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Locksmithing/HHM Safe, possible dial sequence with picture


front of safe
front of safe  
code found
code found  
QUESTION: Hello Andy,
My name is Greg and thank you in advance for your time. I recently purchased my first house in a mobile home park and along with it came a number of items left behind by the former owner. I was told the gentleman was suffering from alshiemers and his son came and moved all his belongings. Left behind was a Herring Hall Marvin safe, serial number 154747 which I was also told is now my property. i found a little piece of paper in a desk (among other collectibles) that appears to have a safe code sequence. you mentioned in another response how the previous owner would write the code in a way hat makes sense to them. I believe with your knowledge you will be able to tell me the correct sequencing for the safe. it stands 4 feet tall on casters, and has HHM stamped on the center of the dial. I will attempt to attach pictures of the code i found plus the front of the safe. any info you can offer me would be greatly appreciated. thanks again, Greg

ANSWER: Hi Greg,

This is a later model HHM.   1940s or 50's.    Why is the handle upside down???

the dialing sequence for the lock on this safe should be:

4 times left to the first number, 40
3 times right to the second number, 85
2 times left to the third number,  3
1 time right to stop / turn handle to open.

Note:   depending on the actual lock installed, the LAST instruction may be:

1 time right stopping at "0", then turn handle to open.

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 example for the first number, you will rotate the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the fourth time the number "40" arrives at the index mark.    You are NOT counting the revolutions of the dial, you are only concerned with the individual number you are working with.    So turn the dial counter clockwise left, counting 40 once, 40 twice, 40 three times, stopping on 40 the fourth time it arrives at the index mark.

if it still want open, then you are either making a dialing error, or the numbers are NOT correct.   You may need to have it checked out by a safe technician from a local safe company.

hope this helps.

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

Thanks for the timely response. I tried the sequences with no luck, I will get in touch with a local professional. To answer your question, the handle is upside down because the bolt that holds it on was loose, possibly from other people trying to force it open. I just tightened it up not paying any attention to the position of the handle

Hi Greg,

As long as the handle works, it doesn't matter what position its in.

If you can't find a local safe company, let me know where you are located (zip code) and I can see whom I might know or recommend in your area.

Good luck with it.  


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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

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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