So Scorch I know you said the workmanship was sub par. What all was likely modified?
It's hard to tell what was modified, but that's not the point. The wood work is sloppy, so I always assume the rest of the work matches. Saying "it shoots well" is not very descriptive. How well is well? 2" at 100 yds? 4" at 100 yds? It goes bang? It is what it is, an old gunsmith rifle made with a military action and a pre-carved stock blank. There is one similar at a local shop here, asking price $250, and it's been there for a couple of years. For the $300 your neighbor is asking, it may or may not be a good deal. Since you said you know little about rifles, it may easier in the long run to pay a little more for a new factory rifle and be on the safe side (if you run into problems, they are warranted). If you feel like your neighbor is going to help you out if you run into issues, you can go for it. Your call.