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Now what?! Doors get stuck, broken, locked. ACW “In the field” documentary

Well you either broke it, or it stopped working… either way you need to get in that room

By: ACW Tactical usa. Offering support & capability via useful gear & resources…for life’s adventure

Here we encountered a problem door.  Place:  Interior room of an older house.  Conditions:  This handle became in operable, rendering the door stuck.  The room was the homes laundry and bathroom facility and utility closet so it’s kinda bothering the owners after 2 days of the door being stuck closed….

 Click here…  This post will be linked to a previous post on door entry as there are obvious similarities. 

As Renaissance men of sorts, and problem solvers we encounter tons of situations and conditions that require creative handy skills, and tools that offer options.  In this scenario i used my personal ACW fully loaded kit contents to help out.

Seen here in the first photo,  you got your basic inoperable older door,  that has a stuck latch ( the thingy ma bob that sticks out into the door frame to keep it closed).  It happens and it’s an inconvenience.  To compound things the crystal knob/handle pulled of during the operation.  so we have to get into the room, and fix the handle as well…

There is a door stop (wooden trim that the door contacts when closed) seen here behind the handle, on the door frame side.  This is a barrier as it is covering our access to the latch.  With a license or a stiff but flexible card for example, we will bend around this door stop and push the latches curved tip, thus forcing it back into the door and out of the door frame.

in extreme cases, we could pry of this door stop off with a screw driver, steak knife etc, to gain clearer access to the latch for prying.<

Pictured below we begin to jimmy the latch…

It takes some tries, i then switch to using a stiffer card from my wallet,  after 30 seconds it works

Pictured below you can see where i was pushing the latch out from the strike plate.

In this case the latch was REALLY seized up and the handles had moved too close to the door and tightened themselves.  After we get inside the door i proceeded to shoot some good ol Dubya D-40 into the latch workings.  i then adjusted the handles set screws ( visible on side of the handle usually).  After the oil and adjusting it worked perfectly!  Unfortunately the outer handle popped off but we fix that.

Pictured below you can view the latch and its curved edge.  Even though the door mechanics in the handle/latch were seized up,  as you can see i can still easily push in and out the latch with my finger.  That lets us jimmy the latch back into the door as we did earlier

Advantages and notations on what we are doing here:

#1 It saves the door from being destroyed, or from the pain of needing to use a locksmith.

#2 We are adapting and improvising using our own selves to solve a problem.  Many obvious advantages with this.

#3 In extreme cases where access is needed quickly ( in a tactical or safety situation)  there are other messy options…

          —  Ram the thing open, and replace/fix things later.  Drop your shoulder into it or repeatedly kick near handle.  Use some heavy objects if


          —  Get a crowbar or the sort, and jam it into the same place we pried the latch back with the plastic card.  Then pry as hard as needed to shift

                the door and latch out of the strike plate/jamb.  This will damage things but usually get the job done.

#4 If the handle comes completely of for some reason,  many of the new doors will allow you to still operate the latch by sticking a flat object, like a blade or screwdriver into the hole where the door handle spindle shank was ( the shank is a square rod that passes through the latch workings inside the door and connects the two handle.  spinning if by turning the handles/knobs pushes the latch in and out).

Ok back to the show…

Pictured below is the “Ooops, Um… i broke the door more!” moment

( it was loose already from homeowner frantic-ness in all fairness)

This is the point i went into my vehicle for my in-depth EDC kit.   The ACW fully loaded MacGyver kit to the rescue again…

Pictured below is the progression for fixing the handle…

Mmm Hmm..  Let’s see what we can use here from the kit…

Utility Kit by ACW, pictured below has the glues we can use…

Below we see what it has to offer…

pictured below we Also snag our ACW custom compact Duct tape roll.  It has emery cloth ( sand paper) stored inside the core…

We use this (seen below) to rough up the edges of the glass door handle that will contact the glue we will use… 

Roughing the surfaces “keys” the glue in for holding power

Pictured below, we apply some super glue to the inside edge of the handle frame…

Lastly we “crimp” the handle a little as shown below.  Just for extra measure…

Doors are a part of life for everyone.  We use them as barriers, symbols of transcendence, To hide, and to discover.  to keep things in, and out.  They are always encountered.   At ACW we want to support our team with helpful resources and gear.  It gives us a great sense of purpose to share what we do.  We encourage you to lock yourselves out of places (to practice Door entry techniques).

We want to help our fellow humans in everyday scenarios as well as in dire circumstances.  Having knowledge and perspective on the small things spills over into our larger landscape and how we can interact with intuitiveness, confidence, understanding and self reliance.

‘’ It is not the strongest that survive nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change ”

Cheers from the ACW team!

#EDC #Lifetips #everydaysurvival #ManSkills #Survival #DIY #OutsideTheBox


Also We recommend this great website for resources and self reliance/improvement: Art of Manliness

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*NEW ! We are also offering to replace any ACW tactical gear or items with a brand new item.  Just tell us how you used it, send us your used item in any condition, a picture and story for the website via email Blog comment, or guest book and we will hook you up with a brand new version of what you used,  just to say thanks.




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3 years ago
Reply to  acwtactical

If I use a heavy boot do I loose my tactical advantage?

3 years ago
Reply to  Joker

Not necessarily. You may startle them , and if it’s a knife wielding maniac you could upset it. Better be sure your through in one kick and have a backup plan . I remember once I had an armed assassin who locked himself in my bathroom… Oh wait. No that never. Happened.

3 years ago
Reply to  Red2

Oh wait. No that never. Happened. LMFAO

3 years ago

What about a screwdriver? A flat one, not the Phillips. Would that work?

3 years ago
Reply to  acwtactical

So what ever wont work, wont?

3 years ago
Reply to  Joker

Nice where is our fearless leader