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Antique Safes/meilink safe C 40497

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I was left a meilink safe when my father tom died in 06. He had this safe in his shop where he did carpentry work. It was left to him when his uncle bill died some years back. The family told him to take it to his shop I guess thinking he may be able to open it cause he was the hands on type. Well that never happened and it usually ended up being the joke of the night at family gatherings and such. He never really put alot of time into wanting to have it opened or trying to open it. Me on the other hand since I was young having heard all the stories by uncles, grandfather,cousins, aunts and so on want to know very bad what is in this safe. And now that I have had it since 2006 and still have got no closer to opening it than my father did it is now time to break the cycle. So with that being said terry I have been doing some research on line and I have came to the conclusion that you are the man that holds the knowledge that I seek. (Hopefully) I was reading one of the blogs on here and someone had ended up with a meilinks wall safe and by the numbers they gave you, you told them it was a g series safe and that you happened to have the combonation codes that were probably it and you said it was 22 starting with 34-26-2 and ending with 42-34-10 taking 2 digits off each #. The end result of the blog was the man telling you thanks and it worked. So because his dial went from 1 to 50 I figured hey thats the key to my family mystery. Not so much! My safe has C 40497 on the knob left of the combo wheel. And on the inside of back left wheel the stamp reads:B 4 111 and on the inside of front right wheel stamp reads:F 4 110 and on the back of the safe towards the the top the #76 is stamped in the steel. I have no clue what significants this holds to my dreams but maybe it is the information need for you to know what your dealing with here. I have no doubt after reading your bio and hours of Q&A of thousands of people with the same curiosity as me that you can help me. If possible I was wondering if you may be so nice as to narrow my feild down to just 22 combos? I know this sounds like the easy way out but MR.Terry I have done math problems I've done 4 turns to left 3 turns to left and every combo you can think of to not loose a gentleman's bet with my deceased father of $1 U.S. by having to destroy this beautiful early 1900s safe. If my dreams hold true my great uncle bill from baltimore maryland will have left little "gold nuggets" as I like to call them of his life in the navy traveling sea to sea and shoreline to shoreline. I pray that more than anything that it is pictures and paperwork documenting our family history as I heard he was a history buff when it came to our family heritage. And as I am carrying on the torch because I also am very passionate about these things. Mr.Terry I thank you for enduring this long story and hopefully can help make it a little longer! Thanks for your time and over 40 yrs of detication to preserving this countries fine history by doing what it is that you do sir. God bless and sincerly yours: Weimus day

Answer
Hello Weimus,

Sorry but the "G" series was a limited, hand change variety type lock.    "C" series safes are not.   They will have either a hand change or a key change lock with the possibility of up to 1,000,000 possible combinations.    If your safe has a "C" series serial number, it is NOT going to be an early 1900's safe.   Possibly a 1940's through 1970's safe.

So basically you have three current options - other than destroying the container.

1.  You can contact the factory to see if they have information on the ORIGINAL combination that the safe was set on, when it left the factory.
Note:   If the combination has ever been changed, they will NOT have a record of this.
You can contact the factory by going to:   
http://www.fireking.com/meilink-safes
or by calling their customer service at:   800-457-2424

You will have to jump through some hoops to prove ownership, and they will have an administrative records search fee.    You can save time by going through a local safe company to have them do all of the necessary verification work, but you may have to pay them in addition to the factory admin fee.

2.  You can continue to make this a DIY project.   Utilizing an Excel spread sheet to calculate all of the 1,000,000 possible combinations - if you test 500 EVERY day, it will only take you about 5.5 years to test them all.    Hopefully you will find the correct one before you actually waste that much time and effort.

3.  You can have a safe technician from a local safe company open the safe and recover the combination for you.   Cost for this service will vary depending on the company that does the work, but should be between $350 to $500 in the field.    If you can take it in to their shop, it may be less expensive.

If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located, and I'll see who I might know in your area.

If you would like me to verify, my conclusions concerning your safe, you can send photos of the container and specifically of the serial number, so that I can make sure we are talking apples and apples and not apples and oranges.

Send good quality jpeg type photos of at least 1mb resolution to me at      andy@securitysafeusa.com    I'll take a look at them to see what you actually have.

Hope this helps, sorry its NOT the news that you were hoping for.

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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

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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