Won a Mosler combination safe on ebay and am wondering about
something: is it possible to change the combination on such a safe?
This is a safe that opens with a key AND combination dial.
Also, is it wise to take it to a locksmith while it is in my truck?
Just to have it checked etc?
They will direct you appropriately.
Tel.: +49 (0) 5 41 98 25 66 52 - Fax: +49 (0) 5 41 98 25 66 66
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call
1-800-654-5213 for professional consultation with a Lacka Representative
Just be careful handling it, some of the fancier types have a plate of
glass as part of the locking mechanism, if it gets shocked and broken,
the locking bolts get driven outwards and you're cooked. Keeps the
hammer and chisel types at bay.
I think Roger Shoaf is a locksmith. You might
try sending him an email.
Most locksmiths are highly protective of any
sort of information they have concerning opening
locks. They will generally treat you as a thief
unless they know you.
I would believe an open safe door is all the bonafides you will need.
"Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect
government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home
in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
Ignoramus3982 wrote in news:Qb-
I used to get safe style combination locks at the Los Alamos surplus yard
when I was a kid. Some had been drilled when the combination was lost,
but some were entact. These were ~ 1950's vintage. You could take the
back cover off & figure out what the combination was. Most of them had a
hole in the back where you could insert a special key. This would allow
you to change the combination. I never had the magic key, or the time to
figure out how to make one, but I examined quite a few such locks, and
that was clearly the intent. I don't recall if any had a keylock in the
dial, but I suspect the combination part is largely the same.
I also know many safe combinations can be changed without heroics from my
long association with the MIT pistol range. They have a bunch of surplus
safes, and whenever there has been a major change of personnel in the
coach/range master position, the MIT locksmith came through & changed
most of the combinations. Some of the safes are really ancient, and
either are difficult to change, or require an oddball key/tool to do it,
so they have remained unchanged for decades. They are typically used for
ammo or airguns, with the better safes reserved for the firearms.
As long as it's in your truck, I would take it to a locksmith, because
they usually charge more for housecalls. It would be worth checking
around to find a really good one. There are a lot of folks claiming to
be locksmiths who can't do much more than install locksets & cut keys.
If the safe is open just take it on in to the locksmith shop. He
should be able to work on the safe right on the back of your trailer
and not only set up a combination for you but also check it over to
see if there are any problems that could cause a lockout.
It is cheap to have the thing checked while open, but it can get
expensive when you are locked out.
If you need me to I can find a good safe guy in your area, but any
reputible company should be able to help you with this.
Also, the key in the dial is just to lock the dial for day lock
purposes, the main lock is the combination lock. This feature is most
often used in an office situation to avoid having to dial open the
safe each time.
I once had a girlfriend who had a 16-year-old kid, who
locked his keys in his car. We called a locksmith, and
stood around watching while he poked around the lock
with his lockpick - we wanted to see how it was done.
We were all chatting and stuff, watching and waiting
for about five minutes or so; he finally said, "Gee, I
guess this side is jammed or something - lemme try the
other side. He walked to the other side of the car,
squatted down, and had it open in about three seconds,
before any of us even thought to follow him.
I guess he was also an off-duty cop. :-)
alt.locksmiting has a number of informed people on it. Explain your
circumstances and legitimacy as you did here and you'll do well.
If you want more, search the archives as your question wouild
not be unprecedented.
Yes. (If you have a combination which can open it at least, or
got it unlocked.)
Just to try to figure the period from which it comes, Is the
combination dial about 3" diameter, numbers on the side rather than the
face, with a knob which is about half that diameter sticking out
something like 3/4" or 1" from the body of the dial? It it fairly metal
colored, with a black dot in the middle of the knob about 2/3 the
diameter of the knob? If so, it is from the same period as the ones on
the security file cabinets which I used to deal with at work. Oh yes,
does the dial read from 0 to 99?
The first thing is to get the combination open -- or if it is
already open, *don't* close it. (You can experiment with the door open,
the the worst problem likely to be that you will lock it open.
Anyway -- new from the factory, these come with a combination
which I may have backwards so I'll give it both ways. It starts CCW,
with each subsequent number reversing the previous direction. There are
three significant digits, plus a final stop on zero. (This stopping point
can be changed on some, but I've always seen them left standard.)
The combination is either 25-50-25-0 or 50-25-50-0. Crank it
CCW until the first number has passed the index at least three times and
stop on the forth or more (it does not hurt anything but your patience
to turn more times for this first number.) Then turn it CW until the
number you have just set hits the index two times and then go to the
next number (*don't* overshoot, or you will have to start over). Then
turn CCW again until you have reached the number just dialed once and
go to the next number. Finally, turn CW again and stop at zero. After
this, the handle should allow it to be unlocked.
If whoever got rid of this did not lock it open, or reset it to
the factory combination, then you will *really* need the locksmith to
open it, and then repair it. Typically, the critical places for
drilling a lock of this sort open are covered with concrete filled with
old carbide inserts -- designed to destroy your drill. :-) The locks are
also designed so if you cut off the dial and drive the shaft through,
you will lock the lock *forever* -- nothing you can do will allow it to
be opened -- other than cutting your way into the safe and removing the
There will be access behind it -- usually with a door of some
sort and several thick (1/4" or so) pieces of steel blocking access to
it. You lift these out, and then remove the four screws which hold the
lock together. The backplate will come out with a stack of three black
plastic discs on it with a rectangular notch on the edge of each disc.
Each of these discs have a hub which pops out, and a pointer so the hub
and the disc can be set to any number from 0 to 99.
You set the combination by changing each hub pointer to set the
desired number. IIRC, the disc closest to the knob is the first number,
and the other two are in sequence following that. If you want to change
the final zero, take the knob out (requires a bit more work on the body
of the lock) and check for a 100-point spline connecting the shaft to
the back of the dial. I've seen this on some Sargent & Greenleaf
security file cabinet locks, but I don't know whether it is present on
the Mosler locks. (The S&G knobs have a thumb tab in the center of the
knob which has to be rotated to engage the part which draws back the
bolt -- and it is possible that one may have been fitted to the Mosler
safe at some point. These locks don't have to be disassembled to reset
them. There is a special keyhole in the back. You dial the old
combination, install the key and rotate it 90 degrees, then dial the
desired new combination using a second index mark a bit CCW from the
normal one. Once the new combination is dialed, return the key to the
proper position, and withdraw it.
After changing the combination, try to work the lock at least
twice to make sure that you can open it *** before *** you close the
Is it open? Are you *sure*. If it isn't open, do you have a
combination for it? If not, expect a lot of work on somebody's part.
How big is it? One of the little cubes used for normal
valuables, or a gun safe or something of the sort?
Do you want to let the locksmith set the combination, or do
you want to do it yourself? My own preference is to do it myself, so I
know that nobody else has the combination. (Well -- at work, the
combinations were changed about every six months, and the new
combinations were written on a special card, sealed in a special
envelope, and locked in the safe of the next level of management up.
(They *really* don't want to have to drill a safe open. :-) It all
depends on how valuable the contents will be -- and whether you want
someone else to be able to open it after you die.
You might get the locksmith to set a combination for you that
you know you can use to open it later, and then set it yourself later.
If it has a S&G lock fitted, see if he can sell you the key to allow
combination changes. They usually come packaged with each new lock.
Here is an open view of the S&G locks which I was familiar with:
Hmm ... looks as though Mosler now has some with the S&G type of
[ ... ]
The basics of the key are a shaft which is square (to match the
square at the keyhole), with a turned down tip to act as a bearing,
another turned down section to act as a bearing in the square hole, and
a flange off one of the corners which is milled off the part which goes
inside the lock - other than a short piece which just passes through the
keyhole and prevents withdrawing the key while it is turned. The
end view looks sort of like this:
Allowing for the inability to draw a true square with ASCII graphics.
On most vehicles you don't mess with the lock cylinder at all. On my old
truck I can break into it (without damage) in 35 seconds - pathetic for
a pro, but not bad for an amateur. I haven't tried it on my new truck,
since it has a keypad so I can't lock myself out.