Yes a sporter weight can potentialy be as accurate as a heavy one. One reason that I opt to use a #8 is because on that 1st cold shot my #1 bullet is much closer to #2,3,4 and so on, due to the increased ridgidity of the heavy barrel. They also last longer due to heat dispersment. Once you have a good barrel you want to keep it as long as possible. It all depends on what you want to do with it. Most people dont want to carry a 13+ pound rifle up a mountain with a heavy pack, but that same person might want to carry it accross flat country after small targets at long ranges, such as antelope or in some cases deer, ect... If shots are going to be long, that first shot may be your only, make it count. If such accuracy is not needed, go with somthing lighter. Personally after using each type extensivly, I wouldnt trade my heavy barrels for anything. But I do admit it gets tiresome lugging it up mountains after sheep, But it is worth it when I need it.