How to Safely Open a Jammed Gun Safe

Imagine needing quick access to your firearms, but your gun safe is jammed. Learn how to open a jammed gun safe with these expert tips.

Gun safes play a vital role in responsible gun ownership by safeguarding firearms from theft and preventing unauthorized access.

But, gun safes can sometimes get jammed or locked, causing inconvenience to gun owners.

This guide will discuss how to open your safe and tips to avoid being locked out.

Common Reasons for a Jammed Gun Safe 

There are several reasons why a gun safe may become jammed or locked, which leaves gun owners in a very difficult situation. These are some common reasons for a jammed gun safe:

1. Forgotten Combination: This happens when the owner last used the safe a while ago or changed the combination and can’t remember it.

2. Broken Lock: A broken lock is another reason for a jammed gun safe. This can happen due to wear and tear over time or if the safe has been tampered with. 

3. Mechanical Malfunction: Gun safes are mechanical devices that can sometimes malfunction. This can be due to different reasons, such as a dead battery, a damaged keypad, or a faulty locking mechanism. 

Opening Process of a Jammed Gun Safe

Here are some factors to consider to open a jammed gun safe to quickly access your firearms:

1. Identify the Problem

Before attempting to open a jammed gun safe, ensure you are aware of your safe and its locking mechanism. This will help you choose the right tools and techniques to use.

2. Use a spare key

If you have a spare key for your gun safe, try to unlock it first. This is the easiest and safest way to open a jammed gun safe.

3. Use a hammer and a pry bar

If a spare key is unavailable or does not work, the next step is to use a hammer and a pry bar. Tap the pry bar into the gap between the door and the safe frame and gently pry it open. Be careful not to damage the safe or its contents.

4. Use a drill

If the pry bar method does not work, you can use a drill to create a hole in the locking mechanism. This will allow you to turn the locking mechanism and open the safe manually.

When to Call a Professional?

Call a professional locksmith or safe technician if you can’t open a jammed gun safe. They have the experience and tools to open a gun safe without damaging anything. 

Here are some tips to help you find the right professional:

  • Look for licensed and insured professionals: Choosing a licensed and insured professional is important. This ensures they are qualified and have the necessary training to unlock a gun safe. They also know how to open different locks, such as electronic locks.
  • Check for references and reviews: Ask for professional references and check their online reviews. This can give you a sense of their reputation and level of service.
  • Ask about pricingGet an estimate of the cost of the service before hiring the professional. This will help you avoid any surprise charges or hidden fees.
  • Consider their availability: Choose a professional available when you need them. You don’t want to wait too long to get your gun safe open, especially if you need access to your firearms for personal or home defense.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Opening a Jammed Gun Safe

Gun safes are essential to gun ownership, providing a secure and reliable way to store firearms. However, gun safes can sometimes become jammed or locked, preventing access to the contents inside. 

When this happens, it’s important to avoid these common mistakes that can cause damage to the safe or lead to injury: 

1. Forcing the safe open

Trying to force a jammed gun safe open can cause irreparable damage to the locking mechanism or the safe’s contents.

Applying too much pressure to the handle or keypad can cause them to break, making it even more challenging to open the safe.

2. Using incorrect tools or methods

Using the wrong tools or methods to unlock a jammed gun safe can cause damage to the safe or expose the owner to potential safety hazards.

3. Not seeking professional help

Call a locksmith or a safe technician if you need help opening a jammed gun safe. This is the best option for you to save time and ensure that no damage will happen to your safe.

Essential Actions to Prevent Future Lockouts

Once you open a locked safe, it’s essential to maintain its security and prevent future lockouts. Here’s what to do:

1. Reset the combination: If you had to use a different method to open the safe, reset the combination to a new one you can remember. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to do so.

2. Replace the lock: If it is broken or damaged, replace it with a new one. Consult a professional locksmith for assistance if needed.

3. Maintain the security of the gun safe: After opening a jammed gun safe, it’s essential to maintain its security. This includes checking the batteries, keeping the combination or key in a safe and secure place, and storing the safe in a secure location.


Prioritize safety when opening a jammed gun safe and avoid common mistakes that can cause damage or injury. 

Call a professional locksmith or safe technician for help if you cannot open the safe. By taking necessary precautions and seeking professional assistance, you can ensure the safety of your firearms and loved ones. 

Following these guidelines, one can safely and successfully open a jammed gun safely.


What is a jammed gun safe, and how does it happen?

You cannot open a jammed gun safe because of a mechanical issue or forgotten code. It can happen because of problems like a broken lock, a dead battery, or a forgotten combination. 

How long does it take to open a jammed gun safe safely?

The time required to open a jammed gun safe can vary depending on the specific problem and the type of lock. Usually, it takes a professional locksmith to open a jammed safe for around 1-3 hours.

What should I do if the opening process doesn’t work?

If the opening process of a jammed gun safe doesn’t work, the best course of action is to contact a professional locksmith or the manufacturer for assistance. 

Can I use a lubricant to help open a jammed gun safe?

Using a lubricant may help to fix minor malfunctions and free up a jammed gun safe. However, you should use it cautiously as it may damage the locking mechanism over time. 


Weinberger, Dawn. “How Much Does a Locksmith Cost?” Forbes Home, 15 Nov. 2022,

My Safe Won’t Open: Five Things to Try – LockNet.

Strauss, Chris. “How to Open a Combination Safe Lock | Great Valley Lockshop.” Https://, 30 Sept. 2019,

Locksmith, ACME. “What to Try When Your Safe Combination Is Not Working.”, 16 June 2020,

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