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Purchased a locked safe, and need advice on affordable safe cracking!

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by leadcounsel, Jun 3, 2013.

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  1. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    Punching those locks will likely make opening those doors that much more difficult.

    Make sure you get a guarantee, in writing, from whomever proposed that idea.
     
  2. anothernewb

    anothernewb Member

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    Not sure about how the contents might suffer... But..... for a couple bucks worth of fun, haul it out to a place where you've got some room to work with and empty a case of 7.62x54R or m2 ball surplus at it.

    500 rounds of steel core bullets hitting it at 200+ fps outta give you some real insights to how tough it is...
     
  3. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    Gary did build safes with ratings up to TRTL-30 levels. Chances are the round door is a TL-15. The square door is likely a C rate or TL-15.

    Although every manufacturer uses model numbers, on safes like this, I would refer to the round door by it's diameter: A Gary 8" or 10" round door.

    You will know for sure once it's open, as Gary put the UL tags on the insides of the doors. :D
     
  4. SDC

    SDC Member

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    I'd definitely want to drillsome smal inspection holes just to make sure any further effort is even necessary, but if it contains anything valuable inside, I'd stay away from things like torches, plasma cutters, etc., and go with one of those gas-powered chop saws with a friction blade. On one of those "Auction Kings" shows, they found a safe with some valuables inside (including an H&K P7), and used a torch to cut it open, but absolutely TRASHED the finish on the pistol while doing so.
     
  5. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Supposedly, here in Denver in some building there's an ancient "ball" safe that's been there forever. It's too big and heavy to move out, so everyone's just left it there as tenants come and go. Every locksmith in town has tried to open it with no luck, I guess it's one of the most secure safes ever made. Nobody knows what's in it, if anything. Probably been there since the 1800's or early 1900's, nobody knows.
     
  6. FAS1

    FAS1 Member

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    I like the gas powered cut-off saw as well. Makes lots of noise and sparks will be flying! :D

    You could even fire up the pit and make a party. I'm sure you will get plenty of friends to take turns.
     
  7. wolf695

    wolf695 Member

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    If its all legal, then a 4.5" or 7" dewalt grinder with a waffer wheel blade(metal cutting blade). A dozen should get you in!
     
  8. plainsbilly

    plainsbilly Member

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    Small air hammer and chisel set commonly called a zip gun. 4 1/2 angle grinder and a stack of cutoff wheels. Cut a starter opening with cutoff wheels zip gun the opening bigger 3 hrs tops and 2 cases of beer. :rolleyes: don't act like its a vault or a laminated steel antique.
     
  9. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    I have no idea how to open it. It would be fun to go to this guys place (when he's there & watching) and take gray playdough and start attaching it to the safe, attaching some type of timer and a 9v. When he asks "What the...", just say "don't worry man, I got this." :)

    Edit: He may even give you the $160 back.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013
  10. Trent

    Trent Member

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    HAHAH!

    Oh that was good. :)
     
  11. Geno

    Geno Member

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    I had a small safe that wore out about 16 years back. I wanted to get rid of it, but couldn't open it to see that there were no valuables inside of it. This one weighed a couple hundred pounds. When the trash collectors wheeled by with the massive trash truck, I asked them if they could help open it. They did.

    They sat the safe on the end of the truck, and closed the hydraulic door / gate / whatever you call it, onto the safe. With about 5 seconds of hydraulics applied, they had "crushed" the safe enough that the door feel off. :D My daughter's birth certificate was all that was inside. You know, the one from the hospital with foot and hand prints at birth?! Yeah. Glad they were able to help me.

    Geno
     
  12. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Great ideas everyone.

    Keep in mind the safe is essentially immovable due to the weight, within the small budget I'm willing to commit.

    So far, drilling inspection hole(s) appears to be the best approach. Then cutting from there.
     
  13. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    Look that safe over good before drilling holes, especially around the top part that appears to be filled with dirt. Some of those safes have drops in them to allow them to deposit money without opening the door. You can snake a camera down those with little effort.
     
  14. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Great idea. This area appears covered in moss, and under the moss, some concrete or fill of some sort. I could perhaps chisel that out.

    The safe was moved to it's current location, and the owner said that water funneled out of the safe or perhaps the walls... that means there must be a way that water got in. So it would make sense there is a hole somewhere, probably at that point in the top.
     
  15. Field Tester

    Field Tester Member

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    Have you personally gone over the safe for a good inspection? Any updates?
     
  16. marv

    marv Member

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    I have an old Cary safe and can give you a clue what to expect. Mine is 2 ft square and 3 ft tall. The interior is about the size of a big shoebox. Those walls are THICK. The door is 6 in thick, tapered all around with stepped sides. It goes into a tapered stepsided hole. It has fixed 1 1/2" lugs on the hinge side and retractable 1 1/2" lugs opposite. So don't even think about popping the hinges and dropping the door. I think I would go in thru the back and/or the bottom. Wear a Good mask because they weren't afraid to use lots of asbestos back in the day. Good Luck.
     
  17. xxjumbojimboxx

    xxjumbojimboxx Member

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    Can we find out whats in this safe already!
     
  18. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Anyone know about the safe layout... shelves, drawers that open to the front, etc? So if I cut the side or back off, would I be able to access the drawers?

    What about the top compartment? Does it drop down into the safe, or is there another drop down area? Can you access the top compartment from the bottom, or is there a wheel that can be turned to drop the top down into the bottom, etc?

    Unexpected work came up that prevents me from attacking this until next weekend.
     
  19. nyresq

    nyresq Member

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    "...Stuff burns ~ 2200° F...

    Be safe..."

    LOL!
     
  20. Kuyong_Chuin

    Kuyong_Chuin Member

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    One thing I have not heard mentioned yet is a plasma cutter it will cut things pretty thick if you know someone that has one like a machine or wielding shop. Do not use an oxygen acetylene cutting torch on it. If a mixture of the gases gets built up inside the safe and gets hit with a spark they will be hearing the blast three counties over. When in high school shop, my teacher took three small balloons filled the first two about the size of a baseball, one with just oxygen the other with acetylene, the last balloon was filled with a mix of the two and only filled to about the size of a golf ball. The shop was about 100 feet long and 50 wide and the huge garage like doors were open along with all the windows. He then took the lit torch and touched the balloon with the oxygen and it just popped, next the acetylene balloon was touched off and we got a nice fireball about like a large piece of flash paper being set off. The mixed gas balloon when it was set off not only knocked the dust of the rafter a good 20 feet above our heads it was heard miles away. The implosion pulled some of the windows shut in the shop.

    A good fire department should have the tools to open it. Call and talk to their training officer maybe they will use it as a training exercise instead of using a car to cut up and pry open. Suggest to the training officer to use the following scenario for the training mission. A small child was playing hide and seek in the yard where there was an old open safe, the child shut the door and can not get out and no one knows the combo to the lock. That way they will do everything possible not only to get the safe open but to open it without hurting what is inside the safe, in this scenario a small child. I used to be on the county rescue squad when I lived in Mo and we worked with the local fire department often and they and we were always doing training where we had to cut someone out of something. Good Luck.
     
  21. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Outside of curiosity as to what might be in it (I'll tell you right now... NOTHING!). I wouldn't bother opening it as you have two options:
    Expensive professional to maintain the safe's integrity and usefulness.
    Destructive to assuage curiosity and keep expense down - other than the valuable expendables you'll go through.

    Once opened, you'll find the interior volume (and emptiness) comes no where near to justifying the efforts.
    Call around to pros and see what kind of trade value they'll give you on a more practical used item.

    As you already know - this thing weighs near onto 3/4 of a ton. My go-to safe guys sell these used and refurbished all the time.

    I've hit this rodeo many times in my wife's estate sale business.
     
  22. wally

    wally Member

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    Find a serial number and try to contact the original manufacturer.

    Richard Feynman (Nobel prize winner in physics, Manhattan project worker, and patent holder for the nuclear powered rocket ship) developed quite a reputation as a safe cracker at Los Alamos by doing this.

    Amazing how many safes are left at their factory defaults.
     
  23. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    How thick is the steel on the outside and interior? If it has a fairly thin exterior I would rent a suction based core drill and with a bit big enough to reach your hand through.
    A core drill will go through light steel and concrete with little resistance. If the steel is thick than you will probably be on the hook for an expensive diamond core bit.
    Do some research on interior orientation of compartments and make up of the safe and also try the small holes and camera. if there is no paper or flammable contents cut it with a torch but understand that it will take a magnesium/oxygen rod to cut through any concrete. Oxy/acetylene won't work if you try to cool it with water and so long as the torch is lit and consuming the gas there is no danger of accumulation in the safe but flame will destroy the contents.
    Another angle to try with oxy/acet would be to fill the safe with enough water to cover the contents adequately but still leave enough air space below the metal to allow it to reach its melting point.
     
  24. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Don't use a cutting torch if you want to preserve anything inside. Just cut through the back or bottom with a power saw and a carbide disc. Use a water spray to keep it from getting too hot. Takes about 15 minutes, and maybe a couple of discs.

    Jim
     
  25. jstein650

    jstein650 Member

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    Of course the fiber optic camera would be great first, but per mljdeckard:

    "Or drill a hole in the top, fill it with water, and drop in a 1/4 stick. "

    Even if there's nothing in it, it would be a fun experiment - and shouldn't hurt much inside!
     
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