We're talking about a $300 sporter rifle here, lets not loose sight of that. I could care less about how the stock looks on the outside as long as it is functional enough to give me an idea about how well the rifle will shoot. Like I said to me it is probably worth $300 because I'm looking at the cost of the action alone, the barrel might actually be a decent barrel but the info isn't there until the rifle is shot.
Remember back when the sporterizing of these rifles was popular people got creative with the stocks as well. There are a lot of examples out there that depart from the classic lines of the stock you pictured PetahW. For me if the stock can't be made into something I like then it will get replaced plain and simple, but for $300 we shouldn't expect anything like the photo that you posted above.
I'm more concerned with the metal work than the stock. However, in the picture the scope mounts seem to be drilled and tapped in the correct location, ahead of the ring where the recoil lugs butt up instead of through it. The bolt handle seems to be forged properly, as there are no scuff marks visible on the power adjustment ring or eyepiece of the scope and the mounts aren't obscenely high. Plus the rear receiver charging hump was ground down with a nice profile. I hate the low swing safety as they are usually hard to manipulate with a scope mounted and gloves on but that can easily be replaced with a new trigger and commercial bolt shroud.
Originally Posted by Scorch
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.
This is probably the most sound advice of all. Because even though I see potential in that rifle, it is going to take more money and possibly work that I couldn't do myself to make it what I would want. Spending a couple hundred more in advance might be the best insurance against a lot of heart ache down the road. My guess is the neighbor wants to sell it because he doesn't want to put money into it either, and figures that the OP is just looking for a functional rifle that will work for him. Which this rifle may very well be that type of rifle.