Gun Safes & Changing Your Combination: Can it be done?

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Gun safes are an important part of gun safety, but what happens when you forget the combination? How do you change your gun-safe combination? This article will answer all of these questions and more. You’ll learn how to choose a gun safe that is right for your needs, where to find gun safes with changeable combinations, and much more.

So can gun safe combinations be changed? Many safes nowadays can have their combinations changed, however, that is mainly for electronic locks. Outside of that, your best bet will be to contact a locksmith for help in changing your combination.

1. Mechanical Locks

Mechanical locking mechanisms are a tried, and trusted lock that many, many people like to have on their safes! They don’t run out of batteries, they can’t be hacked, and also look cool.

However, when it comes to changing the combination for a mechanical lock, it proves to be one of the most difficult of a bunch. Even if you know the combination, it still requires a locksmith to complete the job.

Changing a combination in a mechanical lock requires physical changes in the internal portions of the lock, which is why you are unable to change the combo with just a couple of secret turns of the lock like you think it should be able to do.

If you want a specific combination on your safe, you have to let the manufacturer know ahead of time, so that they can set the lock ahead of time.

2. Electronic Locks

Most all electronic locking mechanisms come standard with a certain electronic passcode, and once you are ready to set your combination, you can do so in a pinch! This generally is done by pressing a couple of buttons on the keypad that is shown in the directions that come with the safe, and then you put in the combo that you want.

However, if you forget your combination, that is where things get a bit more difficult! This again will require a locksmith to come out and change out your locking mechanism using a specific plan that every safe has, and only certified locksmiths can gather.

That said, changing your combination on an electronic lock (provided you still remember your old one) is one of the easiest locks to be able to change out.

3. Biometric Locks

Biometric gun safes are a step above in terms of security but have some issues when it comes to changing the combination.

These gun safes use fingerprint scanning technology that is very accurate and has a low rate of error! This makes biometric gun locks incredibly safe, however, they do require batteries that run out from time to time.

When you change out your gun safe battery, it is usually a pretty simple process to reset the gun safe’s combination.

However, if for whatever reason you are not able to get into your gun safe with either your old code or a new one, then this will require an authorized locksmith that has been trained by the manufacturer of the gun safe to help you gain access.

4. Key Locks

Underbed Safe Locking Mechanism
[Image courtesy of Snapsafe]

Gun safes with key locks are becoming less popular over time, as they are not nearly as secure as even an electronic lock at this point. They also are a difficult change if you want to get a new key set for the lock. As always, it requires a locksmith to come out and install a new tumbler into the safe if you want a new key to be set for the safe.

This of course comes at a cost, and generally, with keyed safes, it is almost more worth it to buy a new safe in the first place.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can locksmiths open safes?

Most gun safes can be opened by a locksmith, as they have the knowledge and tools to do so. However, this is not always the case, and it depends on the make and model of your safe. Always consult with a certified locksmith if you are locked out of your gun safe and need help getting back in.

How much does it cost to rekey a gun safe?

The cost of rekeying a gun safe depends on the make and model, but you can expect that it will be somewhere in the range of $70-$100 to get a new set of keys or a combination change.

Can a gun safe be drilled out?

Gun safes can be drilled out to gain access, however, it takes a very specific pattern for every safe, and these patterns are changed out regularly! The only way to know how to drill a safe out is to be a certified locksmith that is registered with the manufacturer as a trusted source.


Gun safes with a changeable combination are much more convenient. The gun safe manufacturer should provide you with a manual so that you can reset the gun-safe combination yourself.

If you have lost the combination, a locksmith can help to open the gun safe.