Question for the safe experts here.


Dan Forrester
January 4, 2013, 01:23 PM
Hey guys (and gals). I know there are some safe experts on the forum. Iím looking at picking up this safe listed on craigslist:

I have already talked to the guy and have determined a few things about the safe. He has the combination for the safe and it does open close and work fine. There is no rust on it. It was repainted and the paint is flaking so thatís why it looks like it does in the picture.

The tags on it say the following:

- S.M.N.A. Group 12

- Spec M1 (What does the Spec M1 mean? I know B1 means burglar resistant?

- Cat. No. 12509

- UL Relocking Device

- UL Inspected

- deposit chute container

Anyone know anything about this safe. I know S.M.N.A. means Safe Manufacturers National Association stopped rating safes somewhere in the 60s so it must be at least 50 years old. In itís day it must have been a pretty good safe and Iím sure its many times better then even the best modern RSC.

If itís a chute container does that mean someone (bubba) welded on a new top plate?

You guys think I should go for it or avoid this one. Iíve moved them before so thatís not a problem.

Thanks for any comments or insight.


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January 4, 2013, 02:11 PM
Buddy, that's a heavy duty money safe. Will you be using it for firearm related protection?

I don't like the rust I see. There can be seepage into the mechanics. But you may be able to switch out the locking mechanism. There's a guy from Zycan safe on the web who is simply a genius with this stuff. He is also happy to answer questions. Google him and give him an e-mail. I am not an expert, but I spent so much time research safes that I know more than the average guy. Whether you should purchase depends on your anticipated use and the price. Remember, the real thing to lock at is the locking mechanism....otherwise it's just a metal box! If that works (try it at least 5 times!), then you should be okay.

Send me a private message if you want more info. Thanks1

January 4, 2013, 03:40 PM
...does that mean someone (bubba) welded on a new top plate?

That's what it looks like to me from the picture.

Dan Forrester
January 4, 2013, 05:28 PM
Yes a1abd (Zykan Safe & Vault) Iím sure would be a wealth of knowledge. Iíve probably read every post he has made here about safes. However I would feel bad calling him to ask him a question about a safe Iím buying from craigslist.
According to the seller that is not rust. The safe was painted over and the new paint is flaking off.

Yes it will just be used for pistols, silencers, rifle bolts, lower receivers, quick detach optics and other things like that. Eventually Iíd like to get a ďSturdy SafeĒ for the uppers, magazines and rifles that donít break down. I think thatís pretty good security. I have a nice much newer Diebold TL15 about the same size but I moved a couple months ago and took it down to my parentsí house and set it up there permanently. Now Iím looking for a second safe for my new house.

From what the guy is telling me it sounds like it should have a drop chute but he doesnít see one and the guy selling it says there are no openings into the safe. So my big fear is that it has been re-welded by someone else. Which now that I think about it is probably why it has been repainted.

Thanks, Dan

4v50 Gary
January 4, 2013, 05:33 PM
Deposit chute container - that's a box that the money drops into when it's dropped into the chute. These safes are used in stores where you don't give the lesser managers access to the safe. They can take the cash and dump it into the safe. Since folks know they don't have the combination, it's a waste of time to try to get them to open it so they can empty it of its contents.

Dan Forrester
January 5, 2013, 12:10 PM
Ok, that makes sense. From a Google image search it looks like there should be an opening in the top or at least somewhere on the safe. The guy says there isnít any such opening anywhere. So I guess it must have been welded shut and then repainted. I guess I should probably pass on it. Donít want something that has been re-welded by someone I canít verify.

Thanks, Dan

January 5, 2013, 01:04 PM
There are a lot of ratings that will mean very little outside of a commercial insurance policy requirement.

Not all safes designated as depository safes have a hole in them from the factory. In many cases this would be placed as the system was being installed so that everything lined up properly. It is possible to run across these types of safes that were never used for that purpose, and even though they have the rating, never had a hole in them.

That aside, those old lug door safes are great when it comes to security. They are so great, that the expense to drill them open is often high. They haven't been made for years, parts are often difficult to come by, and retrofitting the safe with a modern lock isn't always possible. This is one of the reasons that they sell for such a reasonable price. It's certainly a gamble.

Dan Forrester
January 22, 2013, 09:20 AM
Hi a1abdj,

My internet was out for a while there and I havenít had a chance to thank you for your response. Just curious what you would estimate you would charge to open one of those safes. If I were to buy this safe and the lock would fail are we looking at under a grand to have a professional come over and get it back open?

Thanks for all your help.


January 23, 2013, 10:19 AM
Unless you're in the middle of nowhere, it should cost under $1,000 to open. We would get $600 to $800 in the St. Louis area, but this would be open only. Putting the safe back into service would be another story, depending on what needed to be replaced.

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