Locksmithing/Gary Safe Code

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Question
Hi Andy - I recently discovered a Gary safe in our home and I'm trying to figure out how to access/use it without having a technician drill the lock out.  It's an old school circular floor safe, with a 0-60 dial on it.  Do you happen to know of any factory codes or reset codes available for such a safe?  

I called FireKing and it appears that Gary Safe was acquired a couple of times and along the way they didn't retain a lot of serial numbers for their older safes.  So they don't have any record of my safe and said that the only thing they can do is drill out the lock. I'd like to avoid that if at all possible.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Cheers,

Sharieff

Answer
Sharieff,

You are correct in that the "Gary" label currently produced by FireKing Int. is NOT the same company who made your safe.   It wasn't that FireKing didn't "retain" a lot of records, many of the older records NEVER got passed along.

As far as "Factory codes or reset codes" there is no such thing.   This is one of those TV & Internet myths that keeps getting recycled.   If there were such a thing as factory codes or reset codes which could open the safe or reset a combination when it was locked out, safes really wouldn't be very safe now would they.   It would be a fairly simply act, for someone having access to these codes, to possibly use them for some nefarious reason - cash and gold have a way of turning honest people into criminals if they think they can get away with it.

EVERY safe left the factory set on its OWN unique combination.   As most locks have the ability to use close to 1,000,000 combinations, most manufacturers could build 10,000 safes every year for 100 years and NEVER use the same combo twice.    Manufacturers NEVER published or released, in any manner, information concerning the safes, serial numbers, combinations and/or who they were sold to, for obvious security and/or liability reasons.

If your safe has a 60 number dial, then it has the possibility of about 216,000 combinations.

So at this point you have two options available to you.   1.  You can simply dial each of the possible combinations until you find the correct one.   Dialing 500 every day, you should exhaust the list in about 432 days.   Hopefully you don't make a dialing error or miss a number as you would never know until you expend the whole list and find out it hasn't opened.

2.  Have the safe opened by a trained, professional safe technician open the safe.   While manipulation is possible, it is never a guarantee, and you may not have a safe tech in your area who is trained in manipulation.   I'm not sure why you are opposed to having the safe "drilled".   If done correctly by a TRAINED safe technician, the lock WILL NOT be damaged, or ruined.   We open 3-5 safes every day, and the only time we have to replace a lock is when it was already failed or non-responsive.    This is especially valid for older or obsolete safes or locks.   If parts are not available, then ANY damage to the lock is NOT an option.

If your locksmith or safe technician can't open this safe without ruining the door or lock, then you probably have the wrong person.   Afterall, would you take your car to a mechanic for an oil change if it told you he could change the oil but he was going to ruin the engine in the process???   I didn't think so.

If you don't have a local safe company, then let me know where you are located (zipcode), and I'll see who I know in your area.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

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.

Experience

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".

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

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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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