Re: Long Action vs. short Action
If you want a short action caliber, such as the 308 or 708 and such, then yes, there is a great benefit to a short action and with most short action calibers, feeding is not an issue. An exception would be the 6.5-284 and similar. If you want a long mag or 3006 type, then the long action is of benefit. There is NO benefit to using a short action for a long case and vice versa. The bottom line is that there is nothing wrong with either as long as you use them for the purpose they were intended. In the intance of using a long case, the slightly less rigid long action is a very small sacrifice for proper feeding. Yes short actions are stiffer but not so much so that they are worth sacrificing other qualities, bearing in mind that most short action cases will feed in a short action just fine. It would be trying to feed a long case in a short action that wouldnt help you any. Now if youre trying to build a 6.5x284, a long action is of greater benefit for loading and feeding issues. If you spend much of your time hunting coues deer in the country I typicaly hunt them, you might want a short action for weight and overall length purposes. Obviously, you would use a short caliber as well.
To sum it up. The 3 biggest benefits to a short action is rigidity, lighter weight and an overall more compact rifle.
The biggest benefits to a long action. Bigger cases, more energy, less trajectory.
Ask yourself which qualities you need the most.
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (where the shot goes, how big the group is, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.