It got me thinking about something Farmerfreak once said to me while he was picking a factory pinned second generation Bilock of mine. It was the first time he'd ever even laid hands on a Bilock, and he had it open in about 27 minutes. I'll paraphrase since I don't remember his exact words, but he said something like 'I had trouble picking high security locks, until one day I just started to BELIEVE I could pick them. Once that happened, suddenly I was able to pick locks I'd never before dreamt of picking. Just apply tension, find the binding part, and set it. Repeat until the lock opens.'
I think he hit the nail on the head.
So this is my story of how I got over my mental hurdle about picking high security locks. The lock was a Medeco m3.
I think a lot of what keeps people from believing they can pick a Medeco is the hype. They're the most popular high security lock in North America and most locksmiths regard them as unpickable.
I've heard on more than one occasion at locksmith expos, the factory reps claim that the YouTube picking vids of Medecos are all bogus, using gimmicked locks. One rep went so far as to say he believed he could count on the fingers of one hand the number of people in the world who can pick a factory pinned Medeco, blind out of the box. He said the first person they ever knew who could pick one, they hired on the spot to work in R&D. Quite a fish tale.
I took a Medeco factory certification class for servicing Medeco locks. The guy teaching the class said he only knew of one person in the world who was able to pick a Medeco and he won a $10,000 bounty that the company had put up as a reward for anyone who could pick one. They did it as a sales gimmick to demonstrate how confident they were that it was unpickable. At the time he said this, I knew of at least two people on lp101 who could pick them. I didn't know if they could pick them blind, but they could pick them. However, I couldn't PROVE they could pick them.
So, after the class I bought a new m3 cylinder from my supplier. I quickly discovered with that insanely wide keyway, regular tension wrenches slip. So I made one specifically for Medeco cylinders. This was before Keypicking.com existed, before we had the Medecoder, before we had any really good tutorials on how to pick them. I wasn't sure how to start, so I decided to just get back to basics and dumped all but one of the pin stacks. I took out my favorite, well polished short hook and got to work. I fiddled around with it and within about a half hour I'd figured out a good way to rotate the pin however I wanted, and how to tell by feel if the pin rotation was set properly or if it was stuck in the false groove.
I carried that lock in my pocket, and every time I had a few idle minutes, like when waiting in the car to pick up my kids, I'd work on picking it. Within a few days I'd gotten up to five pin stacks, but it took me another week of working on it for a few minutes here and there in my spare time before I was able to pick it with six pin stacks. After that I started switching around the pinning so I didn't know the pin rotations and had to figure them out by feel. Learning to pick it progressively like that really wasn't that bad. You just have to believe, not only that it's possible, but that YOU can do it.
I got to the point that once I'd figured out the pin rotations on any Medeco, sometimes by partially decoding the pins visually through the keyway, partially by feel, I was able to pick them rather quickly. Back then I was one of only four or five people that I knew of on lp101 who could pick them, but after that, it was like the floodgates opened. It seemed every time I turned around there was a new YouTube video of someone picking one, or someone posting in the lp101 advanced forum that they'd learned to pick them. Now, I imagine some of those videos are indeed faked, but not all of them. By now most of us know quite a few people here on Keypicking.com who have repeatedly proven they can pick them blind (without seeing the key or taking it apart).
Now they're one of my favorite locks to pick. I highly recommend to anyone who feels bored because they've mastered picking standard pin tumbler locks as well as security pins, give Medeco locks a try. I think it might just re-invigorate your interest in lockpicking.
If you want somewhere to start, here's a tutorial by xeo on picking them.
And here is a good place to buy a used Medeco at a competitive price: only $15 with a non-working key, $22 with a working key.
https://securitysnobs.com/Medeco-Biaxia ... -Lock.html