Processing through the application of severe plastic deformation (SPD) is attractive because it produces significant grain refinement and high strength. The standard procedure for performing SPD processing is through the use of equal-channel angular pressing (ECAP) but in practice it is difficult to perform ECAP on the magnesium AZ31 alloy at room temperature because the material cracks or exhibits segmentation. This difficulty was avoided in the present investigation by processing the alloy using high-pressure torsion (HPT). The results show that HPT provides an excellent procedure for producing significant grain refinement in the AZ31 alloy. At temperatures of 296 and 373 K, the processed grain sizes are in the submicrometer range and there is an evolution toward microstructural homogeneity after 5 turns. By contrast, at the higher temperature of 473 K, which is a typical temperature for ECAP, the grains grow during the processing operation.