Here is my .02 cents (It’s all I have left, I used the rest up earlier this week)
I have 2 Rock .308 M24 barrel blanks that are the same twist and length. One he fluted with 6 deep flutes and the other is not. This post got my curiosity so I weighed them
Fluted = 6.5lbs
Un-fluted= just slightly under 7.5lbs
“Does anybody know of an outfit that cuts deep wide flutes in barrels that would preserve its stiffness?”
There is no way to preserve all the stiffness by removing material in any way other than making it shorter.
The only reason I can see to flute a barrel is for looks. I personally like fat barrels and I like the looks of fluting so I have a few, but I don’t do it for the weight. I am a firm believer that a gun should be built using the heaviest barrel you can that will still let you hit the weight and balance you like. You could spend the money toward a graphite McMillan stock and get more (or less depending on how you look at it
for your money. If you’re not sure you like fluting get the barrel contour that is .5-1 lb less and it will weigh close to the same.... Its just personal preference, so you’re going to have to decide. One thing to ask your self is how far you want to be able to shoot and how long does your barrel need to be in order to have adequate velocity to get there. Shorter barrels are stiffer than longer ones, so if you’re not going to need the extra speed get a shorter one.
On a side note
I should have a carbon fiber Rock barrel here shortly. I ordered a 26” M24 contour and specified the weight at 4lbs (regularly about 7.5lbs). I will be building a 300wm so we will see how it stands up…or if it bubbles up. I’ve got some whitetails that get bigger every year because the closest you can get to them is 1100yds. I wonder how they will like a 200gr Accubond???... This rifle will also be my main hunting rifle, so it’s going to see a lot of use from Idaho to Alaska. My goal is for it to weigh around 8-9 lbs without a scope. I will be testing McMillan’s M40A1-3 stock and im unsure what it will weigh. we will just have to wait and see.