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Safe
Safe  

Dial
Dial  
Good afternoon!
I've got an old(?) safe that was given to me with no combination. We are certain its empty but we'd like to get it open and maybe use it. The only markings are on the dial, HHM Safe Co, Hamilton O.
I've debated building a rig to brute force the lock and try every combination, but if there's an easier way, I'd be happy to do that too.
I've seen some pictures of the inside of a similar looking safe over at http://mikesoldsafe.blogspot.com/2009/08/locking-mechanism.html
Any idea if its the same variety or same lock?
I appreciate any advice you have to offer!
Thanks,
Evan

Answer
Evan,

Your Herring-Hall-Marvin safe was probably manufactured in the late 1940's.

You basically have two options - you can either try all of the 1,000,000 possible combinations which your lock has available, or you can have a safe technician from a local safe company open it for you.

While the safe is not designed as a "burglary resistive" safe, you aren't going to be able to force it open without destroying the safe.

The lock is probably a Yale, pin change type lock (similar to the one you indicated), and the dialing sequence should be:

4 times right to the first number,
3 times left to the second number,
2 times right to the third number,
1 time left until the dial stops (around 10)

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 clockwise (right), stopping the fourth time the number 50 arrives at the index mark.

I would recommend that you contact a safe technician from a local safe company to have the safe opened.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900'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.

Experience

44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and 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. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes". 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

Organizations
Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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 - 2015 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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