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Gun safe won't open!

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by 49willys, Nov 26, 2022.

  1. 49willys

    49willys Member

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    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?
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  2. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    Walk away from it for a while, I get myself in trouble by pushing stuff.

    If it doesn't work in the morning, then I would call a lock smith.

    If digital, check the battery. If mechanical, try to push/pull on the door to see if taking tension off the bolts helps.
     
  3. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    I'd call the manufacturer. But I'm weird that way.
     
  4. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Rubber mallet smacked medium hard around circumference of handle upon final number
    Watch HERE to get a sense of what's got to drop into the right slot(s) at that point on a dial combo.

    See HERE for digital
     
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  5. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    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.
     
    sparkyv, Blue Jays, hso and 2 others like this.
  6. 49willys

    49willys Member

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    I sent an email,I hope they can help.Im just in a bit of panic mode I think.
     
  7. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    OOC: who's the manufacturer ?
    (and have you already replaced the battery?)
    https://nwsafe.com/blogs/tips/electronic-lock-won-t-open#:~:text=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...
    https://www.libertysafe.com/blogs/the-vault/common-problems-with-electronic-safe-locks
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2022
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  8. 49willys

    49willys Member

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    New battery and still not opening.
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  9. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    New battery has what expiration date ?
    (It matters since it requires true amperage to move metal
    pieces around....no longer solid state at that point)

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

    .
     
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  10. 49willys

    49willys Member

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    Duracell just bought at store
     
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  11. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Sounds like it's time to call the manufacturer's customer service number.
     
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  12. 49willys

    49willys Member

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    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
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  13. gunmechanic

    gunmechanic Member

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    If all else fails ,call a lock smith .I had my safe screw up the lock smith was in it in seconds ,no damage and it was not much a $100 if i recall . He ordered the parts to fix it.I got it fixed and saved my safe!
     
  14. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Have ,you tried the rubber mallet trick yet?
    (We had to regularly use exactly that w/ the big Range safe in the Cluhouse)

    .
     
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  15. 49willys

    49willys Member

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    I will as soon as everyone in the house wakes up,lol.where would be the best place to whack it with the mallet?
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2022
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  16. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    If solenoid gone bad/weak try this first/rubber mallet
    https://idoneitmyself.com/2010/05/0...a-rubber-mallet-some-wd-40-and-a-screwdriver/
    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...
    https://www.fixya.com/support/t3140293-sentry_fire_safe_electronic_lock

    Give Dakota a call 1-888-469-SAFE
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2022
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  17. 49willys

    49willys Member

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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.
     
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  18. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    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 "...how many different DuraCells & how new?.... "
    From your previous replies you appear to have that covered.
     
  19. Frulk

    Frulk Member

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    Dakota appears to build some very solid quality safes. I’ll be interested to hear how their customer service handles this.
     
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  20. jak67429

    jak67429 Member

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    Make sure you check the battery. I have had brand new batteries that were bad.
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  21. 49willys

    49willys Member

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    IT IS OPEN!!!turns out one of the screws that hold the inside door cover on got screwed in to far,by me,and was catching the bolt.had to drill a hole in the side and whack a screw driver on the end of the bolt.one whack and it opened right up.WHEW!!
     
  22. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    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.
     
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  23. Frulk

    Frulk Member

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    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.
     
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  24. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    A hole in the cover inside the safe?
    (or through the outside of the door?)
     
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  25. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    At some point you will call a locksmith. It won't be cheap.

    t1LCFYq.jpg


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    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.

    Q0XMABl.jpg


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    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.

    OgLNsxk.jpg

    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.

    mYLJryY.jpg
     
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