Savage does recommend using bullets over 300 grain per the owners manual.
My Savage owner's manual gives loads for the 250 XTP and the 300 XTP. It has no recommended loads for bullets over 300 grains.
But, that doesn't mean you can't shoot 'em.
rangerwillie: Since you are not trying to max out the performance of this rifle, you may be on to something with these giant lead slugs.
I bet that if you went down to 35, and maybe 32 grains of 5744, you might get pretty good accuracy.
As you know, when you use a bigger bullet with the same powder charge, you get more foot pounds of energy.
So, even with a reduced powder charge of 35 gr 5744, you would still be cranking out some serious energy with that giant slug, I bet you would close to 2,500 foot pounds.
There is no animal on the North American continent that could take a lung shot with that load.
yooper: You are right, you can use bp or pyrodex and shoot heavy lead slugs all day.
The problem is not necessarily increased pressure, in that, the increased pressure does not pose a problem for the integrity of the rifle, it was designed around the 300 XTP. Guys have tried the 300 gr. lead slugs, with a strong smokeless charge, say 43 grains of Vihtavouri N110, and gotten nowhere.
The problem is that there is so much presssure with the big charge of smokeless, that the slug obdurates, that is, when the powder goes off, the slug bulges in the middle. Bad for ignition and accuracy.
The Savage is designed for jacketed bullets, the hard copper jacket holds the slug firm when the powder ignites.
5744 is one of the mildest powders used in the Savage and I have heard of guys dropping the charge and successfully shooting the big lead slugs.