M41-A Pulse Rifle

About: I'm a Canadian animation artist who likes to build things in my spare time, mostly costumes and props. And I love to learn new things.

No Halloween costume this year, but I did recently make a prop for a friend. Behold, a cardboard replica of the M41-A pulse rifle as seen in the movie Aliens...sort of. In my haste to finish it, there are some minor details I forgot, like the black clip things on the magazine, but overall it's pretty accurate. A miscalculation on my part made the grenade launcher bigger than the original, but I think it makes it look more bad-ass :) I regret not taking pictures during the process, but I am mighty tempted to build another one for myself because it's so freaking cool to hold one, so keep an eye out for a full Instructable later on, though probably not before spring.

The prop is 95% cardboard, built on a 1:1 scale as best as possible. Triggers were made from plastic clothes pins and can be pulled. The magazine can be pulled out and holds in place when pushed back in. The loading bolt can be pulled back (made from a toilet paper roll holder), opening the shell ejection port. The grenade launcher can be pumped back to open the loading port. All in all, it's pretty much a fully-functional toy.



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    7 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    "I wanna introduce you to a personal friend of mine...." - Hicks to Ripley, "Aliens"


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Featherweight is the master of cardboard prop making. Most of what I know is by analyzing his building process. Checkout his album here:


    He also has a Youtube channel where he has a few speedruns of some props he's made (https://www.youtube.com/user/featherweight/videos) and ebooks, some free, others for sale at lulu.com.


    Oh, and he's canadian too, so he's cool :)

    I'm still trying to find the time to make another pulse rifle. And this time I promise to take more pictures and write a decent instructable.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Man you can make anything in cardboard look good. I should just start with cardboard and try to make something look good.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I should be making another one in the Spring, and this time I'll take pictures during the process, so you could make your own if you want to. In the meantime you could start collecting corrugated cardboard and poster board ;-)