Sunday movie premiere: The russian lock … Part II

Do you remember the mysterious Russian lock?
The one used by Russian Government to safeguard their (nuclear) secrets?

Over a year ago I did a posting on this special and very rare lock. I strongly encourage you to read this previous posting if you don’t know what I am talking about. (Click on this link)

In the previous video (windows media 77 MB) the lock is only slightly disassembled.

The Russian lock ... part II

Today, safe technician Oliver Diederichsen will show you more. He will try to go all the way and fully disassemble the Russian lock to make it reveal it’s secrets.

Personally I was very curious what locking mechanisms were inside.

Keep in mind, this is/was the top of the line in ‘cold war’ Russian lock technology, meant to keep out some of the most clever adversaries (with unlimited budgets). Someone who is not into locks probably thinks this is a boring video. For me, it comes close to viewing an autopsy on a space alien.

See the autopsy of the Russian lock in: The Russian lock part II … (9 minutes, Quicktime movie 55 MB)

More high quality images of this lock (and many other interesting things) can be found on the webpage of Eric Schmiedl (Toool.US).

11 Responses to “Sunday movie premiere: The russian lock … Part II”

  1. JackNco says:

    Fascinating lock. I did not expect to see pins in there. I hope some time soon we get to see the levers.

  2. JackNco says:

    Sorry just been corrected, the discs.


  3. Jean-Claude says:

    Just an observation, I’m pretty sure the disassembly involves operating the lock somehow.

    The two plates restricting the bow-tie shaped assembly on the back of the lock are of particular interest. What reason is there to have friction on these plates requiring force for removal, AFTER the screws have been removed? Perhaps the bow-tie also needs some coaxing to free itself?

    In addition, the fact that the springs did not fly out upon removal of the retaining screws is also of interest.

    My suggestion would be to try operating the lock at all stages of disassembly. I’m dying to see the disc tumblers.

    Great Sunday post, as usual!

  4. Jean-Claude says:

    Another note, is the bow-tie (part with serial number) part of the backplate? Assuming it’s a backplate at all.

    If the bow-tie can turn, maybe a control or maintenance key is needed?

    Just an idea.

  5. Jean-Claude says:


    We pictures of the parts. All of them 🙂

  6. Mitch Capper says:

    Very nice follow up video. It is obviously a very unique lock and the dual locking mechanism is something becoming more common in high security locks of today. I do believe you were correct originally John, it has both pins (the end of the key) and disks (the middle part of the key).

    In addition to the comments made by Jean, there is also the possibility they are specifically designed not to be taken apart and may have a metal lip such that once compressed with another part of the shell it cannot be taken apart except through damage.

  7. Mitch might have a point there. Usually when I see a disc detainer padlock in here, the cylinder drill protection ring is put in with a locking clip that seals the lock permanently shut. If one wants to open such thing, the surroundings or the ring has to be milled away.

    So I suspect that the lock isn’t designed to be openable.

  8. TOWCH says:

    Could it be x-rayed?

  9. Jean-Claude says:

    Alas, I fear y’all are correct. It’s a shame you can’t get to the discs.
    That is pretty typical of the former Soviet regime, from a maintenance standpoint.

  10. mh says:

    very nice, thanks a lot!

  11. matt says:

    i think this lock is realy good ive been after somethink like this for a while so if aney one knows ware i can get one or somethink with the same sort of set up ( the 2 locking mechanisms ) would be grate so pleaze email me and let me know