Thinking about cutting back the barrel on my 6.5 Creedmoor Savage Weather Warrior from 22 inches to 20 inches for better handling in tree stand. Any thoughts pro or con about this other than a slight loss of velocity?
You may get a bit more muzzle flash and boom with the shorter barrel. All depends on the weight of the bullet and what powder is being used. It may be negligible from velocity standpoint. Since I haven't compared the velocity differences yet, I can't say for sure, but could be from 20 fps difference to 100, won't know until you chronograph.
I have found heavier bullets lose less velocity than light ones when you shorten the barrel.
I do favor 20" barrels. They are quite nice in a deer stand for sure. I can say I have been unable to get anywhere near book velocity with my 7mm-08 when shooting in the 20" barrel though. However, I can say the deer haven't noticed the difference.
I have a 22" 6.5 I have chronographed and recently bought a 24" but haven't chronographed it yet. It is on my short to do list as soon as I can get to the range again.
A shorter barrel has the potential to be more accurate as it is stiffer. However, a shooter is less accurate with a short barrel over a long one. Wouldn't know the difference from a deer stand.
I did observe a noticeable difference in boom with the .223 out of a 15" Encore barrel vs 14" Contender barrel. However, I doubt going from 22" to 20" will be as significant.
High pressure out of a shorter barrel is louder. 20" is shorter than optimal for accuracy if you're shooting benchrest, but you're not. I have never found a barrel shorter than 24" to be a hindrance in a deer stand. I like a longer barrel to make it less likely a muzzle is ever pointed in my direction.
The only reason I can think of to want a short barrel on a deer rifle is if you're gonna make it longer with a suppressor.