My Savage 11 VT came with a 24" barrel. Why are the shorter barrels better? Stiffer? Is that true even with the varmint barrel models?
Shorter is stiffer, very true.
Hang a 26 oz. suppressor on the end of a 24" or 26" barrel and it will be very picky in powder charge. Hang that suppressor on the same contour 18" or 20" and it will widen the powder charge node. It will also lose velocity, thus the balancing act.