Tactical Tailor

Post SHOT Show Wrapup – CGS Group Pandora Firing Device

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.  



25 Responses to “Post SHOT Show Wrapup – CGS Group Pandora Firing Device”

  1. Michael says:

    Can someone please explain to a civilian what this is? I’ve never served in any armed forces, so my grasp of military technology and firearms is limited almost entirely to theoretical knowledge. Great blog, though. If I ever travel somewhere cool, I’ll make sure to take a picture with your “KCRF” patch.

    • BillC says:

      It initiates non-electric firing systems like ShockTube.

      • BillC says:

        Which in turn, is connected to blasting caps/detonators, which in turn is connected to some form of high explosives/main charge like C-4, DetCord, DetaSheet, charge tamped with water, etc. This device is more for breachers.

    • Aims says:

      Its pretty niche. I was a combat engineer and I’ve never even used the MK 54 that this replaces. Even for those few lucky guys that got to attend UMBC I don’t think they got to play around with them at all.

      Basically its something pretty cool that only select groups ever use.

  2. d says:

    It’s almost too nice.

  3. AlexC says:

    3 (unofficial) rules of explosives:

    1) You can never be too precise,
    2) You can never be too safe, and
    3) You can never use too much explosives.

  4. Bill says:

    Are there collets to connect the NonEl?

  5. Tech says:

    Always wanted a mk 54 or some other type of primer based igniter. Kind of hard to justify if it’s not issued. I think navy eod gets them but I don’t know about any other branches. I know we don’t have them in the army. I’d like to know the price point because if it’s not cheaper than the little surefire shock tube igniter then it’s probably not that competitive.

    I’ll stick to zippos and time fuse I guess.

  6. Greg says:

    Such an apt name for it’s purpose

  7. bombsnbullets says:

    As long as you don’t have leadership who will freak out if it’s not DDESB approved…

  8. Jon, OPT says:

    I saw something similar used by EOD techs about 15 years ago, it replaced a 54 but was more ergonomic. I like the concept, the 54 is older than time itself. I’m surprised there aren’t more options out there for instantaneous systems. My days of messing with this stuff are long gone, it’s good to see fresh takes on some systems that have been around forever.

  9. EODFish says:

    Excuse my ignorance, I am new to this game and am far from claiming to know it all. What is the advantage to a system like this, or the MK54 for that matter, over something like the MD82 or even some M81s?

    • scottyc says:

      Its advantage is when you are dual priming charges, it fires both systems simultaneous in the same shot instead of having to pull 2 devices simultaneously. Not complicated stuff, but Damn that thing is sexy over the Mk54!!

    • Jon, OPT says:

      Purpose built versus field expedient. Scottyc said pretty much the same thing. The newer system looks more snag free and streamlined, along with other advantages stated.

  10. Esteban says:

    I have a big bag of MK54’s in our inventory. Most still in packages. We use them exclusively. I like it. I am VERY interested in this device. I presume there are collets as Bill asked. I presume to PLI or STI is required. I am going to have to get one of these and give it a go.
    Thanks for putting this on the site!

    • Esteban says:

      Wait…I see threads. Probably needs shock tube initiators. Be nice if it was a ‘sparking’ device as well.