The USM 9mm Pistol was a semi-automatic pistol used by the United Systems Military in the 24th century.
Alien Resurrection comic
In the comic adaptation of Alien Resurrection, the pistol replaces Johner's gun hidden in his thermos. During the fight in the gym, he opens the thermos by splitting it in half, revealing the pistol, though he doesn't fire it during the fight. Johner also never acquires a second pistol, only using a single one when he kills the Alien in the elevator shaft. In addition, while dialogue implies he drops the weapon when Dr. Wren threatens to shoot Call, Call is not shown picking it up.
Alien Resurrection video game
In the video game Alien Resurrection, the pistol (which appears to be missing its front sight) is the first weapon that can be used in the game (after being acquired from a dead soldier in the first level). It can hold 12 rounds in a single magazine and, due to the limited amount of ammo for more powerful weapons, will likely be used frequently.
It is serviceable against Eggs, Facehuggers and soldiers and also performs well in encounters with a single Alien, given there is enough distance to shoot the Alien in the head enough times to kill it. It is also possible to kill the Queen with the pistol. As it is more plentiful than other types of ammunition, pistol ammo is the only kind recommend to expend when opening barrels and non-reinforced crates, destroying electrical panels, euthanizing Ripley clones or breaking windows.
When playing as Christie, dual pistols can be used (presumably to represent his dual Wrist Guns in the film). They perform the same as the standard pistol, only doubly so. The individual firing rate of each pistol isn't any faster than the single version, but, with two guns firing in tandem, you can fire a fair number of rounds into targets relatively quickly, making the pair much more effective on Aliens, allowing up to 2 or 3 to be safely engaged at the same time in larger hallways. Naturally, less formidable targets also become easier to kill. The pistols feature a combined capacity of 24 rounds.
Behind the Scenes
Like all of the weapons created for Alien Resurrection, the USM pistols were not built around any existing firearms but were fabricated completely from scratch. This was a markedly different approach when compared to the fictional weapons that had appeared in the film series previously, all of which were constructed around functional, real-world weapons. In fact, the prop pistols contained no genuine firearm components whatsoever and were therefore incapable of firing blank ammunition. Instead, some of the weapons were able to fire pyrotechnic charges that simulated gunfire on set. Stunt versions of the USM Pistol were made of cast resin and featured no moving parts, but at least one prop used in the film (presumably the "hero" prop) was constructed of molded fiberglass and featured a moveable trigger and cocking mechanism on top of the frame/barrel.
Since the film's release, pistols used in the production have been auctioned many times and are one of the most common props from the film to be put up for auction. On December 12, 2003, the presumed "hero" prop, which came directly from 20th Century Fox and was picked as the best example from their armory, was auctioned in Profiles in History Hollywood Auction 17, on March 31, 2006, Profiles in History Hollywood Auction 24 saw a resin prop missing its front sight auctioned, another resin example missing the sight was put for auction on December 11, 2008 in Profiles in History Hollywood Auction 33 and the most recent prop known to be auctioned was resin version with metal parts also missing the sight on December 18, 2013 in Bonhams auction 20772. The website ScreenUsed.com also sold a resin example missing the sight presented in a custom wall mount display case at some point.
Some of the screen-used props have been cast to make replicas. However, as some were apparently cast from props missing their front sights, some of the replicas also lack the sight.
- Although the pistols were certainly used by the United Systems Military (as none of the Betty crew brought any onto the Auriga), the only USM member seen holding one in the film is Dr. Clauss.
- The game describes the pistol being chambered for a 9mm round, however, it is unclear what type of round although it's possible that it could be either a 9x19mm Parabellum(which is common for most military forces), a 9mm Mars, or even a 9x18mm Makarov.