Cracking the combination code of a padlock could be the difference between making it or not in a survival situation.
Here is a quick tutorial on one way to do it.
Method 1: Cracking the Code
Familiarize yourself with the lock. A lock has three main components. The shackle is the U-shaped piece which attaches it to an object. The dial is the portion with numbers that turns. The body is the rest of the lock. If you hold the lock with the shackle on top and the dial facing you, typically the locking mechanism is on the left side of the shackle.
To find a lock combination you will need to pull up gently on the shackle. Too much pressure will make it impossible to turn the dial. Too little and the dial will spin freely.
You should exert gentle pressure. This may take some practice.
Find the first number. Pull up gently on the shackle and hold it in place. Turn the dial clockwise listening carefully until you hear the lock click.
O Start with a good deal of pressure and gently let up as you spin it around, until you meet resistance in only one place.
O If the dial catches every few numbers, you are pulling too hard. If it never catches at all, you are not pulling enough. It should catch in only one place, making a click.
O If the click happens when the dial is between two numbers, round up to the higher number.
O Add 5 to that number and write it down. This is the first number in the combination.
Set the first number of the combination as your starting point. It may be helpful to spin the dial a few times before doing this to reset the lock.
Turn the dial counterclockwise to find the second number. Maintaining gentle pressure on the shackle, turn the dial slowly. You should go all the way around the mechanism once before reaching the second number.
O The lock will bump and catch as you turn.
O Eventually the lock hit a point where it will be very difficult to turn. This stopping point is the second number. Note it on the same piece of paper.
Try combinations. One method of finding the third number is to simply test every possible combination. Set your first two numbers as if you were ready to unlock. Then turn the dial clockwise very slowly, testing each possible combination.
O At this point there should be only forty possible combinations.
O You do not have to reset the first two numbers for each combination. Simply turn one number then tug. Repeat the process until the lock opens.
Test for the third number. A different method for finding the third number is to test the catch. Spin the dial clockwise a few times to reset the lock and set it at 0. Apply upwards pressure on the shackle and turn the dial clockwise.
O The lock will catch several times, allowing for slight movement back and forth between two numbers.
O Write down the number in the middle. For instance, if the lock catches between 33 and 35, write down 34 on a separate piece of paper. This is not necessarily the final number.
O The lock will also catch partway between numbers. For example, the range might be between 27.5 and 29.5. If the middle number is not a whole number, such as 28.5, do not write it down. Lock combinations are always whole numbers.
O Proceed all the way around the dial, writing down all the whole numbers where it catches. You should have four or five numbers written down.
O Most of the numbers will fit a pattern, for instance all ending in 5. The one number that does not fit the pattern is the final number in your combination.
A padlock can be a huge obstacle in a survival situation, but you do have options to figuring out what the combination is; one option is to crack the code through listening.
And, if you are that generational house, with a lot of padlocks lying in drawers with no known combination, you have a lot of practice material at your disposal!
To learn more ways to open a padlock without the combination, check out wikiHow.
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