Ah, I see.
As you say its a compromise but not to the degree most think. I have punched several groups out of my AMs that will measure less then 3/4 moa out to 1000 yards. Many in the .1"s and .2"s as well at 100 yards, not uncommon.
I suspect proper receiver machining and barrel fitting have much more to do with accuracy potential then anything else.
That said, a small caliber, small capacity is very easy to get to shoot tiny groups, very easy. Conversely, its much more of a challange to get a big chambering to shoot well but it is surely possible, repeatable and practical to do so with the proper rifle building techniques.
In my opinion, a true test of a custom rifle
builder is not how accurate they can build say 223 Rem or 6mm BR. What would interest me more is if they could build a highly accurate big gun, say 7mm RUM and larger. This is where close enough just don;t cut it and it shows on paper.
Many feel this is a result of to much capacity, in my opinion thats hogwash, and more then likely its loose machining that is the reasoning or unsquared receivers and barrel work.
When all is said and done, theres only one way to get a .800 BC or higher bullet to over 3300 fps, its with a big engine. Sure barrel life will be shorter then a 22 ppc but you don't drive a 1200 HP dragster as your everyday car either, only for special, specific purposes. Likewise, you don't ask a 22 PPC to reach out 800 to 1200 yards and hammer a deer size target either, for that matter even punching paper.
I think alot of smiths make a much bigger deal out of barrel life then needs to be said. Most shooters, even serious shooters never shoot their rifles enough to burn out a barrel. And those that do, will not waste a high performance rifles barrel life just plinking, more suitable rifles are used for general purpose in most cases.
For big game rifles, a 900 to 1000 round accuracy barrel life will last even serious big game hunters nearly a lifetime of use. The better the shots, the longer the barrels will last in my experience [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]!!!