Class 6 GSA Red Label Container Safe Opening

Harold Fink, Locksmith, CRL CPS
Fri, Apr 23, 2010

Class 6 GSA Red Label Container Safe Opening

Safe Opening Techniques

Is a Class 6 GSA Red Label Container safe opening difficult? It is not too difficult if you have performed a proper safe identification, use the right safe tools and use the proper safe opening techniques.

You must first determine that you have a Class 6 GSA Red Label Container. Identify the external parts of the GSA container listed. Class 6 container drawer fronts will overlap the edges of the container body. The label on the control drawer will indicate whether we have a red label or black label container. Red label GSA containers will have a silver label with red lettering. Red Label GSA containers were manufactured after October 1990.

Under Federal Specification AA-F-358G, due to increased security of these containers, standard drilling procedures may not be efficient or cost effective. The hard plate which protects the lock in a Class 6 GSA Red Label container is manufactured in such a way that makes penetration by standard safe drilling techniques both time consuming and wasteful of expensive carbide tipped drill bits. Additional consideration must be given to the expensive lock on the control drawer as well. The lock must meet Federal Specification FF-L-2740, and at this time only the Mas Hamilton X-07, X-08, or better meets this specification, any of which are expensive to replace.
For these reasons, our first safe opening method to consider would be to drill the control drawer bolts. The drawer head of the control drawer is removable from the drawer assembly and can be replaced. The control drawer (drawers with a combination lock) are locked into place by two hardened steel bolts that extend from each side of the drawer to engage the body of the container.
This procedure is not intended for use on a Class 5 container. Class 5 GSA Red Label containers offer additional assistance to forced entry. Safe opening procedures for a Class 5 container will be covered in a future safe opening article.

Safe tools needed for drilling the control drawer bolts:

. Heavy duty drill motor with controlled variable speed
. Template for marking drill point
. One 1-½” high speed steel hole saw (such as BLU-MOL)
. Two 1-½” carbide-tipped hole saws
. One arbor for each hole saw
. One ¼” pilot bit for each arbor
. Safety googles
. Ear protection

After your safe tools are assembled and the work area is cleared for safety, you are ready to begin this safe opening.

Safe opening by drilling the drawer control bolts

Mark the drill points, one for each drawer control bolt, using a template. After you have measured your drill points and marked them, it is time to prepare the high speed steel hole saw. Put a pilot bit into the arbor and secure it with the set screw. Then attach a 1 ½” high speed steel hole saw to the arbor and chuck your arbor into the drill motor. If you have a Strong Arm rig you can obtain plates that are made specifically for this procedure. This safe opening procedure can be performed without a rig, if you are careful in the handling of your drill motor.
Begin by drilling through the front of the drawer head with the high speed steel hole saw. Change to the 1-½” cardide-tipped hole saw after you penetrate the drawer front, applying light pressure and taking great care to hold your drilling equipment steady. It is imperative that you start slowly and use steady pressure. Hold your drill motor as stable as possible to avoid ruining the carbide tipped hole saw. The plates sold by Strong Arm that are used specifically for this purpose are extremely helpful by allowing you to use your Strong Arm rig instead of drilling without the additional control afforded by the rig. Over pressure applied to the hole saw or instability of your equipment will quickly allow teeth to be broken from the hole saw and ruin its efficiency. Run your drill motor between 500 to 600 rpm to start, allowing heat to be generated at the surface. This heat needs to be created in order for the carbide-tipped hole saw to cut the bolt. When sufficient heat has been generated, you should be able to start applying heavier pressure, running the drill motor at a faster 800 to 900 rpm, until you have drilled compelety through the 1” drawer control bolt.

After you have finished drilling the first bolt, you should be able to start drilling on the second drawer control bolt with the same carbide-tipped hole saw that you used previously. Were you careful? You will most likely have to switch to a new carbide-tipped hole saw to finish drilling through the second bolt. This procedure will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes per bolt. The care with which you handle your drill motor and the manner with which you apply pressure against the surface will determine how much life you get out of the carbide tipped hole saws. Steady even pressure and a firm grip, or use of the Strong Arm rig, will increase the useful life you get out of each carbide tipped hole saw.

Safe Repair Procedure

Safe repair procedure for Class 6 Red Label Container after drilling the drawer control bolts

  1. Remove the damaged control drawer from the container.
  2. Remove the drawer head from the drawer assembly.
  3. Install a new drawer head on the drawer assembly.
  4. Verify proper operation of the lock

For drawer head replacement or warranty provisions, contact Hamilton Products Group, Inc.