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Antique Safes/damaged lock



Hi. I am looking to replace the inside compartment lock of my Mosler Bahmann safe. It was damaged by drilling.  the combination lock on outside is fine, a Sargent and Greenleaf.
this inside key lock is cast iron, held in place by 4 bolts and size is 4 1/2 by 3 3/8 inches and 1 1/2 inches deep.  
Thank you.
Michael Green

Hi Michael,

This lock wasn't damaged by drilling, it was damaged by some idiot punching the lock out.    Drilling, when done correctly is similar to a heart specialist doing open heart surgery.   The surgeon doesn't use a chain saw to open your chest or work on your heart, and similarly any locksmith or safe tech that does this type of work should be horse whipped, tar and feathered and run out of town on a rail!    Hope that's not to old school!

Hopefully this wasn't a DIY job.

Good luck on finding a replacement lock for your safe.   You are looking for a lock which hasn't been available for close to 120 years now.   As these locks are NOT easily available, it is worth while to have them opened as damage free as possible so that you DON'T HAVE TO REPLACE THEM!

Very few companies keep any old key locks like this except in their private collections, so you are going to have three problems:
1.   Locating a lock,
2.   Even getting them to consider selling it, and
3.   Coming up with a reasonable price for the lock.

Depending on the lock that was mounted on the door, you could easily be looking at $500 to $1000 if you can find one.

I have a Bramah lock, off of a Mosler, Bahmann safe that I'm currently working on, making keys for.   The Bramah lock was first patented around 1794) in England, however it was not used on a lot of American safes.    It was one of the locks that Mosler, Bahmann & Company used.

Looking at the photos of your lock it does resemble the lock I'm working on, though there are a number of differences.    To me this just indicates that it may be a different version of the same lock.

Well at least this gives you a starting point to begin looking.    Problem is the majority of the locksmiths and safe men are probably NOT going to have a clue what you are looking for if you indicate you are looking for a Bramah type lock for a Mosler, Bahmann & Company safe.

Possible solution, though I wouldn't hold my breath - the Bramah Lock Company is still in business.    I don't know if they have any records of safe locks that were made for Mosler, Bahmann & Company though, and/or if they can help you out.    You can check them out and/or contact them at:

They may be able to rebuild your lock, using the pieces left over and a newer cylinder.   Hopefully though, I don't know if Mosler, Bahmann was getting their locks from Bramah Lock, or if they were simply making their own version of the Bramah type lock.

At least this is a start.

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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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