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Locksmithing/S&G combo on fortress security gun safe


Bought used.  Combination worked-  I was told to turn several times to 0 to clear.  3 numbers.  From 0 turn ccwise and stop on number the 4 th time it gets to 12 o'clock.  Then R stopping on number 3rd time it comes up, etc.

That did not work.

1. Is sequence correct?
2. Could tumblers have been damaged in transit by lying safe flat?

Hi Tommy,

There are only three reasons that a mechanical combination lock will not work, in order they are:
1.  Incorrect dialing sequence, operator errors,
2.  Incorrect combination, wrong numbers,
3.  mechanical problems.

People tend to pass combinations along, the way that "THEY" understand them and NOT necessarily the way that they work - which appears to be the case with your safe.   I'll start with the clearing info - not necessary!   When you lock up the safe after the previous opening, when you spin the dial to lock the safe, you have cleared the lock.   No further amount of turning will have any further affect on the lock.    This is simply something that people who don't know what they are doing, think that they have to do to prepare the lock for the combination.
In reality this is simply wasted effort, done ONLY to prep THEIR mind to dial the combination.

Secondly the dialing to "0" thing.   Unless "0" is actually one of the numbers of your combination, it has NOTHING to do with the dialing sequence.   People that find it necessary to begin at "0" are the same type of people that I would tell to "stand in the corner of a round room, just to keep them busy.

Ok, so we've gotten rid of the wasted info about "clearing the lock", and dialing to "0" - forget both of them, they have nothing to do with your combination or the dialing sequence.

The dialing sequence for your lock is very simple - keep it that way and don't add any extra "stuff"!    It 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 - should be between 90-0.

Note:   Left is counter clockwise, Right is clockwise.   DO NOT count the revolutions of the dial, count ONLY the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.

for instance if your first number is 50, you would simply begin turning the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the FOURTH time the number 50 arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.

Notice that I didn't say pass xyz, or any other info - the ONLY thing you are interested in is the first number - period!    Turn the dial LEFT to 50 once, continue left to 50 twice, then 50 three times, stopping on 50 the fourth time it arrives at the index.

assuming the second number is 25 - Similarly you will then proceed to the second number by dialing right to 25 once, continue right to 25 a second time, stopping on 25 the third time.

Continue as above using the dialing sequence.   If you are not making any dialing errors, and "IF" you have the correct numbers then the lock should open.   If not then you may need to have it checked out by a safe technician from a local safe company.

If the combination is "OFF" slightly, then all the exact dialing in the world may not open it.   You may need to have the combination reset to keep it accurate.

In answer to your question concerning "damage to the lock" during transit?    I doubt it.   Chances of damaging the lock are slim, though you could easily have bumped the dial or dial ring.   Out of alignment can easily change your combination by up to 5 numbers in either direction.   This WOULD fall under the mechanical problems category, and require a safe technician to adjust the dial, dial ring and lock to get everything back in correct working order.

contact a local safe company to schedule up service with their safe technician.   NOTE:   I never recommend using locksmiths for safe work.   They generally DO NOT have the training, education or tools to work on safes without causing excessive damage or charging exhorbant fees.    If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see if I know anyone in your area that I might 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.

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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

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