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Locksmithing/opening a montgomery ward 9041 safe


Terry I have a Montgomery ward safe 9041 serial # 76-92263 that we  have had for over 20 years bought at a estate auction. we paid to have it opened and get the combination which we cant afford to do again but would like to use it again think I remember the combo as 15-25-35-40 but its not right is there anyone who could look up the combo for us or ? thankz john


Your "Montgomery-Ward" safe was actually manufactured by Meilink Safe in 1976.

There are ONLY three reasons a safe lock will not open, they are, (in order):
1.  Incorrect dialing sequence, operator errors,
2.  Incorrect combination, wrong numbers,
3.  Mechanical problems.

first lets start with the dialing sequence - if YOU are making a dialing error, then it doesn't matter if you have the correct numbers or not, it won't open.   The dialing sequence for this lock is:

4 times left to the first number,
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right, slowly, until the dial stops (this may be your third number)

The "last" number in your combination really doesn't matter, as the dial comes to a full and complete stop - the number is simply a reference for YOU!   As in "if it passes this number, then I made a mistake and need to start over".

Left is counter clockwise, Right is clockwise.   DO NOT count the revolutions of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark on the dial ring.   For instance, if your first number is 15 - it doesn't matter WHERE you start, simply start turning the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the FOURTH time the number 15 arrives at the index.   You would then reverse direction, turning clockwise (right), stopping the THIRD time the number 25 arrives at the index mark.   Reverse direction, turning counter clockwise (left), stopping the SECOND time the number 35 arrives, then reverse direction, turning clockwise slowly until the dial stops (possibly 40), though I would expect it to be around 90.

If it still won't open, then you possibly don't have the correct combination.

You can contact Meilink to see if they have a record of the ORIGINAL combination, however if the combination has ever been changed or reset, there won't be a record of it.   based on the numbers YOU have provided, I don't believe that these are original numbers.
Meilink was acquired by FireKing International around 1995.   I believe they only maintain records for the past 10 years, but you can check if you feel like it, though be prepared to jump through some hoops as you have to prove ownership.   They have no idea who you are, and/or what your relationship to the safe is, and without proof, they won't even talk to you.
1-800-528-9900    Customer / tech service

If Meilink can't or won't help you, and if you still can't get the combination that you have to work, then you will need to have a safe technician from a local safe company check the safe out.

Your only other option would be to use the dialing sequence above, and a spreadsheet with the 1,000,000 possible combinations that this lock has, and start test dialing them all.

Hope this helps,


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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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