If this is a one time deal and then its off to predator hunting then definently buy the regular sporter barrel IMHO. Ask me why I think this.....
I have 2 heavy barrel rifles one in .223 and one 22-250 and they get takin along predator hunting zero times a year now that I have a .223 with a LVSF barrel profile and a very lightweight lone wolf stock. I once thought the heavy barrel was superior in all ways when hunting varmints and predators but after a few years I learned my lesson. If only shooting varmints and rabbits I would pack the heavies but I enjoy calling predators way to much to sit still long enough to shoot varmints. Heck! even if I do any varmint hunting I walk from hill to hill or rock bluff and shoot a few whatevers and then walk to the next so the scoped 6.5lb rifle and set of shooting sticks is still my choice critter getter.
By the way... anyone want to buy a remington PSS .223 with a 26in fluted barrel, HS stock and burris black diamond 4x16-50??
Its has shot in the .3's and .4's with the right hand loads.