My AR has a 16" barrel and a collapsible stock. It's handy if maneuverability in tight spaces is the priority. If the priority is getting all the speed you can out of an overbore cartridge, then you need a barrel long enough to keep that bullet in the tube while the powder is burning/expanding rather than spitting flame and unburned powder out the muzzle. Most rifles are going to be a compromise. To get more of one thing you give up some of another thing. You want light weight, you're going to deal with more recoil for the same cartridge. You want a heavier, steadier hold and less recoil, then you're going to haul around more weight. Each individual has to figure out where his or her priorities are and select the firearm that best suits them. Even if you're fortunate enough to have a collection that covers every possibility, you're not going to carry them all around all the time. You'll have to pick which one (or two) best suits your needs for this hunt or this trip to the range or whatever.It is great to get some feedback on this.I also will not carry a rifle that has a longer than 24" barrel, 22 is better yet.Sometimes, it doesn't affect velocity much.I shortened a .270 win of mine from 22 to 19 inches..It lost 100 fps.I shortened the stock as well and it now is 39"long.It now is no longer than my model 94, it is a browning blr.A very handy, quick to handle saddle rifle I use for sheep hunting.In this country alot of times we carry the rifle bandolier style so our hands are free so we can climb or get through brush.Different regions have different requirements though, I like to hear about it all.Cheers.
I used to work in a gun store. I talked to people all the time who were trying to pick out a defensive pistol. Same thing. I'd tell them that generally, bigger and heavier is easier to shoot but lighter and more compact is easier to carry around all day. YOU have to choose what is right for you.