It all depends on what you want to do with it. I like both 26" and 24" barrels. If you have to have the extra 40-75 FPS go with the 26" barrel. If you can live without it do the 24. I like 24" because they are shorter and stiffer. On the more negative side they offer more muzzle balst which I dont like for a variety of ballistic reasons. A 24" bbl with a brake will help solve this, but now you have an extra bit of length with the brake. For the 300 WSM
a 24 or 26" barrel is going to offer alot of blast. You probably want a brake anyway.
I know a couple of shooters that get over 3000 FPS with the 175 SMK from a 24" barrel in their 300 WSM braked.
The nice thing about the 300 WSM is it is a very effecient case. Even with a 24" tube. For me a 24" tube would not be a complete waste of time, but if were going to build a 300 WSM I would be needeing somthing faster than I have now. I wouldnt mess around, I would go long and if I really didnt like it I could have it cut down to 24" [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Its hard to add 2" though!! Come to think of it I dont remember that being somthing the smith could do [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
[ 01-21-2004: Message edited by: meichele ]