The Colt M41A is a 10mm pulse-action automatic rifle with an over-and-under configuration also comprising a 30mm pump-action grenade launcher. A spring-loaded retractable stock allows it to be used either in a Carbine format with the stock retracted, or as a rifle with the extended stock giving greater stability when firing from the shoulder.
The M41 employs the standard US M309 10mm x 24 round. This ammunition is ceaseless and High Explosive tipped with light armor-piercing capability. It is designed to penetrate personal armor, exploding just after impact to inflict the maximum amount of internal damage to a target. Due to the efficiency of the propellant charge, the round is nearly all warhead, making it very compact overall. The standard M41 ammunition clip will hold up to 100 M309 rounds in an N-bend conveyor, which feeds the rounds mechanically into the breech. However, in practice the clips are only filled to 95% capacity in order to reduce the auto-loaders tendency to jam.
The M41 uses electronic pulse action to fire, controlled directly from the trigger. The weapon can be set to selective, burst, or full automatic fire by a select switch, the latter option allowing a high rate of fire up to the weapon's full cyclic rate of 1000 rpm. An LED display situated just below the receiver indicates the ammo remaining in the clip.
The underslung 30mm grenade launcher uses pump action to load the breech from the five round capacity internal feed. Once loaded, the launcher is primed to fire from the trigger. This means the weapon's conventional fire facility is immobilized whilst the launcher is primed, although the operator can override this by pressing the select switch fully down. The grenade launcher usually employs the M40 fragmentation round as standard, but HEAP (High Explosive Armor Piercing), White Phosphorous Incendiary, and Hexachlorine Smoke ammunition is also available.
The M41 is a robust weapon, fully sealed against corrosion and dirt, yet easy to disassemble and maintain. The optical electronics are hardened against EMP and radiation, and the weapon is perfectly usable in a vacuum (although is is not sufficiently stabilized or recoil dampened for free-fall combat operations).