The 26 inch barrel should provide a higher velocity-- but not much higher. bbl's are thought to be more accurate than countoured barrels....eh thats a whole science i dont know enough to go out on a limb on.
The fact is, my savage edge 25-06 shoots a 115gr berger bullet out of its 22inch barrel at 3350 fps. It should be doing 2900. My "cheap" edge should shoot like crap, yet those pills are punching 1/2 inch groups. Im sorry but there is not definite way to pick between the two, there is much luck among all the voo-doo involved. It really depends on what money you are willing to spend. Granted savage has a better reputation for accuracy.
As for the scope...yes a higher power is a must. If you want to do longer range shooting, keep in mind the crosshairs will increase in width at the farther ranges. Your Cross hairs could be inches across at 300 yards-- Not good for groups. Also keep in mind the limited number of clicks for elevation adjustment, if they max out, then your magnification means nothing--aka you need a special scope.
Last edited by Idashot1k; January 8, 2013 at 11:40 PM.