Padlock Poll: Donate or Toughness Test Them?


May 4, 2007, 12:23 PM
Dear THR Members:

We all recall the commercials by Master™, the padlock company…”Tough Under Fire”. Myth Busters did something similar recently. But, I don’t think they had the really beefy padlocks.

Well, I have four (4) Master™ padlocks. Two of these padlocks are normal, run-of-the-mill $15.00 padlocks. But, the other two are the biggest padlocks I’ve ever seen. Back when I bought them (ten years ago, they cost $79.00 and $99.00 each. I used them to secure a couple of heavy, steel ammunition cabinets that I had.

My question is this, should I donate these padlocks to people who could use them, or should I take them to the family farm and see just how “…tough…” they are “…under fire…” of pistols and rifles? If I take them to the family farm, I would take the digital camera and the video camera and record the process. For my part, I’m curious about the effect a .22LR, 9mm, .45 ACP, 5.56 AP and .7.62 NATO would have on these. If all else fails, I have a Mark V in .300 Win Mag. You vote.

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May 4, 2007, 12:28 PM
Toughness test done on Box O Truth, interesting stuff.....

Do your own and let us know how they stand up.

May 4, 2007, 12:31 PM
TOUGHNESS test all the way... Nobody wants a used lock:neener:

PLEASE post pictures/info of the testing tough.

Mythbusters did some really cool lock tests (Padlocks and deadbolts) a while back... Something like Handgun vs Rifle vs Shotgun Slug.... Give that a go.

May 4, 2007, 12:31 PM

That's awesome!! Thanks, I bookmarked that link.


May 4, 2007, 12:37 PM
moral of the story: if ya come knockin', come knockin' wit a 12 ga. slug

May 4, 2007, 12:39 PM
Shoot them! I would not waste the time with the 22. Well maybe try it on the brass lock. From my actual effort the lock on the left is very tuff to break off. I broke my bolt cutters on one of those. If at first you don't succeed get out the blue tipped wrench :evil:

General Geoff
May 4, 2007, 12:41 PM
I actually own the lock on the far left. I'd be very interested to see what some varying small arms calibers will do to it.

May 4, 2007, 12:41 PM
If I knew somebody that needed a few I would just donate them, if there are no takers shoot the hell out of them.

lee n. field
May 4, 2007, 12:42 PM
Donate them.

Shoot them if you want. The Box 'o Truth website ran their own test. Pistol rounds didn't do much. .223 punched right through but didn't open it. The only thing that actually broke the lock enough to open the hasp was a shotgun slug. And these were cheap laminated Master Lock knock offs.

May 4, 2007, 12:42 PM
TRman - nice link.... had no idea that a .308 wouldn't do the trick. I figured no handgun round would..... but the .308 surprised me.

All of a sudden I feel the need to buy a shotgun and some slugs...... you never know when you might need a lock opener! ;)

Oh... and I guess considering that the Box o truth has done this..... I guess you'd be better off donating them... and if you do so, try to do it at a place where you can get a tax write-off for the donation.

May 4, 2007, 12:42 PM
I don't think there is a handgun caliber that will open the lock on the far left (probably not any of them)... but go ahead... try and prove me wrong.

All of a sudden I feel the need to buy a shotgun and some slugs...... you never know when you might need a lock opener!

LOL... And when the neighbor sees you preparing to shoot your front door with a 12 ga. you can honestly answer "What??? I lost my keys... what would YOU do???" :D:D:D

May 4, 2007, 01:00 PM
Reflections after viewing Myth Busters and the link below offered up by TexasRifleman:

The tests in the link are attacking the lock through the less critical area...their centers. The locks' mechanical aspects are at the sides, bilaterally, meaning each side locks the loop into the body on each of these locks. Let's add something that had not yet been tested.

Q 1: What if the penetration, angle of attack, comes from the side?

Q2: What if the penetration, angle of attack, comes from the top?

Please feel free to give feedback on distance, angle of attack, brand and configuration of ammo, weight of ammunition to use, etc. I do own bullet resistant attire, and I will also be behind a shield, firing mechanically. Ergo, flying lead and pieces will be a non-issue.

I won't even bother testing with a shotgun; we know they work. :)

Thanks all,


May 4, 2007, 01:10 PM
Doc2005 brings up some good points. To add to what he already said, how vulnerable are the shackles? When using bolt cutters, you cut the shackle, not the lock. Or does the shape of the shackle make it too hard to hit squarely?

To find out, I say test them.

May 4, 2007, 01:22 PM

Excuse my ignorance, at least I am willing to learn, but what is a "shackle"?

Re Q1: I suspect that a side-on attack will merely fuse the lock shut by jamming the loop into the internal securing mechanisms.

Re Q2: I suspect that a top-down attack will compromise the internals, by driving them right out of the locks' bottoms.


May 4, 2007, 01:37 PM
Duh?? Do you even have to ask?

May 4, 2007, 01:48 PM
Here are additional photos to help with making a better assessment Re: angle of attack.


May 4, 2007, 02:00 PM
1. I once bought a knaack jobsote toolbox that was locked shut. They use #5 master padlocks, set in a recess, so only the keyslot is visible. I called a locksmith, to see about picking the lock for me. He kind of laughed, saying he'd feel guilty about charging me, just drill out the keyway. The locked popped open as fast as if I used a key...;)

2. My neighbor runs a mini-storage, they use disc padlocks, she often defeats these locks using a drill into the keyslot.

So, if you're setting up a torture test, try shooting a lock using the keyslot as a bullseye! Post videos!

May 4, 2007, 02:03 PM
Ride -

note to self.... find gun-friendly neighbors.

May 4, 2007, 02:10 PM
Excuse my ignorance, at least I am willing to learn, but what is a "shackle"?
The shackle's the horseshoe-shaped metal piece as sticks out the lock - which you use to attach to chains and such.

A 7.62 tokarev round might do something interesting.

May 4, 2007, 02:34 PM
I say test'em out.

I'd much rather see a "real guy" test than a commercial show-off. Commercials will only show you what they want you to see, whether it's true or not.

May 4, 2007, 02:43 PM
Give in to the power of the Dark Side (t). It is... your destiny. :evil:

Shoot 'em up! Be sure to post the vids!

May 4, 2007, 02:56 PM
At first I thought, "Donate them, because it's already been done and I hate to see $200 plus in good to great padlock get ruined."
But..... and this is a big butt.... I've always been very curious as to why a padlock can be worth $50 or even $100. We now know what can open a $5 "Master Lock knock-off" (thanks to RifleMan but will a shotgun slug or a .30-06 take out one of the more expensive locks?
What will a .50 cal do to the most expensive one?

O.K., I'm sold. Blast them to smithereens!!!!!!!!!

May 4, 2007, 03:10 PM
Q2: What if the penetration, angle of attack, comes from the top?

I like where you head is. That was the issue that I had with the Box 'O Truth test. They shot them straight on in the front, where the lock is the strongest. Now granted, they were recreating the master lock commercial. I would be very interested to see what would happen if you fired down on them. But this would require you to be VERY careful.

May 4, 2007, 03:42 PM
Careful indeed!

The rifle(s) will be strapped into a rifle rest very securely. The same for the pistols, but using a pistol holder. I will be in the far side either of 1) a concrete barricade, or 2) on the far side of my truck and wearing my bullet resistant vest, etc. I will be firing the weapons mechanically. Safety is #1. No people will be allowed to be within 500 yards of me, and there is a dirt solid backstop.

I am actually thinking that I should go straight to the rifles, and skip the pistols altogether. I think that pistols simply will not possess sufficient power to do any significant damage.

Weatherby Commerical?
Has anyone else ever seen the Weatherby, Inc commercial from back about 20 or so years? Roy Weatherby shot a large padlock (I think) with a .300 Weatherby Magnum. It shattered, and I do mean shattered the padlock. If anyone can locate a video of that can you please post the link here?

By the way, I just price checked these, their prices have dropped significantly! Now, they cost not more than around $30.00ish each.

The Locks:


May 4, 2007, 08:45 PM

I'm a locksmith. Doc [B]please[B] allow me to sell you new padlocks at the prices you quoted, I need to retire soon.

The roundish silver lock in forged body is a Master mdl 6230, sells new in my shop for about $32.00. The guarded hasp mdl 957 is no longer in production AFAIK, & it's modern equivalent would probably be the 6327, maybe $40.00. A standard #1 laminated is about $12.00 and a brass #150 is about the same price.

Note: I'm at home, don't have the Master book in front of me, might be off on mdl # & price by a coupla bucks or so.

I'm not gonna tell you guys where to shoot one. And if someone does find a magic spot, do you really want to show off for one post? And let the whole world know how to defeat everybody else's padlocks? My consience would bother me, your results may vary.


May 4, 2007, 08:47 PM
If not to me then shoot them. :)

May 4, 2007, 08:50 PM
Toughness test please. and take both pics and video I'm sure we're all interested in seeing what happens.:)

If and when they pass the test then you can donate them.

The best of both worlds.:D

May 4, 2007, 09:02 PM
CB900F, as always posted great information and I share his position of not exposing publicly the results.

Not sure about "always wanting to shoot stuff" ...

As soon as something is messed up, donated, lost, or even borrowed, that is when one needs that very item.

May 4, 2007, 09:41 PM

If you review my post before yours, you will note that I was curious of the present-day value, and I did the Google search. They have dropped dramatically. But, also, recall where I live...the 2nd most expensive county in America. Depending on where you shop, the Bushmasters sell for $150.00 to $200.00 above MSR. Supply and demand rules. The customers have the supply of $$$, and the stores demand as much of that money as they can. Rather a perversion, isn't it? Now you understand why I call this area "Jokeland County", not Oakland County. It is a joke.


May 4, 2007, 10:09 PM
Oakland County? Michigan?

Is that based on property values?

I had no idea.

I was always under the impression that Pitkin, Marin, NY counties, etc. were up top.

May 4, 2007, 10:53 PM
You don't have a use for padlocks? Not even in the foreseeable future?

May 4, 2007, 10:56 PM
You're joking right? Toughness test!

May 4, 2007, 11:02 PM
I'd say do your own tests. I for one would be pretty interested to see the results. Do be careful though , seriously. Shooting locks could be very dangerous. Bullets could deflect, lots of potential for shrapnel in any direction.. sheesh, all sorts of things. I'd like to see what happens, but I wouldn't want to see you get hurt in the process.

May 4, 2007, 11:15 PM
I say shoot them!!!

May 4, 2007, 11:20 PM
Heres another vote for the toughness test.

On another note, I can say for a fact that a 16ga foster slug will completly penetrate the body of a Master combination/key locker-style lock, poping the clasp completly off the lock in the process. I forgot the combo and lost the key to it, and needed to get it unlocked to move a deerstand. A sluggun proved to be a good spare key.

May 5, 2007, 12:58 AM
I'd be extremely interested to see how well that 957 holds up. We have a TON of those things at the warehouse I work in, and they are TOUGH. You can't drill them, you can't cut them, hammers are useless, grinders just make them bounce all over....One of our forklift drivers had one hanging over the back of his lift, dangling from a chain, when he backed into a pole at full speed, about 17mph. It left an imprint of the lock on both the pole (7/8 thick steel I beam) and the cast iron counterweight on the lift. The pole bent like a straw, the lift went to a junkyard, but the lock was fine.

May 5, 2007, 08:06 AM

Apologies, the comment on selling to you was tongue-in-cheek. I noted the comment about a poster wanting to try shooting in various spots on the locks & posting the results & simply dropped to reply without reading all the rest of the posts, including yours.

On the 6230, that has a forged steel body. Master makes a lock that's similar in looks with a cast body that sells at a lower price point. There is a protective difference between the two, don't be fooled.


May 5, 2007, 08:35 AM
Blast and photograph. I use the 6230 on my work truck and would like see what you do to it and how well it holds up.

May 5, 2007, 08:42 AM

No problem; I knew that! I wasn't offended at all.


May 5, 2007, 02:56 PM
I found the Weatherby padlock commercial!

As I walked through the family room this morning, I noted my Weatherby video. I haven't watched it in years. Immediately I thought...that's where I saw the padlock the beginning of that video!

So, I took the video to the living room and plugged it in. Just after the FBI warning, appears a Weatherby padlock commercial! If anyone wants to see the commercial, it is on the video that is titled, Weatherby Video Presents, "Hunting The Cape Buffalo", by Global Adventure Video. They used a .300 Wea. Mag. to shoot the lock. They had the lock mounted onto a piece of heavy steel using an eye hook. That padlock was not going to fly way unless it broke.

Most important, they show the angle of attack "shot placement" was angled. It was not a straight through the front. They then show the lock shattering in semi-slow speed. The shank remained flawlessly in-tact! But, the lock that Weatherby used in the commercial is not the heavy-duty lock. It was like the lock in the first set of pictures that has the label on it, “Tough Under Fire”. Now, the large black pad lock is designed the same. The difference is that it has a plastic shell 1/8” thick over the bottom to keep water and other elements off, and the top is shrouded in steel.

However, there is a massive energy difference between a 26” barreled, Mark V, chambered in .300 Wea. Mag. launching a 150 grain bullet at 3,600 FPS, versus the SA M1A “Loaded”, with a 22” barrel, chambered in 7.62 NATO, launching a 150 grain bullet at 2700 FPS. I agree as others stated before, the two smaller padlocks present no issue. They should be compromised with little difficulty. The two large padlocks. :evil:

May 5, 2007, 03:32 PM
If you want to open a padlock with a gun shoot downwards into the body between the shackle entries.
This puts all the loading onto the locking mechanism.
The shackles sometimes crack at the locking cuts, but most often the body just goes flying and you can remove the shackle from the hasp it is now hanging on.

Sometimes you can open them with a sledge hammer and a steel rod.
Place rod between shackle holes, strike with hammer.

May 5, 2007, 06:19 PM

Your explanation is correct, for almost all padlocks. Fortunately (unfortunate for this experiment) when Master™ fabricated these larger two locks, they had that technique in mind. These large locks are virtually (though not completely) pick-proof, hammer-proof, etc-proof. :evil: That's good for us most of the time. If you get some time, check the website that describes the locks.

I believe that the 2.25" silver lock will be extremely difficult to compromise with anything short of a .50 BMG (which I do not own). I believe that even my .300 Win. Mag. would fall short. I’m not even sure a .300 Wea. Mag. could compromise them. I do have some Winchester® Supreme, Fail Safe™, 150 Grain, .300 Win Mag. ammunition. Those of us who have checked this ammunition with a magnet know that it has a steel core that facilitates deep penetration and holds the round together. However, these padlocks are hammer-forged, heat-treated and shrouded in heat-treated steel. Yikes!

If I test this Winchester® Supreme, Fail Safe™ ammunition, I will have do set up the test inside of the old silo. The rationale should be self-evident. The potential for ricochet would be too high to do in the open, even with a backstop. An abandoned, covered silo would negate any risks of ricochets, and again, firing mechanically, I wouldn't be in any danger.

I have considered ordering some 180 grain, Barnes®, Monolithic Solids™ and handload them. That way, if all else fails, I should have some back up that should compromise them.

Thoughts about the loads, and thoughts about the angle of attack?


May 5, 2007, 06:35 PM
Hey Doc, If you can't bust the lock with your rifles, there's always tannerite!!!! :evil:

May 5, 2007, 06:36 PM
I fall else fails, my one uncle owns a 28" barreled, Weatherby Mark V, chambered in .30-378 Weatherby Magnum. He handloads his rounds so hot that the primer pockets last only one firing. After that, he has to cut off the base, thread the base cartridge, and epoxy it into a stainless steel base he has custom-made.

May 5, 2007, 06:42 PM

What is "...tannerite..."? I did a Google search :

...and did some reading. But, is the stuff really legal to own? Thanks for the info. I'll have to read up on it just for the sake of knowledge. Thanks for participating in this thread too. I appreciate your inputs.


May 5, 2007, 06:56 PM
If you shoot them, don't do it in the center. There's already sufficient testing with that shot angle.

I'd be most interested to see what happens when they're shot from the side with a rifle.

May 5, 2007, 07:00 PM
Yes, it IS totally legal to own. As I'm sure you noticed it's a binary explosive, and the components, harmless by themselves, are shipped seperately. Once mixed, it needs a high-power projectile to detonate it, and when it goes up, it's loud, it's smokey, and it's done. Very little flash and no fire.

And from all accounts I've heard, having never experienced it myself, it's FUN!!!

May 5, 2007, 07:26 PM

Agreed. There are so many shots fired through center-of-mass. That does nothing. The Weatherby commercial shows the locks being attacked on an angle. From the front, the crosshair was placed just left of center, and quartering rear-ward to the right. With such an angle of attack, the projectile first impacts the outer edge of the locking mechancism, and subsequently impacts the right hand side of the shank.

That leaves two angles of attack unaddressed:

1: top-down

2: side-on

May 5, 2007, 07:55 PM
Fellow The High Road Members:

Bingo! Here is the proper medicine for padlock dispatching:

165 grain, Barnes® Banded Solids ™. If these will not open a padlock, nothing else in .30 caliber will. I suspect that if handloaded in a .300 Winchester Magnum, these would net the penetration desired. However, as stated, ricochets. The silo will be a must.


May 6, 2007, 07:05 PM

May 7, 2007, 12:26 AM
i think you should use a 12ga slug or breaching round. if they can stand up to those being shot down onto the lock (see the best place to shoot a lock to make it fail) id be impressed. anyway you do a toughness test it will be fun to see!

May 7, 2007, 08:01 AM
We all recall the commercials by Master™, the padlock company…”Tough Under Fire”.

Did y'all know that that commercial was only shown on Super Bowl Sunday?

Just one day a year and everyone over the age of 30 remembers the ad. Very effective advertising,

May 7, 2007, 09:00 AM
the blue rimmed master lock will fail with 1 impact, COM, from a 45 Colt, 250 grain lead keith style with a MV of roughly 1250 fps @ 5 yds.... :D

I seemed to have forgotten the key to the lock which is (was) on my gate up North... 1200 mile round trip is a bit of a drive for a 15.00 padlock... the trusty Ruger Blackhawk took care of it... one round... went to town, bought a new lock....

May 7, 2007, 03:55 PM
But, is the stuff really legal to own? Thanks for the info. I'll have to read up on it just for the sake of knowledge. Thanks for participating in this thread too. I appreciate your inputs.

Yes. Observe (

I'm in the green shirt, baseball hat, and wearing blue earmuffs. That was a fun day.

May 7, 2007, 05:17 PM, I mean, "Hey...Pete!"

That was cool! Thanks for the post!


May 8, 2007, 01:23 PM
I have been reflecting on this thread, and the firearm to use. I have been thinking that it would be wise to steer-clear of an AR so as to not portray the AR in a negative light. I do think that is just plain prudent. I also do not want to risk a .40 cent bullet bouncing back and destoying a $1,200 rifle or $1,200 ACOG, or both. :)

So, I have thought of what other rifles I own...reactions to using a Mosin in 7.62X54R? That might be interesting, and they cost a mere $79.00! Thoughts?

May 8, 2007, 09:23 PM
T/C Pro Hunter Muzzleloader?

An additional angle I have thought of is weight and velocity. Now, we know from previous people's test/videos that shotgun slugs are impressive.

For comparison purposes, a pound of powder has 7,000 grains/16 ounces. Therefore, a one (1) ounce slug weighs 437.5 grains. Most shotgun slugs I have seen have a velocity around 1,300 to 1,500 FPS.

My T/C Pro Hunter puts out a 470 grain slug at 1,752 FPS, with 3,163 Ft. Lbs. energy when loaded with three (3) powder pellets. So, if a shotgun slug would so effectively compromise a padlock, what might a BP rifle do? The Pro Hunter's load pushes a heavier projectile, at a higher velocity. I think the use of a BP rifle would add some interesting twists. Yet, nobody I know would ever assume a muzzle loader to be so potent.


May 9, 2007, 07:59 PM

May 11, 2007, 11:39 AM

Poll will close in 7 days. I probably should have made the poll shorter, say 5 days. Live and learn. As it stands, it looks like I'll be making a trip to the family farm.

May 11, 2007, 12:27 PM
Doc, when you do, how 'bout starting a new thread? You could link back to this one, but a thread dedicated to the results would be great.

May 11, 2007, 04:58 PM
What most fail to understand, is the locking mechanism is in the top 1/4 of the lock. Grind off the rivets on of those master locks and disassemble plate by plate. You'll see what I mean.
The top quarter is where it needs to be shot, not the middle.

May 11, 2007, 11:50 PM

Excellent idea! I would have put the results here. I think you are right. For the results, I will start clean thread, and link it back here, and link this thread forward. Thanks!


No doubt about that! Take a look at that big, round steel one...the locking parts are all in the very top. I'm thinking of a top-down shot...between the shakle inward (downward) toward the key.


May 14, 2007, 08:42 PM
BTT. Thread closes in 4 more days. Any last-minute thoughts?

May 16, 2007, 05:49 PM
BTT. Thread closes in 2 more days. :)

May 16, 2007, 06:02 PM
You should shoot them on the side by the hasp, not in the middle, nothing there but space unless you use something that will blow it apart maybe a .50 cal :) .

May 16, 2007, 06:10 PM
Shoot the shackle. Works for me.

May 16, 2007, 06:26 PM
Shoot the locks, but don't keyhole them :)

May 16, 2007, 07:16 PM
Toughness test already done at I say donate 'em to a pro-RKBA gun-owner.

May 18, 2007, 09:13 AM
Thread to close in appx. 3 hours. Any last-minute thoughts?

May 18, 2007, 09:55 AM
Shoot the things!!!! (BTW, what would anyone po enough to need a donation have worth locking up??????):confused:

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