Locksmithing/Mosler Safe


Have old Mosler safe that i love and enjoy having.  Safe door was open when i got it, but don't have combination.  Have # stamped on door handle (166407) and #s stamped on inside wheel gate assembly.  There are 5 wheels and i have written down #s where gap is in the wheels.  Have also noticed how many turns needed to get each consecutive wheel to start turning.  However, can't figure out the combination.  Needing the sequence of left & right turns.  Also not sure how to use #s stamped inside, one stamp has 3 #s and one stamp has 4 #s.  There is even a 2nd larger stamped # with 6 numbers but one of these #s seems to be 03 and one looks like 149.

Would love to have this safe functional again.  Have cleaned it up, kept it in original condition, and it looks great.  Graphics & murals are good.  Safe is 39" wide, 31" dee[. and 49" tall on wheels with single french doors.

ANSWER: Hi Steven,

I'm not sure what your question is?

If you are trying to use the numbers stamped on your safe to find your combination,  sorry but they have nothing to do with it.

lf the ssfe is locked up,  then you will need a safe technician from a local safe company to have it opened.

The dialing sequence is dictated by the type of lock and number of wheels - while you indicated 5, it would actually be 4 combination wheels and a drive wheel.    The dialing sequence will either be LRLRL or RLRLR using the following pattern:

5 times left to the first number,
4 times right to the second number,
3 times left to the third number,
2 times right to the fourth number and
1 time left until the dial stops.

If this doesn't work then reverse directions above.

If it still won't open then chances are you don't have the correct numbers.    In this case you will need the assistance of a safe technician from a local safe company.

Hope this helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Thanks for the quick reply and sorry i was not clear.  What i need is the actual combination numbers.  Looks like you gave me half the combination, i.e., the dialing sequence.  What i lack is the actual numbers.  As i mentioned, i removed the wheel pack or spindle assembly that holds the wheels.  As mentioned, the assembly has 4 wheels.  I just don't understand how to read or figure out the number for each wheel.  There is a slot or cut out "u" shaped section cut onf each wheel, but don't understand what # to use as slot covers about 5 numbers.  

You have already taught me something in that i now understand that the wheel on the door is called the "drive wheel" and this makes sense now that you have explained it.  Plus it looks like you have given me the "SUPER IMPORTANT" dialing sequence.  

With that said, hoping you can explain how to read/find actual combination # from the actual wheels.  Thus, if i am correct, i can look at each wheel, log that wheel's number, and then use the dialing sequence you mentioned.  Also, how to determine which wheel is first and which is last?  

Oh, i also learned from you that there are locksmiths and safe techs.  I used to group them all together, but now that you mention it, i can see where there would be a difference.  And while most safe techs are locksmiths as well, probably not true for the reverse.

Also, i have been struggling with this issue for sometime and almost gave up.  Glad i was able to find you!
Thanks again,
Steven Parks

Hi Steven,

As mentioned I NEVER recommend lock disassembly as a DIY project for the same reason that I don't recommend using locksmiths.    Lack of knowledge and training can EASILY result in a very expensive locked up safe.

Basic safe servicing classes take about 1 week, and include combination recovery and resetting as part of the class - the pre-requisite for these classes is that you have to already be a locksmith.

So I have to apologize, but there simply isn't enough time or space in this "general forum" to try to and break a whole lock down into layman's terms, and/or to teach you to recover or reset a combination.    To give you an idea, the basic, professional locksmith course takes about 10 days (resident training) and cost about $3000 for the tuition - doesn't include hotels, meals and transportation.   The basic safe lock servicing course is another 5 days and cost another $1300 for tuition.

Bottom line is that while I understand that you are trying to save money by making this a DIY project, you would actually be better served and save a lot of time by simply contacting a local safe company to have them inspect and/or service the lock and reset the combination.

If you don't have a local safe company to contact, let me know where you are located (zipcode) and I'll see who I might know in your area that I would refer you to.

Trust me, this is much less painful, than having to pay someone hundreds or thousands of dollars because you made one simple mistake in your attempt, and now have a locked up safe.  


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 AllExperts.com

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 About.com. All rights reserved.