The "M4A3 Service Pistol" described as the "standard sidearm" of the USCMC ... I have to wonder where it comes from.
The picture looks sort of like a strangely proportioned hybrid between a Colt M1911A1 (never seen in ALIENS) and the S&W 39 that Vasquez privately keeps a custom ivory-gripped version of. It has that archaic early 20th century "Browning automatic" look to it, in any case.
On the other hand, several individuals among the Marines wield an entirely different sidearm in multiple scenes, such as for example:
- Frost in the xenomorph nest
- Ferro reaches for it on board the dropship
- Vasquez gives one to Bishop when he starts off for the landing pad
- Gorman fires it at the xenomorphs in several shots in the command centre and the ventilation ducts
The weapon used as prop here is an early model of the Heckler & Koch VP70 (or, according to certain sources, the blank-firing replica version from MGC).
It looks a lot more futuristic than the illustration in the game (in fact, this was the first polymer-framed sidearm; the forerunner of the Glock 17 and everything that followed), and is thus a lot more credible in the role of a future Marine Corp's standard sidearm:
Could someone shed some light as to where the game's "standard sidearm" comes from, and why FL chose not to reference the on-screen prop for their design?
Footnote: "M4A3" is the moniker that the "ALIENS: Colonial Marines Technical Manual" seems to attribute to Vasquez's custom S&W 39 (although for some reason, they illustrate it with a line drawing of an M1911A1...). In the book, it is rationalised as an earlier standard sidearm, lately superseded by the one portrayed by the VP70.
So ... is this the source for the "M4A3", then? And the reason why the illustration is an odd mash-up of the S&W and the Colt?
But if so, that still begs the question: why has the VP70-"lookalike" -- which obviously IS the Marines' standard sidearm in ALIENS -- been omitted?