Locked Out of My Safe

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by jacob2745, Jan 10, 2015.

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  1. joem1945

    joem1945 Member

    Oct 6, 2014
    I bought a used money vault, double door monster. 4000 pounds empty, over 6 feet tall and UL burgler resistant with a fire rating of 8 hours @1700 degrees.
  2. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

    Aug 20, 2009
    Great Northwest - Idaho!
    I think I have most things covered other than an EMP. My digital keypad (a MAS/Hamilton) has a dial. You rotate the dial back and forth quickly a couple times and it generates enough juice to power the keypad to open. No batteries. It's an American Security safe.

    I contacted American Security about 4 or 5 years ago and asked them if it was protected against an EMP. They asked what that was. :) I guess I'm out of luck in the event of an electro-magnetic pulse. I suppose I'll be out of luck if/when the little power generator fails too, and I'll have to call a 'smith. For now though, it's pretty cool. It's been working fine for 16 years. Oh... the keypad could melt in a fire too, but if all that happens, I have bigger problems than getting to the guns inside.
  3. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    So, I've always had a question about those "skeleton key" backups to the electronic locks; If you have one, does that mean the safe is easily "picked" by a knowledgeable thief who doesn't have either the key or combination?
  4. PistolPete45

    PistolPete45 Member

    Oct 18, 2013
    Have had mine for about 12 years now changed the batteries 4 times never had a problem not even one time Best of luck with your new keypad ..
  5. heeler

    heeler Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    Berretaprofessor,if your e-lock has a key by pass it is not a UL rated lock and that in and of itself means it is an inferior product on a safe.
  6. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

    Jul 21, 2005
    St. Charles, MO (St. Louis)
    I have a tool (made out of a coat hanger) that I use to open these types of safes. Not counting the time it takes me to get the keypad off, opening the safe usually just takes a few seconds.

    I once had a customer tell me that I opened his safe faster than he could using a working combination.
  7. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    One of the electronic safe locks failed at work. The lock smiths came and drilled the safe open within minutes of arriving. It ruined the safe drawer. I asked the guys how often electronic locks failed, and they were drilling out electronic safe locks several times per week. When I asked about mechanical locks, they said maybe one per month, really did not remember the last time one had failed, because failure was so rare. I do not want an electronic lock and don’t have one.

    There are different grades of Sargent and Greenleaf mechanical locks, the “industrial grade” ones have metallic discs and last almost forever.

  8. HighExpert

    HighExpert Member

    May 30, 2010
    I had to replace the lock on my Ft. Knox safe. It was a mechanical Sargent & Greenleaf lock. Tumblers started sticking and it wouldn't open. Put in an electronic and the wife is much happier. After looking inside and seeing how the lock works, I have come to the conclusion that even a Ft. Knox is a minor hindrance to a pro. I could break into mine in less than 15-30 minutes. You just need to know how. They are better than under the bed storage but not by much. I also own a Cannon. Same thing. Sorry guys. That's the truth.
  9. Highcaliber

    Highcaliber Member

    May 13, 2008
    Inside the actual electronic lock assembly ( not the keypad ), there is a tiny solenoid that can start to fail or stick.

    If the solenoid is failing or sticking then a new "keypad" won't help.

    I suggest you leave it unlocked and buy a new "mechanical dial" lock. S&G (Sargent & Greenleaf) Dial Locks will run you approx $100, and you can install it yourself in about 30 minutes.

    If you really like the electronic type, then buy a (LaGard) Electronic Lock and you can install it in about 15 minutes.

    For either type, just make sure you order the correct bolt orientation. For example; Right Hand (RH), Vertical Down (VD), Left Hand (LH), and Vertical Up (VU)

    You can view the actual lock mechanism by removing the cover on the inside of the door. Verticle Down (VD) orientation is quite common as seen in the picture above this post.

    If you want something a little more expensive AMSEC also makes a few locks of their own proprietary design.

    IF you need to have the safe drilled and opened, then you will also need the hole welded shut. Depending on the method used, the smoke and fumes from this can be annoying inside your home.

    If you don't have the hole welded, then anyone can gain access to your safe, through the previously drilled opening to your lock mechanism.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015

    CANNONMAN member

    Apr 16, 2014
    Another thing from a digital safe owner. On some models, after a number of incorrect attempts, a timer engages that will not allow any attempt to function. Correct or otherwise. As I understand, a safe is time rated. How much time would it take to enter the safe. By not allowing continued attempts time is gained. I do not know the time out setting but I know I've got it on mine. Also, I agree that the bolts must be full engaged and the battery fresh. I have traveled in your shoes on this one.
  11. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Contributing Member

    Jul 6, 2012
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Worked most of my life around electronic cypher locks and readers. Had one in a carpeted hallway. Walk down the hallway in the winter, reach to put in a code, ESD spark, end of story and another dead keypad. Nope, when I bought my safe I made sure it had a mechanical tumbler.

  12. txblackout

    txblackout Member

    Jan 29, 2014
    I leave my safe with two out of three numbers dialed. This allows me to get in faster than an e lock.
  13. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

    Sep 23, 2006
    I won't have a digital lock on a safe. I like them on my garage door and have even put one on my front door but not on a gun safe.
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