The Armat Battlefield Systems M39 Submachine Gun is an American-made submachine gun used primarily by the United States Colonial Marine Corps as their standard issue SMG, typically during operations in civilian areas[1] and by Weyland-Yutani PMCs.[1][2]


Due to the relatively low-powered round it fires, the M39 is ineffective against armored opponents. It's lack of penetrating power also makes it useful in urban operations where collateral damage may be a concern, as walls and other obstacles in the environment will effectively stop stray rounds, thereby minimizing the risk to innocent bystanders. Even though the weapon fires a relatively small round, the M39 has extreme recoil, even higher than that of the M41A Pulse Rifle, especially when the weapon is equipped with the Magazine Accelerator.

The standard M39 came equipped with ghost ring sights providing minimal occlusion to the shooter's view, and a collapsible stock which could also be completely removed.[3][4]

Various customization options were available for the M39 including the High-Capacity Magazine, A4 Stabilizing Stock, Laser Targeting System, S6 Reflex Sight, Fold Down Iron Sights and the previously mentioned Magazine Accelerator. Also available for the M39 were "Skins" such as "Death Scale", "Digitized" and "Black Death".



  • High-Capacity Magazine: Increases the magazine size of the weapon, holding an additional 24 rounds but at the cost of increased reload speed. Unlocks at marine rank 9.
  • A4 Stabilizing Stock: Replaces the current stock with a ergonomic, adjustable stock that dampens weapon recoil while firing. Allowing the operator to land more hits on a target. Unlocks at marine rank 11.


  • Laser Targeting System: Attaches a laser module to the bottom mount railings of the weapon, allowing quicker target acquisition without aiming down the sights. The red laser dot emitted by the module increases accuracy. Unlocks at marine rank 8.
  • S6 Reflex Sight: Attaches a reflex sight. This allows for a clearer sight picture without any obstructions made by the default sight, increasing accuracy. Unlocks at marine rank 15.


  • Death Scale: Custom paint job consisting of red accents with a scale made of skulls decal. This requires the "Spread The Love" challenge (defeat two enemies within ten seconds with the SMG) completed to unlock.
  • Digitized: Custom paint job consisting of a digital camo pattern. This requires the "Keep Up The Fire" challenge (defeat six enemies within one minute with the SMG) completed to unlock.
  • Black Death: Custom paint job consisting of solid black pattern. This requires the "Xenophobia" challenge (defeat ten of each common enemy xenomorph: Soldiers, Lurkers and Spitters) completed to unlock.

Fire Mode

  • Magazine Accelerator: Accelerates the feed mechanism of the weapon, allowing the rate of fire to increase beyond the weapon's manufactured limit to its maximum. Recoil and ammo management is vital due to the increased fire rate. Unlocks at marine rank 23.

Notable Users

Lieutenant Lisa Reid employed her M39 SMG after her dropship crashed down to the surface of LV-426, her weapon is a stock version without any personal design or attachments to it. Corporal Christopher Winter (and characters in co-op) may have used this weapon and/or swapped out for a different weapon over the course of the game's events, in addition, he may have been able to customize it to make it on-par with other weapons that he may or may not have in his arsenal.

Ironically, despite being a standard-issue SMG for the USCM, more so when there are civilians involved, none of the marines (besides the aforementioned two, five if including co-op characters) from the USS Sephora ever used this weapon during the conflict of LV-426, likely due to the fact that it is a distress call operation and since it is coming from a hostile planet no less. Instead, a majority of Weyland-Yutani PMC Grunts use this weapon as their standard-issue. In-game, upon a PMC's death, their weapon will suddenly vanish, much like the rest of the weapons they have.

Lisbeth Hutchins armed herself with a M39 along with other weapons after subduing two PMCs with Facehuggers. Samwell Stone, Turk, Hicks and Rick Levy carry their M39's at the ready, presumably taken from other PMCs. That is until Stone and Hicks obtain the M41A MK2 to upgrade their firepower. All of the characters have their M39s at the ready until their respective deaths (barring Hicks, who is captured and Levy, whose fate is unknown).

Three of the PMCs in particular that encountered Stone, Hicks and Turk carry M39s, one of the stray bullets coming out from the PMC's weapons manage to graze a Facehugger that was attached to Ripley inside her hyperlseep chamber, causing an electrical fire as a result due to the spillage of its acid blood.

All non-playable characters and playable characters from Stasis Interrupted who use this weapon will not attach any modifications to the weapon.


Caseless rounds: The game never mentions what specific rounds does the M39 chambers. It is assumed to be firing caseless, low-powered rounds that have little-to no penetrating power and with less stopping power to a M309 round from a M41A pulse rifle, lowering the chance of potential ricochet and unintended damage. These factors of allow the weapon to be effective at noncombatant areas. It may be chambered in 9mm caliber, as seen in the weapon's label (see Trivia below).[5]

Behind the Scenes

The M39 is unlocked at marine level 7, after the MK221 Tactical Shotgun. There is no legendary weapon equivalent to this weapon as it is not a weapon used by the crew of the USS Sulaco in Aliens, nor does the weapon make an appearance in the film during that time. This weapon can be used earlier, should the Stasis Interrupted campaign be played first before the main campaign.


  • In Stasis Interrupted, Lisbeth uses a unique stock-less and black M39 (the latter, likely using the Black Death skin). Although it does not make much sense for the stock to have been completely removed as the stock could simply have been retracted. This is not the case ingame, as her M39 is the default one instead.
  • The M39's forend appears to be slightly based on the Franchi SPAS-12's heat shield, likely done so that the M39 would fit in with the Pulse Rifle.
  • Concept art reveals that the M39 was originally going to be called the "M3A Submachine Gun".
    • "ARMAT M3A 9mm" can be seen above the ammo counter display. It is likely that the developers forget to rename the label to M39 after the weapon was renamed as such.[5]
  • It appears that the M39 was originally not going to have the collapsible stock by default as the stock is missing from the weapon's Weapon Wheel icon, Killfeed icon, spare magazines icon, Arsenal Upgrades icon and the icon seen upon picking up spare magazines.
    • The Weapon Wheel, Arsenal Upgrades, Marine Loadouts and spare magazines icons are the same (however the Marine Loadouts icon is completely white with no details inside it) and the Killfeed and picking up spare magazines icons are the same.
    • The Killfeed and picking up spare magazines icons for the M39 shows the weapon firing rounds. The M39 is the only primary weapon to do this.
  • It also appears that the M39 was going to have Fold Down Iron Sights by default as they are seen in all of the weapon's icons. However it appears that the Fold Down Iron Sights were replaced by the M39's ghost ring sights in the final game.
    • The Fold Down Iron Sights can also be seen in the "M3A Submachine Gun" concept art.
  • There are multiple errors regarding the M39's ammunution:
    • It seems to be firing caseless rounds, as there are no cased shells that exit out of the weapon's breech when fired. However, when fired, a tinkling noise can be heard, implying that the rounds fired from the weapon are cased, as it contradicts what it is being seen when firing.
    • Pickups for the weapon's magazine are spare pistol magazines (for the 88 Mod 4 Combat Pistol and the M4A3 Service Pistol) rather than the M39's own magazine (which easily can be distinguished by the holes on the pistol magazine). Moreover, the cartridges of the M39 are seem to be bigger than the magazines for the pistols (which are both chambered in 9mm), meaning it is likely a manufactured round specifically for the M39 itself.
    • It is also glaring for the fact that the game is not intended to have spare pistol magazines in the first place, as sidearms have infinite ammunition and never run out of magazines.
    • With the label as mentioned earlier, it may be possible that the M39 fires 9mm rounds, but converted to be caseless. Like how the NSG 23 Assault Rifle fires 7.62 rounds in a caseless fashion. Using spare pistol magazines as pickups further supports the statement. But the game has yet to explicitly mention this.
  • In the Colonial Marines Technical Manual, a gun known as the M38 is mentioned. Whether or not M39 is supposed to be a successor to the M38 is unknown. However, if the M39 was intended to be a successor to the M38, it could be a reason why "M3A" was changed to "M39".
  • Despite having the weapon two barrels (with the barrel below that can attach a sound suppressor seen in the weapon's concept arts below), it only uses the top barrel to fire.
  • The M39 is sharing the exact designation with the M39 Submachine Gun from the Aliens: Fireteam Elite video game. It is unknown if they are different weapons, an upgrade, a variant or if the weapon was redesigned is simply redesign of the first.




  1. 1.0 1.1 Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013), Gearbox Software, SEGA [Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360].
  2. Stasis Interrupted (2013), Gearbox Software, SEGA [Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360].
  3. Aliens: Colonial Marines in-game M39 Weapon Wheel icon/spare M39 magazines icon
  4. Aliens: Colonial Marines in-game M39 Killfeed icon/M39 icon indicating the amount of M39 ammo acquired from spare magazines found lying around
  5. 5.0 5.1 Weapon model seen in a model viewer