When my dad received the Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol from my grandfather (his father-in-law), it was in about the same condition as your mom's pistol. Dad semi-restored it by replacing the worm-eaten grips, main spring, hammer, and a few small parts. This revolver was carried in the War Between the States by my great-great grandfather, who was 14, and participated in the Battle of Atlanta (and other middle-Georgia skirmishes/battles). When he was able to join up, it was with the same amount of hope as Rhett Butler when that fictional character joined up in Gone with the Wind. But his father and the rest of his brothers/uncles were fighting and he went at first opportunity. According to the Federal government, none of them actually fought for the Confederacy as they were all members of the Georgia or Alabama militias (I have his paperwork denying him the $15 per month pension when he was 75 hobbled by an abdominal hernia from farming stating that fact, but that is a digression from the story.
When I received the revolver, Dad was still alive and I began a search for original parts to change out with the Dixie Gunworks parts he installed. While Dad had indeed restored the pistol and test-fired it, I wanted it all original. Fortunately, I did not pursue the endevour with great zeal and when Dad passed away suddenly, it was unchanged. I decided not to change a thing on that revolver, because now a part of Dad goes with it. The value would be low on the collectors' market, but that is fine since I would never sell it.
My point? I never fire that family heirloom, nor would I want to. It's value lies in its existence and the family history that goes with it. It is obsolete and of minimal value today as a defensive arm (good grief, it fired a puny little 31 caliber ball!). It was the best a family of Georgia farmers could get for a teen-age boy to finally join the rest of the family in defense of home-and-hearth against an invader (not to politicize the history, but to frame it - my family never owned slaves). Any of my arms would be better for the job. At present, the revolver is clean, lightly oiled, and stored in a silicone cloth. I take it out once a year and clean it. Otherwise, it stays in the safe, a separate fire safe bought just for it (but now carries all my family documents, coins, etc.). Perhaps you should just clean it, keep it nicely oiled, and leave it at that? I have no problem using a gunsmith, but this is a rare piece as it is, that has family meaning. You have no plans, nor needs, to carry this oddity in self-defense. It's value lies in its meaning to you. Inscribe important info on a card/paper/something and keep it inside the cylinder/magazine for future generations to know what it is and who it belonged to. Keep it safe and leave it alone. Just my opinion and by no means it is the best one nor does it refute you opinions.
Rise of the Dark Son - by Davis E. Riddle
Fiend Fighter - by Davis E. Riddle
Skein of Shadows - by The Wandering Men (member, Davis E. Riddle)
“A citizen may not be required to offer a good and substantial reason why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right‘s existence is all the reason he needs.”—Judge Benson E. Legg