The numerical thermal mechanical simulation of radial forging process of C45 steel stepped shaft with GFM forging machine was carried out by three dimensional finite element method DEFORM 3D. According to effective plastic strain, mean stress and mean plastic strain distribution of the radial forging process, the forging penetration efficiency (FPE) was studied throughout. The results show that: effective plastic strain in the center of the forging is never be zero; The mean stress in the center of the workpiece is proposed to describe hydrostatic pressure in this paper. There is compressive strain layer beneath the surface of the workpiece, while there is tensile strain layer in the center of the forging. These studied results could be a valuable reference for designing the similar forging operations.