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Notorious Ballyhoo

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:52 am
by L4R3L2
"Some people think that an expert can open a safe by listening to the tumblers fall, or by a delicate sense of touch and determine when the tumblers are properly set. This was more or less true of some makes of safes manufactured fifty years or so ago, but not true of the modern safe. No amount of sand papering your fingers or trying to solve a correct set of numbers out of many million possible combinations will open a safe after the dial is thrown. All such ballyhoo is for notoriety."

This, from a safeman's manual. No wonder so many safemen go straight to the drill. Don't believe everything you read applies to professional literature as well, it seems. I'm thinking about changing my user name to "ballyhoo". LOL!

Re: Notorious Ballyhoo

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:29 am
by MartinHewitt
It would be easier to pronounce than R2D2.

Re: Notorious Ballyhoo

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:57 pm
by Oldfast
:rofl: Ballyhoo.... haha! Now there's a word you don't hear to often anymore.
Similar to shenanigans, lol. Another highly underutilized word nowadays.

I think for the most part, manipulation is widely accepted as a real means to opening a safe today. I mean, there's probably still some non-believers... but of the people I've worked for over the last few years - not one of them thought I was full of shit when I explained how I'd be tackling their safe.

What I do run into a lot though (thanks to Hollywood) is the belief that I will hear or feel the correct #'s as I pass by them.

The answer to this question is 'Yes and No", depending on the type of lock and its' condition. Around here, we all know how a gate is more often revealed; exploring the outer circumference of a wheel, fluctuations, and so on -- but delve into that explanation with someone at your own risk, lol. I've tried and find I usually lose on average, 20 minutes of my life. Usually ends with confusion anyway. I probably could've opened the safe by then. lol

Re: Notorious Ballyhoo

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:17 am
by L4R3L2
Oldfast wrote:I think for the most part, manipulation is widely accepted as a real means to opening a safe today. I mean, there's probably still some non-believers... but of the people I've worked for over the last few years - not one of them thought I was full of shit when I explained how I'd be tackling their safe.


But, there's the rub of it. The general public is willing to believe that manipulation is valid, but, ironically, professional locksmiths (who you'd think would know better) have been led to believe it's "ballyhoo". I ran into this a couple weeks ago at my job. During some down time I asked the lady owner if I could utilize the time practicing manipulation. First she said, umm, O.K. But then said she'd rather I practice other locksmithing skills as manipulation is not something that can be done, and there is only one person in the U.S who can do it (I assume she's seen some Sitar vids, lol). So, this is what we're up against.

Re: Notorious Ballyhoo

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:42 am
by MHM
L4R3L2 wrote:
Oldfast wrote:I think for the most part, manipulation is widely accepted as a real means to opening a safe today. I mean, there's probably still some non-believers... but of the people I've worked for over the last few years - not one of them thought I was full of shit when I explained how I'd be tackling their safe.


But, there's the rub of it. The general public is willing to believe that manipulation is valid, but, ironically, professional locksmiths (who you'd think would know better) have been led to believe it's "ballyhoo". .


Absolutely spot on. When I told the local guys I could manipulate (some) group 2 locks they looked at me like I was from outer space and clearly didn't believe me - and these are guys I know well and who have known for years that I'm a lock picker.

I think that the issue is that your average suburban locksmith really has had very little training on picking in general and manipulation in particular - this stuff just isn't a priority. At their trade courses they're taught the more bread and butter techniques of morticing a lock into a door, or attending a vehicle lockout, or duplicating a transponder key - the sort of stuff that they see all day every day. Complex picking and manipulation just doesn't get a look in and so they get a fairly narrow view of what can and can't be done. As you say, ironically this means that the general public is more inclined to believe that this stuff is possible, rather than guys in the trade.

Re: Notorious Ballyhoo

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:57 am
by mdc5150
Notorious Ballyhoo sounds like a rapper name from the 1700's.

Re: Notorious Ballyhoo

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:21 am
by L4R3L2
LOL! Speaking of rap, the best rap station ever west of the Mississippi is KRAP.

Re: Notorious Ballyhoo

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:40 am
by Oldfast
Terry and Michael... Listening to you guys in regards to the profession is certainly enlightening (and interesting). The lack of exposure and training some of these folks receive in picking or manipulating does make sense. And it's true such things account for only a small percentage of the work they have to focus on.

At the same time, I cannot help but wonder... just how many of them know full well this stuff is legit. Rather, it's just easier and more beneficial to them (their work, their conversations, their egos, etc. etc.) if they can lead people around 'em to believe it's bullshit.

I mean really, how can you NOT in this day in age, know that this stuff exists, is being used in the field, and is very real. The International Safecracking Competition has been held... for how many years? So whadda they think - these folks all get together every year to 'pretend'? lol. The news over the years have covered plenty of safe stories where the safe was 'manipulated' open. Or how about the magazines and catalogs they no doubt receive all the time in the mail as a business? Hell, (as a result of just a few on-line buys) I find at least a couple in my mailbox every month. These are usually riddled with the latest manipulation aids, and announcements for the 'next upcoming manipulation course'.

I have no problem believing that many do not seek out further training with picking or manipulation. But I find it very difficult to believe that most people in the trade do not know the truth. It doesn't bother me really, it's more interesting than anything. Actually, let the craft die out. By the time I'm old and gray, I'll be part of a rather elite group with a service that's hard to find. lol

And, as if there wasn't enough to discuss already...
mdc5150 wrote:Notorious Ballyhoo sounds like a rapper name from the 1700's.

Matt brings up yet another valid point.

Re: Notorious Ballyhoo

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:38 am
by L4R3L2
So, now the cat's out of the bag!

At the shop there is a closed safe "For Display Only". When I had a few minutes during lunch breaks, I'd get some manipulation in. After a few short sessions I had that safe open. I found out that the combination was basically a factory setting number, but that two of the numbers were off some integers, with one being off far enough that dialing two whole numbers off would not give an opening. I quickly suspected this "display" safe was not for sale for lack of a working combination!!

Anyhow, I had the opportunity to ask the boss man why that safe was for display only. He said the safe's serial number was not registered at the manufacturers and could not, therefore, be sold. A few minutes later I decided to let him know I had manipulated the safe. "Did you get it open?" "Yeah." "That's impressive(!) What's the combination?" I gave the combination as he dialed, and voila! An open door :-) "Cool!"

So, now my boss knows manipulation is real, and I'm not blowing smoke. Hopefully he will find some way to integrate my skill into our safe opening options for customers. Drilling is so quick and easy, but I'm hopeful we can offer manipulation to those who are simply missing combinations to their old safes.

Re: Notorious Ballyhoo

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:12 am
by Oldfast
Hey, that's great! Maybe over time this will materialize into some opportunities.
So (I think it's obvious), but I'm assuming you're the only one there that spins?

Re: Notorious Ballyhoo

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:55 am
by L4R3L2
Aside from the husband/wife owners, I'm the only one THERE. So, now we have a driller AND a manipulator. Someday, I hope to learn drilling in order to round out my safe experience, but something about drilling just goes against my grain. LOL! However, with a safe that has gone through a fire, manipulation is almost always not an option.

Re: Notorious Ballyhoo

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:34 am
by MartinHewitt
I'm sure he thinks you did witchcraft. Some toad and spider legs ...