you will notice it just springs back. By turning the barrel, you stop the pin from sprining back and make it possible to 'pick' the lock. To pick a lock you require two things, a tension wrench and a pick. The tension wrench is just something to apply a turning force on the lock with. This can be just about anything, a small screw driver with a bend at the end, or even a bent pin. Enough force has to be applied or the spring will keep working. Now the pick is a thing piece of metal with a bent end that can be used to push up the pins. In this way is is possible to set the pins one by one. You will get a feel of when the pin is in the right place, but it can take alot of practise. The following is a six stage pick of the previous pin setup:

1.
_________
_-__--_-_

_________

2.
-________
--__--_-_

-________

3.
-_-______
---_--_-_

-_-______

4.
-_--_____
------_-_

-_--_____

5.
-_--__-__
--------_

-_--__-__

6.
-_--__-_-
---------

-_--__-_-

On each stage the pin has been moved to its appropriate position by the pick. With enough practise this can be done within a short period of time, some of the best can do a reasonabely dificult locks in under five minutes. Remember not to rely on your eyes for the pick, but on your sense of touch. Be extremely slow to start with and try low quality locks before moving onto dificult locks like master and lockwood.
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