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Antique Safes/lost combination


QUESTION: I own a Mosler safe with the number 203136 on the handle.  I do not remember the combination and want to know how I can get it open without drilling it.  Does Mosler Safe Co. still exist and would they have the combination assuming it is still the same?

Thank you,



Based on your serial number, your safe would have been manufactured between 1909-1913.

As Mosler Safe Company has been out of business since 2001, contacting them is going to be slightly difficult.   Manufacturers ALSO, never published any records concerning serial numbers or combinations, for obvious security and liability reasons.

There are several different locks that your safe could have installed   The two main locks would be a Mosler #10-1/2, 3 wheel lock (similar to the YALE HB series lock) and the Mosler standard, 4 wheel, friction fence lock.

Dialing sequence for the #10-1/2 is:

4 times right to the first number,
3 times left to the second number,
2 times right to the third number,
1 time left to the fourth number - STOP - Turn handle to open

Dialing sequence for the Mosler standard is:

5 times left to the first number,
4 times right to the second number,
3 times left to the third number,
2 times right to the fourth number,
1 time left slowly until the dial stops - turn handle to open.

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.

If you don't have the combination (or can't remember it), then you will need a safe technician to open it.   While manipulation is a possibility - it will depend on WHO is available in your area, and how much training AND proficiency they have.    Manipulation is NEVER a guarantee, but you will wind up paying for the service and NOT the result.

Drilling on the other hand is usually fairly simple, and when done correctly by a trained safe technician, will NOT result in any damage to the lock or the safe.   The very small hole (usually 1/4" or smaller, can easily be repaired.
If done incorrectly by an untrained locksmith or safe tech, can result in damage and possibly an exhorbant fee.

If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located (zipcode) and I'll see who I might know and/or would recommend.

Hope this helps,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: my zip code is 43082.  I would like to know if you can recommend anyone.



Unfortunately, the guy that I usually recommend in Ohio recently died.   I can come up with a couple other likely safe companies, but it will be up to you to discuss the safe opening AND repairs.    Generally the rule of thumbs that I give out, is anyone that actually knows what they are doing, will be able to give you a FLAT rate price, which would include:
Mobile Service Charge
Open & Repair on the safe - returning it to operational status.

Parts are generally quoted "extra", as you don't know if parts are necessary until it is opened up.    While I try to be as damage free as possible so that I don't have to replace any parts - especially on an antique safe, I can't vouch for anyone else.

Nearest company:

Belle Security        about 15 miles away
330-323-4198          Michael Potter
Columbus,  Oh   43228

There are also a couple other companies in the Columbus area, however all of them including Belle Security appear to work out of their homes, as opposed to actually having a company.
While this in itself, does not mean that you aren't getting a good safe technician, it does mean that you will be getting limited services.
Of the 19 companies listed in the yellow pages under "safes & vaults", I don't personally know any of these companies and/or the quality of the work that they do.

I believe that Michael Potter, either worked for Diebold at one time, or still does.

Sorry I don't have a better pick, but at least this gives you some options and a direction.

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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

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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