Hunt for Red October: Missile Keys Identified!

Stop the presses, everybody: I have managed to ID the ‘found item’ donors for the Red October’s distinctive missile keys.

First: the references:

Kind of a distinctive looking key, right? Hole at the top…. Seems to have some kind of large circular detail with markings in the center, as shown by the reflections in photo 3? Maybe a custom car key or a house key? Or were they totally made from scratch?


Look familiar? There is no doubt in my mind that this is what was used.

This is an unusual kind of old hotel room key, a Winfield key. Here’s a better look:

Spray painted gloss red, this should be indistinguishable from the real thing :)

As a kid, I collected keys and key chains. I thought the Winfield key was correct, and digging into my closet for a box I probably hadn’t opened in ten years, in my keychain collection I found the blue Winfield key pictured above.

I’m curious to see if this newfound ‘fame’ alters the going price of Winfield keys… So, good luck! And if you don’t win mine, happy hunting anyway! These can be found for relatively cheap, if you are willing to wait.

Here’s what my key looks like painted red:


2 thoughts on “Hunt for Red October: Missile Keys Identified!”

  1. Brilliant catch. I know a lot about the Winfield locks, and have may of the keys. I also have watched Red October, and never picked up on what it was, although I did wonder. Just didn’t look closely enough. Thanks for the info.

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