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Antique Safes/Gibraltar safes


Hi, I have 2 Gibraltar safes. My husband purchased at an auction. Unfortunately he lost the combinations. They are about 4ft. Tall and 30in" wide. Is there a way to get them opened.

Hi Renee,

Your 2 Meilink Gibraltar safes are TL-30 High Security safes.   Losing the combinations is going to be a VERY costly mistake.   Hopefully they are set on the same combination, if not  $$$$$!!!

You basically have three options,
1.  You can contact the place you purchased them from to see if they have any records of the combinations.   If not see option 2 & 3.
2.  You can test dial all of the 1,000,000 possible combinations that the lock may be set on.   Set up a spreadsheet and start dialing until you find the correct one to open it.   Testing 500 combinations each and every day will only take you about 5.5 years - per safe.
3.  You can have them opened by a trained safe technician from a local safe company (not a locksmith).   Cost will vary depending on where you are located, but you can probably expect to pay in the $1000 to $1500 per safe to have them opened, repaired and operational.

My advice would be to start looking for the combinations and/or contact the auction to see if they have any records.    Hopefully he didn't lock the combinations inside the safe - for safe keeping!

Sorry I wish the news was better, but in this case it's not.    Hopefully you will find them or remember some of the numbers.

If you opt for the DIY approach, by dialing all of the test combo's, the dialing sequence for the lock I would expect to find on these safes is:

4 times left to the first number,
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right until the dial stops (about 90)

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 a local safe company, let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see who I might know and/or recommend in your area.

Sorry I can't be of more help at this point.

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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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