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The M41 Light Anti-Aircraft Gun, nicknamed the "Vulcan," is a United Nations Space Command Defense Force -mounted machine gun. It is used as the primary armament on the standard M12 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle.
The M41 LAAG is the main weapon of the M12 Warthog LRV and the M312 "Elephant" HRV (although the Elephant's M41 has a slightly faster rate of fire). It is a triple-barreled, electric-powered, linkless, belt-fed weapon. It fires 450 to 550 12.7x99mm armor penetrating rounds per minute. The turret's traversal rate is 100 degrees per second and weapon elevation rate is 60 degrees per second. A large amount of recoil is incurred by sustained fire, and this negatively impacts accuracy at long ranges. The M41 works well for destroying Banshees, Ghosts and other lightly-armored vehicles. By 2557 the M41 had been replaced by the M46 LAAG.
As stated above, the M41 uses 12.7x99mm rounds, also known as the .50 BMG round, or .50 caliber. The name BMG comes from the 20th-century M2 Browning Machine Gun the cartridge was designed for. It is well known for its legendary stopping power. It is normally considered an anti-materiel round, as it can take out both light armor and infantry at great range. The bullet is even capable of stopping a car dead in its tracks, shooting a round right through its engine block.
The 12.7x99mm rounds is capable of exerting upwards of five times as much damage as the 7.62x51mm rounds used in the MA5 series of assault rifles, and the M41 is a relatively accurate example of its power compared to the smaller 7.62mm round. This was only evident in Halo: Combat Evolved, as damage per-hit in Halo 2 was dramatically less powerful. To balance this out, the rate of fire on the M41 was increased to roughly 900 rounds per-minute, and accuracy was increased significantly from the Halo: Combat Evolved version.
- This weapon bears a close resemblance to the GAU-19/A machine gun used by the United States military. In addition to other superficial similarities, both are triple-barreled Gatling-style machine guns. Both weapons also fire the 12.7×99 mm round.
- It also bears a close resemblance to the M197. both are triple-barreled electric gatling-style machine guns but the M197 fires a 20mm round, not a 12.7mm.
- The M41 is also found on the Elephant, and its armored cover is the only part of the Elephant that can be damaged.
- The M41 LAAG takes a second to spool up, so it is slow but gradually gets faster the longer you hold down the trigger, so it's always a good idea to just prime the trigger when you're on the turret, since you don't waste any ammo.
- The armor plating can be shot or beaten off in Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo Reach.
- In Halo Wars trailers, renders, and cutscenes, the M41 is shown with four barrels. It is unknown if this is a graphical change or a different weapon altogether.
- In Red vs Blue: Relocated, Simmons falsely surmises the rate of fire for the LAAG at "ten thousand rounds per second".
- Halo 3 MythBusters proved that one can perform a Superbounce in Halo 3 using a detached Warthog turret from a destroyed Warthog.
- A stationary version of the M41 LAAG, as well as the M68 Gauss Cannon, appears in Halo 3: ODST.
- This variant can be considered the UNSC equivalent to the Type-26 Anti-Infantry Stationary Gun.
- A variant of the M41 LAAG, titled "M41 ELAAGat", is mounted on the back of the OF92/EVA Booster Frame. This version fires Depleted Uranium rounds, and is capable of firing in the vacuum of space due to shells with pressurized atmospheric contents.
- The M41 LAAG will overheat with continuous fire in Halo: Reach.
- Vulcan is the Roman name for the Greek god Hephaestus, god of fire and forgery, and the name of several current-day high-caliber Gatling guns, most notably the M61 Vulcan 20mm minigun, which is mounted on most American fixed-wing aircraft.
- In Halo: Reach, the M41 LAAG takes a few seconds to spin up, whereas in Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, and Halo 3, the spin-up was instantaneous. It also seems to do the same thing in Halo wars.
- If the M41 is damaged enough, the player may notice that the barrels become bent, the bend does not affect the weapon's accuracy for the sake of gameplay. The cover will also look bent until it falls off.
- As the barrels rotate, the rounds inside the belt will be fed into the receiver as well. Although when it stops firing, and the barrels slow down, the rounds are still being fed in until the barrels stop rotating. This implies that unspent rounds would be ejected.
- In Halo: The Fall of Reach, the gun is wrongly assumed to be 50mm as the barrels would be larger than your fist. This is likely just a typo since the gun in the game is a .50 cal.
- In the Halo Wars intro, the M41 LAAG has a deeper firing sound.