Locksmithing/Mosler Safe


QUESTION: I have an old Mosler safe that i got without the combo.  Number on bottom is 11591-31.  They gave me a combo that they thought was it but we have not tried to open it.  What do you suggest i do?  I dont want a to drill it bc it is a very large (2604lbs) safe.  Is there anyway to get into it without damaging it?


depending on whether it has a three or four wheel lock, you could try all of the 1,000,000 to 100,000,000 possible combinations.

While manipulation may be possible, the type lock that is installed on the safe MAY NOT be one that this will work on.   Manufacturers have built locks for years that are manipulation resistive.   So while it may work on some, it won't on others - sorry - this isn't TV.

Second problem, depending on where you are located, you may or may not have a safe technician who is not only trained but proficient in manipulation.

Third problem, manipulation is NEVER a guarantee.   Besides having locks which are manipulation resistive, dirty locks, old grease, mechanical problems, etc, may not make this a feasible method.   You may wind up paying for the service - NOT the result.

While you may not want it drilled, this may be the required approach.  Drilling when done by a skilled, trained, professional safe technician should not damage the safe or the lock, though depending on the age and condition of the lock, it may need to be replaced anyway.

The first thing that a safe technician would do is to test out the combination that you have, hopefully it is correct, if not then it would be; on to plan B!

NOTE:  I NEVER recommend using locksmiths for safe work as they generally DO NOT have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes, without causing excessive damage and/or charging exhorbant rates.
Pricing WILL vary depending on the company, AND the rating of the safe.   The higher the burglary resistive rating, the more expensive the cost to have it opened and repaired.   If money is a factor, in how much you are willing to spend - I don't think you are going to be happy.   Lower rated safes should cost between $300-$500 to have them opened and repaired (plus repair parts).    Higher rated safes could cost between $1000-$2000 depending on the number of locks on the safe.    generally safe techs should know exactly what the job will entail, and be able to give you a flat rate to open and repair.   Anyone that has an open ended estimate or wants an hourly charge, is simply padding their fee, and/or doesn't have a clue what they are doing.

Check for a local safe company to see if they can help you.   If you don't have one, let me know where you are located (zipcode) and I'll see who I know in your area.

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

QUESTION: Thank you for your response.  I am located in New castle, Delaware


Here are a couple companies that I would recommend in your area.   You can discuss your safe with them to determine what they can do for you.   If they can't help - they may know of someone in your area they would recommend.

JR's Lock & Safe Service
856-809-9997          Joseph Reustle
17 Horseshoe Ct.
Atco, NJ  08004

Ed's Safe Service
267-475-6517          Ed Sellers
PO Box 486
Harleysville, PA  19438

Dover Lock & Safe
302-423-4259          Chuck Caplinger
1462 Main St.
Woodside, DE 19980-0256

Hopefully this helps you.


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland safes from the 1860'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.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

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 - 2014 - 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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