Antique Safes/Safe



I have a safe with the markings of
Hamilton Ohio
I cant tell what the first number is of the following
20448 or 30448, but what from I can see it looks more like the first number is a 2
On the front it has a US in the metal. It has some rust on it, seems like surface rust. I am trying to find out approx, its value. Thank you

Hi Kenny & Tammy,

As I answered you on my email, I'll just copy that answer over here.

What you have is a US Military “Field” safe.    These were used, in the field, to keep “stuff” locked up.    Whether pistol’s or secret documents, it allowed Army companies to move about and maintain their stuff.

Fortunately your container is open (unlocked) AND it has at least ONE of the carrying handles.    If you haven’t figured the handle out yet, the “T” part of the handle fits in the slot on top of the safe (should be another attachment point on the bottom), and turned 90 degrees to lock it in, then you have a handle to lift the container.     

To keep the container from “walking off”, they would put a chain through one or all of the handles, including the top handle, and lock it down to something immoveable – like a jeep!    (assuming that no one drives off in the jeep!)

Values vary, depending on what is currently available.    As thousands and thousands of these containers were made, and pretty much all of them are now in surplus stores or antique shops, the values haven’t risen much, however in certain areas which may have groups of collectors or military re-enactors, values may be higher – again, depending on availability, quantity and quality.       You may also want to check on local car shows or military equipment shows to see what others might be selling them for – or to sell yours.

Generally the “values” I’ve seen for these containers run about $250-$350, depending on condition.      Your safe has a lot of rust and scraped/damaged paint that needs work.   Chances are the lock also needs complete servicing.     Cleaned up, operational with a working combination you might get as much as $450, if you find an interested buyer.

These containers are NOT considered to be a safe, they do not meet ANY current standards for burglary or fire resistance and should NOT be used for overnight security of cash, jewelry or valuable documents.      These containers were made for a very specific purpose in the military, where unit members were always around.

Hope this helps.      If you have any other questions let me know.

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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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