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Antique Safes/how to get a safe open



My father passed away and there is an old safe at his house that he left a combination for but no specifics on how to open it. The combination he left is 24-38-66and a 1/4 which I found strange. I will attach a pic of the safe. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.


This lock appears to be a Sargent & Greenleaf C62 series or 6810 series lock.   This lock was came in both 3 and 4 wheel versions.   As you only have "three" numbers, I'll assume that you either have the 3 wheel version, or a 4 wheel with two wheels set on the same number.   The dialing sequence (below) should work regardless.

5 times left to the first number, (24)
3 times right to the second number, (38)
2 times left to the third number, (66 or 66-1/4),
1 time right until the dial stops (should be between 80-90).

Note:  Left is counter clockwise, Right is clockwise.  DO NOT count the revolutions of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.  For instance you would turn the dial counter clockwise (left) stopping the fifth time the number 24 arrives at the index mark, or  left to 24 once, 24 twice, 24 three times, 24 four times, stopping on 24 the fifth time.

If it doesn't open, then either the numbers are wrong, or you have made a dialing error.   You may need to have it checked out by, and/or opened by a local safe technician.

NOTE:  I NEVER recommend using locksmiths for safe work as they generally don't have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes.   Check for a local safe company.

Hope this helps,

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland Safes from the 1860's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2013 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

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US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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