Anyone with 'Safe' knowledge?


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wbwanzer
August 15, 2008, 12:37 PM
I've got a Remington safe which stands about 5.5 or 6 feet tall in the basement. I've had it for about 10 years but it's only gotten light use most of that time. I'm getting back into shooting more now so I'm using more often. Problem is that it now takes me between 5 and 8 tries to get it open, where it used to open on the first try every time. It is a four digit combination. I'm not doing anything different than I used to, and it's hard for me to think that the lock has gotten worn out. Any ideas or suggestions?

Thanks

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streakr
August 15, 2008, 12:41 PM
As long as it opens you're OK. You may be overspinning the dial or the tumblers it may simply be oxidized a bit so that they do not register immediately.

Try bumping the door with your fist alongside the dial as you spin it.

A certified safe/locksmith can remove the dial and lube it.

s

a1abdj
August 15, 2008, 12:51 PM
You're probably dealing with dried up/gunky lubrication. This can cause the flies to stick a bit, throwing your combination off.

A local safe tech should be able to service the lock in the $100 ball park.

allank
August 15, 2008, 12:59 PM
I've read in other postings that you should probably leave it open now and get it serviced immediately, because given your current difficulties in opening it, the safe might not open on the next try at all. Repairing an open door with a bad lock is much less expensive and causes less damage than having to drill it open.

Archie
August 15, 2008, 01:00 PM
Yes. I used to be a locksmith and have serviced safes in the past. One of two things are happening:

1. You aren't stopping correctly on the numbers of the combination. The amount of tolerance where the numbers line up is very small.

2. The lock mechanism is getting loose for some reason. One or more of the bits comprising the dial and main shaft could have rusted and allowed a bit too much slop in the dial mechanism.

If you want the lock checked out, you have one of two choices: Call a safe mechanic out to your house to service it, or remove the locking mechanism from the safe door and take it in to the shop. Taking it in will be cheaper - just don't close the safe while the lock is out of the door.

Whatever you do, don't allow the safe to deteriorate to where you can't open it. Then you call the safe mechanic out to your place and he performs the magic of opening it and repairing it - which will conservatively cost about four or five times as much as doing it with the door open.

wbwanzer
August 15, 2008, 01:15 PM
Thanks to everyone for their input. I will get someone to take care of it, and will not lock it back up in the meantime.

Thanks again.

Guns and more
August 15, 2008, 04:36 PM
I know many will disagree, but when it is open have a safe locksmith change the dial to an electronic lock. I open mine when I get home and lock it when I leave. 5 sec. max. I know with a dial, I would tend to leave it locked because it's a hassle to open.

matrem
August 15, 2008, 05:00 PM
I have personally had two E-locks go "bad".I was told by K*** M** & locksmith that they went into "lockout mode".The first time required drilling a safe, (safe company did pay for that) second time, I noticed the warning signs & didn't close door untill it completely failed & I put a S&G mechanical on it. They are relatively easy to fix with the door open.I've heard that K*** M** has "upgraded",but I can't recommend an E-lock yet.(at least not one of theirs)

a1abdj
August 15, 2008, 10:18 PM
I've heard that K*** M** has "upgraded",

Yeah...they bought LaGard. LaGard has proven to be a fairly reliable electronic lock. :D

Kaba makes some nice electronic locks, but they are expensive. You don't see many on gun safes, but do see them quite a bit on ATM machines, and at government facilities.

Guns and more
August 15, 2008, 10:38 PM
Well, you made me look. Mine has a tiny "LG" logo on the bottom.
So far it has been a dream to use. I'd prefer if the LED's were bigger, but I put my code in, it flashes, and I spin the big lever to the right. Done!

Nate C.
August 15, 2008, 10:56 PM
"....know many will disagree, but when it is open have a safe locksmith change the dial to an electronic lock. I open mine when I get home and lock it when I leave. 5 sec. max. I know with a dial, I would tend to leave it locked because it's a hassle to open."


+1 for an electronic lock. They are far more convenient to use on a daily basis and you can change the combo yourself with very little hassle. (Plus, they make that cool little noise when they reset.) S&G has been trouble free.

CB900F
August 15, 2008, 11:11 PM
Wbwanzer;

Unless your unit has internal hinges, I'd remove the door & take it into the shop. I'll strongly suggest not trying to remove the lock body from the door & taking that in by itself.

Why? Several reasons. Removing the back of the lock body frequently voids the warranty provided by the lock manufacturer. Removing the overt screws that hold the lock body to the door will not allow the lock body to be removed from the door because dial shaft has to be separated from the wheel pack. I'm not going to tell you how to do that. Then, many lock bodies have a relocker function built into the back cover, which requires things be reassembled "just so". And those relockers don't need to be discussed in open forum either.

In short; "keep yer grubby booger-pickers offa it!" (as an elder member of my family used to say to me) is a far safer route to travel.

900F

wbwanzer
August 16, 2008, 11:33 AM
Thanks for the advice, but I had no intention of taking anything apart. I'll have a guy come here and do what ever needs to be done.

32winspl
August 16, 2008, 01:34 PM
This is just a thought, I have an S&G mechanical lock on my safe. If I spin the dial too fast, I'll ocassionally have to do it over. Since I started rotating the dial more slowly, I've never had any trouble.

feedthehogs
August 16, 2008, 05:04 PM
Thanks for the advice, but I had no intention of taking anything apart. I'll have a guy come here and do what ever needs to be done

And thus my friend you will have spent wise money.

wbwanzer
August 16, 2008, 06:49 PM
32winspl - I took a chance locking the safe again so I could try your suggestion. It still took me about five tries to get it open. I guess that wasn't the problem. Thanks anyway.

a1abdj
August 17, 2008, 12:45 AM
I have an S&G mechanical lock on my safe. If I spin the dial too fast, I'll ocassionally have to do it over. Since I started rotating the dial more slowly, I've never had any trouble.

When you spin the dial on a safe, the wheels inside the lock should stop as soon as you stop turning the dial. If you're dialing quickly, but accurately, the lock should still open. If it doesn't, the wheels may be traveling when they shouldn't be.

This is a torque problem which can lead to other problems. By slowing down you have eliminated some of the forceful wear, but there still may be damage.

Keep an eye on it.

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