.380 Super Vel


#1

I seem to recall reading an article years ago stating that Lee Jurras of Super Vel made a .380 round especially for the MAC M-11 submachinegun. It used a 130 grain FMJ bullet that was previously used by the USAF in a .38 special load. It was reputed to be much too hot for regular .380 handguns and was usually fatal (for the guns) when fired in one of these. Has anyone ever run across one of these?


#2

Yes, here is a picture of the headstamp.


#3

Firstly, I am not sure that his headstamp has anything at all to do with Super Vel, the title of this thread. The cases look like they were made by Winchester to me, although I don’t know that for a fact. The ammunition was marketed by Military Armament Corporation (I think that was the name)
and was reportedly a slightly hotter load than normal .380 pistol cartridges.

I have this round in my collection, and I believe I have a picture of the box label, although am not sure. I am away from my house right now, so cannot check. If no better information posted when I return next week, I will research it further.


#4

BTT.

Any updates?


#5

Well, I have researched this cartridge about as much as I can with the information I have and could obtain. I still do not know exactly who loaded these rounds. The cases are confirmed to have been made on contract sometime between 1971 and 1976 for Military Armament Corporation, of Marietta, Georgia USA, by the Olin Corporation (Winchester-Western Ammunition Division).

They are loaded with a 130 grain FMJ bullet. The same load appears in W-W .380 AUTO headstamped brass as well.

My box label copy is too poor to be reproduceable here, so I will quote all of the print that appears on the only side of the box for which I have a picture:

Military Armaments Corporation
Caliber .380 Auto 130 Gr. F.M.C.

WARNING: This ammunition is loaded to higher velocity and pressure than conventional .380 Automatic and should be used only in MAC MODEL M11 SUBMACHINE GUNS. Do not fire this ammunition in automatic pistols of existing designs or in any other firearms other than arms designated here. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THESE WARNINGS MAY CAUSE A SERIOUS ACCIDENT WITH INJURY TO SHOOTER OR BYSTANDERS.

I can find no connection to Super Vel Cartridge Corporation for these rounds, but in absence of confirmation of the loading company, I cannot dismiss that Super Vel could have loaded them, although I doubt it. I suspect they were loaded in Georgia, perhaps by Georgia Arms.

I’m sorry I can not provide more information, but have done the best I can.

Thanks to George Kass for his input.


#6

Thank you for the data.

The MAC 11 at ~1300 rpm was reportedly quite a handfull even with standard pressure .380. With heavier bullet weights and higher pressure loads…What fun!

Wendigo


#7

John:

I don’t think Master Cartridge/Georgia Arms is that old.


#8

Dan - You’re undoubtedly right. My earliest Georgia Arms Catalog is from 1994. While it probably isn’t their earliest, that is still a long time after these rounds came out. I should have looked. Still, there have been, for years, all sorts of commercial reloaders down in that area that could easily have loaded this ammo for MAC on a production basis - don’t see why they would have exported the job to Indiana and Super Vel, especially with Olin providing the primed cases, and no mention of Super Vel on the box. I am not sure Jurras would have gone for an arrangement where they loaded it with no advertising credit for it. Hard to tell, though. All speculation until someone can document who did load it.


#9

Thanks for the information, guys. I might have been wrong on the Super-Vel connection. If I remember correctly, it may have been one of the articles Robert K. Brown wrote for “Guns” magazine. This was before he started SOF.
From what I understand. Lee Jurras was not averse to doing the odd “special” run of ammo.