There are several options that you could consider.
1) Get a varmint barrel (such as the on on the Rem VSLH) and have it fluted to shed some weight and have it 26" long.
2) Use #1 above, but get a barrel with polygonal rifling, and have it shorter (like 22") which would eliminate the need to have it fluted.
From what I understand, polygonal rifling gives you more velocity with a shorter barrel vs a longer barrel with standard rifling.
3) You can usually order a barrel with whatever taper on it that you choose.
I'm sure the other members will chime in and help steer you in a good direction. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
I keep nature balanced - I hunt everything!
The 30-06 certainly shoots well out of a 26" barrel but it does not really need one.
One thing to keep in mind with rifle barrels is that stiffness and rigidity are the key factors in accuracy after proper fitting of course.
For every 2" increased in barrel length over 24", I like to increase the barrel contour by 1.
For the minimum I like to use for big game rifles in a 30-06 class rifle would be a #4 in the 24" length.
For the 26" barrels I would recommend going to a #5 and for the 28" barrels the #6 would be my choice.
For the 30" barrels in .308" I like the #8 contour which is getting pretty heavy.
Smaller calibes such as the .257"'s and 6.5mm can get by with one size smaller contour for equal barrel length and not give up much in stiffness and rigidity.
Conversely, going up to a 338 class round, I would add a size in contour for each given barrel length to maintain the stiffness of the barrel.
As far as pure accuracy goes, the shorter the barrel, for a given contour the stiffer and more rigid it will be. All else being equal, the shorter stiffer barrels will be more accurate then a longer barrel of same contour.
This is why many 100 yard and 200 yard BR rifles are fitted with 20 and 22" barrels, they are very stiff and for pure accuracy, stiffness is far more important then high velocity.
For long range shooting, we need a compromise of both. We want as much performance out of the round we are using but we also need the stiffness for fine accuracy and consistancy.
Once a barrel get over 24", you really need to start adding barrel mass to keep groups tiny.
Good Shooting, probably just made more questions for you instead of answering the ones you had.
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.
I agree that a 22" barrel will do the job on your 'o6. You can go to a stiffer barrel, but a # 3 is plenty heavy & a #2 would also work good, but will srart to wander as it heats up. Drop some weight in your stock but using a stable synthetic model. Go will a good brand that is pillar bedded and stiff (no injections). You can really lighten a rifle with something like a Lone Wolf stock and still have a very accurate rifle. Reloding technique, quality of barrel and chambering, and blue printing all come into play. Good luck.