How to use the Silver Bullet
As a modular tool, SB must first be set up properly for your target lock. Fine tuning is generally necessary while the tool is inserted in the lock, depending on the lock orientation, if you are lefty or righty, if you tension from the front or the back... but the way to do it is always as follow:
For the sake of explanation, let's assume that you are using the front tensioning tip.
With the tool all taken apart, insert the tension tip in the external body, all the way in, and align it with the rightest (longest) decoding mark on the body. Thighten the screws.
Insert then the feeler all the way in the tool from the front, and place the internal body from the back. You will now want to align the feeler and the tensioner at the front, and in the same time align the straight line from the internal body with the rightest (longest) decoding line from the external body. Thighten the screws.
You are now set to pick your lock.
Insert your tool in order to tension the lock, and make sure that you are only tensioning the first disc. Apply a LIGHT tension to the right (99% of the existing disc locks/padlocks are to be tensioned to the right).
With the feeler, enter the first accessible disc, and turn it slowly from left to right and from right to left. If this disc is binding, you should feel a scratching resistance while you turn, until you hit the gate. You know that you found that gate because the disc becomes "slippery" for a second.
If you feel no resistance at all while turning this disc, put it back in its original position and go to the next and try the same.
Once one disc is set, you don't want to disturb it while grabbing the next disc. To achieve that, you will push your feeler a little bit forward (until it hits the next disc), turn the feeler IN BETWEEN these two discs until you are aligned with the next disc opening, and then push the feeler to enter that disc. You can now test and pick that next disc.
Your tension force should be light but somehow constant. You may release tension with no risk of loosing your progress (discs are not spring loaded), but you do need to apply tension in order to feel the gates.
Once all discs are in place, the lock will open just like magic!
In order to decode the lock after picking, you only need to come back on every single disc with your feeler and check what graduation it is at. Doing it on all discs will give you the full code of the lock, allowing you to pick it again in seconds the next time, or even to cut a key.
Tips and Tricks
- In order to ease the picking process, it is a good practice to turn all discs to the right, using either a blank key or a flat piece of metal.
- It can help to keep track of your progress as you pick, using a matrix chart, crossing the code as you discover it. This will speed your movements in the lock, and help the decoding process. Such matrix chart can be downloaded here.
- Take a look at the key (or from the same lock model), to check which tensioner is the most suitable for the target lock.
- In case of false gates, with the use of the matrix chart, you can spot the different gates on each disk and come back to them to test them individually and spot the true gate.