Can Your Padlock Withstand a Bullet? - ITS Tactical

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Can Your Padlock Withstand a Bullet?

By Bryan Black

Padlock TestingThe latest issue of Popular Mechanics had a fantastic writeup on a battery of abusive lab tests they put some padlocks though, to see which one would come out on top.

I immediately bought the issue when I saw it on the newsstand, and was excited to learn they’d published their results online too.

They used five great testing criteria, including Shock (like from a sledgehammer), Bolt Cutters, Tensile (force to pull the shackle out), Salt Fog (effect from weather), and a Gunshot.

I would have personally liked to see more locks included as well as lock picking and bumping added to the testing, but overall it’s a great test! Suprisingly the $24 Master Lock beat out the $115 Medeco and appears to have been bulletproof.

What do you guys think of the test? Check it out here and let us know in the comments.

photo by Ofer Wolberger

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  • FiveOh

    You ever read the Box O’ Truth? He did a basic lock test awhile back.

    • Great test! Shows what really happens when you try to shoot a lock. I’ve tried it myself and it’s not as easy as it looks on the movies 🙂

      ~ Bryan

  • Wow! Looks like a pretty rough test they put those locks through! I always thought that Master locks have become lower end but this test proves there’s certainly more to them than I realized.

  • waykno

    I seem to remember an old movie or commercial where a guy was going to break into a shed or something and he had a crow bar. His partner said, “that is a $50 lock on there, that crow bar won’t help.” The other guy said, “yeah, but it’s a $3 shackle.”

  • Wheelhouse

    I read that test as well. Great article. I subscribe to PM and kinda consider it the perfect “guy” mag. Something in there for anyone.

  • Code24

    One big caveat to this; Of all of these, Master is by FAR the easiest to pick. I taught my wife to pick one, when I was demonstrating lock picking to her. She had it open in about 45 seconds. I’ve seen master locks that I can pick with JUST the tension wrench, they are so bad.

    Padlocks aren’t meant to take a lot of abuse, especially of the destructive kind. I’ve never seen a hasp that is half as strong as the steel they use for the locks themselves, so a brute force attack is almost always going to work (extra bad if the hasp is screwed into wood). To me, a padlock is more about knowing the lock hasn’t been breached. So if I see a shattered Medeco, I KNOW the lock has been breached. But a Master? You have no idea if that lock has been breached or not, because they are so stupidly easy to pick.

    This isn’t just true of security either. Show your insurance agent the shattered Medeco, and there are no questions. Now try explaining how that theft occurred in your garage, where the lock was still locked, and you didn’t notice for a week…

    • I agree 100% and eluded to that in my write-up, that I would have liked to see bypass tools as a category for evaluation. Overall I do think this was a decent test though.

      That’s a very solid point you bring up about the insurance implications of using a crappy padlock that can be easily shimmed or picked. Try explaining it to your insurance agent… That’s the fundamental issue with lock bumping, picking or any type of bypass methods, when you’re on the receiving end you’re going to have a hard time recouping your lost items from insurance.

      Thanks for the comment brother!

  • waykno

    I would imagine anything that can be “secured” can be “unsecured.” Hence, it is simply a deterrent. So a car has umpteen devices and the would-be burglar moves to an easier target–or he/she takes the time and steals it anyway. Or tears it up trying.

  • Don

    Just linked this post on my blog. Great article. And great blog. Thanks for all the articles.

  • luch

    what i find funny is that even after this test practicly screams that master if better than medeco lock, the medeco lock will still be 115 dollars and the master will still be under 30.

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