Locksmithing/army safe


I rec. picked up a older army safe and I have the comb. but I forgot when he showed me how to open it .It was something like the first number you spin past it 3 times and stop on the fourth and spin past the next number 3 times and stop on the third time times and spin past last number 2 times and stop on the 2nd to be honest I cant remember .Have you any idea what iam talking about ? any help woulb be great.Like I said I have the comb.but forgot the seqeuence.

Hi Everett,

I really need the manufacture's name and/or the type of lock more than it having been owned by the "ARMY".

Being retired Military though, I am familiar with most of the safes used by the Army and the locks that were used.   In General several versions of S&G locks, and Mosler locks were used.    The dialing sequences are basically the same, though there are a couple minor variations.

The three S&G locks in use were the 6700 series, the 8400 series and the 8500 series.   The 8400 and 8500 are manipulation resistive locks used on GSA containers - or where more security is required.   The 8400 series has an extra "butterfly knob" in the center of the dial, and the 8500 series requires a "push" after the dialing sequence to open the lock.

The basic sequence is:

4 times left to the first number,
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right slowly - until the dial stops (around 90-95 for the 6700 series, and around 80 for the Mosler).

S&G 8400 series final turn
1 time right - stopping at zero (0).   Turn the butterfly knob clockwise 1/4 turn, then continue turning the dial right until it stops - around 90.

S&G 8500 series final turn:
1 time right - stopping at zero (0).   Push the dial in and then release, continue turning the dial right until it stops - around 90.

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 50, you will turn the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the fourth time the number 50 arrives at the index.

Hope this helps.    If you are still having problems, a photo of the dial would help me to determine what lock you are working with, and I can possibly narrow down the sequence a bit more.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland safes from the 1860'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.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

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 - 2014 - 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)

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.