How to Break Into a Stack-on Gun Safe

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It’s completely normal that you forgot the codes of your combination lock or your lock stops working. That doesn’t mean you’re locked out of your stack-on gun safe forever. It can be difficult to break into a gun safe but it’s doable. You just need to learn how to break into a stack-on gun safe.

How to Break Into a Stack-on Gun Safe

Before learning how to break into a Stack-on gun safe, you should take measures that this never happens again. Because breaking into a gun safe can post risks and cause permanent damage to your gun safe. It may even become useless.

Hand prying safe with crowbar

There are plenty of ways you can do to break into a Stack-On gun safe. Here are some of the most viable and popular options to break into a stack-on gun safe:

  • Use a Backup Key
  • Call a Locksmith
  • Pry it Open
  • Hammer it down
  • Drill the Safe Lock
  • Scooping the Lock

Check if You Have a Backup Key

Unlike combination lock safes, all Stack-on electronic lock safes come with a backup key.

If you have your backup key, look for a slot located beneath the electronic keypad. Insert the backup key at the 9 o’clock position and turn it to 1 o’clock position. If it doesn’t work, check the instruction sheet that came along with your Stack-on gun safe or contact their customer support.

Call a Locksmith

If the backup key method fails, do not tinker with your Stack-on gun safe. Call for professional help, first. If you have a warranty on your gun safe, it’s best to first contact the manufacturers. If they don’t offer to open your gun safe or your warranty doesn’t cover it, then it’s time to contact a locksmith.

A locksmith can help open your Stack-on gun safe for a price. However, finding a legit and trusted locksmith can be hard. Make sure that they have the license and credentials to back up their skills.

Pry It Open

Gun safes aren’t airtight so that they can relieve some pressure. There should be a prying space that you can insert any strong or hard rod to uninstall the locking area. However, remember that once it’s broken into, you can’t use it anymore because of the damage.

This method also takes a bit of time and luck. You need to push a strong iron rod or bolt and press it upward to throw open the outside. Be careful positioning yourself as the force you exert can hit you or other valuable objects.

Hammer It Down

You can also try to hammer down the Stack-on gun safe. Repeatedly hammering the locking mechanism may cause it to loosen and release the anchor that holds the locking bar inside the safe lock.

You can also use a nail to use as an effort to unlock a Stack-on gun safe. However, like most methods, this can cause permanent damage to your Stack-on gun safe, turning it useless.

Drill the Safe Lock

Using a drill will mean permanent damage to your Stack-on gun safe but it’s highly likely that it will open. You need to drill through the lock body in order to open the Stack-on gun safe.

Before you drill through the lock body, you need to drill through the gun safe’s outside steel. Usually, it’s thin with at least 1 ¾ inch of thickness. If it’s a composite type, there are insulations that you’ll need to go through. You’ll need special drill bits to penetrate the hard-plate steel.

You’ll only need 1 small hole to unlock a Stack-on gun safe and hitting the lock body to open it. After unlocking you can do repairs to keep the Stack-on gun safe from working.

You can fill the holes with hardened tapered pins to restore the Stack-on safe to its original level of security. However, you might end up in need of replacing the gun safe depending on the extent of drilling.

Scooping the Lock

Scooping involves using a bore-scope to insert inside the hole in the lock body. A long steel thread around the combination keys is pushed to inactive the lock combination. Almost every locksmith uses this method for opening your gun safe.

However, this method requires a lot of skill and patience. You’ll use the bore-scope to observe and watch the wheels spin as you turn the dial. You need to line up the notches in order for the gun safe to unlock and open.

Difficulty of Methods

Method Difficulty
Backup key Easy
Locksmith Easy
Pry it open Hard
Hammer it down Hard
Drill the safe lock Hard
Scooping the lock Hard

What Is a Stack-on Gun Safe?

Founded in 1972 by John Lynn, the Stack-on product company operates in Chicago, Illinois. Stack-on manufactures gun safes, gun cabinets, garage storage, toolboxes, and organizers.

They’re most renowned for their gun safes made for both handguns and long guns. They offer gun safes at a reasonable price compared to other gun safe makers.

Read my review of the Stack-On GCB 8RTA Gun Cabinet.

How Does Stack-on Compare to Other Gun Safes?

Stack-on offer cheaper alternatives to top-quality gun safes. Because of its lower price, don’t expect it to be at the same level as high-priced quality gun safes. Many users of stack-on gun safes only recommend buying one if you’re looking to store guns for 2-5 years as it isn’t good for lifetime storage.


When it comes to warranty, Stack-on provides a 5-year warranty for manufacturing defects and a lifetime warranty against fire, water, break-ins, among other things.

They also provide services and help in opening your Stack-on gun safe. Make sure you read the manual before you set-up your Stack-on gun safe. Stack-on gun safes also have various features that give you extra security in case you want to break into your Stack-on gun safe.


Stack-on gun safes are durable. Some Stack-on gun safes have locking bolts so the prying method mentioned above won’t work for this type of gun safes.

However, some buyers reported Stack-on gun safes are prone to unlocking when smashed or dropped. They also reported that the lock combination sometimes “loses its memory” and forgets your combination. You’ll have to push the reset button and reset your combination.

Related Questions

How Do You Open a Stack on Digital Safe When the Batteries Are Dead and No Key?

Generally, if the battery is dead and no key, you can just tip the safe over on its side and it will open. You can also pry it open using a screwdriver if you’re out of options.

How Do You Open a Stack on Safe Without the Combination?

You can open a Stack on safe without the combination by letting a professional locksmith handle the unlocking for you. They are more knowledgeable about it and would take less effort on your part.

Why Won’t My Digital Gun Safe Open?

Your digital gun safe usually doesn’t open if it has no battery or the battery is dead.


Stack-on gun safes are an affordable alternative to expensive quality gun safes. While they can store your guns, they don’t last and perform better compared to expensive quality gun safes.

You can break into a Stack-on gun safe using the different methods described in this article. However, I recommend you let the professionals handle it if you can afford it.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.