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"I wanna introduce you to a personal friend of mine. This is an M41A Pulse Rifle. Ten millimeter, with over-and-under thirty millimeter pump action grenade launcher."
―Cpl. Hicks, to Ripley (from Aliens)

The Armat M41A Pulse Rifle is a pulse-action assault rifle chambered for 10×24mm Caseless ammunition.[1] It was notably employed by the United States Colonial Marine Corps and the United States Army as their primary infantry weapon during the late 22nd century.[1] Through its use with the USCM, it saw regular use in various engagements with the Xenomorph and Yautja species.


The M41A Pulse Rifle was designed by retired USCM Corporal Jonathan LaForce[3] as part of the Marine 70 Program,[4] established to procure a replacement for the Corps' then-standard issue weapon, the Harrington Assault Rifle. LaForce used the Harrington as a starting point in his design,[1] also modelling aspects of the weapon on the revolutionary Weyland Storm Rifle manufactured by Weyland Corp. Despite fierce competition from proposals put forward by major international corporations, LaForce's weapon, the prototype of which was designed and built in his humble home workshop, was selected as a clear winner and officially adopted as the M41 in 2171.[1]

Despite the weapon's exemplary performance in tests, early production models suffered from stoppages caused by substandard 10×24mm Caseless ammunition that initially gave the weapon a miserable reputation, especially following a disastrous incident on LV-832 where Pulse Rifle stoppages cost many Marines their lives.[5] Cases of weapons overheating to the point of ammunition cooking off prematurely inside the chamber or magazine were also reported. In the wake of the controversy, design changes were immediately implemented that included additional cooling vents on the weapon, as well as other improvements. The new version, designated the M41A, has been the standard issue weapon of the Colonial Marine Corps since and has developed an entirely different reputation — one of an exemplary weapon respected both by those who have used it and by those who have faced it.[6]


Frost with Pulse Rifle

Private First Class Ricco Frost holding a Pulse Rifle.

Lightweight and rugged, the M41A is constructed largely from ultra-light alloy precision metal stampings, with a titanium aluminide alloy outer casing and high-impact, temperature resistant plastics for many of its internal parts.[1] The M41A is fully sealed against corrosion, dirt and moisture and its electronics are hardened against TREE and background radiation, making it perfectly usable even in a vacuum.[7] By itself the rifle weighs only 3.2 kg, although this increases to 4.9 kg when including the sling and fully-loaded magazine, and is built around a 24.7 cm long barrel.[2]

The M41A uses an electronic pulse action to fire, controlled directly from the trigger and powered by a battery located in the carry handle.[8] The internal mechanism, including the rotating breech, is mounted on free-floating rails within a carbon-fiber jacket and the entire assembly is recoil dampened to reduce the effects of muzzle climb during burst and fully-automatic fire.[1] Even so, the weapon's recoil is fairly significant.[9] A thumb selector allows the firer to switch between selective, four-round burst or fully automatic firing modes.[1] A manual charging handle on the right hand side of the receiver allows the user to check for rounds in the chamber or clear the breech in the event of a stoppage. The standard M41A ammunition magazine stores 99 rounds in a 'U' bend conveyor. Rounds are fed mechanically into the weapon's rotating breech.[1] While the magazine weighs 1.5 kg when fully loaded,[2] standard practice is to only fill it to 95% capacity (95 rounds) to prevent jamming.[1]

Ripley using grenade launcher

Ellen Ripley uses her Pulse Rifle's U1.

The M41A generally mounts the underbarrel U1 Grenade Launcher,[10] comprising a barrel, breech and four-round internal magazine, fired using a trigger just in front of the rifle magazine, the housing for which doubles as a grip during grenade firing. While this launcher was integral to initial versions of the rifle, later models (specifically the M41A MK2 and the later M41A2) featured a modular system that allowed the launcher to be swapped out for a different unit at the user's discretion.[11] Grenades must be hand-loaded into the launcher's four-round magazine, which are then loaded into the breech and primed to fire from a pump action.[1]

M41A counter 39

The ammo counter of Ripley's Pulse Rifle indicating there are 39 rounds left in the magazine.

Sighting is made down a groove in the top of the carrying handle, with an adjustable tangent leaf backsight in the rear aperture. The rifle can also be fitted with a 3x power AN/RVS-52 CCD television sight to allow for accuracy at range and under low light conditions.[1] A spring-loaded extendible stock allows the gun to be used in either a carbine or rifle format while an LCD ammunition counter display just below the receiver informs the user of the remaining ammunition supply at a glance. This display can be dimmed for night operations, although it is not uncommon for cautious Marines to cover it entirely with electrical tape, as enemy snipers have been known to zero in on its glow.[12] The carrying handle also contains the gun's Lithium battery; providing power for motor mechanism it is good for 10,000 rounds before requiring recharge from a rifle rack or portable power pack.[1]


M309 round: The M41A is chambered for the standard US M309 10×24mm caseless round, a 210 grain, steel-jacketed and explosive-tipped round embedded within a rectangular propellant block of Nitramine 50.[1]


M41AE2 Heavy Pulse Rifle[]

Main article: M41AE2 Heavy Pulse Rifle

Undergoing trial runs with select rifle and recon platoons, the M41AE2 is essentially a standard M41A with the grenade launcher removed and replaced with an 8cm longer, removable barrel, an elongated barrel shroud and a folding bipod. The E2 is intended to function as a light support weapon, providing greater rates of sustain fire at longer ranges, feeding from an 'L' bend 300-round magazine.[2]

M41A Pulse Rifle MK2[]

Main article: M41A Pulse Rifle MK2
M41A MK2 ammo

Corporal Christopher Winter checking the magazine of his MK2.

The third series of Pulse Rifles and an immediate successor to the M41A. Notably issued to the Marines aboard the USS Sephora. It is slightly smaller than its predecessor, with a corresponding reduced magazine capacity of 40 rounds, but offers up far greater modular and customization options, including various optics, underbarrel attachments, and an extended 60-round magazine. Most of the newer elements of the MK2 Pulse Rifle would carry on to its successor, the M41A2 Pulse Rifle.

M41A2 Pulse Rifle[]

Main article: M41A2 Pulse Rifle

A customized M41A2 Pulse Rifle

The fourth series of Pulse Rifles of the early 23rd century and the second major alteration of the original series, issued to marines on the UAS Endeavor. Like the MK2 before it, it features an array of modifications with a 60-round magazine by default. However, just like the M41AE2, it lacks the underbarrel grenade launcher, making use of the operator's abilities vital against a horde of enemies.

M41A3 Burst Rifle[]

Main article: M41A3 Burst Rifle

The third alteration of the M41A series, issued to marines on the UAS Endeavor. It uses a four-round burst mechanism to improve ammo conservation. Like the M41A2, it does not feature the underbarrel grenade launcher, and features the same array of customizations of the former.

M42A2 Scout Rifle[]

Main article: M42A2 Scout Rifle

A designated marksman rifle variant of the M41, issued to marines on the UAS Endeavor. While an alteration of the M42A Scope Rifle in the name only, it fulfills the marksman role that was originally designed from the previous M4RA Battle Rifle.

M41A/2 Pulse Rifle[]

Main article: M41A/2 Pulse Rifle

The fifth series of Pulse Rifles, issued to Marines during the incident on BG-386. This version features minor alterations from the original Pulse Rifle such as new front and rear iron sights to make aiming easier without the use of an auto aiming assist.[13]

Marine with M41A2

A Marine firing an M41A/2.

Problems concerning the weapon's grenade launcher were finalized. The grenades, while doing significant damage to targets on impact, often killing them in a single hit, now have a "shockwave" effect that stuns nearby targets close to its blast radius rather than doing standard fragmentation damage. While injury at very close range is still high, the survivability of a grenade fired in close quarters is significantly better than what could be expected with earlier models.[13]

This version also fires stronger armor-piercing rounds capable of penetrating the armor of a Praetorian, though a large number of rounds are still needed to kill such a creature thanks to its high endurance.[13] Though the M41A2 as well as the M41A variants of the early 23rd century can also penetrate Praetorian armor as well.


The M41E is a variant to the M41A during the Xenomorph invasion of Earth. This version has an effective range of about five hundred meters, although the underslung 30mm grenade launcher cannot fire accurately beyond one hundred meters. Marines are known to hate the range on the launcher, saying the "sights are for shit". At close range the weapon can deal serious damage to any target with anything below class VII spidersilk armor.

It has a weight of 4.8 kilos, making it a lighter and more compact version of its predecessor, as noted by users of older models when handling the M41E. It has different ammunition capacities when using different types of 10mm rounds: one hundred rounds with both the armor-piercing and anti-personnel, or seventy-five rainbow tracer rounds.

M41E3 Heavy Pulse Rifle[]

Main article: M41E3 Heavy Pulse Rifle

A modified M41 Pulse Rifle issued to marines on the USS Otago.

M41E4 Heavy Pulse Rifle[]

Main article: M41E4 Heavy Pulse Rifle
AFE-Icon M41E4HeavyPulseRifle

A standard M41E4 Heavy Pulse Rifle

A modification of the M41A2 Pulse Rifle, issued to marines on the UAS Endeavor. Much like the M41AE2 Heavy Pulse Rifle, the M41E4 is a modification of the M41 design that is intended for use as a squad support weapon. While it has a smaller magazine and slower rate of fire than the M41AE2, the M41E4 fires a heavier, armor-piercing round.

Behind the Scenes[]


M1A1 Thompson

The Thompson submachine gun, the weapon the M41As were made from.

The M41A Pulse Rifle was designed by Aliens director James Cameron.[14] Cameron's concept designs were then realized by Simon Atherton, head of British movie armorers Bapty & Co., who selected appropriate weapons on which to base the practical, live-firing prop rifles.[15] The functioning Pulse Rifles were constructed from three real-world firearms — an M1A1 Thompson submachine gun as the rifle frame, and a cut-down Remington Model 870 covered with the handguard and slide action sleeve of a Franchi SPAS-12 for the grenade launcher.[14] Many of the custom-made metal parts used to disguise the weapons, including the ventilated barrel shroud, telescoping stock and the adapted SPAS-12 shroud, were machined at Bapty's shop.[16] The rifles were then finished with futuristic aluminum shells that were hand made by a race car manufacturer[17] and LED ammunition counters provided by the film's special effects department.[18]

MP5 Pulse Rifle concept art

Concept art of the MP5-based Pulse Rifle.

Initial plans were to base the M41A on the Heckler & Koch MP5A3, using the weapon's original 1970s straight magazines; this original design can still be seen in the film on Private Frost's "PEACE THROUGH SUPERIOR FIREPOWER" T-shirt.[15] However, James Cameron wanted the rifles to produce a large, impressive muzzle flash and this was not possible with the MP5's 9mm round. As a result, the M1A1 Thompson was adopted as the base weapon, using the larger .45 ACP round.[15] Due to the use of the Thompson, metal casings can occasionally be seen ejecting from the rifles in Aliens, which is inaccurate for a weapon supposedly using caseless ammunition.

For the filming of Aliens, numerous different props of the M41A were created. There were three (or very possibly four) live-firing Pulse Rifles used on the production, although only one "hero" weapon had both built-in firearms functional. The remaining rifles were fitted with dummy grenade launcher units. During filming at Pinewood Studios, the Pulse Rifles (along with all other live-fire weapons) were taken back to Bapty's overnight for secure storage, and while on location at Acton Lane Power Station they were kept in a secure vehicle.[19] Numerous fiberglass and rubber prop weapons were also created for the safety and comfort of the actors, with the added advantage that, as they contained no real firearm components, they did not require an expensive armorer to be on set when they were in use.[14] Additionally, dummy versions of the rifle were also used for stunt sequences, background filming and as set dressing.

The original color of the Pulse Rifles in Aliens has long been a cause of debate. The props originally used on set were actually painted in Humbrol 170 "Brown Bess", not green as is often erroneously stated (although due to on-set lighting, the weapons often appear to be olive green on-screen). This green has since been accepted as the standard finish and has been replicated in virtually every appearance of the weapon since, with the notable exception of Alien3, where the Pulse Rifles carried by Weyland-Yutani Commandos were finished in black (although some of these props were later repainted in an olive green for display).


After filming on Aliens concluded, the practical firing weapons were broken up, with the exception of the hero prop.[16] Consequently, when the Pulse Rifle was scheduled to appear in the sequel Alien3, new props had to be created. For the third film, the weapons' shrouds were vacformed from black plastic rather than constructed from aluminum; armorer Andrew Fletcher offered to have the weapons painted to match their appearance in Aliens, but the production elected to keep the black coloration.[16] The surviving hero weapon was painted black to match the new props, and was the only live-firing weapon used in the production[16] — none of the new props made for the movie were capable of firing blanks.

Interestingly, it appears that none of the Pulse Rifles used in Alien3 are fitted with ammunition counters. This is likely because the additional props made for the film were based on the hero weapon's shroud, which likewise does not feature an LED counter (most likely because the electronics simply would not fit inside the prop alongside both live-firing weapons).

Alien War[]

When John Gorman and Gary Gillies were preparing their Alien War attraction in the London Trocadero, they approached Bapty & Co. with the intention of obtaining the live-firing props from Aliens to be used in the experience. When told that this would not be possible, they instead hired Bapty to produce replicas, to be fitted with an electronic strobe- and sound-fire weapon system by a third party.[16] These replicas were constructed from aluminum, and several were later photographed and used for reference in the Colonial Marines Technical Manual.[20]


"Alpha" Pulse Rifle[]


The "Alpha" Pulse Rifle as it looks today.[21]

The "Alpha" Pulse Rifle was a non-functional weapon, featuring eight vent holes and an ammo counter on the right side. The prop has gone through some restoration.[21]

"Delta" Pulse Rifle[]


The "Delta" Pulse Rifle as it looks today.[17]

The "Delta" Pulse Rifle, also known as the dual unit or the "Propstore" Pulse Rifle (as it is featured on the Prop Store's website), was the principle live fire (now legally de-activated) "hero" weapon, the main practical gun used on set, and the only one that featured both built-in firearms (the Thompson M1A1 and the Remington 870) functioning.[17] It was also the only Pulse Rifle to feature a working, live-fire Remington 870 grenade launcher, as all other rifles had dummy units. The weapon features eight barrel vents and lacks the ammo counter on the right-hand side, and is also identifiable by the fact its grenade launcher extends fractionally further at the front of the weapon, to accommodate the working Model 870 within.

The Delta Pulse Rifle was the only functional Pulse Rifle that was not disassembled after the production of Aliens finished.[16] It was notably used by Jenette Goldstein in the Operations Center assault scene, specifically shots where she can be seen using both the Pulse Rifle's primary fire and its grenade launcher in succession. Sigourney Weaver also used the weapon to fire grenades into the Queen's ovipositor inside the Hive, although this is only in the brief cuts where the grenade launcher is actually seen being fired (an alternate prop is used when the launcher is being pumped).


A Commando using the Delta Pulse Rifle to shoot Morse.

The weapon returned to the screen in Alien3,[17] albeit painted black, where it is used by a Weyland-Yutani Commando to shoot Morse in the leg. The weapon is used again later when a Commando guns down Aaron. As Delta was the only fully functional Pulse Rifle available at the time, it is used in all shots which show a Pulse Rifle firing, of which there are 2.

Photos of the Delta Pulse Rifle (still colored black) were also prominently featured in an interview with Andrew Fletcher and Simon Atherton, the armorers who worked on Aliens, in issue 48 of Sci-Fi & Fantasy FX (formerly Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models) magazine in August 2000, where it once again can be identified by its longer grenade launcher barrel.


The Prop Store's Ian firing a Pulse Rifle from the sci-fi classic Aliens

The Prop Store's Ian firing the "Delta" Pulse Rifle

The Delta Pulse Rifle has been repainted many times since its creation, including black for use in Alien3. Later, the weapon (still colored black) was hired and further modified with cosmetic additions for use on the cover of the 1987 single "Revolution Baby" by UK band Transvision Vamp, where it was held by the lead signer.[17][22] In the cover image, the Delta Pulse Rifle is still fitted with its sling, which was subsequently lost.[22] Today the weapon has been repainted in a more familiar olive green military color.[17]

"Zeta" Pulse Rifle[]


The "Zeta" Pulse Rifle as it appears in the Technical Manual. Note that the colors of the Zeta Pulse Rifle in this image are slightly different than they are in the book.

The "Zeta" Pulse Rifle, also known as the "Lawrence Nathan"[21] (after the owner) or "Technical Manual" Rifle,[21] is the Pulse Rifle prop photographed in the Colonial Marine Technical Manual. Described as a "working pulse rifle",[20] the Zeta Pulse Rifle features eight barrel vents, an ammo counter on the right-hand side, a black sling and wooden pistol grip (unlike the guns featured in Aliens, which all featured black synthetic grips).

As of June 1, 1996 the prop is owned by Lawrence Nathan,[20] who may possibly have created it too. Notably, AliensCollection.com features three supposed "studio shoot" images of the Zeta Pulse Rifle on their Aliens props page.[21] However, the Pulse Rifle seen in the images has many differences from the Pulse Rifle seen in the Technical Manual, such as a lack of any paint scratches, a silver colored grenade launcher front-end, a lack of the piece below the shroud and behind the pistol grip, and a grenade launcher trigger. The Pulse Rifle in the images also features a green sling as opposed to the black one seen on the Zeta Pulse Rifle in the manual. However, given that slings are easily removable, this isn't proof of the one in the three images not being the Zeta Pulse Rifle. Also, the sling could have been changed to make the Pulse Rifle more accurate to the film as in Aliens the slings were also green. Given the numerous discrepancies, the Pulse Rifle featured in the three images is presumed to be a fake and not be the Zeta Pulse Rifle.


  • James Cameron spent two days perfecting the distinctive sound effects for the Pulse Rifle in Aliens.[14]
  • The original technical specification on the M41A, written by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood for Aliens magazine, stated that the weapon was manufactured by Colt (Colt's Manufacturing Company).[23] When this specification was later expanded upon for Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual, the manufacturer was changed to the fictional Armat Battlefield Systems.
  • The M41A is undoubtedly one of the most popular weapons ever created for a sci-fi film, and countless variants (both official and fan-made) have been created since the release of Aliens. The weapon's popularity has also led to many physical reproductions and replicas being sold over the years. For some time, a kit was available to convert a Tokyo Marui airsoft M1A1 Thompson into an M41A Pulse Rifle, complete with working LCD counter. Replica Pulse Rifles include:
    • Icon's Pulse Rifle, limited edition,[24] now fairly rare, Icon's Pulse Rifle is made of fiber glass and metal is regarded to have a good feel and weight, but does not feature any working actions.[24]
    • Matrix Limited Edition Custom Alien Pulse Rifle Airsoft AEG, sold as a complete AEG (unlike the the Tokyo Marui Thompson kit), the Matrix Pulse Rifle features a "futuristic aggressive look", a working bullet counter, retractable stock, customizable integrated shotgun compartment and a carrying handle.[25]
  • In the movies the M41A Pulse Rifle is standard issue for the Colonial Marines and is the most prominent weapon used by the Colonial Marine detachment in Aliens. However, in the series of video games there are several different variations of the Pulse Rifle depicted. They are all largely similar with some minor differences in how they appear and operate. Aliens versus Predator and Aliens versus Predator: Extinction features the pre-update M41, Aliens vs. Predator (2010) features the M41A/2 Pulse Rifle, Aliens: Colonial Marines features the M41A Pulse Rifle MK2 and Aliens: Fireteam Elite features the M41A2 Pulse Rifle and its several alterations. The original M41A, meanwhile, is used in Aliens versus Predator 2, Alien vs. Predator (1994 arcade game) and Aliens versus Predator: Extinction, although it also makes a cameo appearance in Aliens: Colonial Marines as two Legendary Weapons (Hudson's Pulse Rifle and Ripley's Pulse Rifle) as well as unobtainable props as well as Aliens: Fireteam Elite which is depicted in some of the Challenge Cards.
  • While the original films, Pulse Rifles featured LCD ammo counters on their right side, the counters are typically switched to the weapon's left-hand side in its video game appearances (to make it visible to players wielding the weapon). The counters may also appear in both sides of the weapon, seen in some games.
  • In the Aliens: Colonial Marines level "Mission 1: Distress", M41A Pulse Rifles can be found lying around the USS Sulaco's armory. The models used aren't very detailed have some parts colored black such as the magazine. The triggers for the grenade launcher and rifle are also notably absent and an ammo counter is located on both sides of the rifle, even though the ones in the film only had it on the right-hand side.
    • The same Pulse Rifle model can also be found in "Mission 3: Sulaco Falls", being held by a dead Marine.
    • The same M41A Pulse Rifle model can also be found in various places in the bonus level "Firing Range".
  • In Aliens, M41As can sometimes be seen without the ammo counter. This is because not all of the props used in the film had the counter (such as the "Delta" prop).
  • The number of holes in the shroud varies from weapon-to-weapon within Aliens, no doubt as a result of the use of both practical live-firing models and less dangerous fiberglass and rubber props in the production.
  • In Aliens, when the camera is moving around the empty Sulaco, there are 15 Pulse Rifles seen in the weapon racks.

Figure accessories based on the M41A[]

Due to the weapon's popularity, many weapons for action figures have been based on the Pulse Rifle design.


The Black "M41A 'Xeno' Pulse Rifle".

  • BrickArms.com sells (through "Authorized Online Resellers") a building toy-compatible "M41A 'Xeno' Pulse Rifle" available primarily in Black and Gunmetal for MSRP $.75 which is obviously based on the M41A Pulse Rifle from Aliens.[26] BrickArms also sell the "M1A1 SMG"[27] (based on the Thompson submachine gun) and the "Combat Shotgun"[28] (based on the SPAS-12) which are both based on weapons used in the construction of the M41A props used in the films. The site also sells the "Space Assault Rifle (SAR)"[29] which is based on the MA5 Series of assault rifles from the Halo franchise which were themselves likely inspired by the M41A. There is also a more detailed version of the M41A on the site for MSRP $1.00
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The Duke figure's rifle.[30]

  • The G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra "Desert Battle" Conrad "Duke" Hauser figure comes with a rifle which appears to be based on the M41A design. The rifle has some lengthened barrels and an odd paintjob which "hides" the Pulse Rifle design a bit.[30]
    • Similarly, the G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra "City Strike" Iron Grenadier and the 30th Anniversary Iron Grenadier figures come with a "Thermo-reactive anti-armor assault cannon" which is obviously based on the M56 Smartgun.
    • A very similar (if not the same) weapon that came with the Iron Grenadiers based on the Smartgun also comes with the GI Joe Convention 2013 Night Force Repeater figures.
  • The S.T.O.P. vs. S.C.U.M. figures "Tank" comes with a rifle which is obviously based on the M41A.[31]

The "'NCM' Rifle".

  • The site Marauderinc.com used to sell the "'NCM' Rifle" 1:18 scale weapon for 3 3/4 inch action figures in black for $0.99 which was obviously based on the M41A.[32] However, this item has since been removed from the site's store,[33] and replaced with the "'NCM Mark II' Pulse Rifle".[34] Also, as part of Marauder's Kickstarter "Mark II" project, the "'NCM' Rifle" (known as the "Pulse" in the Kickstarter) was available in a "LIMITED EDITION 'Baby-Blue' Detail Test Shot" color, "PRE-PAINTED in 'Realistic' paint scheme" which gave the shroud a green color and "LIMITED EDITION PRE-PAINTED 'Desert Tan' paint scheme" which gave the shroud a tan color [35]
    • Similarly, The site also sells the "Flamethrower Incendiary Weapon"[36][37][38] which is obviously based on the M240 Incinerator Unit.


Appearances in other media[]

Owing to its fame, the M41A has appeared in numerous media outside of the Alien franchise.


  • In the 1998 film Soldier, the screen displaying Todd's stats includes numerous references such as listing the "3008 USCM SMARTGUN" as one of Todd's "ORDNANCE LEVELS". The list also possibly includes the M41A Pulse Rifle as the letters "LE" (which are the last two letters in M41A Pulse Rifle) are briefly seen in the list before the word they are attached to disappears. Given the reference to the Smartgun, it seems likely this could have been part of the word "M41A PULSE RIFLE" , or something similar. Notably, despite the words "M41A PULSE RIFLE" not appearing in the film, IMDb's trivia section for the film notes that the ordnance list does include the "M41A pulse rifle".[39]
  • In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, after the T-X Terminator's main plasma cannon is damaged, the cyborg can be seen scrolling through a list of alternative weapons in its internal memory. The M41A Pulse Rifle is on the list, although the weapon itself is never seen.
  • In the film Ready Player One, Art3mis uses the M41A when defending Parzival from IOI agents at the dance club, and then again during the final battle on Planet Doom to breach Mechagodzilla's eye for a grenade toss.


  • In the episode The Lastest Gun in the West of The Simpsons, the character Snake and some cronies use Pulse Rifles to fight off Springfield's police force during a bank siege.
  • In the South Park two-part episode "Go God Go", Pulse Rifles are used by anthropomorphic sea otters.
  • In the two-part season 3 finale of the animated comedy Archer, "Space Race", the crew of the space station Horizon are armed with the "M41 Mark 2 Plasma Pulse Rifle with concussion grenade launcher", a clear reference to the M41A. As well as a similar name, the M41 Mark 2 has an underslung pump-action grenade launcher, a similar color scheme and design, an electronic ammo counter, a large carrying handle and a magazine capacity of 99 rounds. However, the Mark 2 does have several notably differences, chiefly its bullpup design and use of energy-based plasma ammunition.
  • In the Ben 10: Alien Force episode Kevin's Big Score, a weapon which appears to be based on the M41A Pulse Rifle can be seen in the Rust bucket's gun rack when Kevin shows Argit the hidden Alien Tech.[40]



The M41A in Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun.

  • In the video game Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, the standard issue rifle for GDI and Nod soldiers is the M16 Mk. II Pulse Rifle, which in some live-action cutscenes was actually portrayed by an M41A prop.
  • In the opening cinematic of game Independence War: Defiance, the crew of the Sparticus are shown to carry M41As.
  • Several models of the Pulse Rifle are shown in the Sony PlayStation G-Police game series, where they are used in a few FMV cutscenes.
  • In SAS: Zombie Assault 2, the M41A Pulse Rifle is one of the premium guns. The M41A fires in four-round bursts (which is said to be a feature of the M41A Pulse Rifle in the Colonial Marines Technical Manual), uses 10mm caseless ammuntion (also like the Aliens M41A) and has a 200-round magazine which can be upgraded to a 400-round one.
  • In SAS: Zombie Assault 3, Ninja Kiwi made a premium, stronger version of the M41A Pulse Rifle, the M41-A Grendel 12.7. The Grendel is described as being "the standard issue primary of space marines in the distant future" (an obvious reference to the USCM) and is fully automatic, uses 12.7mm caseless rounds, fires at 11.6 rounds/sec or 696 rounds/min and uses a 200-round magazine which can be upgraded to a 400-round one.
  • In Hidden Deep, an exclusive reskin of the assaalt rifle appears as an M41A in the Supporter Bundle DLC.
  • In Saints Row IV, the Pulse Rifle appears as a "costume" for the "Burst Rifle" known as the "Impulse Rifle". The weapon is overall very similar to the M41A Pulse Rifles seen in Aliens, although a foregrip has been added. The Impulse Rifle fires in 5-round bursts and the underbarrel grenade launcher is unusable. It also has three skins, with the "Default" skin displaying Hicks' famous quote "Remember: Short, controlled bursts." Additionally, the "Black Gold" skin colors the shroud black (similar to the Pulse Rifles used by the Weyland-Yutani Commandos in Alien3) and the gray parts gold, while the "Blue Plaid" is actually a reference to Space Balls. The weapon also appears on the weapon racks in gun stores.
  • There is a direct reference in the game Starbound, randomized Pulse Rifles with varying colors and forms can be found. There is also a direct reference to the USCM, only its United Systems Colonial Marines instead of United States.
  • The C-14 rifle from the StarCraft universe bears similarities with the M41A, such as its ammunition counter and standard use by marines. The weapon has been called a "pulse rifle" in concept art for StarCraft II, and in the marines' easter egg appearance in Warcraft III.


Behind the scenes[]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual, p. 14 (2012), Titan Books.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual, p. 16 (2012), Titan Books.
  3. Larry Correia. Aliens: Bug HuntEpisode 22, p. 225 (2017), Titan Books.
  4. Larry Correia. Aliens: Bug HuntEpisode 22, p. 223 (2017), Titan Books.
  5. Larry Correia. Aliens: Bug HuntEpisode 22, p. 231 (2017), Titan Books.
  6. Larry Correia. Aliens: Bug HuntEpisode 22, p. 232 (2017), Titan Books.
  7. Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual, p. 15 (2012), Titan Books.
  8. S. D. Perry. Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report, p. 105 (2014), Insight Editions.
  9. James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens (1986), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
  10. The Aliens: Colonial Marines in-game model for the M4RA Battle Rifle's U1 Grenade Launcher, Hudson's Pulse Rifle underbarrel grenade launcher and Ripley's Pulse Rifle underbarrel grenade launcher are all the same (except for the trigger guard which is incorporated into the magazine well of the two Pulse Rifles).
  11. Aliens: Colonial Marines, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 version, Gearbox Software, 2013.
  12. Dave Hughes, Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. Aliens, Vol. 2 #12, p. 40 (1993), Dark Horse International.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Aliens vs. Predator, Microsoft Windows version, Rebellion, 2010.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Gale Anne Hurd, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Stan Winston, John RichardsonSuperior Firepower: Making Aliens (2003), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Paul Taglianetti, Geoff Topping, Bob Gould. Sci-Fi & Fantasy FX #48, p. 39 (2000), Next Millennium Publishing.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 Paul Taglianetti, Geoff Topping, Bob Gould. Sci-Fi & Fantasy FX #48, p. 41 (2000), Next Millennium Publishing.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 "Prop Store - Colonial Marine Pulse Rifle". Retrieved on 2013-10-03.
  18. Paul Taglianetti, Geoff Topping, Bob Gould. Sci-Fi & Fantasy FX #48, p. 40 (2000), Next Millennium Publishing.
  19. http://aliensarchive.tripod.com/aliens/interviews/simonatherton.html
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual, p. 160 (2012), Titan Books.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 http://www.alienscollection.com/props.html
  22. 22.0 22.1 http://www.m41a.com/ - Transvision VAMP 05.01.05
  23. Dave Hughes, Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. Aliens, Vol. 2 #1, p. 44 (1992), Dark Horse International.
  24. 24.0 24.1 http://www.toyarchive.com/Aliens/IconsPulseRifle1.html
  25. http://www.evike.com/products/37490/
  26. http://www.brickarms.com/toys/Weapons/M41a.aspx
  27. http://www.brickarms.com/Toys/weapons/M1A1.aspx
  28. http://www.brickarms.com/Toys/weapons/CombatShotgun.aspx
  29. http://www.brickarms.com/Toys/weapons/SpaceAssaultRifle.aspx
  30. 30.0 30.1 http://jimsmash.blogspot.ca/2011/02/pulse-rifle-sighting-duke.html
  31. http://jimsmash.blogspot.ca/2010/12/pulse-rifle-sighting-stop-vs-scum.html
  32. http://web.archive.org/web/20120609061454/http://www.marauderinc.com/servlet/Detail?no=55
  33. http://www.marauderinc.com/servlet/Detail?no=55
  34. http://www.marauderinc.com/servlet/Detail?no=430
  35. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1732159183/marauder-gr-special-mark-ii-supplement-miniature-g?ref=live
  36. http://www.marauderinc.com/servlet/Detail?no=374
  37. http://www.marauderinc.com/servlet/Detail?no=473
  38. http://www.marauderinc.com/servlet/Detail?no=400
  39. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120157/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv
  40. http://jimsmash.blogspot.ca/2011/01/pulse-rifle-sighting-ben-10-alien-force.html
  41. "Trade Cards Online - M41A Pulse Rifle". Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  42. http://web.archive.org/web/20130318105932/http://www.longmountain.com/just-for-fun/movie-guns/Aliens2