How to Open a Sentinel Gun Safe Without a Key

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If you’ve just lost your keys to your sentinel gun safe, it’s easy to feel everything is lost. Yet, you’re not the only one. It’s very common for people to lose their keys or forget their lock combination.

You’re probably wondering how to open a sentinel gun safe without a key. Don’t worry, there are many ways you can open your sentinel gun safely.

How to Open a Sentinel Gun Safe Without a Key

Be warned, some of the methods discussed in this article require destroying parts of the gun safe. I’ll also cover alternative solutions that don’t necessarily go through that step. With that in mind, you should be prepared for the worst-case scenario, if it comes to that.

If you want to keep your sentinel gun safe unscathed, you’ll have to spend a few dollars in order to do so. Some safes are fire-proof and are hard to open without a key which will prove challenging to unlock. Here are some tips and ways you can open your sentinel gun safe without a key or combination:

Locked gun safe

Contact the Manufacturer

Contacting the manufacturer of the Sentinel gun safe is the most logical thing to do in the first place. Tinkering your sentinel gun safe when you don’t have any knowledge on it will make it, even harder for professionals to help you unlock it.

Before contacting the manufacturer, be ready to provide them the following information:

  • Model number
  • Serial number
  • Receipt or proof of purchase

If you’re lucky, they’ll be able to provide you with a replacement duplicate key if you lost the original key. Of course, you’ll be spending a little amount of money but you also avoided damaging your sentinel gun safe in order to open it.

Contact Your Local Locksmith

Your other alternative is to get in touch with your local locksmith. If you don’t know anyone or can’t find any local locksmith then you can try searching for one on the internet. You can find a locksmith on websites such as:

They require locksmiths to have certifications before they register there so you can rest assured that you’ll be dealing with a certified locksmith or a safe and vault technician. You’ll need to pay them of course for the service.

You need to prepare your proof of residence on where the sentinel gun safe is and proof of purchase. Just enter your postal code or address and they will help you find a locksmith nearby.

Open It With a Knife

Yes, you can also open a sentinel gun safe with a knife. That’s why thieves usually carry a knife with them. While there are sophisticated gun safes that are difficult to open without a key, a knife can open some gun safes. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Use long, thin, and pointed knife
  2. Push the knife’s pointed tip into the keyhole
  3. Make sure it’s inserted well
  4. Shake it around until it opens
  5. It may take around 5 to 10 seconds before your safe opens

While this method works most of the time, it can also damage the lock on your sentinel gun safe. Only use this if you’re okay damaging your sentinel gun safe or you don’t have any viable options left.

Using a Hammer to Open the Safe

A knife isn’t useful if you’re dealing with a digital/electronic safe. You’ll need a hammer and chisel in order to open a digital safe.

Gun visible inside an opened gun safe

A flattened chisel with an extended tip is better for this purpose. There is a key section in a digital gun safe where you usually insert the code. This is the area where you’ll want to focus on.

  1. Take the chisel and place it in the corner side of the Sentinel gun safe. Use the hammer on the chisel.
  2. It takes about 2 to 3 minutes to dislodge the key section part.
  3. When you remove the part, you will see the knobs and screws contained in the key section. You’ll also notice a silver knob.
  4. You’ll have to remove the silver knob using the hammer and chisel.
  5. After you remove the knob, there will be a hole in the Sentinel gun safe. Insert your finger inside the hole and you’ll feel a button on the lower side. Press this button and the Sentinel gun safe should open.  

Use a Tool Like a Screwdriver or a Paperclip

For screwdriver:

  1. Place the Sentinel gun safe in a flat surface. 
  2. Insert the tip of the screwdriver into the keyhole of the Sentinel gun safe.
  3. Rotate the screwdriver counterclockwise until the lock opens.

For paperclip:

  1. Bend the paperclip straight.
  2. Insert the end of the paperclip into the upper part of the locker/keyhole.
  3. Take a tweezer and hold the paperclip.
  4. Insert it into the internal chamber and make sure it’s deep into the lock.
  5. Turn both the tweezer and paperclip counterclockwise until the lock opens.

Use the Magnet Trick

The magnet trick is an old but effective trick. Here are the steps to do it:

  • First, you’ll need a large-sized neodymium magnet (rare earth magnet) and a gym sock.
  • Place the rare earth magnet inside the gym sock.
  • You’ll be trying to locate the solenoid. The solenoid is usually in the front door of a gun safe.
  • Use the sock with the magnet inside to locate the solenoid. This happens when the door of the gun safe opens.
A locked gun safe

The purpose of the gym sock is to reduce the magnetic force of the magnet making it easy to move around and remove once you’ve opened the Sentinel gun safe. Make sure that you also store the neodymium magnet in a safe place and away from children’s reach as they can be a rather dangerous object.

Drill a Hole

If you’ve exhausted all your options then you might have to drill a hole into your Sentinel gun safe. However, keep in mind that once you do this, the Sentinel gun safe would be damaged and you won’t be able to use it again.

  • Make a small hole in the gun safe where you can see the lock inside.
  • After making a hole, insert your finger inside the hole and unlock the lock or press a button to unlock and the gun safe should open.

You also need to keep in mind that some Sentinel gun safes are made of materials that make it hard or impossible to drill. You should only try this as a last resort.

Difficulty of Other Methods

Method Difficulty
Paper Clip Very difficult
Screwdriver Somewhat difficult
Knife Very difficult
Drill Fairly easy

Related Questions

How Do I Open My Safe if I Lost the Key?

You can ask the safe’s manufacturer for a new key if ever you lose yours. If it’s not an option, ask for a professional locksmith to open the safe for you.

Are Safe Keys Universal?

Safe keys aren’t universal. It depends on the brand and model. Some safe keys may work with other safes with the same brand and not work with other brands.

How Do You Open an Electronic Safe Without a Key?

You should reach out to the manufacturer first and see if they can open it for you. If not, you can insert a screwdriver into the keyhole that will unlock the safe. This should be handled by a professional locksmith though.


Sentinel gun safes are among the top-quality gun safes you can find. Losing the key to opening it can be stressful. Hopefully some of these methods for opening a Sentinel gun safe without a key works for you.

Before you do any of these methods, make sure you contact the manufacturer or where you bought it from and check if they can help you out. Make sure to also check out my article on how to open a Cannon Gun Safe without a combination!

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.