I am looking into a new rifle chambered in .308 WIN. I am sort of undecided between whether I should go with a sporter weight barrel or a varmint/heavy contour barrel.
I would like to use the rifle to target shoot, varmint hunt, and whitetail hunt both from a treestand and stalk.
I realize I am asking my one rifle to be the "everything rifle" and it's not very practical of me but I cant afford both a dedicated hunter and a dedicated target/varmint gun at the moment.
So...do you think I'd be better off with bearing the added weight of the varmint barrel gun while stalk hunting to realize the gains in accuracy while target shooting, varmint hunting, and stand hunting? Or should I get the sporter weight barrel and have the lighter rifle in the field? The amount of time I anticipate spending in shooting disciplines where I would benefit from an HBAR v benefiting from a lighter barrel are making me lean towards the varmint barreled option.
To give some background, this rifle will eventually be converted from a .308 to a .260 REM and be used for Varmint and target shooting only and at that point I will probably re-up and get into something with a sporter weight dedicated for whitetail hunting. For the time being I have a .223 REM AR that is a "no frills" rifle to keep it light for varmint gittin'.
I am 25 and in decent enough shape that the added ~1lb of the HBAR shouldnt kill me.
Also, I saw a good deal on a 20" "tactical" .308 with a threaded barrel for a little over $600 but I am thinking I would prefer a 24" barrel model. I don't plan to mount a can on anything in the foreseeable future. Do any of you see a big drawback of a 20" over a 24"? I probably wont ever shoot past 600 yards. Should I just move on the sale price on the 20" and call it good? I was thinking that might be the best of both worlds, have the heavy barrel but since it's shorter it wouldn't be as heavy, and be better balanced, than say a 24" barreled model.
Ahh, decisions decisions.