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Locksmithing/safe opening sequence


I have a vanguard 150 (dial type)I have the combination but can't open the safe.It also hasn't been opened in 12yrs. Could you please tell me the sequence to open it.I would appreciate any advice .Thank you.

Hi Jon,

It would have helped more, if you had provided me with the information that you do have - including your combination and a photo.

The "Vanguard" line of safes was NOT a manufacturer name, this was simply a line which was sold by Sears, years ago.    These safes were provided by a number of manufacturers and sources to include Meilink and Center Manufacturing.

The actual dialing sequence for the lock on your safe IS determined by the lock installed.   As you haven't given me anything to actually work from, all I can do at this point is to come up with a couple options.

Standard locks used on most of the Meilink provided Vanguard safes would be:

4 times left to the first number,
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right until the dial stops, turn handle to open safe door.

Note:   left is counter clockwise, right is clockwise.   DO NOT count the revolution of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.    For instance if your first number is 50 then you would rotate the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the fourth time the number 50 arrives at the index mark.

You can test the combination as written above but substitute RLRL instead of the LRLR.

If the safe is an imported safe, then the dialing sequence may vary from this sequence.    If this doesn't work for you, then I will need photos of the safe and the dial and handle to try to come up with some other options.

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

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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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