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Antique Safes/Inherited a antique Victor Safe with no combination

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2nd front view
2nd front view  
victor safe picture
victor safe picture  
QUESTION: Just inherited an antique Victor save with no combination to open it.  Pictures attached.  Number 1262 stamped on back, Number 299793 stamped on dial.  thanks

ANSWER: Hi Albert,

The lock on this safe should have a three wheel lock and a 100 number dial, this gives you the potential of 1,000,000 possible test combinations.

So you basically have two options at this point - dial all of the test combinations until you find the correct one that opens the safe, or you can have it opened by a safe technician from a local safe company.    Note:   I never recommend using locksmiths for safe work as they generally don't have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes, especially antique safes, without causing excessive damage or charging exhorbant fees.

Check your yellow pages under safes & vaults for a local safe company.

If you don't have one, let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see who I might know or recommend in your area.



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

QUESTION: Andy, thanks for the guidance.  My address is: 2736 Sealark Lane, Milton, Florida. 32583.  My phone number is: .  I have had Lock Smiths from Santa Rosa county (Milton area), and from Escambia county (Pensacola area) come by and neither of them could open the safe.  I would like to go with your recommendation of a "safe technician".  Can you recommend one in my area.  Thanks,  Al Ketterer

ANSWER: Hi Albert,

Hopefully the locksmiths didn't charge you!   

This is possibly the closest company to you.    There are several other companies though they are further away.

American Lock & Safe
850-476-4211
7492 Baywoods Lane
Pensacola, FL  32504

talk with them to see if they can help you out.

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

QUESTION: Andy, thanks for the guidance and advice, but I contacted Tommy Tate from the American Lock & Safe in Pensacola I paid him $75 for a service call on 8/4/2014.  He brought a folder with him that contained numerous combinations for the Victor Safe.  I had sent him pictures and the Number stamped on the back of 1262 and the number 299793 on the dial.  I had also contacted Athanasios (Saki) Filios of Clarks Lock & Safe of Pace, Florida.  They both showed up at my home at the same time and worked together for 30 minutes.  Tommy Tate, Amnerican Lock & Safe of Pensacola left after 30 minutes and I paid him $75 for the "service call".  Saki of Clarks Lock & Safe of Pace worked on the safe for 2.5 hours, with no success.  I paid him $100 for the effort.  I sent emails to both locksmiths on 9/25/2014 asking for an update on their research to find a way to open the safe.  On 9/20/2014 Saki responded that that unfortunately he could not find any useful information to open the safe without drilling.  That was more than 5 months ago.  Tommy Tate never responded so I called him on 8/20/2014 and he said to check with him in a month. I called him on 9/25/2014 and he said he could not help me.  Again that was more than 5 months ago.  Therefore I found your website in hopes of solving this dilemma. Any further advice or suggestions?  Thanks, Al Ketterer

Answer
Hi Albert,

Unfortunately the majority of locksmiths and many so called safe techs are little more than trained monkeys - pull part off and put part on!!!     The "code sheet" that Tommy Tate was probably using was from a book done in the late 1940's or 50's by a group of locksmiths trying to come up with the "Safe Bible" with all the necessary info to open and/or work on safes.    Bad news is that NONE of this info was ever provided by any manufacturer, and Victor Safe & Lock Company has been out of business since 1920!!!

Unfortunately, "I'VE" never found any of the codes provided in this book to be any good, but this doesn't keep other companies from using it.

I can't believe the other company worked on your safe for 2.5 hours without getting it open.   If it were one of my guys, if they didn't have it opened and repaired in under 2 hours, I would have them in the time out box for a week.

Unfortunately as I originally indicated, with a three wheel lock (plus drive wheel) and a 100 number dial, there are about 1,000,000 potential test combinations for your lock.    If you don't have a safe technician who can manipulate the lock open, then it will have to be drilled.

Drilling when done by a competent, trained safe technician will NOT damage the safe or the lock, and the single small hole can easily be repaired.   normally when we have to drill a safe like yours, the hole is between 1/8" to 1/4" max.

If you want the safe opened without drilling, then you may not get it opened, if there aren't any trained safe techs in your area.

Discuss options with your two safe techs.   If you can't get any results, let me know and I'll see who I know in Fla., though good safe techs are pretty far apart there.

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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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