"Super Vel" Ammunition Specifics

This is a discussion on "Super Vel" Ammunition Specifics within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Does anyone utilizing this forum have any knowledge as to which company/corporation provided the powder/propellant for Lee Jurras's original "Super Vel" high speed ammumition? Is ...

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Thread: "Super Vel" Ammunition Specifics

  1. #1
    Member Array tkirk's Avatar
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    "Super Vel" Ammunition Specifics

    Does anyone utilizing this forum have any knowledge as to which company/corporation provided the powder/propellant for Lee Jurras's original "Super Vel" high speed ammumition? Is that powder/propellant available commercially for today's modern reloaders? I have tried to find the original specs in the collectable cartridge archives, but unfortunately my search has been in vain. Originally, "Super Vel" brass was provided by Norma, and the first run of the product was housed in Norma brass, with the "Norma" headstamp on the cartridge. Later batches were contained in brass with the "Super Vel" nomenclature on the headstamp. Could it be that Norma also supplied the powder/propellant for the Jurras venture? Any assistance would be appreciated.

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    VIP Member Array xXxplosive's Avatar
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    Interesting post, Norma made one ass kickin' magnum pistol round also. I loved their ammo but seems they don't produce it for pistol any longer. ...I dunno.
    Although, I still have a box of Super Vel .44 Mag SJHP for my Model 29 stashed away....still looking.

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    Member Array Sleipnir's Avatar
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    The closest thing you'll find these days is Buffalo Bore High Velocity.

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    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Smile

    Sorry I can not help with your request but I carried the Super Vel 110 grain .38 spl. in my Model 66 back in the late 60's early 70's when we were not allowed to carry .357 in our duty weapons and it was one heck of a improvement over the 158 grain lead roundnose .38 spl round. I do remember it fragmented very easily.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Jurras
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

    "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".

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    Why not try to contact Lee Jurras directly, and ask? To the best of my knowledge, he's still alive and living in Indiana.
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member

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    The only Super Vel brand ammunition I ever played with was in .38 Special. I bought it regularly from a friendly supplier throughout the late 1970s/early 1980s. In 1980 I chronographed it in both a 4-inch barrel and an 8 3/8-inch barrel with the following results.

    4-inch barrel:

    MV 1237 fps
    ME 376 ft./lbs.

    8 3/8-inch barrel:

    MV 1319 fps
    ME 425 ft./lbs.

    I moved a few years back and discovered a couple more of boxes of Super Vel .38 Special buried in my stuff. Last summer I chronographed it again (Some .38 Special Velocity Tests). Included in the test were the same 4-inch and 8 3/8-inch revolvers. I imagine that the ammo tested was from the same lot of ammo tested 30 years before.

    2-inch barrel
    MV 981 fps
    ME 216 ft./lbs.
    ES 48
    SD 28

    4-inch barrel
    MV 1195 fps
    ME 349 ft./lbs.
    ES 55
    SD 22

    6-inch barrel
    MV 1248 fps
    ME 380 ft./lbs.
    ES 79
    SD 45

    8 3/8-inch barrel
    MV 1301 fps
    ME 414 ft./lbs.
    ES 89
    SD 37

    This story has been related before but back when I was enamored of light weight, high velocity jacketed bullets for the .38 Special I carried the Super Vel in my revolvers. One fall, back in the very early 1980s, I had occasion to need to finish off a spine-shot buck deer so shot him through the heart at point-blank range with the 4-inch Smith & Wesson Model 10 and Super Vel. It was "lights out" for him as the bullet holed his heart then then curiously turned and ranged far down into his left front leg, ending up at the knee joint. It was hardly damaged, the exposed portion of the lead around the hollow point being slightly deformed. The bullet appeared as if it could have been handloaded back into a case and fired again.

    Additional (non)tests of the Super Vel, fired into wet, dry, phone books, water filled gallon milk cartons (remember those?) dirt, mud, and whatnot didn't inspire me with much confidence that the bullet provided reliable expansion as its performance was uneven at best. Jacketed hollow points have improved since those days. Personally, I decided that the factory +P 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter or equivalent handload offered more effectiveness in .38 Special so gave up on light bullets at higher velocities.

    I've heard and read that Super Vel was provided by Norma too but recently also read that Winchester provided the cartridge cases. This was from a gun writer on a private forum of which I'm a member. Lee Juras could have found a new supplier during the production life of the product for all we know.

    Super Vel performance may be exceeded through judicious handloading. We won't post the load data here except to say that it involves the use of the Sierra 110 grain jacketed hollow point with the maximum listed charge weight of Blue Dot as published in the .38 Special section of the 1978 Sierra manual. I worked up to it and tested it over the chronograph but made no further use of it. It is bound to be hard on revolvers and such loadings aren't found in subsequent editions. From a 4-inch barrel the 110 grain bullet gave 1388 fps and from the long 8 3/8-inch barrel it clocked 1573 fps. Energy figures would be 470 ft./lbs. and 604 ft./lbs. respectively.

    These days Buffalo Bore is the way to go for performance ammunition in my view. It is also safer than attempting to work up hot handloads which still likely won't achieve such high performance.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    Senior Member Array JohnLeVick's Avatar
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    Great post, Bryan! I have only one thing to add: SR-4756

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    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Last address I can come up with for Lee E. Jurras is PO Box F, Hagerman, New Mexico 88232 as of February 2010. Good Luck !
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

    "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".

    http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnLeVick View Post
    Great post, Bryan! I have only one thing to add: SR-4756
    Yeah John, there is that.

    "The Load" of infamous repute.

    For the uninitiated this one is fabricated by using a 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter with the starting load listed for SR-4756 as published in the Speer No. 8 manual from 1970. I can't even imagine taking that one up any higher from that starting load. Gives around 1100 fps from a .38 Special with a 4-inch barrel. The data didn't appear in the Speer No. 9 or subsequent editions. Clocks 1100 fps from 4-inch barrels which is still less than the Buffalo Bore +P 158 grain load but is bound to be gen'ing higher pressures than the Buffalo Bore version.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    SR 4756
    This fine-grained, easy-metering propellant has long been a favorite of upland and waterfowl handloaders. Top velocities with great patterns are legendary. Like 800-X, SR 4756 performs extremely well in the big handgun cartridges. Always a top choice.

    Not a handloader myself but it sounds like it would make an interesting load out of a .38 spl. with 158 grain bullet.
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

    "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".

    http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    They were a significant improvement over what came before them and they were effective, fragmenting or not.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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