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UK lock type: SLS/SMP

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MartinHewitt

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Post Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:47 pm

UK lock type: SLS/SMP

There are quite a number of locks which have a certain manufacturing style: Front and back plate, pipes where the mounting screws go through, two diagonally positioned lock screws. The size is standard "magic module"/EN1300. The lock with the layered multi-stump and 7 levers is according to patent GB1352326A an SLS lock. They exist with a lot of plate styles. There are locks with two solid stumps, little strange anti-picks and SMP key. There are also locks with 9 levers and very basic anti-picks. EPIC and some kind of Tann safes have them. The name "powerlock" gets mentioned sometimes. So what is the story of these locks? Multiple companies which decided that this is a cheap way to build solid locks? An evolution of locks from a single company?
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MartinHewitt

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Post Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:31 pm

Re: UK lock type: SLS/SMP

I do now believe there are four basic lock types from three (or two) manufacturers. My current state of research is:

1) SLS lock as in this patent. Layered bolt with five stump positions. Lever guidance pin which can be seen on both cover plates in the center between bolt and key hole. Lots of serrations as anti-pick, but the back-lever has none and has perhaps always the same gate position. There is a bolt, which is key retaining and one which isn't.

2) SMP lock built very similar to the SLS lock. Perhaps due to the fact that SMP bought SLS. Solid bolt with two solid stumps. Again this lever guidance pin in the same location. Levers with two true gates for the two stumps. There seem to be two anti-pick variants. One is a single and rather odd anti-pick just above (when locking at the lever) the true gate. There seems to be one variant which has serrations similar to the SLS lock.

3) Powerlock, which has more variants. 7 or 9 levers, single- and double-bitted key, possibly a curtain with the single-bitted model. The anti-pick can be like in the L&F 2802 and similar locks where there is a single and deep false gate. The obvious difference between this lock and the other two types is that this lock has no lever guidance pin and the diameter of the spacer tubes is larger. They are basically touching the bolt.

The SLS lock was used in SLS and SMP safes, the SMP lock only in SMP safes and the Powerlock in EPIC and Rosengren/Tann safes. The SMP is IMHO easier to pick than the locks of the type of the L&F 2802. The SLS lock is ok. No experience with the Powerlock.
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Oldfast

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Post Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:34 am

Re: UK lock type: SLS/SMP

It's interesting to me the wide variety of locks you have to
wage war against over there. Surely you're beginning to
amass a pile of bent wires for dealing with em all?

Maybe someday we'll see some pictures of your arsenal.

EDIT: Due to my complete ignorance of lever locks, I get the feeling that maybe
I've missed the topic at hand entirely, lol. Nevertheless, lol, what I said stands.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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MartinHewitt

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Post Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:38 am

Re: UK lock type: SLS/SMP

Because I got no answers here, I had already thought about posting photos here, so that you understand what I mean.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:56 am

Re: UK lock type: SLS/SMP

Here some photos. The left lock is an SMP with dual-stump. The two on the right are SLS multi-stump locks. I don't have a Powerlock which I can share.

Additional info: The 7-lever Powerlock seems to be the one with the very basic anti-picks and the 9-lever locks should have the good ones plenty.
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safecracker33

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Post Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:00 pm

Re: UK lock type: SLS/SMP

The construction similarities are probably just that it was a cheap and easy method of lock construction. The designs with multiple bolt stumps like sls and smp were so a lock could not be front drilled with just one hole to line up levers from the front and open them, nothing new in that idea with multiple stumps from various manufacturers like ratner, milner, hobbs etc.
The sls multistump should have a stump for each lever (7) although you sometimes get two adjacent ones at the same level, the smooth lever is what I call the control lever and I think is to prevent graunching or catching of the levers with anti pick notches or teeth during key operation. Even the modern stuff like the double bitted mauers tend to have one smooth control lever.
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luckypicker

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Post Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:26 pm

Re: UK lock type: SLS/SMP

Good two in one pick sould be able to pick them.
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safecracker33

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Post Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:16 pm

Re: UK lock type: SLS/SMP

Some of the power locks and the latest version of the SMP dualstump locks have curtains fitted, but other than that most of them will two in one pick easily enough.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:40 pm

Re: UK lock type: SLS/SMP

Yes, these two are not that difficult.

Regarding the control lever. I do know this word from the Mauers & Co. where this lever also resets the levers. Will then use the word for all a bit longer, single smooth levers.
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luckypicker

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Post Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:33 pm

Re: UK lock type: SLS/SMP

safecracker33 wrote:Some of the power locks and the latest version of the SMP dualstump locks have curtains fitted, but other than that most of them will two in one pick easily enough.


curtain picks not much diff from two in ones really. all front door lever locks must have a curtain to meet british standard, dont know about safe locks
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MartinHewitt

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Post Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:38 pm

Re: UK lock type: SLS/SMP

Curtains are in modern locks really only in Class C locks. Mauer Priumus C, Cawi 1824.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: UK lock type: SLS/SMP

The Powerlocks are really basic. The 9-lever models are without anti-picks. For the double-bitted key half of the lever point in one direction and the other half into the other direction. So half of the bitting of the double-bitted key is realy fake.
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rphillips52

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Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:23 pm

Re: UK lock type: SLS/SMP

When SLS started (in the 1970's, from memory), they did not make their own locks, but bought in from, (again from memory), Yale. Tann had been making many locks of this basic construction — two plates with no case sides — for various purposes, including secure lockers etc.The British War Office/MoD used some, eg.

Later, SLS and SMP had their own designs. These locks, with 7-9 levers, are sufficiently challenging for inexperienced safebreakers with little equipment or skill, and identifying the many variants through the keyhole is also a challenge for drilling quickly. Burglars have to work against the clock, and possibly a silent alarm also ... .

As security requirements tightened, many basic safe [key] locks came to be used on a multitude of secure cabinets, for drugs, guns, school and club trophies, etc., etc..

Key locks are quick and easy to use, strong, reliable, and with little scope for user error. No chance of the combination being written on the side of the safe. Key-retaining versions are also available, and these days there are also inexpensive change-key locks. Whatever the appearance presented by youtube, picking is not trivial, and a range of sizes of kit is needed to cope with the variety of locks which might be encountered.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:10 pm

Re: UK lock type: SLS/SMP

Thanks for your two posts about UK lock history.
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
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