Safes & Security Containers/Cary Safe


cary 1
cary 1  
cary 2
cary 2  
QUESTION: Sir can you please provide some instructions for opening this safe? I can get the correct sequence for this three tumbler lock?


Can you provide me with the serial number for your safe, so I can verify the lock that is installed?    The serial number should be stamped into the ball of the handle.    There may be a secondary lock serial number on the back of the lock curb - the silver disc holding the wheel pack.

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

QUESTION: Thank you- the serial number is 178666. There is a "3" on the back(outside) of the silver wheel pack case. On the inside rim of the wheel pack there is a 518 and then opposite side what appears to be a 7x 20.

Hi Tim,

Your Cary safe would have been built around 1923.   The lock installed is a Yale M-16, three wheel lock (NOT Tumblers), with an internal "relocking trigger" or "mechanical dog" as Cary described it, which would be forced into place if thieves tried to break into the safe, blocking the movement of the lock bolt, securing the safe.   They described the action as "automatic", though it is actually a spring activated lever.

The dialing sequence for this lock is as follows:

4 times left to the first number,
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right until the dial stops - turn handle to open safe.

Note 1:   If there is any handle pressure on the lock bolt, it may not drop correctly, or may bind up.   Make sure there is no pressure on the handle, if the lock does not unlock fully.

Note 2:   Left is counter clockwise, Right is clockwise.   Do not count the revolutions of the dial, count the individual numbers as the arrive at the 12 o'clock index mark.  For instance if your first number is 50, you will turn the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the fourth time the number 50 arrives at the index mark.

Hope this helps.  

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland Safes from the 1860'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. NOTE: I also answer safe related questions in the Locksmith and Antique Safe Categories sections.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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

Safecrackers International National Antique Safe Association

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 - 2014 - Listed in AllExperts top 50 experts. All Experts 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, including western Nevada

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