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Locksmithing/Mosler 1800s 6-digit combination safe


I have the subject safe and the 6-digit combination but I can't remember the rotation pattern.  The combination is 30-30-40-60-0-9.  I haven't opened the safe in more than 10 years, but it has been opened by another since then.  I just remember that I started out clockwise and when I got to the zero I went counterclockwise to 9.  Can you help?  Many thanks.


Hi Renee,

Mosler never made a "6" digit combination lock.

There are ONLY three reasons that a safe lock won't open - in order, they are:

1.   Incorrect dialing sequence, operator errors,
2.   Incorrect combination, Wrong numbers,
3.   Mechanical problems.

When I see a combination written with the instructions - similar to how you have presented them, either they were originally given to you incorrectly, or you are remembering incorrectly.

Many times combinations are passed along the way the previous owner understands them, and NOT necessarily the way the lock actually works.   Then the new owner applies the combination the way that THEY understand what was presented to them - again, NOT necessarily the way that the lock works.   As long as the same mistakes are presented to the lock, it may open, but as soon as you add in something else, it no longer functions.

Mosler used TWO basic type four wheel locks on the majority of their containers, so the dialing sequence will EITHER be LRLRL or RLRLR - ONLY!   Dialed as follows:

5 times left to the first number,
4 times right to the second number,
3 times left to the third number,
2 times right to the fourth number,
1 time left until the dial stops  (if you are using a number here, it is simply for reference and is NOT part of the actual combination)

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.   If the combination doesn't work or the dial doesn't stop, try reversing the directions above - or - RLRLR vs LRLRL.

Sometimes owners do not want to dial all of the revolutions listed above, so two or more wheels may be set on the same number.   You don't have to dial them separately, you dial them together as:

5 times right to the first number,
3 times left to the second number,
2 times right to the third number,
1 time right until the dial stops.

Based on the information that you have provide, my first recommendation would be to have you test out the combination as follows:

5 times LEFT to the first number, 30
3 times RIGHT to the second number, 40
2 times LEFT to the third number, 60
1 time RIGHT until the dial stops - should be around 9.

If it still doesn't work, then I would recommend that you have it checked out by a local safe technician to run your numbers through some test combinations to see if they can't get it open.

If the numbers STILL don't work, then they may not be correct, and/or you may have a mechanical problem which keeps your lock from operating correctly.   May be a simple service issue.

Sorry I can't be of more help, but at this point, it needs to be a "hands on" service!  


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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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