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Locksmithing/1904 Victor Floor Safe


    I have a 1904 victor floor safe that is in really good condition. It belonged to my grandparents. I was given the combination of the following. 5 R 5, 3 L 40, 2 R 9, 1 L 51.

The serial number on the front dial is 295886.

I have tried to open the safe for years, it will not open. What do you think I am doing wrong ?



Hi Sara,

Sorry but you don't have a 1904 Victor safe!   If you are referring to the date on the logo, this was a decal which was placed on ALL of the safes made between 1905 and about 1912-15ish.

It refers to the award which was won by Victor Safe & Lock Company, for their display, at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, which was held between April 30th to December 1st, 1904.
At any rate, your safe is still probably an antique.   (over 100 years old).

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

Unfortunately, most combinations are passed along, the way a previous owner understands it and NOT necessarily the way that the lock actually works - this appears to be part of your problem with this safe.

The correct dialing sequence for the lock on your safe would be:

4 times left to the first number,  5
3 times right to the second number, 40
2 times left to the third number, 9
1 time right until the dial stops  (possibly 51) - turn handle to open.

Note:   Left is counter clockwise and 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.   For instance for your first number, you would turn the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the fourth time the number "5" arrives at the index mark.

While you can go 5, 6, or even 10 times to the first number, it isn't necessary, its simply extra dialing.

You might also try the following:

4 times left to the first number,  40
3 times right to the second number, 9
2 times left to the third number, 51
1 time right until the dial stops - turn handle to open.

Based on the dialing sequence you provided, and the fact that it is not dialed correctly, again it may have been written down the way a previous owner understood it.

If the safe still won't open, then you may not have the correct numbers for it.   You would be surprised at how many safes we open, where the owner insists that they know the numbers.   When we get it opened and recover the combo, they usually say "oh yeah those are the numbers" and then walk away like it never happened!   LOL.

If you still can't get it open, with this dialing sequence, and you don't have any other numbers to try out, its probably time to have a safe technician check it out.

Hope this works for you, let me know if you need any other help.


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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.

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

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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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