Picking the Chubb 3G110 Lock

By Martin Pink

The Chubb 3G110 still commands respect throughout the locksmith and security trades. It is one of very few locks that has succeeded in maintaining its high security rating over the years.

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Chubb 3G110 is simple to open destructively. However, if destructive opening is not an option, this lock is feared and avoided. Reading forums it is deemed all but ‘unpickable’ by any other means than pin and cam, which is also considered unreliable.

Mystique and awe

So amongst lock pickers across the trade, The chubb 3G110 is steeped in mystique and awe.

Studying the lock for possible ways to defeat it showed me a possible weakness or two. I developed my own method of opening them. Although, this was not a quick fix. My method worked for me and through Tradelocks we involved Chris Belcher on a possible commercial design. The result is the CB 3G110 reversible curtain pick

One of my pet moans is about locksmiths not understanding the lock(s) they want to manipulate. They expect the information to be given to them with the tool or via a forum. Or that the tool does all the thinking for them as well.

There is no substitute for understanding the lock you wish to work on! Dismantle it, re-assemble it, measure it, look from another angle. Be able to sit outside the door with a picture in your minds-eye of what is happening inside the lock. In this way the money spent on tools with all be worthwhile.

During my own practice time and in discussing this with others, all had one common problem in picking the 110 – they could lift and set the detainers, but as they lifted one detainer another fell back down, due to the fact the stump doesn’t tension against the fence in the traditional way.

So using your information gathering sessions you should have noted the detainers. The picture above shows the old detainer on the left and to the right is the newer detainer now in use. In both cases, the one thing that stands out is the sheer size of the gates in each detainer. They are around four times wider than the stump of the lock.

So when lifting a detainer under tension, you can feel the gate a mile away as huge. The slap between the two jaws is simple to feel and even simpler to feel the difference between gate and anti-pick. As the anti-picks are so small, the stump locks tightly in these with little to no slapping movement at all. The gate on the other hand gives you a huge slapping feeling between the jaws.

Stopping detainers dropping

The problem is one of enough tension holding the set detainers in place whilst setting the next one, and stopping a set detainer(s) from dropping as soon as another is lifted.

The solution took a lot of working out but a shaped wire or precision designed tool as supplied in the CB version works.

So in simply sitting down and looking at and examining the detainer, spotting an obvious weakness in the gate and applying an old technique to the problem of keeping set detainers in place, the entire picking process for picking the Chubb 3G110 became far simpler and far more reliable. Homework and practice!

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