Re: inherited some old guns
I am not necessarily contradicting Maine04657, but perhaps I can add some comments.
Yes, good quality Damascus barrel guns can be fired safely. Some "experts" even claim they can be fired with smokeless powder magnum loads and say that some Damascus guns have been fired with hundreds of modern proof level loads with no problems. (They do NOT say that some have blow up while the "testing" was going on.)
That may be true of very well made Damascus guns that have been carefully inspected, but to extend it to all Damascus barrel guns of any age and condition is dangerous. In my experience, many such guns were far from top quality to begin with, and age has resulted in severe deterioration, internal rust and damage.
So, when dealing with a gun that has not been carefully inspected, and with one I have not personally even seen, my general advice is not to fire a Damascus gun with any load, even black powder.
So I would disagree that "you can shoot a Damascus gun you simply have to use the correct loads". That may well be true of some Damascus guns, but it is not a good general rule and could be dangerous if the reader interprets "correct loads" as the latest and hottest steel shot magnums.