You are here:

Locksmithing/Changing the combination of this safe


So I'm trying to change the combination of a Montgomery Wards 9041 Safe. I have the combo...but does someone else(and they are getting into my things). What can I do to change the combination?

Hi Bobby,

Montgomery Wards purchased safes from several vendors, which were relabeled for sales through Montgomery Wards.    They were not a manufacturer and used no similar specifications between the different vendors.

Some of these containers can have the combination reset, though it is a hand change requiring disassembly.   Others have stamped wheels which are not changeable.   Whether or not yours can be changed WILL depend on the safe and the lock installed.

I basically have two recommendations for you:

1.  If you want the combination changed, and IF it is possible on the lock installed, you will need to have it done by a safe technician from a local safe company.   If your safe is small enough, you can possibly remove the door when it is open (lift it off the hinges), take it to the safe company and then reinstall it after the service is completed.

If you can't take the safe door to the service company - then you will need them to come to you.

2.  Buy a real safe to replace yours!    The safes sold by Montgomery Wards were basically fire resistive containers ONLY designed to protect documents from fire.   They are NOT designed to keep people out.   If you are concerned about someone getting access to your safe, and/or you are keeping cash, jewelry or valuable documents inside of it, then you NEED a much better safe.

If you have the argument that you don't have the money to spend on a new safe, then possibly the items you are worried about loosing aren't really that valuable.

Another option if you don't want to get a safe to protect your valuables, would be to obtain a safe deposit box at your local bank.   While this is only slightly inconvenient, it does give you an option.

Hope this helps,


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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)

©2017 All rights reserved.