Locksmithing/Old victor safe.

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Question
Terry,
I found an old victor safe during a house clean out but of course, combination is unknown. On the front it says victor safe & lock co.  Cincinnati o.  Has a crest above the dial, victor patents above that. Has 4 wheels. 1910 on the center of the dial. . No handle, just the dial. Measures 17 x 16 x 20 not counting the wheels. Can send pics if needed. Would like to open it but not sure where to drill to see the dial nor the L-R-L pattern. Any help is appreciated. Could try the stethoscope I suppose if I knew the dial pattern.
Thanks,
Roy

Answer
Hi Roy,

Victor Safe & Lock Company, made numerous designs and lock models between 1885 and 1920, however they did not put dates of manufacturer on the safes.   Any dates referred to patent dates, so I'll need to see what you actually have and/or are referring to, so that I can possibly provide you with a dialing sequence for your particular safe & lock.   

Sorry, but even knowing the dialing sequence (pattern) won't help you with a stethoscope, unlike the "movies" where locks make clicks and bumps to indicate WHAT the combination is, it doesn't work that way in real life - if it did, safes wouldn't really be very safe, now would they.    While you may be able to hear some lock noises, if you don't know what you are actually hearing, AND more importantly how to translate those noises, all it will do is to add to your confusion.

Basic dialing sequences for most of the Victor locks built up through the early 1900's are either:

3 times Right to the first number
2 times left to the second number
1 time right until the dial stops (last number).

or

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 (last number).

Note:   Left is counter clockwise, 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 if your first number is 25, you would turn the dial counter clockwise, stopping the fourth time the number 25 arrives at the index mark.

Generally the first sequence would be for 60 number dials and the second sequence would be for 100 number dials, though there were some slight variations.

you can make up a spread sheet, using the above sequences to figure out all of the possible combinations to test out, though I can tell you that a three wheel lock with a 100 number dial would yield about 1,000,000 possible combinations.   testing 500 EVERY day, would only take about 5.5 years to test them all.

My recommendation, if you can't get it open, using the above info, would be to contact a local safe company to have their safe technician open it for you.   

Sorry but for obvious security and liability reasons, we do not give out ANY opening information, other than possible or probably dialing sequences.   We have no way of knowing who you are, what your relationship to the safe is, and/or even if you have authority to work on the safe.

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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