Home High Security and Challenge Locks (811) Challenge Lock from Freefalling13k

(811) Challenge Lock from Freefalling13k


This was Freefalling13k’s first challenge lock and what a design.  After I got it open and saw what he’d done inside, I considered myself luck to have gotten into it.  His key and driver pins interlocked into a “V”, almost like an Emart lock, and had a groove in the core.  With the key pins in place, sliding the lock in and out caused the V’shaped pins to jump up and down, causing me to blurt out “baby birds”.  No idea where that came from… it just popped out but seemed to strike a chord with people, so these pins are now officially “baby bird pins”…




  1. Bill, you have hooked me on the fun of picking lock.  I only picked a few over the years using formed paperclips to open desk that folks lost keys for and filing cabinets.  Over the years I have lost the use of my legs and so I have been looking for something I can do with my hands and thought that hobby lock picking would be fun and doable for me.  So I thought about getting a lock picking set.., but decided to check Ohio law first.., and that shot me down.  In Ohio they basically say  you are guilty of criminal intent just for owning lock picking gear.  So unless I as actually a licensed and practicing locksmith it would be considered criminal to own a lock picking tools in Ohio.Ohio Code           – 2923.24. Possessing criminal tools.
              (A) No person shall possess or have under the person's control any substance,           device, instrument, or article, with purpose to use it criminally.
              (B) Each of the following constitutes prima facie evidence of criminal           purpose:
              (2) Possession or control of any substance, device, instrument or article           designed or specially adapted for criminal use…. "Prima           facie evidence means evidence which is sufficient to establish a fact,           unless rebutted, and that standing alone and unexplained would support           the conclusion for which it is introduced;" STATE v. HICKS.

    1. Mark, I believe the wording in that text is similar to most states. Read “with purpose to use it criminally”. If you are using you own locks or locks from a friend, you are NOT “using it criminally”. You should be good to go! BTW… I’m not a lawyer but I play one on the interwebs.

  2. Anybody else notice what would happen if he kept picking clockwise. The pins would have fallen in those holes in the core and locked the whole thing up.

  3. "Declawed"? What the hell is that?
    Sounds like some strange cruel procedure to prevent the cats to scratch the wood floor in a fancy house or something.

  4. It looks like the key has angled seats for the pins to rest on.

    my theory is that the pins rotate so that the notch is just out of alignment with the notch on the cylinder, so that even when the pin is at the shear line, the core will not turn, unless the pin is also rotated to the proper orientation.

  5. I think the idea of the "V" cut is if you look at the key pin, the bottom is "V" cut as well. So if a pick is pushing up, it might rotate the key pin, and as it's pushed up, mis-align the driver pin's "V" cut from the groove as well

  6. If you hit these pins uncentered while picking, they rotate and wont open at all. The key can straighten them again to open.

    1. It looks like a dimple lock and those sets have a half diamond and PXS-14 has a half circle pick. I would pick those as the tools of choice. I’ve never picked a dimple lock but Bill uses a flag pick and the picks I mentioned are probably as close to a flag pick as you have. HTH.

  7. I'll admit that I no nothing really about lockpicking; I just enjoy watching you practice your skill.

    My thought is that Freefalling13K's idea was if the pins rotated while picking , they would get caught at the shear line. I think that may also be why the key was cut so sharply; the pins would be/stay aligned by the key.

  8. the key has angles on it too so im guessing using the pick will put the angles out so those V's don't line up with the V's on the round bit? (newbie here dont know what its called). Probably why he said do it counter clockwise as that way probably has slightly wider V's allowing more margin for error?

  9. I am new to locks and was hoping you would do a video on how to rekey/repin a lock including where you recommend buying the tools and supplys

    1. Check out his Resources link at the top of the page, it opens a dropdown box that includes the option “Where to Buy Stuff”.

  10. It looks like a cut price version of whatever lock brand it is where you have to turn the pins to free a side bar. (Medeco?)

    However here, they just have to be turned enough such that the Vs on the bottom pins line up with the grooves on the core. If they're not lined up, then the core should not turn as the top pins should lock it in place.

    Very clever!

  11. I think the pins were cut like that to make you think you have that pin set.With the middle being so deep you might think you have the pin set.

  12. At first I thought that rotation would be needed to align the pins to make a serrated shear line but after watching again, after the plug was removed and they key was moved in and out there was no rotation. All of the pins stayed in alignment with the cross cuts in the plug. I am guessing the difficulty in opening was from the imperfect machining and tolerances(not from a lack of rotation) I could be wrong just my observation.

  13. Making sure to keep the same front angle,
    Grind it so angle slopes to 1 side or the other.
    This will rotate pins, back & forth. 

  14. Bill – This looks like an attempt at making an Russwin (Assa/Abloy) Emhart High Security cylinder. Have you ever had the pleasure of picking one?? George Seaman CRL

  15. Push the key pin in the bible, so tip of upper pin reaches shear line..
    while doing that, key pin's edge gives false feedback of a serrated..
    then you have no feedback of when the upper pin's tip alligns, cause it is encased in the key pin..
    assuming you somehow realise all the above, and get the upper pin's tip alligned, then you have to
    release some tension to allow the key pin to drop out of the way..
    imagine this pinning in prefect sized "tubes/pines" and perfect cut/matched grooves…

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