Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Greatest Weapons of Fiction: M41A Pulse Rifle

I have gotten a little bored with the small arms and big guns of real life and thought I'd spend a little time with some awesome weapons that do not really exist. I'm going to limit it to weapons that seem to be technically possible though, so I don't have to write about magic or the gods. If there are any fictional weapons you would like to hear and see more of, leave them in the comments section and I will get cracking on it. Anyways...

The first up is the M41-A Pulse Rifle from the movie Aliens. Described as a fully automatic weapon (remember to fire in short, controlled bursts) that fires a 10mm caseless, exploding tip round. Well, that about drives the nail into the coffin of the 5.56 NATO for me. It featured a 100 round magazine, although it was only loaded to 95 to prevent jams. Just like Dark Helmet said in Spaceballs: " Fuck! Even in the future nothing works!" And I haven't even gotten to the 25mm pump action grenade launcher under slung from the barrel. I'm actually salivating as I write this. Of course, it is near dinner time. A weapon like this could be very useful for a close quarter combat. Although I suppose it didn't save the Colonial Marines. But hey, they were fighting Aliens. North Koreans don't have concentrated acid for blood. (We think). Caseless rounds are lighter and enable a soldier to carry more of them. 10mm would likely have good terminal ballistics, even without an explosive tip. The weapon itself is short and compact with a collapsible stock, again making it very suitable for CQB.

The props used in the movie were constructed by Stan Winston, mostly from Thompson submachine guns, Remington 870s for the grenade launcher and Franchi SPAS 12 parts, apparently with some motorcycle parts thrown in to help it look cool and futuristic. One interesting thing is that I was able to find more info and pictures on this fictional gun than many of the real guns I've featured here. Go figure.


  1. Awesome, I love the idea of covering fictional-but-feasible weapons.

  2. Check out the guns/grenades of Eraser, featuring the governator. As well as Demolition Man. Both should have a few doosies with which you could research.

  3. The guns of Star craft. Like the 8mm c-14 Impaler Gauss Rifle. Used by the Terran Marines.