Steve, I may understand your point from the archival point of view. Factually however the Springfield Armory Museum houses at least TWO M1917 rifles complete with scopes. Of these two one is a plain M1917 rifle that was equipped with a Winchester A5 telescope. See the attached image from Springfield Armory.There was only one US Military M1917 sniper. It was called the Model of 1918 sniper. It was made by Winchester but problems with the scope kept it from ever being made in mass and issued. The war ending also stopped production on it.
This rifle didn't have a handguard at all. It was basically a sporterized M1917. That was the only M1917 sniper there ever was. I have tens of thousands of pages of unpublished sniper docs and trials and there is never another M1917 even trialed as a sniper. I know some books show other M1917 snipers, even saying the Marines had some. But these are all false. I have no clue where they go that info, but I imagine it was they found some civilian scoped rifles and believed the stories on them. It for sure wasn't based on any archival research because that makes it very clear there was only the WRA Model of 1918.
The only thing I would caution. I started to try to research some of the sniper rifles in the SA museum and I realized they are not a good group of rifles to study for many reasons. Some were not acquired till decades later. Like I found documents at the archives of the museum looking for rifles from WWI in the 60's and such. Then there were other issues I found. Many of the snipers in there are restorations. Andrew can tell you more, but there was a fire that happened back in the day and alot of the rifles were badly damaged and they have been restored and some were even put togethers. I know some of the rifles in the collection are private donations as well.Steve, I may understand your point from the archival point of view. Factually however the Springfield Armory Museum houses at least TWO M1917 rifles complete with scopes. Of these two one is a plain M1917 rifle that was equipped with a Winchester A5 telescope. See the attached image from Springfield Armory.
PS: Same picture also illustrates different handguard cutting than the OP handguard.
Already the online search with their collection displays for every item the date when it went to SA collection. However, that function is so bad that it is tough to find what you are looking for.What you would have to do is pull the records on that particular rifle and see when the museum actually acquired it, and what notes they have on it. But I bet some serious money after seeing the docs, it will have some other reason than anything US Sniper related.
Oh yeah you are the man when it comes to stuff like that. I know if I ever got into German or foreign made snipers you would be one of the very first I would ask questions on.FWIW btw, I have a Remington M1917 that was converted to M1917A4 configuration with Weaver M73B1 scope on Redfield mount (identical to the M1903A4). It is one of a total of six the Austrian Army made up in the 1970s. So there were more than just one M1917 sniper rifle, thought at least some are not US set up.