Locksmithing/victory safe combo

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Question
Andy, Hi, recently I changed my antique 3 number victory safe combination. The old combination is 2-22-78. Well, The big air head that I am, I didn't write it down and now can only vaguely remember the last number being 60 or 62. Is it possible that since the last number changed 16 to 18 points, that all the numbers are off by 16-18 points and would that sequence be down, up, down? I only held the back wheel and spun the lock to change the numbers. Thanks, Tim

Answer
Hi Tim,

Assuming that you ONLY changed the drive pin, drive wheel alignment, then yes, you would have changed the combination equally on all three combination wheels.

While you can test a combination (+/-) 16-18 points, you can also simply try testing one hundred (100) variations of your old combination, though you might try adding 2 to each number to cut it down to 50.    It will probably be close enough to get it open, and once it is open, you can either verify or dial it more accurately, and then of course - "Write It Down"!

Changing the drive wheel, drive pin alignment affects all of the wheels equally, so you don't have to worry about adding up or down.    Simply apply your correction to each number exactly the same, and you shouldn't have a problem.   

If you changed drive pin alignments on EACH wheel, then none of the above will help, as EACH wheel has been changed differently.    In this case, you will need to either test EVERY possible combination, or have it opened by a trained safe technician.

If you can't get it to open, then contact a local safe company (not a locksmith) to have their safe technician open your safe and recover the combination.

Hope this helps,  

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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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