Locksmithing/Safe question


Hi Andy,

What is the hydraulic arm called that holds up a floor safe door?  It looks like a shock absorber.
I have a Star floor safe with a hinged square door that has one of these arms to hold it up.

I've attached a picture of the arm's label, but I cannot find this number anywhere.  The Safe is a Star, but the model number tag on the lid is blank.


Hi Kim,

AMSEC is the current owner and manufacturer of STAR safes, though the only models still being made are the lift out, round door models.

The "shock absorber" is called a "gas Shock".  It isn't designed to slow down the closing of the door, it is designed to assist or lift the safe door so to avoid the possibility of it dropping on your fingers or hands.  

The one that you are showing is an older, obsolete model.   It isn't made any longer, in fact they currently only offer two gas shocks, one for the square door safes and one which attaches to the "slam dampener" device which slows the closing of larger upright safe doors, again, to keep the door from crushing fingers.    These gas shocks are NOT interchangeable and have different pressures.

If you need a replacement for your gas shock, you will need to contact me directly.   I would recommend that you measure yours, so I can determine if the current model will fit.    The measurement we need is "center to center" between the two mounting holes.

You can email me directly for more info, and with your measurements at:

Andy@securitysafeusa.com    or by calling me at    800-326-4224  


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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 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)

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