Re: Barrel length
With me, it's not how a barrel performs but rather (as I stated before), how I perform with a given length of rifle whether on my shoulder or in the Ebrelestock back scabbard.
At least in my opinion, there is nothing more tedious or physically exhausting as having to bend over constantly (with a loaded pack) to clear low hanging branches like we have here in Michigan, especially heavy pine branches, loaded with snow... no fun at alll and the ever present possibility of slipping and falling, whereas carrying a rifle whose end (either) is at your head height or lower makes lif much more bearable.
Case in point, my 338 catches every branch whereas my 308, being a couple inches shorter, catches nothing. I forget about the 308 but the 338 constantly reminds me of it's height...constantly.
Finally and hopefully this don't occur too often, but the shorter rifle makes a better brake when jammed into a slide. Sidehilling and sliding, you might need your rifle to be used as a brake to keep from going ass over teakettle. My one 308 has been used to save my butt on a sliding sidehill and the shorter rifle is easier to handle in that situation. Does nothing for the finish on the rifle or stock but does a lot to save your bacon.... and epidermis.
With me, the lighter the rifle, the better and lighter usually means shorter. I can carry a 7-9 pound rifle all day but a big cahoona, no way unless I had a lackey, which I cannot afford. It's all about the adventure for me and not about torture.
'It's not about me
, it's about we