US adopts Bren in the late 1930s

AFAIK this thread has yet to be done as a stand alone topic:
What if the US army realized in the late 1930s when starting to rearm that the BAR production equipment required replacement and instead opted to find a cheaper alternative to place into mass production and bought a .30-06 Bren from the British (all they'd really have to do is modify the receiver to take the longer bullet and use either BAR mags or modified BAR mags)? The BAR cost roughly twice as much in 1941 as the Bren and though both got cheaper over the course of the war the Bren remained substantially less expensive to make. Plus it is a true LMG.

When the threat of a new war arose, Ordnance belatedly realized that it had no portable, squad light machine gun, and attempted to convert the M1918 BAR to that role with the adoption of the M1918A2 by the US Army on 30 June 1938.[49]
....
Because of budget limitations initial M1918A2 production consisted of conversions of older M1918 BARs (remaining in surplus) along with a limited number of M1922s and M1918A1s. After the outbreak of war, attempts to ramp up new M1918A2 production were stymied by the discovery that the World War I tooling used to produce the M1918 was either worn out or incompatible with modern production machinery.[21]
In the meantime the US forces could use existing BARs and supplementary weapons while the Bren is tooled up for, but would be eventually phased out. The Johnson LMG is never produced ITTL, as it was more expensive than the Bren.

How does this impact US infantry firepower during WW2 and after? How long would the .30-06 or a 7.62 NATO Bren continue to serve? Would we eventually see a belt fed version instead of the M60? I got interested in this because of coming across the 1946 Fort Benning infantry conference, which laid out what was necessary for the infantry going forward and the top line item was to get a true LMG for the squad and dump the BAR. Most of the reforms were enacted in time for Korea, but not the adoption of a squad LMG due to budget issues and WW2 stockpiles; the reforms enhanced infantry performance, but the BAR remained major weak point that the M60 was supposed to correct. With all the complaints about the M60 design, it would seem the Bren modified to fire 7.62 NATO would actually be quite a bit better in Vietnam then; in the jungle the magazines would probably do better than belts of ammo given the British experiences with the Bren in the Pacific/Asia in WW2.
 
If the US Army leadership adopted a foreign design, such as the BREN, it opens the door for other weapons. Um, High Power anyone. The firepower of the infantry would increase substantially. You may see a few survive until Gulf War 1. The Army will start looking for a 5.56 weapon in the 60's or 70's. A 7.62 belt fed light weight machine gun would be desired. Thus the M60 OTL. The BREN is the same weight, essentially, as the BAR and is shorter. It's magazine holds more rounds. All good things. The slightly longer receiver should minimally increase weight and length.
The modified design also needs a different gas tube and springs.
 
If the US Army leadership adopted a foreign design, such as the BREN, it opens the door for other weapons. Um, High Power anyone.
Eh, probably not given that they already had too many M1911s on hand and the .45 bullet production already set up. Plus it wasn't like the US didn't adopt foreign designs in this period already like the 40mm AAA gun.

The firepower of the infantry would increase substantially. You may see a few survive until Gulf War 1. The Army will start looking for a 5.56 weapon in the 60's or 70's. A 7.62 belt fed light weight machine gun would be desired. Thus the M60 OTL.
The Bren could be converted to a belt feed, so long as the US doesn't follow the disastrous British design.
I do wonder if this might delay the SAW program though if the Bren is successful and doesn't have the M60s problems.
The Bren L4 (7.62 NATO) actually was good enough that the Indian army ultimately refused it's more modern replacement design:

Apparently it was used even in the Falklands by the Royal Marines:

Would be interesting if the US ends up adopting a 5.56mm Bren gun (same design, but scaled down to 5.56 rather than a Bren converted to 5.56). The Stoner 63 auto-rifle was effectively a Bren-ized 5.56 LMG:

The BREN is the same weight, essentially, as the BAR and is shorter. It's magazine holds more rounds. All good things. The slightly longer receiver should minimally increase weight and length.
The modified design also needs a different gas tube and springs.
Fair enough. The barrel might need to be modded, but it wasn't like there weren't plenty of .30-06 barrels around.
 
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As I recall that's due to experiences from the Philippine Insurrection.
True.

But anytime a pistol is a deciding factor of any combat, there is a lot of poor choices leading up to that point.

Why are they using pistols, in place of rifles?
That's the question to ask, not what's the biggest size bullet your hand cannon can toss.

Why were Moros able to even get into close combat range to where pistols were the goto weapon?

Gen. Leonard Wood also wanted the troops to have a shotgun, a far better choice for what today falls into the PDW class.
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This quote referring to the new Winchester Pump shotgun got lost in history, while him saying that the .45 Long Colt revolvers over the weak .38 Long has been raised to dogma
 
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Apparently it was used even in the Falklands by the Royal Marines:
It was used by British forces up until the early 1990s when the last units converted from L1A1 and L4 to L85 and L86. I'm pretty sure a handful made it to Op Granby in 1991 too.
 
The big divergence is if it opens the US enough to foreign designs for them to adopt the 280 British bullpup in the early 50s. Had they done that, we might be using a variant of that weapon to this day.

Otherwise I don't think it changes a ton. The US ended up adopting the Minimi in the 1980s so they would eventually get around to a foreign MG anyway.
 
The big divergence is if it opens the US enough to foreign designs for them to adopt the 280 British bullpup in the early 50s. Had they done that, we might be using a variant of that weapon to this day.

Otherwise I don't think it changes a ton. The US ended up adopting the Minimi in the 1980s so they would eventually get around to a foreign MG anyway.
Is it guaranteed that the US would adopt the Minimi if they had a decent, continually refined true LMG? If anything the Stone 63 might well get a shot ITTL, with refinements of course. I don't see this POD resulting in the EM-2 (which one British curator of an arsenal with prototypes of the rifle called a bag of shit) or the .280 British cartridge. For the sake of argument let's say it doesn't and the 7.62 NATO is the cartridge adopted per OTL.
 
Is it guaranteed that the US would adopt the Minimi if they had a decent, continually refined true LMG? If anything the Stone 63 might well get a shot ITTL, with refinements of course. I don't see this POD resulting in the EM-2 (which one British curator of an arsenal with prototypes of the rifle called a bag of shit) or the .280 British cartridge. For the sake of argument let's say it doesn't and the 7.62 NATO is the cartridge adopted per OTL.
I think belt-fed vs magazine would be enough to tempt them that way eventually. Plenty of nations started off with magazine fed LMGs in WWII (BAR, Bren, DP28, Type 99...), but to my knowledge, not a single power in the world still uses one today.
 
I think belt-fed vs magazine would be enough to tempt them that way eventually. Plenty of nations started off with magazine fed LMGs in WWII (BAR, Bren, DP28, Type 99...), but to my knowledge, not a single power in the world still uses one today.
The US. The Marines switched from M249s to the IAR M27.
The British too have switched to just rifles and marksmen rifles at the squad level now:

Depending on what the US Army decides with their next generation small arms, they too could adopt a magazine fed SAW:
 
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The US. The Marines switched from M249s to the IAR M27.
The British too have switched to just rifles and marksmen rifles at the squad level now:
So they phased out LMGs as a whole, but they didn't adopt a box-fed LMG.
 
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