26" is getting our there for a non magnum caliber. I have a 22" on my .280 (.30-06 necked down to 7mm). I really like that length. You don't really lose much velocity, and it is easy to carry around. It does buck a little more with the shorter barrel.
I don't think that you really need a 26" barrel. All of the powder will be burned up by the time it hits the end with a shorter barrel anyway, so you realy don't lose much, if any velocity. If you are looking at a target rifle with a heavy barrel, then I can see it.
I've got a 24" on Rem factory 30-06 and I like 24" to 26" barrels on my elk/deer rifles. I got my first Lyman reloading manual back in the early 70's and they list a 26" for their test loads for the 30-06. Before I got this 30-06 I had a Rem 700bdl with a 22" barrel in 30-06 big difference when comparing same load using a 24" barrel. In the custom 30-06 I'll go with either a 26" or 25" barrel. Well good luck
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