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Matthew Duncan

Gun Safe locks question

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Looking at Liberty safes.  

 

Two options for the door lock;  Electronic lock (I don't care for) and a mechanical lock with a key.

 

What's the key for?  

 

Why have a dial lock for security with the disadvantage of drilling out a key lock to gain access?  Or am I missing something?

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It's for folks who forgot where they wrote down the dial combination and put it for safe-keeping (pun intended). 

Good luck, GJ

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The key is to prevent the dial from turning.  This serves two purposes first is it makes it harder for someone to manipulate the dial in an attampt to open the safe. Second and most importantly it keeps children from spinning the dial back and forth and possibly damaging the lock.

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I have three safes. I much prefer the two with the electronic locks. Easy to change to your own combination. I hate the dial safe...I have to go find where I hid the combo every time I want into it

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11 minutes ago, Old Man Graybeard said:

I have three safes. I much prefer the two with the electronic locks. Easy to change to your own combination. I hate the dial safe...I have to go find where I hid the combo every time I want into it

 

Combos are easy to remember if you do this simple trick. Think of a word with at least 6 letters.  Now grab your phone and match each letter to the corresponding numbers on your phone. For example the word Saloon

 

S=7

A=2

L=5

O=6

O=6

N=6

 

This gives you a Combo of 72 - 56 - 66

 

You can use words as short as four by substituting a 1 for the first missing digit and a 0 for the last.  Colt = 12 - 58 - 80.  Words with more than 6 letters you can pick the first 6 letters or the last 6.

 

If you have multiple safes use words that are related. Like Spring, Summer, and Winter.  The posibilities are endless and after you open your safe several times, you will be able to remember the combo with out the code word. 

 

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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Go with mechanical lock.

The key locks the dial.

Ask if the lock is commercial rated(that's what you want).

How thick and how big is the drill plate around the lock?

Learn how to reset the combo yourownself(easy to do).

Look over the Sargent & Greenleaf site for lock info.

OLG 

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I looked hard at electronic locks when I bought my 2nd safe. Was pretty sure I wanted another dial. I went to safe store, guy told me he could do either one, same price. He also told me he has had to break into and replace elec. locks, but never a Dial. I went with dial. He set combo to whatever #s I wanted. 

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Changing a mechanical lock combination on Libertys can be difficult.  You need a change key.  Ask the dealer about it. 

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Key locks the dial.  I would have never thought of that!

 

Thank you!

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1 hour ago, Tex Jones, SASS 2263 said:

Changing a mechanical lock combination on Libertys can be difficult.  You need a change key.  Ask the dealer about it. 

 

AFAIK all dial locks require a change key.

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21 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

AFAIK all dial locks require a change key.

 

And the tool comes with the safe.

It's not hard to change either. Changed mine several times over the years.

OLG 

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Strange but my safe guy had a different idea.   I went wanting a dial and he talked me into electric touch pad.    If someone gets rough with your dial, usually a hammer.  It takes a lot to open and/or repair.   But with the electric, the touch pad just pops off like when you change battery.  If you could reach the broke wire, you could solder the new touch pad wires together and be back in business,   He had both so he wasnt pushing unwanted items to get rid of it.    25 years+ and no problems yet     Just a different idea.       GW

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I like my e-lock I've always had a problem with dials and now that I'm older the keypad is easier to see then the little numbers on a dial.

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I have had both for over 25 years

 

Never had a real problem with either, but the Dial seems to take 2-3 tries to open

 

my next 1 (and I'm looking) will be E-lock

 

 

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2 hours ago, Tennessee Snuffy said:

Electronic lock is the only way to go

Thank, was thinking I was alone out here     GW

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I made the mistake of leaving a "hard to get into" bench safe open one time and it almost cost me the loss of many firearms.  Fortunately house alarm saved me from major loss but taught me that if I was to have a safe, have one easy to open and close.  I got rid of bench safe and bought a large Fort Knox. Some 20+ years later my S & G (Sargent & Greenleaf ) digital (electric) lock has proved outstanding.  IMO, quick and easy opening nets a "more usable" safe. 

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1 hour ago, G W Wade said:

Thank, was thinking I was alone out here     GW

nope

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I had an electronic lock go out and could not operate. It was not the battery. Luckily it went out when I had the safe open. If not it would have been a chore to to get open. That made the decision for me to stay with a mechanical lock going forward. 

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I have both. The electronic lock is much quicker, I keep guns in that one that I use most often. The dial safe is full of guns that I don't use as often. 

 

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16 hours ago, Matthew Duncan said:

Looking at Liberty afes.  

 

Two options for the door lock;  Electronic lock (I don't care for) and a mechanical lock with a key.

 

What's the key for?  

 

Why have a dial lock for security with the disadvantage of drilling out a key lock to gain access?  Or am I missing something?

My Fort Knox safe has  the mechanical lock with a key.  The key is used to lock the dial.  If I open the safe and plan to be in and out of it, I use the key to lock the dial with the door closed.  Then all I need to do is use the key to unlock the dial and I'm in the safe.  I only do this when I'm at home and going in and out of the safe.  When I'm done in the safe, I remove the key, close the door and spin the dial.  The key is a convenience in my mind.  I've never had a safe with electronic locking mechanism.   

 

Buckeye Pete

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My safe mechanical lock failed, would turn but it just would not unlock the bolt mechanism, even called a locksmith out to try it, after an hour of monkeying with it he gave up , mind you this was not a cheap safe but a Browning fire resistant safe about 20 years old, ended up cutting out the side of the safe with a side grinder and a thin cutting wheel, took less than half a hour to rescue my guns.  The moral or the story is, don't, leave your side grinder anywhere thieves may have access to it, and if you can don't put your safe where the sides and back are accessible…………………...Spark

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Find out where these electronic locks oare made.

Ask a locksmith how many calls they get for issues with electronic vs mechanical. 

You choice as to lock.  But after 37+ yrs of use'n S&G. commercial grade on my safes.

I'll stay  with mechanical.

Respectfully, 

OLG 

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13 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

 

And the tool comes with the safe.

It's not hard to change either. Changed mine several times over the years.

OLG 

I have two Liberty safes , one bought in 1992 , the other in 2004. Neither came with a combination changing tool. Or instructions for how to do so.

When I first got the second one , I called Liberty and asked how to change the combination , the guy I talked to then more or less told me I couldn't , had to be a licensed locksmith , and costly. I kinda thought it was B.S. at the time , but let it go.

I wanted to have both with the same combination to make it easier on the  limited data-storage area in my brain , but learned the new combination anyway and live with it.:lol:

 

Since I have owned a safe , I have moved four times , three times with two safes. Not fun.

Rex :D

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I have one safe ( guess I’m gun poor) it’s a dial lock. I’ve memorized the 3 numbers to open it. It’s not that hard especially when I go in it so often. 
 

I do have the combination written down and hidden ......now if I could only remember where I put it! :P

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1 hour ago, southparkslim said:

My safe mechanical lock failed, would turn but it just would not unlock the bolt mechanism, even called a locksmith out to try it, after an hour of monkeying with it he gave up , mind you this was not a cheap safe but a Browning fire resistant safe about 20 years old, ended up cutting out the side of the safe with a side grinder and a thin cutting wheel, took less than half a hour to rescue my guns.  The moral or the story is, don't, leave your side grinder anywhere thieves may have access to it, and if you can don't put your safe where the sides and back are accessible…………………...Spark

Local Chief of Police told me the gas station between towns had been broken into.  Asked me how I would go about breaking into a safe?  No real idea because I never thought of breaking into a safe.   The thieves used a small jack to tip the safe on it's face then used hammer and chisel to peel the back open.   The point of the story is the door to your safe is probally 2 1/2 to over 3 inches thick.  The side walls on a lot of safes is lucky if 10ga. (1/8 in)   Just another thing to ponder!!!     GW

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Do a search on YouTube and you will find most “safes” are pretty easy to open.  Pry bar to the front or ax/grinder to the back.  Most can be broken into in under 10 min.  A real gun safe is pretty expensive, far more than what is sold as gun safes at big box stores.  

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Mine has a mechanical combo lock with TWO keys. One locks the dial as mentioned here several times. The second is a much larger key that has the entry on the front of the door below the combo. It locks the door by itself. If I am working in my shop and have the safe open, I can lock the door without the combo with the larger key If I leave the area temporarily. I really like the convience of the second locking method feature.

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2 hours ago, southparkslim said:

My safe mechanical lock failed, would turn but it just would not unlock the bolt mechanism, even called a locksmith out to try it, after an hour of monkeying with it he gave up , mind you this was not a cheap safe but a Browning fire resistant safe about 20 years old, ended up cutting out the side of the safe with a side grinder and a thin cutting wheel, took less than half a hour to rescue my guns.  The moral or the story is, don't, leave your side grinder anywhere thieves may have access to it, and if you can don't put your safe where the sides and back are accessible…………………...Spark

Did the relocker fire?

A relocker is an auxiliary locking bolt on a "hair trigger" (often a piece of glass in front of the locking mechanism). If the safe is violently abused (hammer, pry bar, drill et c.), electronic or mechanical, the relocker will fire.

On cheaper safes w/o a relocker, if the electronic lock is beaten off, the burglar can operate the lock bolt solenoid if he knows the correct wires to energize.

 

Re: setting dial combos, don't use #s too close together, say 5 or fewer #s apart. Nor zero, for some reason.

The safe guys in the LS shop I work in (not a LS myself) say dials are better. A good (S&G) electronic is OK, but dials give fewer problems.

 Red Hooker

 

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4 hours ago, Rex M Rugers #6621 said:

I have two Liberty safes , one bought in 1992 , the other in 2004. Neither came with a combination changing tool. Or instructions for how to do so.

When I first got the second one , I called Liberty and asked how to change the combination , the guy I talked to then more or less told me I couldn't , had to be a licensed locksmith , and costly. I kinda thought it was B.S. at the time , but let it go.

I wanted to have both with the same combination to make it easier on the  limited data-storage area in my brain , but learned the new combination anyway and live with it.:lol:

 

Since I have owned a safe , I have moved four times , three times with two safes. Not fun.

Rex :D

 

You spoke to an idiot 

You should have asked for a supervisor or manager. 

Both of my safes came with the tool.

BTW, the easiest way into any safe is from the bottom.

OLG 

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I have a small Sentry gun safe with a mechanical lock.  There is no key hole.

 

I'm beyond capacity, but contemplating an addition on our retirement home; hope to include a gun room in the garage, with poured concrete walls, concrete ceiling and floor, and a vault door.  Should be no storage limitations in my lifetime.

LL

Edited by Loophole LaRue, SASS #51438
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You can buy safe locks that incorporate both a dial and a keypad. The dial can be used if the keypad fails.

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The bottom is the weak point. Plasma cutter might take a couple minutes at most. Most safes have holes for anchor bolts. Hammer drill and sink the wedge anchors into the concrete and they can't be tipped over. 

 

I'm in the local locksmith shop a couple times a week. The head locksmith likes the electronic safes for ease and speed of opening. 

He says his brother can listen to the tumblers and figure out the combo on a dial, then he has to figure out the proper sequence. 

The old money safes are much harder to breach, and are much more fire resistant. They are lined with concrete not drywall like the new gun safes.

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Combination locks on both of mine but I use the key to lock my door and tumbler whenever I’m shooting off my deck working up a load or plinking with .22s and am going back and forth but don’t want to wrestle with the combination lock over and over. 

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