Tips For Opening A Stuck Winchester Gun Safe Without Damaging It

Is your Winchester gun safe giving you headaches for being stuck? Here are some tips to open it without causing damage.

A gun safe is designed to secure guns and other valuables. It keeps minors and other unauthorized persons from getting your valuables inside.

There are lots of risk if your gun safe is damaged. You, your family, and the community’s safety from accidental injuries and deaths will be compromised. This is why taking caution before trying to remedy your stuck gun safely on your own is important.

But worry no more because this article will discuss things related to a stuck Winchester gun safe and tips to make it work again while preventing yourself from damaging it.

If you are excited to relieve your stress thinking about your stuck Winchester gun safe, read on!

Common Reasons Why a Winchester Gun Safe is Stuck

Just like all other problems, it is always advised to identify the root cause first before attempting to solve it. Here are seven of the common reasons why a Winchester gun safe is stuck: 

1. Too high humidity

High moisture levels can cause rust in your gun safe’s locking bolts and other steel parts, leading to malfunction.

2. Incorrect combination

You may have entered the wrong updated combination.

3. Lubrication

You may have lubricated the locking mechanism of your Winchester gun safe, which is a big no.

For Electronic Lock Type

4. Jammed locking mechanism

The gears behind the keypad lock may not be aligned properly due to the constant banging of the gun safe door. It could also be that something inside your safe gun tipped over to the locking bolts, blocking them from functioning as is. 

5. Dead batteries

You may not have followed your schedule for changing batteries, and your batteries are already expired.

For Mechanical Lock Type

6. Wrong dial knob turning 

You may have turned the dial knob incorrectly or halfway before or after the true digit. Also, you may have been turning it relentlessly or rapidly.

The following is the correct Winchester gun safe dial knob turning:

Step 1: Always dial the combination on the index mark at noon on the dial ring. Please note that the index mark at 11 o’clock is for service only and is never used by the safe owner. 

Step 2: Turn your dial slowly and use fingertip pressure only.

Step 3: Complete all the numbers in the dialing sequence, even by the slightest amount. If you do, the lock will not open. If you did, start over by redialing your combination.

Step 4: Have ample light on your dial for good visibility, and stand directly in front of your dial when running the combination.

Step 5: Do not stand to the side of the dial. The parallax view could be enough for you to go over or under your number, and the lock will not open.

7. Too much pressure on the dial knob

When keying your combination, you may be giving too much force into the dial knob.

Safety Precautions to Take When Opening a Stuck Winchester Gun Safe

Since we want to properly open the safe, it is important to take safety precautions to open a Winchester safe without damaging your safe.

Here are some of the safety precautions you should be mindful of during the process: 

  1. Keep the area clear.
  2. Use proper tools.
  3. Don’t use excessive force.
  4. Follow instructions carefully.
  5. Take breaks if needed.
  6. Take recommendations.
  7. Take notes so you’ll know what to do if it happens again.
  8. Do not drill into the safe.

Steps in Opening Your Winchester Gun Safe

Your gun safe is stuck; we don’t want to worsen it. Follow these steps in properly opening your Winchester gun safe:

Step 1: Identify the cause of the problem. 

The importance of this was already mentioned earlier. We don’t want to be barking at the wrong tree because it would cost us a lot of time and energy.

Step 2: Gather the necessary tools.

Get the paper where you wrote your most recent combination, pick up a pen and paper, the gun safe’s override key, and a flashlight.

Step 3: Change the batteries

  1. Slide the small door to the right at the bottom of the keypad to access the battery.
  2. Gently pull the battery connector and wires down.
  3. Replace with 9V ALKALINE Energizer or Duracell battery. Connect it to the connector.
  4. Push the battery and wires back into their compartment and close the sliding door.

Step 4: Try the combination.

Read the current combination and carefully input it into the gun safe’s electronic keypad. Make sure to input the correct digits in order.

For a mechanical lock type

Step 1: Turn the dial counterclockwise for at least three revolutions. Stop when the first number in your combination hits the index mark.

Step 2: Turn the dial clockwise, passing the second number in your combination twice. Stop when it hits the index mark the third time.

Step 3: Turn the dial counterclockwise, passing the third number in your combination once. Stop when it hits the index mark the second time.

Step 4: Turn the dial clockwise until you feel the dial tighten slightly. Using fingertip pressure only, continue turning the dial until it stops. The lock should now be open.

Step 5: Rotate the safe handle clockwise and retract the bolt work before opening the door.

5. Use the override key.

If you lose your combination, you could use the override key.

But, not all Winchester gun safes have override keys for heightened security.

If you are among those with no provided override key or have lost it, call the gun safe’s manufacturer to recover your lost combination. For tips on where to hide your keys, go to this article.

Be patient with the manufacturer’s tedious verification series. They do this for your combination not to be wrongfully handed over to a fraud.

6. Tap the door.

Tap the gun safe door to move accidental blockages to the locking bolts. Gun safe doors can be removed, so make sure not use extreme force.

If none of these recommendations worked, seek professional assistance from the gun safe’s seller, manufacturer, or trusted locksmith.


The tips presented generally say that one should handle a gun safe with care. No matter how frustrated you are, the responsible gun owner takes a better path not to compromise their investment functions. 

It is important not to pressure yourself during the process. Take your time. 

Damaging a stuck gun safe can further the risks like destroying the valuables inside and diminishing the safe’s security. It is crucial to ensure the gun’s safety remains functional and reliable. 

You may find this tedious, but it will all be worth it. Our ultimate goal is to properly open a stuck Winchester gun safe without damaging it.


Is it safe to open a stuck Winchester gun by myself?

Yes. As long as you have the proper tools ready beforehand, take safety precautions, and follow instructions, you are good to go.

What should I do if I forget the combination to my Winchester gun safe?

You can use the backup or override key. If your gun safe is not provided with it, call the manufacturer for advice and assistance.

Can I use a drill or other power tools to open a stuck Winchester gun safe?

Yes. But it is highly discouraged as it may meddle with the locking mechanism and the warranty of your gun safe.

How can I prevent my Winchester gun safe from becoming stuck in the future?

Keep your combination in a safe place with the backup key, always clear the gun safe doorway before shutting it, treat rust on locking bolts, and follow the instructions given by the gun safe manufacturer.


 “Gun Safe.” Wikipedia, 14 Dec. 2022,

The Dangers of Defective Gun Safes – Product Liability Attorney | What Is Product Liability?

Winchester Safes Owner’s Manual.

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