Monday, May 11, 2009

Getting out of Handcuffs

For once, this blog is NOT about sex. This is a continuation of yesterday's blog about the lockpicking class I took. The teacher, Deviant Ollam, gave each student a universal key good to open handcuffs. He showed us a diagram of how the angled teeth of a handcuff ratchet onto each other in a one-way smooth action. And he showed us the double locking mechanism in the bottom of the cuff designed to slow down the unlocking process. Photos of these mechanisms are on his website: in the slides section. The universal key for handcuffs works by pushing the bottom ratchet out of the way. It looks like a very simple skeleton key with only one tooth.  You just have to turn the key about 1/8th turn to the right. If the double locking mechanism has been employed, then you have to turn the key first to the left to unlock the double-lock, and then to the right to move the ratchet.  The police don't want to have people in handcuffs any longer than necessary, so handcuffs have been designed for quick release. Deviant says you don't really need the official key.  A bent paperclip or hairpin will do the job.  He demonstrated that he can get out of handcuffs behind his back in seconds. Now that Obama is president, I expect my chances of random arrest for crime-think are now minimal. But if an oppressive administration should come to power, it's nice to know that keeping a hairpin in theh cuff of your shirt might help you escape. And to think, hairpins were going out of style.

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