A decent centerfire rifle with light loads makes a fine small game gun, with obviously upwardly mobile usefulness, power and range wise. A couple have dismissed the idea out of hand because maybe it will shoot 2 counties over from the sight settings with light loads. I havent had that trouble. I just sight in with the regular laod, and shoot the light loads enough to know where to hold, it usually is a little off elevation wise, but once you figure it out, it isnt hard to make head shots on grouse. I guess some are content to give up before they ever get started, just because they dont know,....
I tend towards larger calibers where I am, because there are larger critters, but the 30-30 is hard to beat for a general purpose, all around gun. I've shot enough grouse, squirells and bunnies with light loads to be quite happy with it in that regard. With 3 grs Unique or Red Dot and a round ball, it makes about as much noise as a 22, and does about as much damage. Same goes for any centerfire rifle with similar loads. I also use a 348 and 45-70 with round balls, both work great. Other centerfires can use jacketed bullets, but need a little more power to be sure to get the bullet out the barrel. I use a different style bullet for light loads so they are instantly identifiable compared to the regular loads. The 33 cal 200 gr flat point bullets work fine in the 338 Win as light loads at about 1500 fps vel.
I owned a 357 carbine once, I didnt keep it, but did keep the 30-30, it just seems more useful to me, and has better range. It doesn't give up anything to the 357 in flexibility when you handload, and has better range capabilities. YMMV of course, just my 2c.
My perfect walking rifle has been tending towards the model 71 Winchester, model 1886 carbine, or a scoped bolt gun, often in '06 cal. I carry year round, whenever I'm out.
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt-