I agree. Laminated steel barrels are similar to Damascus barrels, with a slight difference. Damascus barrels are not made of 'wire'. The technique was to first make up square billets by welding together alternating strips of iron and steel into a square billet. The billet started out about 2 1/4" square by about 20" long. The billet was then heated in a furnace and drawn through rollers until it was about 1/4" square and about 16 FEET long. The next step was to heat the billet again and twist it like a piece of taffy until it looked like a miniature barber pole. Finally 3 or more of these twisted billets were wrapped around a mandrel and welded togther seam to seam. When the mandrel was removed a reamer was run through the bore to smooth out all the seams, and the outside of the barrel was turned to smooth out the seams on the outside. The end result was the distinctive 'Dasmascus' pattern of swirling marks repeated endlessly along the length of the barrel. The swirls were the intertwined pieces of iron and steel, and the pattern was controlled by how the billets were laid up in the first place.
A laminated barrel is the same idea, just simpler. Rather than making up twisted billets of iron and steel, and then wrapping them around a mandrel, a laminated barrel was made by simply wrapping bands of steel around a mandrel and welding up the seams. Then it was reamed and surfaced on the outside just like a Damascus barrel.
The laminated barrel was simpler and less expensive to make. It exhibits none of the swirling patterns of a Damascus barrel, it simply shows the helical seams like a barber pole.
Both of these techniques involve a great deal of welding, there are hundreds of feet of welds in a Damascus barrel. When they were made, a high grade Damascus barrel or a Laminated barrel were very strong. They were proofed and some were even proofed for Nitro powder. In Europe there were many different proofs and you need a real expert to determine just what the barrels were proofed to.
The fly in the ointment is all those hundreds of feet of welds, or dozens of feet in the laminated barrel, were probably welded up about 100 years ago. Although the barrels were sound when they were made, there is no way of knowing if corrosion over the last century has caused hidden voids to open up in the welds. If there are hidden pockets of corrosion or voids, that is your hand on the fore end that is at risk.
Even proofing the gun all over again today is risky business because the gun needs to be proofed to the same level that it was proofed at 100 years ago.
Here is an excellent article that explains all this in great detail.http://doublegunshop.com/gunther1.htm