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Locksmithing/herring-hall-marvin safe


I have a herring -hall-marvin safe model #52502 I think. The lock is a S&G. Still haven't unlocked it as of yet. Is it a type 2 lock? And does the number's to the combination usually go from the lowest to the highest, or at random?
Thanks michael

Hi Michael,

It appears that you have been trying to "google" info.   First off let me introduce you to an old computer term we used to use years ago called  "GIGO"!    This stands for "garbage in - garbage out"!   A very large percentage of information on the internet is simply garbage.    Just because someone posts information, and just because that info "pops up" during one of your searches doesn't mean that it has anything to do with your search.

Point in fact:   You are asking about a "TYPE 2" lock.   I'm not sure where you got this term but it doesn't apply to mechanical combination locks, especially older mechanical locks.

The term you are looking for is "Group 2" locks.    This is a designation for mechanical locks which are NOT manipulation resistive.   Group 1 locks are manipulation resistive, and Group 1R locks are also radiological resistive (x-ray resistant).    These are UL designations (Underwriters Laboratories) ONLY.    Lock makers which do NOT have their locks tested by UL will not have this designation, even though they may or may not meet the testing standards.   Locks which are on older safes will also NOT have these designations.  

While technically your lock would fit BASIC Group 2 specifications, if it was NOT tested by UL, then it would NOT have a Group 2 designation.

I went back through some of my records and check against photographs of safes made before and after yours, and your safe should NOT have an S&G lock installed.    As you haven't unlocked it, it may just be a replacement dial you are looking at, and the lock may not have been changed out.   I would have to see the safe to determine what lock you actually have installed.    The lock that I would "EXPECT" to find on your safe, would be (or should be) a Yale HE series, three wheel, hand change lock.

The dialing sequence for your lock would be:

4 times left to the first number,
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right - stopping at "0".    Turn the handle to engage the lock and retract the bolt work.

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 index mark.

As far as your questions concerning combination numbers - there are almost 1,000,000 possible combinations available for this hand change lock.    The numbers can be in any order from high to low, and low to high.   They can be randomly chosen, or they can be designated numbers, chosen by the owner of the safe.

As it appears from your comments that you don't actually have a combination for your safe, and the safe is locked shut, this would leave you with two options.   You can test dial all of the 1,000,000 possible combinations until you find the correct one, or you can contact a local safe company to have their trained safe technician open your safe.    Test dialing 500 combinations each and every day, will only take you about 5.5 years to test them all.

Hope this helps out and/or gives you some direction.  


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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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