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A look inside: .303 Greek HXP-71 ammunition

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Zeliard
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A look inside: .303 Greek HXP-71 ammunition

#1 Post by Zeliard » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:06 pm

Originally posted by carteach0.

This installment looks at Greek .303 ammunition, specifically the HXP-71 FMJ mil-surp.

The usual ten round sample is taken apart and inspected, weighed, and measured.
My personal experience with this ammunition is mixed. It has always been sure fire
and sure function for me. On the other hand the accuracy when used in my #4 MkII is
lackluster and cleaning the massive copper fouling is a chore. I had resigned myself
to shooting up my supply and being happy with the brass, but after this little inspection
adventure I'm not sure the brass is what I thought it was.

As usual all weights were taken with a RCBS 10-10 scale and Mitutoyo digital micrometers
were used for dimension measurements.

Here's what we are dealing with:

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Case dimension measurement were made of the head diameter, the neck diameter, and the case length.
The results were as lackluster as the ammunition shot for me. While head diameter was fairly stable, running
from .452" to 454", the neck diameter was another story. It varied from .3330" all the way to .3370", and this was
on unfired rounds squeezed to bullets that all fell within a .001" range. Why? The outside neck diameter
varied that much because neck wall thickness varied that much. This is not a good sign when accuracy
is desired on the menu.

Case length was also problematic, running from 2.208" to 2.216". The wide difference results in
inconsistency in bullet tension in the neck. This is especially true with sealed military cartridges.

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Would these case dimension numbers stop me from buying the ammunition?
Certainly not, even less so if I wasn't a handloader. What it means to me is expecting
above average accuracy would not make sense. It shoots and functions, but only
with average accuracy and results.

The ammunition was taken apart with the aid of a RCBS collet type bullet puller,
and it was needed. Several of these rounds took three tries to pull the bullet!

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Also noted while taking apart the sample rounds was the bullet sealer. It varied largely
from one round to the next. One round came apart easily and had little sealer, while
the next was a contest in strength and had so much sealer on the bullet that chunks
were left laying in the powder sample. All this sealer had to be removed from the
bullets before measuring their diameter, so out came the carb cleaner and rag.

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Another note regarding the bullets, and the first like it in my experience.
The FMJ spitzer design bullet does have a canalure, and did have the case crimped into it.
However...... the canalure varied from one bullet to the next, lightly impressed or deeply
impressed. This points to indifferent quality control. A big issue in military ball ammo?
Not really, but another nail in the coffin of accuracy.

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The powder was a very fine ball powder, resembling some of the Winchester offerings.
It ran smooth and easily and appeared to be in excellent condition. The charge weight
was pretty consistent, as it should be. This powder should be a dream to meter.

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Now for the numbers:

Powder: Charges ranged from a high of 41.5 grains to a low of 41.1 grains. Most settled
at 41.3 or 41.5 grains.

Cases: Weights varied from a high of 189.1 grains to a low of 182.2 grains. This is an
exceptionally wide spread and not a good sign. It implies poor quality control in
the manufacture process. The case necks were annealed and the cases are easily reloadable,
with only a tiny crimp on the primer, easily swaged or reamed away. I have re-loaded cases
of this breed in excess of six times already with moderate loads and neck sizing.

Bullets: Weights were reasonably consistant, from a high of 174.2 grains to a low of 173.2 grains.
The bullet diameters fell from .3111" to 3118". Pretty decent size wise, but slightly small
considering almost all .303 Brits start at .312" and go up fast. My own No4 MkII slugs at .312".
Undersize bullets rarely ever shoot accuratly, but they certainly function just fine.

Here are some charts for those so inclined:

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My thoughts? I can't expand much on what is said above. The ammunition
functions perfectly, goes bang every time, and is certainly worth buying.
That said.... don't expect stellar accuracy, and while the brass is easily
reloadable it's not bench rest quality. For that matter, it's not even Commercial
Winchester quality. It's tough though.

As for the heavy copper fouling I get from this ammunition..... I am not kidding.
Twenty rounds will leave my bore looking like an old pipe, where it started
as the perfect bore it is. Using commercial bullets, or my own cast lead, I get
no fouling to speak of. After using this Greek surplus I can count on an
extended clean time with lots of Sweets 7.62 going down the bore.

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Proud alumni of Transylvanian Polygnostic University. "Know enough to be afraid."

"Vertroue in God en die Mauser".-Faith in God and the Mauser.

"Send lawyers, guns and money." -Warren Zevon

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Re: A look inside: .303 Greek HXP-71 ammunition

#2 Post by Hippycrowe » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:01 pm

That's weird I don't get any foiling ftom my grade B Hxp 303 I shoot it in a #4 Mk 2 and a p14 its not very accurate but nice to reload.

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Re: A look inside: .303 Greek HXP-71 ammunition

#3 Post by rickplayer » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:34 pm

So very cool!

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Re: A look inside: .303 Greek HXP-71 ammunition

#4 Post by timbo1955 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:13 pm

Bought some .303 Pakistani in sealed brown boxes , one box has 270 winchester inside , go figure

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Re: A look inside: .303 Greek HXP-71 ammunition

#5 Post by Zeliard » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:20 am

Bought some .303 Pakistani in sealed brown boxes , one box has 270 winchester inside , go figure
Is the whole box .270 or just one cartridge? Interesting either way. :)
Proud alumni of Transylvanian Polygnostic University. "Know enough to be afraid."

"Vertroue in God en die Mauser".-Faith in God and the Mauser.

"Send lawyers, guns and money." -Warren Zevon

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