Super Vel Ammunition continues the legacy of "high velocity stopping power" established by its founders who pioneered Super Vel in the 1960s— Lee Jurras, J.D. Jones, Ernie Wallein, Moris VanWay and the other ballistic experimenters, engineers and handgun enthusiasts who contributed so much to the advancement of handgun ammunition.
As we explain in much greater detail in Our Story, the single most important contribution of Mr. Jurras and the original Super Vel Cartridge Company was the jacketed hollow point. Prior to Mr. Jurras, there were four types of handgun ammunition in the world: lead roundnose, full metal jacket, wadcutters and semi-wadcutters. Then came the jacketed hollow point, and handgun ammunition has never been the same since. Police departments embraced Super Vel's unrivalled "stopping power" thanks to the expansion of the bullet from the hollow point design, and the attendant lack of over-penetration. For more information on the background and history of Super Vel, please see Our Story.
Two significant changes have taken place in the shooting industry since Super Vel's inception. First, the development of more sophisticated pressure testing equipment has allowed ammunition companies to load much more accurately. Second, the Sporting Arms & Ammunition Manufacturers Institute (SAAMI) established industry standards for high-pressure ammunition with a +P designation.
It is instructional to note that there was no such thing as a +P pressure standard in the 1960s when the original Super Vel was in production. All of the early ammunition was simply "loaded hot" with velocities and bullet weights that would, under SAAMI guidelines today, qualify as +P.
Another advancement since Super Vel first began is the introduction of "beefed up" cartridge cases. Specifically, the web area and wall thickness of cases manufactured for +P are thicker and stronger than "standard" brass. It is in the web area of the case, just above the extractor groove, that "blow outs" can occur, especially in semiautomatic pistols with barrels that are excessively "unsupported" in the chamber. Super Vel exclusively loads with cartridge cases that are dimensionally stronger and rated for +P.
The bullets that Lee Jurras developed included jacketed soft points (JSP) and jacketed hollow points (JHP). The copper jacket allowed the projectiles to attain high velocities without "leading" the bore. Also, the copper jacket controlled the amount of expansion of the lead core. The expansion of the hollow point to create a larger frontal surface area came to be called "mushrooming," from the distinctive shape of recovered projectiles. The large frontal area of the "mushroom" acted like a parachute on a drag racer, slowing the bullet and capturing it inside the target medium.
Prior to the development of the jacketed hollow point, handgun bullets zipped right through anything they hit, including felons and criminals, thereby endangering others from what came to be termed "over-penetration."
Law enforcement agencies flocked to the new Super Vel jacketed hollow point because now, for the first time, police officers could confidently employ lethal force without fear of their shots ricocheting all over the neighborhood. Additionally, stopping power was greatly increased because all of the kinetic energy from the projectile is now "dumped" inside the target medium, creating what came to be called "knock down power" because of the effect these powerful new bullets had on violent criminal aggressors. Detroit homicide detective Evan Marshall's ground-breaking research on "one shot stops" conclusively proved that jacketed hollow point bullets— especially those at high velocity— are the best at producing "one-shot stops."
Today we use the very best jacketed hollow point design. This is a tapered jacket design, flowing from a thick base and shank to a thinner jacket at the ogive and nose. The thinner jacket deforms more easily into the classic "mushroom" shape. The bullet opens rapidly and violently, thanks to skiving cuts in the tapered portion of the jacket; a skiving cut is a slight notch, or fold, in the jacket to cause faster expansion. The lead core is 99.9% dead-soft lead. The original Super Vel hollow points also featured dead-soft lead to open reliably and expand to double bore diameter.
The jacketed hollow point remains the optimum type of projecticle for reliable stopping power, and today's Super Vel is the best yet.