Gun safe won't open!

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Feb 19, 2011
south central oregon
My Dakota safe wont open!I can hear the lock unlocking but the handle wont open the bolts.The handle feels like its slipping on a clutch or something.I tried slipping it back a little and still nothing.anyone have any advice before I cut this thing open?
Yep...I've a few suggestions!

New battery, first thing.

Push in on the door a bit to take any tension off the bolts, work the handle back and forth a bit, just to make reasonably sure it's free/not binding.

Enter the combination and ease the handle to the open position.

Keep trying various iterations of this, perhaps with some jarring, extra pushing on the door, cocking the handle while operating, etc.

My safe had a quirk where I needed to rotate the handle slightly in the latch direction when I enter the combination, then rotate it in the open direction afterwards.

I wouldn't advise getting excessively rough in your operations. This slippage you described sounds like you need finesse and letting your frustrations get the better of you may make things worse.

If you can't get it open, call a professional. I don't know what that might cost, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it's less than you cutting the safe open and having to repair/replace it.
OOC: who's the manufacturer ?
(and have you already replaced the battery?) failure is the most,doesn't have enough amperage.
> ...without sufficient amperage your lock might make noise but not open
> a battery with the wrong amperage can be deceiving because the keypad
> can still make noise and appear to work normally.

See also temp lockout engaged...
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New battery has what expiration date ?
(It matters since it requires true amperage to move metal
pieces longer solid state at that point)

... and enough people mentioned alkaline Duracell to
convince me it wasn't gimmicky brand call...

I believe the thing is unlocking, there has to be something wrong
with the slip clutch mechanism or something inside the door is
catching on one of the bolts
Have ,you tried the rubber mallet trick yet?
(We had to regularly use exactly that w/ the big Range safe in the Cluhouse)

If solenoid gone bad/weak try this first/rubber mallet
After entering the code, smack the metal face of the door roughly even w. the top of the keypad about
halfway to the hinge and/or opening edge. Then try opening.
All you're trying to do is jar loose what may be a stuck solenoid catch.

little dark humor...

Give Dakota a call 1-888-469-SAFE
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Well I beat the door with a mallet,all around it and where the actuator is,no go.I guess I get to wait till tuesday when the safe company is open.There is no locksmith for a hundred miles so I hope I can get it open myself.I really hate to cut it open,but will if I have to.
Well, you've pretty well done all the options at this point.
Best of luck with the on-line folks at Dakota... :thumbup:

Post: the 1st thing they're gonna ask is " many different DuraCells & how new?.... "
From your previous replies you appear to have that covered.
New battery has what expiration date ?
(It matters since it requires true amperage to move metal
pieces longer solid state at that point)

... and enough people mentioned alkaline Duracell to
convince me it wasn't gimmicky brand call...

My Liberty manual specifically states Duracell as well.

I checked it a while back and the 9v that was in it had an exp. date of 2017! But i left it since it was still working. The first time i heard it do the battery beep, i changed it. That was about a week ago! I only get in it a couple times a month though.
I’ve gone through a couple of 9 volts on one safe. They were DOA and a simple replacement allowed me to open door after punching in combo.

However, it’s set up that if the electric keypad is damaged or tore off you can insert a specialty key in the keyhole under the pad (twists to remove) that allows you to manually open the door.
At some point you will call a locksmith. It won't be cheap.





this old Government lock was crap. The delrin discs had worn. Supposedly the Government wanted plastic discs because they would be invisible to X rays. As if someone who stole a 1000 lb safe was going to try to pick the lock using X rays to determine the combination.




While mechanical locks do fail, the failure rate of electronic locks is orders of magnitude higher. They are a great money maker for locksmiths. Let me recommend, get a good mechanical lock. This is on a gun safe of mine, brass wheels, very reliable.


this is a 6700 series of lock. There are a bunch of R6700 locks for less than $100 on ebay. People remove these good locks and install crappy digital locks, which cost hundreds to drill out. And then there is the door repair.

I installed a lock taken off a Cannon safe. It was a bargain.

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