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#216480 - 02/05/11 10:22 AM Interesting info from a paracord manuafacturer
Byrd_Huntr Offline
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Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1091
Loc: Land O' Lakes & Rivers, USA ...
This is from a survival equipment site, but I thought the manufacturers information on paracord at the bottom of the piece might interest some. No affiliation.......

http://www.campingsurvival.com/oldrgrpa1...c82010255PMcopy
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#216485 - 02/05/11 12:48 PM Re: Interesting info from a paracord manuafacturer [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1735
Loc: Washington, DC
That was interesting, thanks for the link:

"This versatile cord was even used by astronauts during STS-82, the second Space Shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope."

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#216487 - 02/05/11 01:48 PM Re: Interesting info from a paracord manuafacturer [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 4326
Loc: southern Cal
One odd item from the pie chart - How do you use paracord in fire starting? Being synthetic, all the paracord I have flamed has melted to a nice blob which is my method for whipping a cut piece.
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#216488 - 02/05/11 02:12 PM Re: Interesting info from a paracord manuafacturer [Re: hikermor]
jenkinma Offline
Yabba Dabba Do!
Stranger

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 23
Loc: GA
Perhaps the firestarting use is for things like bow-drill strings...? That's how I would use it for that purpose... but probably not the most frequent use.
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#216489 - 02/05/11 02:21 PM Re: Interesting info from a paracord manuafacturer [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2268
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I've always suspected that some of the paracord out there is a cheap look-alike and not a true 550-lb test. This site seems to agree. Problem is, they don't identify the manufacturer. How do you ensure you're getting quality stuff?

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#216494 - 02/05/11 03:35 PM Re: Interesting info from a paracord manuafacturer [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
widget Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
Another item of interest, 550 cord, the real stuff is not what is on a paratrooper parachute. 550 cord is on the chutes used on ejection seats and emergency chutes aircrew have available.
The T-10, MC-1B and other actual airborne soldier parachutes use Type II paracord that is from 375 to 425 lbs breaking strength and has 4 inner strands instead of 7. I prefer this type but it is not commercially produced for general use, the only type II available will be sold by a parachute manufacturer or a parachute rigger supply house.

The firemaking aspect of paracord is mainly as a string for a bow-drill but can also be used as a "fire thong" with some success in the right conditions.

Bottom line, almost any 550 cord is fine for camping/survival or general usage. However, you would not want to sew it to a parachute canopy and let you life depend on it, it just is not rated for that use and is not true Mil-Spec.
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#216497 - 02/05/11 06:14 PM Re: Interesting info from a paracord manuafacturer [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
ireckon Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1449
Loc: Northern California
The article does identify that there is commercial paracord and then there is mil spec "Mil-C-5040" cord. A problem with commercial grade is that there are varying degrees of quality, as the article mentioned. You have to trust the particular brand name. If the commercial paracord is being manufactured in China, then you just have to get lucky to get high quality cord.

In contrast, cord that is labeled "Mil-C-5040" is manufactured to military specifications every time. I personally don't mind paying twice as much to have this peace of mind. If I do use paracord, it's only for occasional important stuff, and so the extra cost is an occasional expense. For example, I have unused paracord in my survival kit for real emergencies. If I have a less critical application, I use boot laces or cheap rope from the hardware store. For example, I use boot laces to practice knot tying.

Here's an example of Mil-C-5040 cord (no affiliation):
http://www.adventuresurvivalequipment.com/survival-accessories/survival-parachute-cord.html

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#216512 - 02/06/11 03:35 AM Re: Interesting info from a paracord manuafacturer [Re: widget]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1030
Originally Posted By: widget
The T-10, MC-1B and other actual airborne soldier parachutes use Type II paracord that is from 375 to 425 lbs breaking strength and has 4 inner strands instead of 7. I prefer this type but it is not commercially produced for general use, the only type II available will be sold by a parachute manufacturer or a parachute rigger supply house.


Very true Widget, not many people are aware of this. I also think Type II is a great alternative to 550 (a.k.a. Type III). Type II has all the strength you'd need for less weight and bulk. 550 seems light until you pack 100 or 150 feet of it. Full disclosure: I am a total gram weenie and I cut weight with a vengeance.

Here's another twist: IIRC (I may be fuzzy on this) the spec for Type II cord (and the other types too) specifies many things but not the number of inner strands. It's just that the typical number of strands is what it takes to satisfy the strength rating. But, all of the Type II cord I've been able to find has 5 strands, not 4. You can buy it by the yard or by the roll at Paragear.com (no affiliation) and while their site says 4 strands, the stuff I got from them has 5. I've talked with other parachute material suppliers and they all said their Type II has 5 strands.

If you've got a source for 4-strand Type II, please post it!

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#216541 - 02/06/11 04:18 PM Re: Interesting info from a paracord manuafacturer [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
widget Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
Well G-A-R, I only have a few lengths of cord cut off an actual MC-1B and it has 4 inners, 3 white and 1 green and red spiraled.
A few decades ago I used to be able to buy the same mil-spec type II from John Howard and Company. They sell all sorts of mil-spec webbing and cord but I believe only sell in bulk to as a wholesaler now.

I have a spool, 300ft somewhere of the type II from Paragear, if I can dig it up, I will check the inners. Misplaced it somehow.
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#216592 - 02/07/11 12:28 PM Re: Interesting info from a paracord manuafacturer [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
njs Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 41
Loc: Colorado
Slightly off topic, I have a question about parachutes. Are the lines still made from nylon for military chutes designed to carry people?

I don't know anything about parachutes but the lines on my paraglider are all made from dyneema. From what I can tell, all of the cords described here are variations of nylon. Is this something used to keep cost down on military chutes? Nylon works and is a safe, proven material, but other synthetics are stronger for for a given size so can make for lighter less bulky rigging.

Thanks.


Edited by njs (02/07/11 12:28 PM)

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