It’s been a long opera and now we can finally hear the fat lady sing as the post-WWII days of milsurp .30-06 M2 Ball ammo are drawing to a close. The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) this week announced a “last call” on the Greek military surplus ammo they have in stock.
The Greeks manufactured M2 Ball for the many M1 Garands the U.S. provided that country after WWII as a hedge against Communist expansion in that part of Europe. After Greece relegated the rifle and ammunition to “obsolete” status, CMP bought up all they could and made it available to U.S. shooters and clubs that are eligible to purchase. It’s taken more than a decade, but now the supply is running out.
CMP’s last call of Greek HXP headstamped ammo bears manufacture dates between 1962 and 1980. Testing Greek HXP in a reproduction Springfield M1903A4 (with a new Criterion barrel) here in 2013 shows it is fully capable of holding the 10-ring of the NRA SR-1 target at 100 yards—making it suitable for “as-issued” Vintage Military Rifle, Springfield and M1 Garand informal competition.
The price for 180 rounds of HXP in a plastic Plano ammo can is $144. Since there’s no charge for shipping to the lower 48, the actual price comes out to 80¢ per round. A visit to CMP’s online store showed that the same ammo is also available as issued in en bloc clips in bandoleers and stored in steel ammo cans, 192 rounds for the same price. CMP advertising does not caution that up to 15 percent of the ammo may be corroded, as for some past lots.
For handloaders, the Greek HXP is Boxer primed and reloadable. A future SSUSA article will take a look at just how well it may perform an encore.