We recommend shipping your treasured historical rifle in a hard plastic gun case. Pay for the quickest delivery option. The less time it is in the system, the less of a chance it becomes lost, damaged or stolen. If you decide not to use a padded gun case, tape plenty of rubber foam padding to the sides of your rifle. Fill the box with styrofoam peanuts and scraps of styrofoam like the left over inserts to computer boxes. Then double box with more peanuts protecting the inner box which contains your rifle. After all that, wouldn't it be simpler, cheaper and better to use a hard plastic gun case? Whatever you decide, always get the correct amount of insurance to cover the replacement value of your one-of-a-kind rifle.
Other heavier items can be laid on top of your shipment damaging the contents.
If this were an all matching gun, how much would
it be worth to you to avoid this kind of damage?