- "Mid-ranged 10mm assault rifle with an electronic pulse action; the MK2 has a lower ammo capacity than previous models, but offers significantly increased stopping power."
- ―M41A Pulse Rifle MK2 description (from Aliens: Colonial Marines)
The Armat M41A Pulse Rifle MK2 is an American-made pulse-action assault rifle chambered for 10×24mm Caseless ammunition. It is the successor to the venerable M41A Pulse Rifle, and was employed by the United States Colonial Marine Corps as their standard-issue infantry weapon during the late 22nd century.
The M41A Pulse Rifle MK2 first appeared in Aliens: Colonial Marines and was one of the several new weapons created for the game.
The MK2 sacrifices magazine size for a smaller frame. It also features greatly increased modular customization options over the previous M41A, able to mount various optics and several under-barrel attachments.
The M41A MK2 also has accessory rails with one located on the top of the carrying handle in between the sights and another located on the front of the left-hand side of the carrying handle.
The M41A MK2 also has a retractable stock which can also be completely removed.
- U1 Grenade Launcher: Underslung grenade launcher attachment; fires a M40 High-Explosive Dual Purpose grenade out of the launcher along with shrapnel. Unlocked by default.
- U7 Tac-Shotgun: Underslung shotgun attachment; fires twelve gauge shells as a close encounter alternative without the need of switching into another weapon. Unlocks at marine rank 5.
- U4 Firebomb Launcher: Underslung grenade launcher attachment; fires U4 Firebombs out of the launcher to deny areas in which the enemy might reach. Unlocks at marine rank 13.
- M5 Extended Magazine: Increases the magazine size of the weapon, holding an additional 20 rounds but at the cost of increased reload speed. Unlocks at marine rank 3.
- A9 Sound Suppressor: Muffles the sound of the weapon, allowing more concealment, slightly better accuracy and clearer sight picture during firing due to the lack of muzzle flash. However, it slightly decreases the weapon's stopping power. Unlocks at marine rank 7.
- S6 Reflex Sight: Attaches a reflex sight, which replaces the default ghost ring sight. This allows for a clearer sight picture without any obstructions made by the default sight, increasing accuracy. Unlocks at marine rank 2.
- Laser Targeting System: Attaches a laser module to the side 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 2.
- Old Glory: Custom paint job consisting of an American flag pattern detailed on the sides of the rifle. This requires the "Judge, Jury, And Execution" challenge (defeat twenty enemies with the pulse rifle's primary fire) completed to unlock.
- Five Alarm: Custom paint job consisting of a flame pattern on the sides of the rifle. This requires the "Feel The Burn" challenge (defeat twenty enemies with the pulse rifle's firebomb alternate fire or using the firebomb by hand) completed to unlock.
- Red Reaper: Custom paint job consisting of red accents alongside skull and sickle decals. This requires the "Two For One" challenge (defeat two enemies with one shot using an underbarrel grenade launcher) completed to unlock.
- Magazine Accelerator: Accelerates the feed mechanism of the weapon, allowing the rate of fire to increase beyond the weapon's manufactured limit. Recoil and ammo management is vital due to the increased fire rate. Unlocks at marine rank 24.
It is the standard issue weapon to USCM marines of the USS Sephora, hence it is a very common sight to see a marine wielding a M41A MK2 during the second conflict of LV-426 as well as the two troop transport ships above it. At the beginning of the game, corporal Christopher Winter is seen using the pump-action of the underslung grenade launcher to prime the grenade before checking his magazine and chambering the weapon as he arrived at the umbilical. Though he may switch out to other weapons or upgrade the pulse rifle to fit his needs. Co-op exclusive characters may have their M41A MK2s at the ready as well.
It is also the weapon of choice for Jeremy Cruz, Bella Clarison and several other marines until their respective deaths. Private O'Neal carries the M41A MK2 during the initial phase of the conflict until he swaps the weapon out for the M56 Smartgun during the events of Mission 4: No Hope In Hadley's for the rest of the game. In contrast, after being rescued, Hicks used one of the standard-issue M41A MK2s throughout the entire game.
Weyland-Yutani PMCs on the other hand who use this weapon are seen sparingly. In one such case, PMCs of the Stasis Interrupted campaign are seen holding the weapon during the recreation of Alien3 ending under the default, factory finish. They take place the of the Weyland-Yutani Commandos and their original M41A pulse rifles (which are finished in black) seen in the original film respectively, likely due to the fact that they cannot make new models for just this scene alone.
Earlier on, Samwell Stone armed himself along with Hicks with the M41A MK2s (both of which, under the default modifications) inside the Sulaco's armory (despite the original M41A models should be stocked in the ship) to take on the PMC and xenomorph threats head-on as his M39 Submachine Gun would not be enough firepower against the threats. Rick Levy made use of a nearby M41A MK2 to hold up W-Y personnel, forcing him to free Hicks from captivity. All the said characters kept their rifles on hand or off hand until they are captured.
All non-playable characters who use this weapon will not use their alternative fire or sport modifications to the weapon. The latter, extending to the protagonists of the Stasis Interrupted campaign. An exception to this would be the one cutscene that features Hicks boarding the EEV in the Stasis Interrupted campaign, where his pulse rifle is modified with the U7 Tac-Shotgun alternative fire attachment instead of the U grenade launcher series. Although this is an error that happens during the cutscene itself, as the pulse rifle now has a grenade launcher when the cutscene finishes.
M309 round: Like its predecessor, the M41A MK2 shares and chambers the 10x24mm caseless round in a smaller, compact 40 round magazine by default. However, during the beginning sequence of the game's first mission shows that the rounds are erroneously cased rounds compared to the M41A magazine pickups in game or what is described in the Colonial Marines Technical Manual, which shows rectangular, caseless rounds instead.
Behind the Scenes
The M41A MK2 is unlocked by default, as with the M4A3 Service Pistol, M37A2 Pump Shotgun and M40 HEDP Grenade, this is barring DLC unlocked weapons. 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. Instead, the original M41A takes the pulse rifle role of the game's two legendary weapons.
The classic, unmodfied M41A pulse rifle would appear in the game as seen in the E3 demos, though with different appearances and statistics (E3 2011 uses 50 rounds, E3 2012 uses 95). It was later replaced by the M41A MK2 in the final product, without any reason mentioned (presumably for balance).
Early multiplayer versions of the game would feature the same reloading animations as the NSG 23 Assault Rifle, this is noticeable when the player pulls the charging handle of the M41A MK2.
It is noticeable that there are two versions of the M41A MK2 seen in the game, one that represents the in game model that can be modified with attachments and another M41A MK2 which is seen in real-time rendered sequences (in which the player loses control), without any modifications or skins. One example of which is in the beginning of the game (as seen above), where a standard, default M41A MK2 is suddenly switched into the player's modified version of the pulse rifle once the player gains control.
- There is a glitch in Aliens: Colonial Marines where sometimes the M41A MK2's under-barrel attachment will disappear and the player will hold the rifle as if the under-barrel attachment is still present.
- The third-person model of the MK2 actually has a working ammo counter and the cocking handle reciprocates when the weapon is fired.
- When equipped with the Red Reaper camo, the M41A MK2's sights will change from the standard green to red.
- Sometimes the Red Reaper camo will only partially replace the old texture on the third-person model of the MK2.
- Despite having two separate fire selectors (one for safety and fire mode and another one for full-auto and semi-auto), the player will not utilize this feature. But they are both correctly set to the fire mode and on full-auto.