Super-Vel was the first manufacturer to come out with the low weight grain bullet/high velocity handgun cartridges.
"Early in the '70s, along came a guy by the name of Lee Jurras with an upstart little ammo company named Super Vel. He began with a .38 Special loaded with a JHP bullet that reached some pretty zippy velocities.
The secret to much of this was the use of significantly lighter bullets than we'd ever seen. The .38 Special, for example, used a 110 gr. bullet. Today that's common, but then it was virtually revolutionary."*
*Guns Magazine, March, 2001 by Charles E. Petty
As they proved very popular, soon the major ammo manufactuers jumped on the band wagon.