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Locksmithing/Liberty safe mechanical lock broken!


I've got a smaller sized liberty gun safe, branded by Gander Mountain.  It must have a very cheap mechanical lock /handle on the front.

When i first purchased it a few years ago, liberty paid for a safe tech to come out and adjust the combo--as it didn't always open correctly.
I've used it about 10 times since then, and NOW the lock appears totally inoperable.  and the safe is shut.  

When locking the safe, i had a habit of spinning the lock a few times before setting up the first two numbers.  I read now that is probably a bad idea, i probably should have turned it slowly.

Nevertheless, now the dial is very loose and it's almost to the point you can slightly pull the dial out about 1/8inch.  If i put pressure on the handle, i can spin the dial the opposite way and it will tighten a lot.  That doesn't seem very good either.    Anyway, the code obviously doesn't work---the dial is either very loose, or gets very tight.    Is it totally broke, or is there a way to fix it?  Thanks!


Yeah, that's the first warning I have on my combination cards - "Do not spin or whirl the dial at any time, but turn slowly and steadily".
Second warning is - "if safe is not working properly, leave the safe door open and call to schedule a service BEFORE a lockout occurs".

Generally though, mechanical locks are very reliable.   I can't speak to the lock on "your" safe being cheap, as I don't know which lock you have.   The mechanical locks that Liberty safe uses are useually quite reliable.

The handle has nothing to do with the operation of the lock (normally).   These are two completely separate mechanical items, though the lock bolt DOES keep the handle from retracting the door bolt work.   Based on your description, I would have to guess that possibly one or more of the lock mounting screws may have come loose, as indicated by your turning the handle and it causing a binding on the dial.
Depending on whether or not the lock has come completly loose and possibly activated a relocking device - you are definitly at a point that you need a qualified, trained safe technician.    Hopefully the lock has not come all the way loose, and they can get it open and put everything back together.

If you do get the safe open, DO NOT close and lock it again until after you have it serviced.

If you don't have a local safe company with a trained safe technician, you may want to contact Liberty again to have them get someone out.
NOTE:   I never recommend using locksmiths for safe work as they generally don't have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes.   While safe techs may also be locksmiths, the opposite is seldom true.

Sorry, I can't be of more help, but you are to a point that you need someone onsite to work on the safe.


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 42 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. 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 Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes".

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

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 Expert 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 and Western Nevada)

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