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The .300 Whisper is normally a .308 bullet. The 7.62 x 39 is .311. Some slop there.
The .357 bullets should expand enough to lose most of their velocity and energy in the bad guy. (9mm is .355, btw).
I would start with a high grade rifle. That way a new barrel, etc., wouldn't look out of place. Heck, the 7.62 x 39 moving that weight of bullet (125-200 grains) could make it a subsonic.
As for expanding the case neck, I have a .35 Whelen which is an '06 expanded to .357. Not much shoulder, but enough to headspace on. No problems with brass thickness in the neck.
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