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Super Vel ammo yes or no ?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by scaatylobo, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    I am a fan of this ammunition as it was the start of all the real good stuff that has come along.

    I am curious as to if any here use this,or even know who they were and now are ?.

    I am looking HARD at their 185 JHP in .45 ACP that they rate at over 1100 fps.
     
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  2. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I remember it being available years ago and it was good stuff. I haven't seen any in years.
     
  3. Alex Clayton

    Alex Clayton Member

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    Until I saw this and looked them up I had no idea someone had brought back the name. As for the ammo they make now? idea looks sound but have not seen anything on it and did not know it was there. I have long been a fan of slightly lighter SJH's in my 1911's. With the way ammo is now did you find some of this for sale? If so how much? The one problem of course is buying enough of something new to test out first in your guns.
     
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  4. flightsimmer

    flightsimmer Member

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    Super Vel ammunition was made here in Indiana, I don't recall where exactly but it was great ammo. I suppose they went out of business but I don't know why.
    Ahh yes, Shelbyville, Indiana. That was just down the road from me.

    Here you go.
    https://supervelammunition.com/history/
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
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  5. mokin

    mokin Member

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    Interesting story flightsimmer.

    I've seen Super Vel advertised and wondered about it too.
     
  6. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Some folks reckon it was the Super Vel 125 gr 357s that caused the original K Frame forcing cone cracking.

    Just a tidbit of folklore.
     
  7. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    I did indeed find it for sale and am awaiting a block of .45 ACP in 185 grain that is posted at over 1100 fps.

    Hope to T&E it in the 4 guns of that caliber I own.

    2 Glock 30's and a Kimber 1911, and a S&W shield.
     
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  8. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    Haven't tried their 45 ammo yet. Have bought their 9mm and 38 Special.

    Like many places right now, they are having trouble keep up with demand, but it looks like their 45 hollow point ammo is in stock.
     
  9. Alex Clayton

    Alex Clayton Member

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    Let everyone know how it performs. Will be interesting to see.
     
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  10. bummer7

    bummer7 Member

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    Me too. I had thought the company went out of business a long time ago. Recently, I was taking stock of what ammo I have and found this box in my stash. 9 mm loaded with 90gr JHP bullets.

    SV1.jpg SV2.jpg
     
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  11. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Although Super Vel ushered in the era of jacketed hollowpoints, it is most often characterized by lightweight-for-caliber bullets at high velocities. This has subsequently been criticized by a number of prominent wound ballisticians like Martin Fackler and Buford Boone. Not everybody agrees with their theories, research, and testing methods, but I think it is safe to characterize this ammunition as having shallow penetration compared to heavier jacketed hollowpoints at lower velocities. While Super Vel is just a brand name and not necessarily a single loading, and even the brand name is only used by a present day company that has no relation to the one in the 60's and 70's, the 185 grain .45 ACP is characteristic of this light-for-caliber and high velocity reputation, whereas 230 grain HST or Gold Dot would be characteristic of the trusted alternative. In 9mm, Super Vel is characterized by 115 grain JHP (but they do have their 147 grain "hush puppy"), while the trusted alternatives are usually at least 124 or 125 grain, but often 135 or 147 grain, and include the HST, Gold Dot, Critical Duty... Personally, I shoot 357 which was a cartridge important to Super Vel's initial rise back in the 70's. Nowadays, Supervel is loading this cartridge with 110 grain bullets. I think that is a mistake. I have greater confidence in 158 grain bullets from a long barrel for this cartridge, but I carry a less conventional copper monolithic hollowpoint which works out to 140 grains. Supervel does also load all-copper hollowpoints, but I think they went too light and prefer Barnes.

     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
  12. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    a lot of Supervel testing here, both solid copper and traditional JHP:



    use the timestamps in the description on the Youtube page to find specific cartridges
     
  13. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    They did go out of business in the mid 1970's. The new ammo is produced by a completely different, unrelated company. They're just using the Super Vel name.
     
  14. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Handguns magazine tested the old Super Vel 357 ammo here: https://www.handgunsmag.com/editorial/the-legend-of-super-vel-ammo/137747
    357 with only 110 grains. While it achieved an impressive velocity in a test barrel, it only averaged 1303fps from a 4" Model 19. We have to recognize that this was considered very high velocity for 357 in the 70's, despite myth and legend that suggests they were slinging 158 grain bullets at over 1500 fps back in the old days -- not from their short-barrel Mdl. 19's.

    In gel, the old Super Vel penetrated less than 12 inches and fragmented, losing 30 percent of its weight. In the test barrel, the pressure average was 37,850 psi, well over SAAMI specification, but still probably safe in a sound, modern gun.

    With modern ammunition, 357 can easily be loaded to achieve velocities of 1300 fps from an actual 4" revolver even with heavier 125 and 140 grain bullets and without exceeding SAAMI pressure limits. More importantly, these bullets are constructed so they will dependably expand at velocities as low as 1100 fps, and yet they will also penetrate 16 to 20 inches in gel. Certainly by modern standards, 1970's Super Vel performed very poorly. They did ultimately fail as a product and a business. Nevertheless, they may have been instrumental in provoking Federal to introduce their Federal Premium line, Winchester Silver Tips, and Remington JHP's. Later, in the 90's when handgun ammo makers were scrambling to address what the FBI was bringing out of their investigation into the '86 Miami shootout, we saw Black Talon/SXT, Gold Dots, Golden Sabers, and then in the 2000's, Federal HST and Hornady's line.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
  15. Kevin Keith

    Kevin Keith Member

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    Lee Jurras was a legend in our world.
     
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  16. lightman

    lightman Member

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    Thanks for posting! I have not seen any of the new stuff yet.
     
  17. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    Are you talking about the original stuff from the 70s and 80s, or the new stuff that was introduced a few years ago? The original stuff was groundbreaking when it was first introduced, and doubtless helped lead to the the wide range of high performance, self defence ammo we enjoy today.

    At this point, I'd consider the original Super Vel more a collector's item that a desirable load for any of my SD guns. Their is plenty of modern ammo with excellent performance that I would want to use before I chose to employ 40-50 year old loads.

    If the new stuff, is it still being manufactured? The little I heard about it appears promising, but I've not seen any testing or read any real life experiences with it and would be hesitant to use it for SD until I knew more.
     
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  18. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    The new stuff, that a few who I respect use and say is the best.

    People who train and shoot MANY more rounds than I have ever done,so I am buying 500 rounds of the 185 HP that is rated as +P from Super Vel [ at 1100 + fps ].

    I am looking forward to T&Eing it,and will post results here.
     
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