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Locksmithing/Opening issues for Excalibur Safe


Excalibur Safe
Excalibur Safe  
Andy -
My buddy gave me his Excalibur Gun Safe and it traveled on its back in the bed of my pickup for 4 hours.  Upon getting set up and level in the garage it has only opened up with the combination twice out of 100 attempts.  I have tried tapping the dial (to set the tumblers) and attempted the +1 / -1 technique to see if the combo had changed slightly.  

I would like to know if you have any suggestions on improving my opening percentage and if I do get it open again is it possible to swap out the mechanism or have it serviced.  Attached is a photo of the safe.

Thank you in advance for your help.


You may have more internal problems than you are immagining.   When a safe is setting still, in position - the only movement or vibration is when the door opens or closes.   Mounting screws and bolts will eventually vibrate loose, which is why we recommend annual maintenance for commercial accounts and at least every 5 years for residential safes.

In your case, sitting in the back of a moving vehicle for 4 hours, can easily simulate 10 years worth of normal vibration - meaning if screws were already loose, they may be really loose now.

A single loose screw inside the lock can effectively keep it from operating.   At a minimum the lock can shift slightly, changing the combination up to (+/-) 10 numbers.   Hopefully testing the +/- 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. will get it to open up.   If not then you WILL need a safe technician to open it up.

If the screws to the lock and/or back cover have come loose, it may have also activated the relocking device - but cross that bridge when you come to it.   For right now we need the lock to engage.

If you do manage to get it to open again - DO NOT lock the safe until you have had it serviced to ensure correct operation.

As far as swaping out the lock or having it serviced - this would indicate that the safe is currently open.   If it won't open, then you will need a safe technician (not a locksmith).

Sorry wish the news was better.    If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located (zipcode), and I'll see who I might know or recommend.


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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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