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 I am aware that Cary safes may have factory default combinations.   As I have a safe that is locked and combo unknown starts at serial 177000, what am I working with?  Do you have any other combos than:

Is this even a three numbered combination safe? My father has one that is 4 number sequence.  Any help would be appreciated!!

Hi Andrew,

First I need to make sure that we are talking about the same company - which would be the CARY Safe Company - Buffalo, NY.
And NOT the "GARY Safe Company" City of Industry, CA.

These are two VERY different companies

I'm not sure where you came up with the info that Cary safes may have had a "DEFAULT" combo, and/or where you came up with the listing of combinations that you provided.

I have more info on the Cary Safe Company than anyone and I can tell you that there is no such thing as a "DEFAULT" combo, and I've never seen the listing you have.

Every safe had its own individual and unique combination.

I'm also not sure if you are asking about a specific serial number or a "starting with" serial number, so I'm not sure how to answer the "what am I working with?" question.

If you have a specific safe and serial number, lets just deal with that.    If you are looking for a listing of locks used by the Cary Safe Company, and approximate serial number listings that the locks were used on - again, I possibly have the most comprehensive listing as I have been tracking every Cary safe that I've come across during the past 8 years.    (sorry I wasn't as interested in the listing prior to that.)

For the safe serial number 177,000 - the lock that I would expect to find on this safe would be a Yale M-16 series lock.    This was the "updated" Yale Y-6 lock, though it only had three, hand change wheels, and it included an internal relock trigger.    This lock was capable of 1,000,000 potential test combinations.

As Cary only built around 207,000 safes, you can easily see that even if EVERY safe had its own, individual, unique combination, they would still have over 750,000 UNUSED combinations.   This is why they didn't use a "standard" or "default" combination.

As I do have questions concerning the safe you are actually dealing with, perhaps having photos WILL get us on the same page.

You can send any photos or other info directly to me at:  


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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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