I'd like to get some input and compare notes with other members who have picked open or trying to pick Schlage Primus or Everest Primus. Schlage Primii... (spelling correction courtesy of your lovely Keypicking admin ElbowMacaroni). Perhaps we can come up with a standard technique to finally consider these locks destroyable and trivial. If you are so inclined, take a few minutes and discuss your method of attacking the Primus. Don't be afraid to go into excruciatingly excessive details.
I'll just start off with what I've observed. It seems to me that the top pins are a complete joke and will either bind before, after, or intermittently with respect to the finger pins just like any other sidebar lock with the exception of Medeco and maybe Scorpion CX-5 (I don't know if 3 is enough of a sample to make a solid conclusion) so we can pretty much ignore them as they are trivial. When it comes to the finger pins, I've noticed the following:
- When the top is fully picked, you get that signature plug rotation allowing you to keep resetting finger pins without compromising the top.
- With the standard Primus, the finger pins will retain their rotation when under zero tension.
- With the Everest Primus, the finger pins will not retain their rotation when under zero tension and will revert back to the CENTER position as a default.
- With the Everest Primus, the warding is actually deceiving you. The small curved warding protecting the finger pins does not reach all the way through to the back of the lock in one continuous piece and it actually has gaps in it to allow the finger pin tabs to move up and down which makes the actual warding itself irrelevant with a small enough tool.
- With both the Primus and Everest Primus, when rotationally incorrect you can lift and 'semi-set' a finger pin. I think the reason for this is due to the design of the finger pin and sidebar and how they mechanically engage. If a pin is rotated incorrectly and lifted to the sidebar groove, one of the gate millings on the finger pin will snag on the edge of the sidebar groove and sit there waiting to be fixed rotationally. So all I do is lift them all up until they semi-set, then push and pull them forward/back to lock them in place. Some may be more stubborn than others and sometimes I need to drop a few back down to try again. It seems there is some kind of highly variable binding order where a finger pin will bind vertically but not horizontally with this method. Meaning, you may need to lift a few vertically to the semi-set position, and then work a horizontal binding order where you're fixing the angles. Has anyone else noticed this?
- With both the Primus and Everest Primus, when rotationally correct, you'll hear a loud crisp snap when lifting. Done!
- Mostly due to ToolyMcgee, the default depth of the the finger pins under zero tension is not a possible ACTUAL depth that can be set by a key. This is important as you can pre-lift all of the pins making it easier to get underneath. On the standard Primus I insert my pick and lift them all up a bit before attempting any actual picking of them... some of them may just set themselves during this. The keyway on the Everest Primus is surprisingly less restrictive than the original Primus, so there's no need to do this.
Finally, here is the tool I use. It's a modified Southord Dimple pick. I took the smallest pick I could find, sanded down the shank and created a small rounded diamond or half-circle shaped pick to it. The rounded tool helps it slide around the tight keyway easier.
The code is hidden in the tumblers. One position opens the lock, another position opens one of these doors...