Hubris begets Nemesis
Which would be the better defensive round, assuming <100 yards and firearm proficiency?
My reasons for .30-30:Just a few questions. You do not have to answer these, they are just food for thought.
Is this your first rifle?
No. Marlin 60, M1 carbine, M/N 91/30 Gamo Whisper .177 air rifle
Do you hunt right now?
Limited, but yes.
What is the size of the game in your area - eg: hogs, whitetail deer, moose, bear, elk.
A LOT of white tail deer, some bear, turkeys, and of course, squirrels
How much money do you want to spend?
How much money can you spent in reality?
Whatever necessary. $400-500 is NP.
The sks and ak-47 is a better investment financially. Just because the 7.62x39 is cheaper then 30-30 ammo. Dont forget Ruger made Mini-30 that was chambered in 7.62x39. I dont know if this rifle is still made, but its worth a look.
Ammo for the 30-30 is going to cost 2X - 3X that of the 7.62x39.
An sks rifle, @$200+. A marlin 30-30, @$400+
For total cost of ownership, a 30-30 is going to be at least 2X the price of a 7.62X39, unless you go with a Ruger Mini-30. Those rifles will cost you at least $500, maybe closer to $600.
If money is a factor, go with a rifle chambered in 7.62X39, such as an sks. That is your cheapest route.
Wolf ammo shoots just fine out of my universal M1 carbine. Aguila make a good .30 carbine brass cased round for a good price when you can find it.Cheap and lethal. Easy to find. There are no .30-30 semi-autos that I'm aware of. Nothing (short of a full auto) says "keep your head down" like the sustained rate of fire of a good semi-auto. (But the M1 carbine does that for me, even though its getting very expensive to shoot.) The SKS sure fits the bill and has better stopping power than the M1.