I'm with darkgael on this one. Good, well made Damascus barrels are plenty strong.
Old rust buckets are just that, and should be relegated to wall hanger status, and please remove or grind down the firing pins on those wall hanger guns.
That said I would have no qualms about shooting a quality Damascus gun with reasonable and standard loads.
Yes I do recommend having the Damascus barrels checked by a QUALIFIED smith. He should check the lock up as well, and make certain the gun is "on face" and rock solid.
I am very fond of my eyes, arms, hands, and digits. That said I also love fine old shotguns.
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