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(Aliens) - M41A Pulse Rifle
The "M41A Pulse Rifle" is a fictional firearm created for the world of Aliens. As described and seen in the film, the rifle fires 10x24mm, explosive tip, caseless, light armor-piercing rounds loaded into a 99-round magazine, although this is commonly downloaded to 95 to prevent stoppages. An LED readout on the right side states the number of rounds remaining in the magazine. In addition, the Pulse rifle is fitted with an underslung pump-action 4 shot 30mm grenade launcher and a telescoping stock.
The props (which were built from a sketch by Aliens director James Cameron) were built by British film armorers Bapty & Co. and consisted of an M1A1 Thompson for the main gun and a cut-down Remington 870 as the grenade launcher, which was mounted underneath the Thompson's barrel and covered with the forend and heatshield of a Franchi SPAS-12 fitted the 870's action. The weapon was finished with a futuristic, custom-made aluminum shell painted in "Brown Bess" paint (although due to on-set lighting, the guns often appear olive green in Aliens). Several practical weapons capable of firing blanks were constructed for the production, although only one "hero" prop had a functioning shotgun unit.
Following the completion of filming on Aliens, all but the hero weapon were broken back down. The surviving hero weapon subsequently went on to appear in Alien³ several years later, where it was once again fired on screen. For this appearance, the weapon's shroud was painted black.
The Pulse Rifles were originally going to be based on the Heckler & Koch MP5A3 submachine gun, using the weapon's 1970s-style straight magazine. However, Cameron wanted the rifles to produce large, impressive muzzle flashes on screen, and this was not possible with the MP5's 9mm round. Bapty instead suggested using the M1A1 Thomspon, as its larger .45 caliber round could produce the desired effect.
The "M41A Pulse Rifle" has been used in the following:
|Aliens||Sigourney Weaver||Ellen Ripley||1986|
|Aliens||Michael Biehn||Cpl. Dwayne Hicks||1986|
|Aliens||Bill Paxton||Pvt. Hudson||1986|
|Aliens||Jenette Goldstein||Pvt. Vasquez||1986|
|Aliens||Al Matthews||Sgt. Apone||1986|
|Aliens||Ricco Ross||Pvt. Frost||1986|
|Ready Player One||Olivia Cooke||Art3mis||2018|
|Aliens vs. Predator||Can occasionally jam||1999|
|Aliens vs. Predator 2||2001|
|Aliens vs. Predator||M41A/2 Pulse Rifle||Upgraded version||2010|
|Aliens: Colonial Marines||No markings, appears as unusable props and pre-release promotional media||2013|
|"Hudson's Pulse Rifle"||4-round burst only, with custom markings|
|"Ripley's Pulse Rifle"||Taped to an M240 Flamethrower||Fully-automatic, no markings|
|"M41A Pulse Rifle MK2"||w/ various attachments||Fully-automatic, upgraded version|
|Love, Death & Robots - Season 1||Train guards||with barrel and handguard from USAS-12; "Blindspot" (S1E15)||2019|