Summit Treestands
Getting into a locked gun safe
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
ToomanybowsBob 02-Apr-22
Hank_S 02-Apr-22
cptbs 02-Apr-22
crowe 02-Apr-22
Old Bow 02-Apr-22
MA-PAdeerslayer 02-Apr-22
LBshooter 02-Apr-22
MA-PAdeerslayer 02-Apr-22
maxracx 02-Apr-22
TonyBear 02-Apr-22
Mpdh 02-Apr-22
spike78 02-Apr-22
Dale06 02-Apr-22
RK 02-Apr-22
Aspen Ghost 02-Apr-22
jjs 02-Apr-22
[email protected] 02-Apr-22
Kurt 02-Apr-22
Aspen Ghost 02-Apr-22
2Wild Bill 02-Apr-22
Pat Lefemine 02-Apr-22
Corax_latrans 02-Apr-22
GFL 02-Apr-22
Dollar 02-Apr-22
Matt 02-Apr-22
Shuteye 02-Apr-22
RK 02-Apr-22
nchunter 02-Apr-22
Wapiti Chaser 02-Apr-22
grizzly63 02-Apr-22
LBshooter 02-Apr-22
SB 03-Apr-22
PeteO 03-Apr-22
scentman 03-Apr-22
midwest 03-Apr-22
grizzly63 04-Apr-22
Jaquomo 05-Apr-22
deerhunter72 05-Apr-22
02-Apr-22
A friend of mine has been institutionalized with dementia. He has a gun safe that nobody in his family knows the combination to. The locksmith they called said he would have to destroy the safe in order to open it. It's an expensive safe and they don't want to do that if they don't have to.

I thought I would ask to see if anybody had any ideas.

Thanks,

TMBB

From: Hank_S
02-Apr-22
No other ideas here...after a house fire, the safe company recommended a locksmith that said the same. In my case, the safe was already toast so it didn't matter.

From: cptbs
02-Apr-22
If the combo was not changed, the manufacturer may have it.

From: crowe
02-Apr-22
call the manufacturer of the safe, they will walk you through if you can find a serial number

From: Old Bow
02-Apr-22
Just depends on what’s in the safe , I think most locksmiths charge $600- $800 , I’ve known people who cut the back out of a safe .

02-Apr-22
Good locksmith should b able to get into it.

From: LBshooter
02-Apr-22
most safes have very weak backsides. Take a sawzall and cut the back of the safe away and then weld a stronger piece of metal back on. There is generally a hole for a cord in the backwall, start cutting there. What's the brand? Also, most people have the combo written down somewhere so do a search of their papers and see, maybe the will might have it in it.

02-Apr-22
A Portable hand held chop saw, cut a large square from the back of the safe. Cut the dry wall sandwiched in the wall with a razor knife and then the inner wall. The inside of the door and mechanism can be accessed from inside. Then if they want the hole can be patched it can be welded back in

02-Apr-22
LB is also spot. My buddy cut his grandfathers safe open that way with an angle grinder. Zipped right open

From: maxracx
02-Apr-22
If the safe happens to be a Browning safe, they can contact Browning Prosteel with the serial number and Prosteel can assist them with the combination.

From: TonyBear
02-Apr-22
1,2,3,4,5.. "....Hey that's the same combination I use on my luggage." Sorry couldn't resist.

My safe was given to me as a gift. What came with it was two keys and a code number but you needed the receipt to get the response from the mfg, (in addition to the code number), to get a copy of the key. The safe is bolted to the concrete wall so no way to get in from the backside. Wife didn't remember what credit card she used to make the purchase. Any thoughts on this one??? I still have both keys for now.

From: Mpdh
02-Apr-22
A friend of mine had this same problem. He bought a farm and found a gun safe hidden in the barn. He cut a hole in the bottom, just big enough for his 7 yr old son to crawl in and unlock.

He was sure there was going to be a gun or money or at least something of value in it, but it was empty.

From: spike78
02-Apr-22
Gun safes are mostly cheap with only 18 gauge thick steel. I watched YouTube videos where they just lie it on its back and use a pry bar to open. They may look durable on the outside but the truth is unless you spend 15k or more all safes are garbage.

From: Dale06
02-Apr-22
Find a better lock smith

From: RK
02-Apr-22
Dale06 nailed it. I have had several safes opened in a matter of minutes and a cost under $100.

From: Aspen Ghost
02-Apr-22
Many folks with dementia have periods of lucidity especially in a familiar environment. And there is the muscle memory as well. If you ask him the combination while he's in the institution he might not be able to remember it, but he might be able to open it himself if he's standing in front of it. Is there any chance that you can take him out on a field trip and just ask him to open the safe?

02-Apr-22
You can cut the side too

From: jjs
02-Apr-22
Aspen Ghost x2, mid morning but do not do it late day or evening may have more problems than the safe, depends on the advancement of the dementia.

02-Apr-22
I took a couple antique safes found in a house to an older locksmith in SC to crack them.He said modern gunsafes were ridiculously easy to open just keep looking for a locksmith.

From: Kurt
02-Apr-22
I bought a place rural place in Lake Co, CO 14 years ago. Lady that owned it had a nice digital combination lock gun safe in the house. One problem....she couldn't open it despite knowing the combo. Manufacturer of the safe was not able to help her either. It ended up being stored at our place for a couple more months with her firearms inside until she got back to CO from AZ and had a locksmith meet her at our house. I bet it took him all of 3 minutes to break into it. Forgot if he drilled the lock but believe that was the solution.

Another acquaintance in BC had a digital lock fail on his safe. Manufacturer was no help in getting it open. He had to lay it on the front side and saw the back open.

Doesn't help the original poster, but I'd never buy a digital lock safe based on the above two issues with them. And I'd be really careful with the zip cut blade (or drill or sawzall) cutting into the firearms inside, or even starting a fire inside from sparks in the case of a zipcut.

From: Aspen Ghost
02-Apr-22
Kurt, The digital lock on my safe has a key slot hidden under the keypad. Push a little tab under the keypad ring and it comes right off to expose the key slot. Safe came with a simple skeleton key for the slot. I'm certain any competent locksmith could pick the lock in a minute. It's no more complicated than the old interior locks on a hundred year old house.

From: 2Wild Bill
02-Apr-22
"Also, most people have the combo written down somewhere" Check his room, bottom of a trophy, area in the house where he spent a lot of time, bottom of a drawer. Date of births are worth trying, his, wives, children,......service number.......etc..

I have my son's safe combinations inside mine and he has mine in his.

From: Pat Lefemine
02-Apr-22

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Check this out. This is one of my gun safes that the inside metal snapped. I had the combination, but the 3-handle crank would just spin inside the safe. It could not be opened.

I called an experienced lock smith. He drilled the two holes you see here. One for a lighted scope so he could see, the other to manipulate the mechanism. It took him 10 minutes and the door was open. He offered to do the other fixes, like the broken metal and repair the two holes, but I'm pretty handy so I was able to weld the broken metal and the safe is good as new. Repairing the holes is on my to-do list.

I agree with the above - you need to find a better locksmith. It was scary how fast he was in this Cabelas safe.

02-Apr-22
Pretty sure that a gun safe is good for keeping your collection out of the hands of unauthorized family members and any would-be burglars who are looking for things they can scoop up and run with. Anyone who showed up EXPECTING to crack a safe, I wouldn’t expect to slow them down by more than a few minutes.

Looks like Pat’s ‘smith knew exactly what to do. I don’t blame the manufacturers for not wanting to discuss how you defeat their products, but I would think that Pat’s guy could tell you what kind of credentials are needed to make a quick & tidy job of it.

From: GFL
02-Apr-22
Depending on the mechanism you can open it with a strong magnet. Probably several YouTube videos.

From: Dollar
02-Apr-22
Liberty safes will bend over backwards for their clients.Had a neighbor with a break in.LIberty not only replaced the safe which the thiefs weren't able to get into.They ruined the lock.Liberty warranteed the safe for a small fee.Then fixed the original safe for a small fee and left it with him. Also get a better lock smith.A good dealer will inform you of that.Not BPS,Homedepot,Lowes

From: Matt
02-Apr-22
Call the closest gun safe retailer and ask their recommendation for a lock smith.

From: Shuteye
02-Apr-22
Both of my safes says call them and they can open it. You have to prove you bought it and are the registered owner.

From: RK
02-Apr-22
Shuteye. How would you do that if you did not have a receipt. I have 6 safes and do not have a receipt for any of the. They are housed on property I own. Wonder if that would be enough?

From: nchunter
02-Apr-22
Its amazing the amount of youtube videos there are on how easy it is to pop the door open on a lot of brands of gun safe using 2 people and crow bars. Good luck

02-Apr-22
If it’s a liberty call them , when you register one of there safes they ask if you want anyone else to have the combo in case of emergency.

From: grizzly63
02-Apr-22
Just a couple of tidbits of information that relate to older safes. Most of them contain asbestos in the fireproofing. Probably did til the mid eighties. Some of the older safes have Nitroglycerine vials in them to prevent forced openings. Calling the factory would be my first choice and if you do not have receipts, find a better locksmith. Companies will often times give the information to a registered locksmith.

From: LBshooter
02-Apr-22
Fort Knox and Liberty re the way to go.bass pro safes are good for keeping guns safe from kids, that's about it.

From: SB
03-Apr-22
Locked up guns are useless!...and ya,find a better locksmith!

From: PeteO
03-Apr-22
I had a digital safe the the lock failed and I got locked out of. I went to a locksmith who contacted the manufacturer and drilled it out in exact locations and opened the safe. He the plugged the holes and reinstalled a combination dial. The drilling was I think 350. It took a few hours and a lot of bits.

From: scentman
03-Apr-22
Sounds like a job for Alias Smith and Jones... sorry I got nothing. Good luck.

From: midwest
03-Apr-22
Welp, I know how to break into a gun safe now! Thanks, Bowsite!

Prayers to your friend, TMBB. Dementia and Alzheimer's are horrible diseases.

From: grizzly63
04-Apr-22
Safes and locks only keep honest people out.

From: Jaquomo
05-Apr-22
When an EMP happens there will be a whole lot of us trying to figure out how to break into our safes... ours is a Fort Knox that's supposedly "EMP resistant". Hope we don't have to find out what that means.

From: deerhunter72
05-Apr-22
I went crazy a few years ago researching gun safes. Bottom line I got to was that most of them won't stop somebody who knows what they are doing from getting in. You have to spend a lot of money to get something that slows down the crooks enough to make it not worth their while. As other have said, a good locksmith is the best solution. Another is a couple of long handled pry bars and 2 strong guys, start at one corner and work your way down. Ruins the safe but it's cheap and effective.

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