J.D. Jones has been heavily involved with Contenders since 1969. He has hunted all six huntable continents with them, and he has developed numerous cartridges adapted to Contenders to give the greatest power level, consistent with safety and reliability, in the field. He owns and operates SSK. The 375 JDJ was really the first JDJ caliber and has taken more African big game than any other handgun caliber; yet it is an excellent deer round out to around 250 yards. Suitable 375 bullets for every purpose from prairie dogs to elephant exist. SSK hunting handguns are in exceptional use world wide. The 375 JDJ is ‘the’ caliber for the serious handgun hunter. SSK is proud to present to you the finest barrels, workmanship and widest variety of calibers available.
J.D. has devoted a great deal of his life to the ballistic R & D of sporting, law enforcement and military cartridges and the firearms that handle them.
J.D. is the only individual to have hunted all six huntable continents with a handgun. . During the 40′s and early 50′s he supplied numerous individuals with dressed rabbits in return for shotgun shells, .22s and, on occasion, some cash. J.D. began hunting small game with a pistol at about age 13 and was taught bullet casting and reloading by a local gunsmith at about this time. In the early 60′s, he and Lee Jurras developed the first true high-performance handgun ammunition for revolvers and auto-pistols which was marketed as Super Vel Ammunition. The basics of this ammunition are used by every manufacturer in the world that manufactures high performance handgun ammo today.
SSK Industries was founded in 1977 to manufacture and market specific products related to hunting handguns and ammunition. Custom Contender barrels chambered in JDJ calibers specifically designed for hunting purposes soon became the major product of the firm. They are still unequalled in the Contender in accuracy, combined with truly effective big game harvesting ability. Over the years better bullets and optics have simply made them better. It was decided at that time to manufacture and market only very high quality products and to keep the company small. Within a few years SSK became known worldwide as THE manufacturer of custom premium quality firearms for handgun hunting which, of course, includes custom revolvers and bolt actions.
Customer demand caused J.D. to get into building custom rifles which, of course, evolved into development of more cartridges and adaptation of specific rifles to them. To date the largest is a 95 caliber using bullets from 2800–3600 grains.
The WHISPER® series of cartridges was developed as specific military, police, competition and recreational cartridges and has advanced the state of the art accuracy of sub-sonic suppressed weapons by more than 500%. Development of these systems continues as do other military and civilian projects.
Thompson/Center Arms introduction of the ENCORE opened another world for development of highly efficient cartridges. Currently JDJ cartridges based on the old reliable 30-06 case are equalling or surpassing the performance of the belted magnum cases in the Encore.
List of J.D.’s major awards and achievements to date:
- Outstanding American Handgunner Award
- Handgun Hunter of the Year
- Founder, Handgun Hunters International
- Past Chairman, Outstanding American Handgunner Award Foundation
- Past Ohio State Director, IHMSA
- Past President, American Pistolsmith Guild
- Safari Club International 1996 Chapter Member of the Year
- Founded First Ohio Silhouette Club
- Life Member: NRA, American Defense Preparedness Association, OAHAF, Sniper Association
- The only individual to have successfully hunted all six huntable continents with a handgun
- Developed first 320 grain .44 Mag bullet, as well as super heavyweights in .357, .41 and .45 calibers.
- Invented first totally reliable scope mounting system for handguns – the T’SOB
- Invented highly efficient muzzle brakes and suppressors
- Invented cartridges and upper units for M-16/AR 15′s which substantially improve performance.
- Invented the WHISPER® concept and series of cartridges.
- Invented all of the JDJ cartridges.
- Publisher/Editor, THE SIXGUNNER
- Authored hundreds of articles for various publications.
- Federal Court qualified Firearms Expert
- Winner of the 1981 International Long Range Handgun Competition – Bisley, England…the only American to have won this event.
More Information: You are invited to call, and we will be glad to help you. SSK does an extremely wide variety of custom gun work. We work with firearms for almost every level of user. Call if you have questions. Load data for various calibers is available for $1.00 per caliber and $1.00 shipping per order – not per caliber.
The author and Mark Hampton with a good boar. The S & W 686 and Winchester Partition ammo performed as well as can be expected on an animal this large and tough.
Several different Arrestors. Left to right: 454 Casull, standard Contender, 50 Alaskan Encore or 50 Ruger #1, 577 Nitro for Ruger #1.
Brian Powley Engraving on a SSK Flatside frame for a few guns made for the famous Y-O Ranch.
More barrel art. Wedding rings and fluting combined with an integral brake.
Encore SS barrel fluted with T’SOB Quarter Rib and barrel diameter Arrestor.