I'm just another shooter,not an expert,so,just an opinion.
It is what it is,how you received it.You will get some unhappy feedback about "If only....." Whats done is done.Now what?
Condition is very important on collector rifles.It was not pristine.The wear of it's honest history lowered the value,but it may have still been best to not sand on it.An honest original may still be a shooter,and there are ways to gently optimize the original patina.
Even a careful,well done reblue won't quite go with the original wood.
You will need a gunsmith to see if it will be mechanically safe and sound for a shooter.
From there,I think I would go with trying to restore an aged patina look,not doing any harm,letting it be what it is.
If I was doing it for myself,I have used a Mark Lee browning solution for muzzle loaders,but wih a boiling water tank,and carding the rust.I get a rich black coffee finish.I would not try to polish out all the flaws,maybe just deal with any sanding scratches.Murphy's oil soap,without getting the wood water soaked,or even a little acetone or laquer thinner to just clean some of the old oil off the wood,then some fresh oiling and rubbing.