I don't see the point in loading to maximum unless for hunting where deep penetration in needed. For self defense, a lighter load would be desirable to reduce the chances of full penetration and collateral injuries.
Also, maximum loads are just plain unpleasant to shoot. I have loaded some heavy loads for my Blackhawks and shot a few just to see what it felt like but wouldn't like to shoot such loads on a regular basis.
I load with hardcast lead and increasing the load would require a gas check or semi-jacked bullet.
No offense intended....to each his own. Just my thoughts on the subject. Mikey
Retired, Broke, and In Need of Brass, Powder, and Shot. Will Work To Shoot!