Petzal says, “What you lose when you cut back a barrel is velocity—usually far less than you think”.
Check it out:
Warren Page was once asked why most of his barrels, including his beloved 7mm Mashburn Old Betsy, had short barrels.
“Because I gave up pole vaulting after high school,” Lefty snarled.
Like most highly experienced hunters, Page came to learn that a barrel even an RCH longer than the absolute minimum is a hiss and a byword — more weight to carry, more length to snag on brush, and less accurate than a short barrel.
Even the U.S. Army has cast its vote in the matter by going increasingly from the 20-inch-barreled M-16 to the 16-inch-barreled M-4, and I’m willing to bet that whatever replaces the two firearms will be a bullpup like the Steyr AUG, which is ultra-short.