Locksmithing/Mosler Model 11


QUESTION: Hello I just purchased a mosler model 11 safe, serial # 21997-1. Can you tell me anything about this safe? does it contain asbestos. I would like to recondition it are any parts avaliable, handles, front trim plates, etc. thank you Pete

ANSWER: Hi Pete,

I'm not sure what info you are looking for.   As I'm' not the manufacturer I don't have access to any of their records and as they have been out of business for around 15 years, you aren't going to be able to contact them.

As for the serial number, you have safe #1 of lot #21997, which was made around 1972ish.   

As far as the model #, it has no meaning any longer as the company is out of business, and you can't get more of them.

Whether or not the safe has any burglary or fire resistance, if it doesn't have a UL label indicating this - then it doesn't.

As for the "Asbestos" question, Mosler never used asbestos - so "NO", the container would NOT have asbestos.

There are no parts available for your container as the manufacturer is out of business, and there are no aftermarket parts makers.   If you need parts then YOU will either have to have them fabricated, or you will need to find a similar safe to use for "donor" parts.

If your safe is in bad enough shape that it needs all of the parts that you've indicated, then I would NOT have recommend your actually "purchasing it".    Hopefully you didn't pay to much for it.

Sorry the news isn't what you were probably looking for, but if there aren't any after market companies for antique safe parts, then there sure isn't going to be any for safes which aren't even collectible.

If you would like me to look at your safe to try to answer specific question about the safe, I would be happy to, however I will need photos of the safe.    If you have a specific question such as about the burglary or fire rating of the container, then I will need photos of ALL of the labels and tags on the container.   They may be inside on the back of the door, or on the sides of the safe.    If it doesn't have any labels, then it has no rating.

Hope this helps, some what.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


QUESTION: Thank you so much for your help. I'm glad to find out thet no asbestos was used by Mosler. All so thanks for such a fast response. I wish I found you before I purchased the safe, I paid $1,800.00 for it. I hoping to convert it to a monster gun safe. The combination lock functions fine, the only thing the combination side handle is 90 degrees off can this be adjusted? I took some pictures of the safe and it's labels, I hope that this can help in finding out just what I purchased. Thank again Pete

Hi Pete,

"OUCH" !!!!!!!    $1800 bucks,   yeah, I wish you had contacted me first.    For that amount of money you could have bought a smaller much better quality safe, or for a little more a bigger, new better quality safe.    What you have is a 43 year old fire safe.    Safes over 50 years old DO NOT meet ANY current standards for fire resistance.

The safe was once rated as a "CLASS A" fire resistive safe, which would provide 4 hours of fire resistance - keeping the interior temp below 350 degrees F.   Note:   paper chars at 412 and combusts about 451 degrees F.   At one time this was the best fire resistance rating.

This is NOT a burglary resistive container, so I wouldn't recommend storing "many" valuables in it though.    This containers MAXIMUM storage value would be $3000-$5000.    Depending on the types and values of your guns, you could easily exceed this.    Burglary resistive safes DON'T come with wheels on them.   Even if it is a heavy safe, it has a built in device to make stealing it much easier!

The problem with "exceeding" the value capacity of the container is no different than gambling in Las Vegas.    When you elect how much money to gamble on a particular bet, which has a known win/loss percentage, its called "RISK".     So for instance if you are betting red & black or odd & even on the Roulette table, you now that you have slightly less than a 50/50 chance of winning/loosing - the RISK is how much YOU are willing to lose???

Similarly storing valuables in the wrong type of container, you are betting that you might be burglarized, and hoping that they don't get your safe open.   If you didn't think you would be burglarized, then you would simply leave all of your valuables on the kitchen table and not worry about it, but as YOU recognize the potential for burglary, you are thinking about providing some additional protection for your valuables.    You've simply chosen the wrong type of protection.

Let me explain - (like you have a choice, LOL),   Fire safes are designed to keep HEAT out of the safe, whereas Burglary resistive safes are designed to keep PEOPLE out of your safe.   Composite safes generally have both Burglary and Fire resistance.

Bottom Line:    Either use angle iron or Channel Iron bolted to a concrete floor to secure the wheels so that the safe cannot move.    Keep the amount of valuables down to a minimum storage level, so that if you do get burglarized, the level is something you can either live with or replace.
While this container WILL meet California's MINIMUM DOJ standard for weapons storage, this rule is ONLY designed to keep weapons from falling into kids hands and/or the typical burglar, looking for snatch and grab items.    Anyone determined will be able to rip or shred this container open.    Again it is NOT designed as a burglary resistive safe.

Sorry, I know this isn't the info you were hoping for.  


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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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