The colonial marines' M41-A pulse rifle is without doubt one of the most famous weapons from the world of contemporary science fiction cinema. Designed by director James Cameron, the rifle had a futuristic look, yet retains a believable, functional feel.
Alien³ non practical pulse rifle
Practical (fully working) Aliens/Alien³ pulse rifle.
Pulse rifle sling
Practical (working) prop weapons were constructed using a Thompson M1A1 sub-machine gun, underneath which was mounted a Remington 870 series shotgun, considerably cut down. The shotgun was concealed within the barrel shroud of a Franchi SPAS-12 shotgun, to represent the grenade launcher. The whole was housed in a futuristic cover incorporating a carrying handle with integral sight rail and electronic ammunition counter display.
Component parts of the pulse rifle
The pulse rifle in its practical form was extremely heavy and therefore cumbersome to carry. Lightweight fibreglass replicas were also made for the cast to carry when it was not necessary to show the rifle in operation or in close-up. The pulse rifle shown here is derived from those lightweight replicas. We would never profess that the casting shown was "from the original moulds" - the silicone rubber from which moulds are made only has a life of a few years. For the sake of improving detail the grenade launcher and pump grip have been replaced with original SPAS-12 parts. The original cast-on housing screws have been replaced with real machine screws, and the M1A1 magazine removal lever and spring assembly have been replaced with cast resin ones. The upper barrel has also been replaced, it being slightly bent originally (this version was possibly a third or fourth generation copy).
The pulse rifle has been produced many times in kit form.