I had an unusually pleasant experience with this gentleman, enough so to want to share.
Several months ago, I purchased an inexpensive but fairly rusty lot of Armi Sport rifles and muskets. I was able to defarb the 42 Springfield myself adequately enough (barrel still had some deep scratches). They are not all that hard to do as they are fairly decent to start (at least for mass market repros). I went to really clean out the barrel - put the wiper on the ramrod, patched, oiled, shoved the ramrod in and . . . . it stuck. Three of us pulling on it with a vice grip only managed to pull the tulip head off the tip of the ramrod leaving the, now broken, ramrod still down inside the barrel. I was not a happy camper.
Found Robert Hoyt mentioned in some web forum somewhere. Gave him a call. "Sure bring it on over." I drove over and found a belt driven machine shop, Robert (Bobby) and muskets and rifles stacked up every where. He told me to give him a week as he was backed up.
I pick the barrel up (a day early), he had pulled the plug to knock the ramrod and worm out. He discovered that the musket had deep pitting in the breech. He reamed the barrel out above the threads of the breech plug to get rid of the majority of the pitting, cleared out the port, reset the breech plug (well enough that in a vise I can get it off without too much trouble), then refinished the exterior of the barrel to a semi dull arsenal appearance. The ramrod: machined a new tulip tip, bored through, set the remaining Armi Sport ramrod into it, silver soldered along the tulip tip's internal length, then machined a perfect match at the point where the tulip tip tapers down to meet the rod.
Total cost for all the above: $70 - about what another crappy ramrod with shipping would have cost.
This type of work is not his usual work. He makes barrels from scratch usually. He also builds entire custom guns for a fair price. He recommended, however, we just have him *restore* an*original* to *shoot*. He builds rifles for competition shooters in the NSSA all the time. In most cases, he removes the breech plug, reams out the barrel above the threads so its about a shot gun wall thickness, then, machines a totally new barrel (of modern weapon grade steel), which is inserted cleanly into the original barrel, then rifles it to your spec. The rest of the musket or rifle is then refinished. An original Springfield refinished in this manner costs between 1200 to 1600 depending on what the original Springfield cost him to acquire. If you have one of those cut down sporterized surplus Springfields you found at Billy Bob's antique store, he might be able to help you with a new reenacting weapon that you do not have to defarb . . . He has three such restored Springfield originals in stock right now starting at 1000. With the panic concerning repro Italian weapons, you may not be spending much more then have a now usable original.
Please take this information for what it is worth, just my opinion. I do not benefit from it, not getting some discount or anything like that. I was just impressed at what this gentlemen could do for my impression, his pleasant, professional treatment of me and the quality of his work.
Robert Hoyt at the Freischutz Shop, 700 Fairfield Station Rd., Fairfield, Pa. 17320. His phone # 717-642-6696 He doesn't have a website or email - you have to use the phone. Be prepared to wait for him to shut down a machine and walk to the phone - let it ring. . .