I just bought a MOSLER safe at an estate sale. The label says it is a model SF-C-2 and the serial number is 19616. There is a hand typed listing of previous combination changes on the side of one of the drawers-last in 1972. Dial is taped to avoid use and I suspect the deceased owner forgot it or never had it and just used it as a very heavy file cabinet. This is a two drawer file cabinet safe and was clearly a military/government safe. Is there any hope that I can somehow change the combination without knowing the last combination? I'm in the Phoenix area-what would be a reasonable price for a locksmith to make this item work for me>? By the way-the door is open and the lever on the front of the door works. Thanks in advance for your help.
What you have is known as a GSA security container/file cabinet.
There is no problem at all in setting a new combination if the old one is unknown, as long as the drawer is open.
They were actually made to be changed by government personnel in the field, so the procedure is not too complicated.
However, I would have a safe guy do it the first time just so he could assess the condition of the lock and make sure all the parts are there.
That way you know it works properly.
Look for a guy that specializes in safes. Not all locksmiths are qualified to do this work. If you tell him you have a GSA file cabinet and he doesn't know what you are talking about, move on to the next one. A good source for qualified guys is savta.org or aloa.org.
In our area, we would charge $125 including the trip charge, setting the combination and examining/lubing the working parts.
Hope this helps.
American Safe & Vault Service