The ORCA is a unique autolock sleeve/gate that can be set in the unlocked position. When you open the gate it is just like opening a non-locker, but the act of opening the gate “triggers” it and when the gate closes it will autolock just like a regular autolocking carabiner.
The ORCA can be unlocked \for easy access without any of the gymnastics involved in opening a conventional autolock in tight situations. Then when you clip it in something it will lock.
The ORCA is very versatile but it is not like any other carabiner and you must understand how it works. It is for experienced, advanced users. Of course, the truth is that everyone working or playing at height must totally understand their equipment and techniques or it would be best to find a more sedate activity.
How it works: The bottom of the sleeve has a special recess for the rivet head so that when the sleeve is rotated open (with the gate closed) it will be held in the open position. When the gate is opened far enough, the sleeve hits the frame and is pushed up a little so that it is no longer held open by the rivet head. It rotates a little bit so that it is now acting like a regular autolock and when the gate is closed it will lock.
Can you use it like a regular autolocker? Yes, if you don’t set it to the unlocked position you can just open it like a regular autolock (lift up, twist and open) and when you let the gate close it will autolock. However, you’ll probably seldom do this because having it unlocked when not in use is a tremendous convenience.
Can you close the gate without having it lock? Yes, if you close the gate while holding the sleeve so it can’t rotate (as opposed to just letting it go) it will not lock.
These are for experienced, advanced users. Due to the mechanism that makes the ORCA carabiners unique, there is potential for the gate to stay in an unlocked position. Because of this, these carabiners do not comply with ANSI Z133 requirements for life support and should not be used in a life support scenario.