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Old December 1, 2012, 03:43 PM   #1
wogpotter
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HXP (Greek) .303 British ammo

Whats the history of this stuff?
It was being made well into the 70's but so was 30-06. Were the Greeks running both rifle types (Lee-Enfield & 03/Garand)or what?
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Old December 1, 2012, 05:22 PM   #2
darkroommike
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At the end of WW2 and into the 70's the Greeks were supplied with British (first) and later American small arms including Enfields, Garands, Thompsons, etc. in support of the non-communist Hellenistic government. The Greeks took what they could get and from the birth of their modern nation until the 70's fielded Steyrs, Carcano's, Mausers, Mannlinchers, Enfields, Garands, and gosh knows what else in calibers ranging from the 6.5mm Carcano to the 7.92mm Mauser.

Last edited by darkroommike; December 1, 2012 at 05:31 PM.
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Old December 1, 2012, 10:35 PM   #3
Rainbow Demon
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I have some 1980's manufacture HXP .303 ammunition. I've heard that HXP made a run of the .303 ammo because the British were short on BREN guns converted to 7.62 NATO and they had planned to bring some .303 BREN guns out of storage if need be during the Falklands war.

HXP manufactures all sorts of ammunitio, with much of that sold to the military of other countries.

The 80's production HXP .303 does not use cordite and some who have examined the propellant say that its probably Winchester powder.

The bullets have a solid lead core, no lightweight nose plug as found in MkVII ammunition.
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Old December 2, 2012, 08:09 AM   #4
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The .303 HXP is good ammo and the brass is very good to reload. I buy all I see that is not over priced.
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:39 AM   #5
wogpotter
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Based on the replies here & some speculation elswhere I got interested & did a quick web search. Interesting.
Britain supported Greece till the Greek civil war, then dropped them like a hot potato so the U.S stepped in to the gap.

"HXP headstamp,

(Greek Powder & Cartridge Company,
1, Ilioupoleos Ave.
17236
Athens,
Greece.
(PYRKAL) S.A. is the oldest Greek Defense Industry, as it was founded in 1874. Today, PYRKAL:
Manufactures a wide range of NATO type Ammunition, from 5.56mm up to 155mm, Rockets and Fuses.
Is the Greek MoD's exclusive supplier of ammunition.
Exports its products to all five Continents.
Is a State owned company, having three plants, and maintains a staff of 1300.
Holds an ISSO 9002 Certification.)

Made nitro-cellulose loaded .303 cartridges in. Ball, L1A1 to British Government contract (1982-85)
& Ball (1969)

303 British ammo with a headstamp "HXP 75". when disassembled it contains 41 grains of ball powder, a 174 grain FMJ bullet, and is boxer primed.

In the 1960s, the factory, under NATO/US agreements, became part of the US Offshore Procurement Program; as a result, machinery and technology from Olin Industries (Winchester Western) was set up in Piraeus to make US cal. ammo at US Specifications, with Olin Ball Powder; as the Greek Army was then currently also using .303 British, they also made this ammo to the same technical specs.

As a result, any HXP marked ammo is of Winchester-Western quality (some say better), is Boxer primed, Noncorrosive, and with Ball Powder loading.

I've seen it claimed that HXP ammo was made on equipment from Britain, but there’s no similarity between the HXP and British MilSurp .303 that I can see.
Britain cut off foreign aid to Greece shortly after WW2 and the U S took up the slack in rebuilding Greece's arms industry. The Germans had stolen or destroyed all cartridge manufacturing machinery during the war.
"
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Old December 3, 2012, 09:02 AM   #6
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Great info on HXP woggy, good job.
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Old December 3, 2012, 01:53 PM   #7
Mike Irwin
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Back in the early 1990s, during the first surplus wave, there was a lot of 1950s/1960s made HXP coming into the country, and it developed a less than stellar reputation for hangfires.

Not nearly as bad as the Pakistani ammunition of the same time frame, though....
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Old December 8, 2012, 06:00 PM   #8
thebrassmonkeys
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i'm seeing a lot of 1973-78 HXP 30.06 at my local club at mo.

some v good condition other in boxes that appear to have got damp with some corrosion . after exposure theres quite a bit of green corrosion inside the neck so think theres a fair bit of copper bonded inside the neck after 35-40 years. that probably raises the case pressure a fair amount to separate that bond.
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Old December 11, 2012, 04:25 PM   #9
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All the stuff I've seen here has been '70s and '80s manufacture, with 1969 the oldest. It was about the best surplus stuff on the market at that point.
Still have thousands of the cases, will last me for many years.
A large quantity was procured in the 1980s for the various schools & cadets corps, who still used .303 rifles and emmagees at that time.
Some batches had WW2 ball and tracer rounds packed in randomly.


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