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We purchased a home that has an old safe and were fortunate enough to get the 4 digit combo from the previous family.  From what I have seen from other answers I am guessing it's a Victor?  Anyway, the safe does not have a lever, only a dial and I have not been able to open it with the combo.  I was told the combo was R-L-R-L and I have found other questions you've answered to help me dial it correctly.  Do I just pull when I get to the last number?  Do I have to go back to zero?  Also, it's in the basement so it is a tad rusty.  Do you think it could be rusted shut?  Thanks for your help.


Yes this safe is a Victor Safe & Lock Company, safe.

Unfortunately people tend to pass on combinations the way that "THEY" understand them, and NOT necessarily the way they actually work.   Generally this stems from the fact that people simply do not understand their lefts from their rights.

In this case the combo sequence that you have been given was reversed, and should be LRLR.   This safe does not have a "handle", the dial acts as both.   During the final turn, the dial/lock will retract the bolt work so that the door can be opened.

the dialing sequence should be:
4 times left to the first number,
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right until the dial stops - pull the door open.

If the dial does not come to a complete stop, then you may not have the correct combination, or are making a dialing error.   If the dial comes to a stop but the door doesn't pull open, you either have not retracted the lock bolt far enough, or the door may be rusted shut.   There should be a slight amount of play (wiggle) in the door.

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 if your first number is 50, you would turn the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the fourth time the number 50 arrives at the index mark.

If it still won't open, then you probably need to have a safe technician from a local safe company check it out.   NOTE:  I NEVER recommend using locksmiths as they generally do not have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes, especially older, possibly antique safes.

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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