There is a rusty Winchester 1873 32wcf rifle down at the local shop. 24" octagon barrel. No butt stock and some smaller parts missing. Serial number is 255K range so maybe 1887? Bore needs to be cleaned up. Would you pick it up and slowly get original period parts in about the same condition to get it working?
How much $ ,38's are very desirable if in shootable shape.original parts are plentiful on Gunbroker and ebay and are reasonable. If it has original finish/patina and good markings and shootable and you can finish under a repro gun price grab it.
When a rifle is that far neglected a restoration would not be feasible.
If you can restore function to shoot cowboy loads ,great .Find a matching buttstock and leave the patina it will be far more valuable and have the cool cowboy look for display.
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