Pilgering is a complex incremental manufacturing process for seamless tubes. In this work, a miniature physical simulator for pilgering was designed and fabricated. This miniature simulator employs a grooved roll-die and a mandrel and can impose controlled reductions in both tube diameter and wall thickness. Pilgering deformation over a range of ratios of reductions in wall thickness and in tube diameter, known as the Q-factor, was imposed on hemi-cylindrical zirconium alloy specimens. The influence of the Q-factor on the microstructure and deformation texture of the deformed specimens was quantified. A polycrystal plasticity calculation based on the binary tree model was used to simulate texture evolution during the simulated pilgering process. The computer model quantitatively captured the variation with Q of the Kearns factors, as measured in the physically simulated specimen. The small differences noticed between the predicted and experimental final textures point to unaccounted transverse components of the flow field. These observations suggest that physical and/or computer simulations can form the basis of a rapid methodology for tool selection to realize prescribed post-pilgering textures. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.