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Safe-D-Posit 1190
Safe-D-Posit 1190  
My dad kept the combo wheel in the unlocked position and just used the key, so after he passed away, we were able to get in (we have both keys) to examine the contents for his estate. Unfortunately, someone working around the estate must have twirled the knob, and since we never knew the combo, we're locked out.

There's probably enough stuff in there to warrant paying to drill it out, but I could use a fire safe, and would love to get in without destroying it. Is there any way to recover a combination? Are safecrackers who listen for numbers a fiction of movies, or can we hire one?

hi Allen,

Yes there are safe technicians who can open your safe up by manipulation, however if you don't want to pay for the drilling cost, you aren't going to like the cost for manipulation either.
Manipulation is not fiction or movies, it is real, though the way its done in the movies is pretty much fiction!!!

Generally you pay more for the higher level of training required.   Also manipulation isn't a guarantee - meaning that you are paying for the service and NOT the result.

Drilling when done correctly, will NOT damage the safe or the lock, and the usually very small hole, less than 1/4" can easily be repaired.

Though again, the cost to have the safe opened may be more than the safe and contents are worth.

Fortunately as it appears that the safe is NOT bolted down, you may be able to take it in to a local safe company, which will save you some money.

You can also try dialing some test combinations.   Your lock will have two combination wheels and a drive wheel.    This particular lock can be dialed both LRL and RLR, though each sequence will have a slightly different combination, so pick one and stick with it.

Dialing sequence is:

3 times Left to the first number,
2 times Right to the second number,
1 time Left to the third number - stop and unlock key lock and turn handle.

Note:  You can unlock the key lock first - it doesn't matter.

You might be able to tell what number the drive wheel is set on, by putting slight pressure on the handle while turning the dial.   This would be your third number.

Set up a spread sheet of possible combinations figuring 100 numbers for each wheel.   You can cut the number down significantly by only testing every other number (for instance only even numbers).    This would give you about 2500 combinations for the first two wheels.

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

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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