Pat Kilbane

Archive - October 2012

Zombie Survival: Bomb Shelter Living

Pre-Fabricated Fallout Shelter by Radius Engineering

A Pre-Fabricated Fallout Shelter by Radius Engineering

If you’re thinking about zombie survival this Halloween season, check out this post I did for the Kit Up! blog on last year:

Most discussions about surviving a zombie apocalypse center around gearing up wisely and staying on the move.  But what about the idea of buttoning up and hiding?  For those with the resources and foresight to have a well-stocked underground shelter, staying put for a while may be the most sensible thing to do.  Here are three reasons why… Read More

The Consequences of “Going Loud” on Zombies

Zombie Horde

You know that shooting an unsuppressed firearm is going to attract zombies to your location… but how many?  I tackled this issue in this post I did for

In “The Walking Dead” and other zombie fiction, survivors often stress the importance of weapons that kill quietly.  After all, when facing so many challenges in a broken civilization, why make your life tougher by firing a gun and announcing yourself to a mob of undead cannibals?  For me, this begs a more probing question: just how many zombies would your gunfire attract?  For your post-apocalyptic convenience, I have created a table that gives you a rough idea. Read More



The Aliens M41A Pulse Rifle


Aliens M41A Pulse Rifle

Photo by Art Andrews

(An interesting post I wrote in December 2011 for

Well thought out equipment is huge for me in the enjoyment of science-fiction fare, so I wanted to take a moment to praise this awesome piece of sci-fi gear.  Named for the electrical pulses that ignite the primers on its caseless cartridges, the M41A Pulse Rifle was the standard issue weapon of the U.S. Colonial Marines in the 1986 actioner Aliens.  And when you consider that James Cameron, the movie’s director, was both an avid shooter and a stickler for detail, it’s no surprise that the M41A seemed so plausible in a near-future setting.

It supposedly fired 10mm caseless HEAP rounds, of which it held 95 in its high-tech magazine.  But the real appeal was its under-barrel, pump-action 30mm grenade launcher that was said to hold three rounds in the tube.  Seeing that every rifleman in the movie was also a multi-shot grenadier made one think “Why aren’t we doing this now?”

Cut to a few years later when our real military’s OICW program called for exactly such a weapon.  I have no evidence that the directive was inspired by the movie Aliens, but it’s not unreasonable to think it might have been.  Life has imitated art under less likely circumstances.

Check out this video of a live-ammo-firing M41A built by Lage Manufacturing.  The “rifle” portion fires 9mm Parabellum ammunition from a 50-round Suomi magazine, while the “grenade launcher” fires 12-gauge from a two-round tube.