A little more info from the OP
My reason to consider a shorter barrel is partly just aesthetics and partly weight. Even tho I am shooting from a bench, this is still a very heavy rifle with the 26" barrel. I only shoot at 100 yards at the local range so as somebody mentioned, the velocity loss will not be critical. I have shot a friend's savage precision carbine with the 20" barrel and I liked the look and feel of it. I didn't totally like the camouflaged, hollow synthetic stock. I could sell the VLS, but I like the laminated stock and I know it shoots well with the current barrel.