Locksmithing/Old mosler safe


I have an old safe I am trying to get into it is a mosler serial # 194163 is there anything you can tell me about this safe that could help me I know nothing about this safe

Hi Dean,

This does not appear to be a safe, it appears to be a walk in vault door, possibly a simple plate door, with a vestibule.

With a serial number of 194163 the door would have been manufactured between 1905-1910.

The lock that I would expect to find on this door would possibly be the Moser 5H series, gear drive, friction fence lock.   It may have three or four wheels, which means a potential of 1,000,000 to 100,000,000 possible combinations.

Depending on the lock (wheel pack) it could take you from 5.5 to 530 years, testing 500 combinations every day, to test them all.

If you don't have the combination, then I would recommend that you contact a local safe company to have them open the safe door for you.   NOTE:   I never recommend locksmiths as most generally do not have any training, limited knowledge and no tools, meaning that opening the door can result in a lot of unnecessary damage and/or exorbant fees.    Cost to open AND repair the door, without damaging the lock and/or dial should be around $350 to $500 plus any parts, however as parts are not available for replacements, damage should not be an option.

While the lock on this door can be manipulated by a trained safe tech, manipulation is never guaranteed method, and/or you may not have anyone in your area who is actually trained in this method.    Drilling when done correctly, will not damage the door or the lock.   The usually single, very small hole (less tan 1/4") can be easily repaired.

Check your local yellow pages under safes & vaults for a local safe company.   If you don't have any, let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see who I might know and/or recommend in your area.

Hope this helps,  


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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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