A government customer approached Artesia, New Mexico-based CGS Group to create a replacement for the current issue Mk 54 Mod 1 firing device. Although, they have concentrated for the past decade on crafting highly accurate long range rifles, they gave it a go. The result is the PANDORA, a Handheld Dual Firing Device, the safest, most user friendly mechanical firing device in existance today. Safety was paramount in the concept phase as the Mk 54 can be dangerous to use. CSG Group integrated a simple, easy-to-use design into a compact, 4.4375″ x 2.5″ x 0.875” envelope that weighs in at just 9.4 ounces.
PANDORA is simple to assemble/disassemble, easy to clean, and features a unique modular design. Remove two T9 Torx screws on the rear of the device and push in the guide rod protruding into the rear plate and slide the rear plate out of the device. The guide rod/spring, trigger pack, and mounting plate will slide out of the housing allowing you to slide in a different mounting plate for various methods of attachment and features.
Mounting plates are available which will attach the PANDORA to a pole arm for breaching windows or similar stand oV use, for mounting to a MIL-STD-1913 rail, for attaching two PANDORA devices back to back, or for a plate with Velcro or similar for attaching to a plate carrier. PANDORA will fit in an M16 magazine pouch for carriage and the Pic Rail plate can be carried on a carbine’s rail or on your kit via an ITW Pic Rail to PALS Adapter. A rear plate is also available which features a non-electric shock tube cutter.
Below, you can see PANDORA paired with the issue Mk 54 Mod 1 it was designed to replace. When you take a look at the Mk 54, you get an idea of how the decixes work to ignite a charge.
PANDORA is striker fired and offers an immediate restrike capability in case your charge doesn’t detonate on the first try. Just release the trigger and try again as many times as necessary. The enclosed design keeps the works protected from debris and the firing channels are separated with each striker having its own sear for true independant striker movement.
PANDORA has many different safety features. The only time the device is ever cocked is when the user is in the process of firing the device. Using a double action only striker fired method of operation is what allows for this feature. But when it’s not in the process of firing, the strikers don’t rest on the primers of the non electric shock tube. The strikers are constantly held back behind two striker block plungers at all times ensuring the strikers won’t protrude into the primers unless having been immediately fired. As the trigger is being pulled to the rear, near the end of its travel the trigger moves the striker block plungers out of the way of the striker. When the sears in the trigger pack release the strikers they can now go forward and strike the primers uninhibited. Once the strikers hit the primers they are immediately locked back behind the striker block plungers by a striker return spring on each side. These all function to keep the user safe even if the external safety slider switch is in the fire position. PANDORA will never fire unless you want it to fire.
I expect a great deal of interest in PANDORA’s new, safe alternative to the currently issued Mk 54 Mod 1.