Halligan Modifications: Gapping the Fork

One of the simplest and most advantageous modifications to a Halligan Bar is to GAP the forks. 

Gapping the fork of the halligan makes a conventional forcible entry tool into a THRU-THE-LOCK tool.  

Thru-the-Knob Technique:

This technique is based on using leverage to force the knob off from the knob assembly. 

This is accomplished by taking the gapped fork end of the halligan and sliding it behind the door knob.  The space behind the halligan and the door is taken up by another tool.  There are several different tools that can be used to take up that space. Most likely, the flat head axe is available since it's usually married to the halligan as a set of irons.  But, another halligan or pike pole can be used if available.

The upper shaft of the halligan bar is then pushed towards the door with force, and that will displace the door knob from the rest of the door knob assembly.  

Once the knob is off, look where the keyway was and see what type of tool you will need to manipulate the spindle which will operate the deadlatch or latch assembly to unlock the door.  For most residential door knobs, you will need a needle nose pliers to turn the spindle 90 degrees to unlock the door. Once the door is unlocked turn the stem with your gloved hand to engage the deadlatch to open the door.


For commercial knobs, you will need a screwdriver to turn the cylinder to activate the latch assembly. While the latch assembly is engaged push / pull the door open.  Be sure that the door does not lock behind you, physically unlock the door from the inside knob.

Physically Gapping the Fork:

Gapping the fork is a relatively easy process.  This can be accomplished by either using a bench grinder or a standard handheld angle grinder.  (Obviously use safety glasses and gloves when using a grinder.) Prior to doing any grinding mark out the area on the inside of the forks where the grinding is to occur.  Mark the area on the halligan with a pencil or marker that's approximately an inch and 1/8 wide by an inch and 1/8 deep. This will give you plenty of room for the fork end of the halligan to slide behind the door knob of either residential and commercial door knobs. 

The key is to slowly grind away the marked area being careful not to overheat the forks of the halligan. Once the area has been ground away; use a wire wheel to remove any sharp edges or burrs.   


One last note, if the halligan is not personally YOURS, be sure to get permission to make the modification before you do it. 


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