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Antique Safes/safe open need to know combo


Hello there Andy. I recently inherited my wife's Grandfather's Herring-Hall-Marvin fireproof safe.  This is a fairly small "floor safe" I believe. The lock mechanism is a Sargent and Greenleaf "group r-6716-2".  The safe is open as it has been for years.  I  believe he got this upon his retirement from the Marine Corp as it is stamped "US" and "1960" on the door.  Can you possibly enlighten me on retrieving the combination?  I have removed the inside cover on the door as well as the cover on lock mechanism to no avail.  Thanks Andy.  This is a really important project for me to complete for my wife.

Hi Derek,

I never recommend lock disassembly as a DIY project for the same reason that I never recommend using locksmiths for safe lock work.   Lack of education, knowledge and/or tools can result in a really expensive lockout.

As you have already partially disassembled it to no avail, it is time to have a safe technician either recover the combination or reset it correctly for you.    As it is a fairly small floor safe, you should be able to easily remove the door from the hinges and simply take the door to a local safe company to have their safe technician service the lock, ensure that there are no problems, and then either recover the combination or reset it to a new one.   Afterwards they can show you how to correctly operate the lock.    I would also recommend that you clean and lubricate the hinges and hinge pin, while you have the door off.   Hinges get a lot of wear and tear with very little service over their life.

Generally most safe companies should have at least a 90 day service warranty to guarantee that the lock will operate correctly.   Check with your local safe company to see what their guarantee is.

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

Past/Present Clients
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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