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Antique Safes/combination


Reliable safe pic
Reliable safe pic  
Saw your possible combo to try on this Reliable safe.....should lever be down or to the left when input of combo??


I'm not sure "WHAT" combination that you are referring to.   The lock used on the Reliable safes, have the capability of around 14,000 possible combinations, far short of the 1 million or more on most safe locks, but still a substantial amount.

The handle is in the "down" position, when the safe is locked.   The dialing sequence is as follows:

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 - then turn the handle, clockwise to retract the bolt work, to open the door.

The lock uses three combination wheels and a drive wheel.   Each combination wheel has 24 possible variations.   Unfortunately, as the dial has 100 numbers, and there are no references between the dial and the combination wheels, you may have to test ALL of the 1,000,000 possibilities to hit the 14,000 possibles that are on the lock.

During the 1930's and 1940's locksmiths were trying to determine the "magic" combination or sequence that safe makers would use on their safes.   Unfortunately, the majority of the work they did was simply to observe combinations found on safes that they had the opportunity to work on.   Bottom line, there is no magic number - each safe left the factory set on a unique combination or series of numbers.   So in the case of Reliable, they could make or sell almost 14,000 safes before ever using the same combination twice, so if they made say, 60,000 safes there might only be 4-6 of these safes having the same combination.

Sorry, wish there was a magic number, but if there was they wouldn't be very safe.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


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.


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

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

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

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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