The US M1917 (sometimes improperly called the P-17 or Pattern 17) was an adaptation of the British P-14 Mauser type rifle that the Brits WOULD have adopted had WWI not broken out as the change over was begining. The US was producing P-14s for the Brits, at Winchester, Remington, and the Remington run plant at Eddystone. When the US became involved in the war, it was a relativly simple task to convert the production lines from the P-14 in .303 to the M-1917 in .30/06.
The M1917 is either loved or hated, not many are neutral.
Excellent sights, better than any other rifle of the time period.
Very positive safety, which falls naturally under the right thumb.
Heavy son of a gun! Moreso than an M-1903, NoI mkIII Enfield, and 1898 Mauser.
Cock on closing action.
I like the M1917, and cock on close actions don't bother me.
BTW, Remington's Model 30 rifle, produced from the 1920s to the 1940s, was essentialy a M1917 that was sporterized at the factory!