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Locksmithing/Safe buried in my yard


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Tagging on iside door
Tagging on iside door  
QUESTION: I found an old safe buried in my yard.  It measures 12 inches cubed. At least one inch thick cast iron it has been cut up with a torch. It has a Sargent and Greenleaf R 6725 lock.  Underwriters Laboratories Inc inspected relocking device 447891. Spfg b1 s.m.n.a group3, 10y433?  Can you tell me anything about this? Circa?  It appears to be a unit that was mount in a wall or something with metal straps of sorts coming off of it.

ANSWER: Hi Sarah,

I can't tell much from the photos supplied.   As far as the labels, they have nothing to do with the individual safe, other than to tell us WHAT standard it was built to.    In this case it was a "Group 3, Burglary Resistive Chest".   

The Group 3 chests utilized a round door, with a minimum door thickness of 1-1/2" exclusive of the boltwork and minimum 1" thick steel walls.   It would have been a lug type door, or had locking bolt work, protected by drill resistant inserts or pins.    The outside surface of the body and door would have been from case hardened, drill resistant steel.

These safes were meant to protect larger volumes of cash - possibly in the $40K to $75K range.

Being buried in the yard and torched open, would indicate to me that it may have been involved in a burglary or robbery.    You may want to check back through records of previous tenants and/or match up records in the area of burglaries to see if anything matches.

As far as age of the safe, I would need to see much better photos of the safe to try to narrow it down some, however I can tell you that the Safe Manufacturers National Association (SMNA) quit testing/labeling safes sometime between 1962-64, so the safe would have been made prior to this date, but opened sometime between then and when you found it.

Very interesting, hope you get more info to fill in the story.

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QUESTION: More photos.  1st one shows front and whoe cut in it.  2nd is the straping i believe held it in place maybe in a wall or floor.  There isno casing on it just cast iron with straps weded to it.  I have more pics can ony oad 2 at a time.  Where would i look for markings on the safe?

ANSWER: Hi Sarah,

There may not be any markings.    If the door is still intact (more or less) I may be able to id it from photos.

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QUESTION: Here is a pic of the front door, the hinges have been knocked off and i believe there was a dial in the midde, its hard to see in the picture but it looks ike a small hole with a rod in the middle.  It has Sargent and Greenleaf R6725 relocking device.

Hi Sarah,

AaaaarrrrrggggHHHH!      Darn it, too much of the door is missing to ID it.

Based on the photos and the hinge mounting bolt holes, it looks like a "Guardsman Safe Company, LaPorte, Indiana" door.   

Guardsman Safe Company wasn't in business for many years, mainly during the late 1950's into the early 1960's.   While my notes indicate that this company was MAINLY a distributor, selling safes made by other companies, they may have also made a line of these round door safes.    Some distributors had safes specially made for them by other manufacturers and the put their labels on them.   I know this company was involved with the Mosler safe company, either by relabeling safes made by them, having safes made for Guardsman by Mosler or later as an acquisition of Mosler.   However, based on your photos, I would attribute this safe to this company.  Also the time frame is about right for the labels on your safe.

Unfortunately, I can't guarantee that this is the actual manufacturer, but based on the photos, with as much missing from the door, this is possibly the best ID I can get at this time.

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

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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