Perhaps a follow-up question then is could I load a 30-06 or .308 down to 30-30 recoil levels?
yes and thats definitely the better route IMO.
When developing my hunting load, which turned out to be 43.8gr of varget, I discovered that 39gr of varget is extremely accurate with a lot less recoil...
Use lighter bullets for less recoil, but dont think you can just load half the powder and get a light recoiling load, thats a good way to blow up a gun.
If you want really
light recoil for plinking you can load a 100gr bullet over 10gr of unique, which I hear will give around 1600fps, with 38special level recoil.... I have not personally tried it, have heard in several places that it will work with just about any .30 cal cartridge.....
Another option is a .243. Its a way more serious cartridge than a 30-30, but with very light recoil compared to a .308 or 30-06.