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#244575 - 04/07/12 05:40 AM Re: Finds on ebay [Re: Cauldronborn2]
GradyT34 Offline

Registered: 02/14/09
Posts: 118
I received the batch of Type 4 (11 strand) 750 pound breaking strength para-cord (from the ebay seller suggested by Cauldronborn) about 4 days after placing the order. After examining the Type 4 750 cord carefully and the documentation, I'm totally convinced that what I received is in fact real MIL-C-5040H Type IV cord, and not just a commercial grade (or even a high quality commercial grade) of para-cord.

This cord has 11 inner strands (just as advertised) and each strand has 3 yarns (not two yarns as many of the commercial grades have).

Among the many identifiers of MIL-C-5040H cord, one of the strands is not white, rather that particular strand has the color scheme that was assigned by the DOD for the manufacturer (in this case Miltex Industries). This is a dead giveaway that this is real MIL-C-5040 cord because the commercial grades only have, at least to my knowledge, all white inner strands.

The Certification that was included with the order gives the month of manufacture (in this case February-2012) and the day the Type 4 was shipped from the factory (in this case, on February 23, 2012).

The Certification has all the other (numerous) earmarks of genuineness and a statement that the cord was manufactured in the U.S.A. It further states (in words to the effect) that randomly selected lengths of this cord were selected from the lot and inspected and tested and were in compliance with the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations in regard to Mil-C-5040H cord.

Since all para-cord degrades over time and especially if it is stored for long periods of time in hot or in fluctuating temperatures, I was particularly pleased that this 11 strand cord was certified as being manufactured within the last 60 days -and that this MIL-C-5040H Type 4 batch was not manufactured 10, 20 or 30 years ago.

I was also surprised to find that the Certification also contains "Chain of Custody" information, showing that the ebay seller received the cord directly from the manufacturer. Other than the manufacturer, I am only the second possessor of this particular batch of 750 cord.

The overall quality (i.e. texture, construction, integrity and appearance) of the 750 11 strand cord (i.e. the sheath, strands, yarns, weave and twists) was in keeping with what I expect of real MIL-C-5040 cord.

One thing I've noticed is that the ebay store I purchased this para-cord from does not keep regular ebay hours (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), rather it closes during holidays and I don't think you can place an order during that time. I've never previously seen any ebay store that puts out a closed during holiday sign - didn't even know this could be done - I find this exception to be somewhere between amusing and endearing all considered.

As you know, real MIL-C-5040H Type 3 550 cord is very hard to find to begin with, and in the Type 4 11 strand 750 version, its almost impossible to find - I'd say it's rare.

Except for the single purchase, I have absolutely no connection whatsoever with the subject ebay seller and/or manufacturer --- just calling it as I see it.

#244580 - 04/07/12 12:14 PM Re: Finds on ebay [Re: GradyT34]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6222
Loc: southern Cal
Your knowledge of the inner workings of paracord is impressive, to say the least. How do the more stringent specifications for the real deal material translate into breaking strength and other useful parameters when you haul the stuff out into the field?
Geezer in Chief

#244625 - 04/08/12 03:28 AM Re: Finds on ebay [Re: Cauldronborn2]
GradyT34 Offline

Registered: 02/14/09
Posts: 118
There are lots of differences in general between genuine MIL-C-5040H paracord and commercial grade paracord. However, as to the high grade commercial there’s one variety where arguments have been made that it is even better than MIL-C-5040H.

There are maybe five commercial paracord suppliers that I’m aware of that consistently carry “high grade commercial” paracord — i.e. paracord that you can depend on — and I don’t know but I suspect its because these suppliers have had long relationships with their manufacturers. One thing these top suppliers have in common is that they’ve all been dealing with paracord for a decade or two. Keep in mind that the commercial versions have never been officially tested — nor have they met any known (as least known to me) manufacturing standards whatsoever. (The only exceptions are the actual manufactures of parachute shock cord - which is great stuff.)

As to the other 99% of what goes for “Mil-Spec” commercial grade, it is in my view, junk, and as to Type III, you’d be lucky if the break strength is anywhere near 550 - usually closer to 200 to 400 pounds. However, as to perhaps’s 90% of my own needs, I’m perfectly fine utilizing the junk, even into the unknown.

By the way, the actual break strength of MIL-C-5040H of Type III is about 750 pounds even though its officially rated for 550 pounds. Similarly, the actual break strength of Type IV is over 1,000 pounds even though the government rates it at 750 lbs. During manufacturing of MIL-C-5040H testing is done as to every aspect of stretch, elongation, ratios, break strength, etc.

It was the day before Katrina made landfall that I was injured due to the my own overestimation of the break strength of commercial cord. To say this happened at the worst possible time ever would be an understatement. This was truly the only time break strength mattered (as in life and death) to me personally. I was aware paracord stretches a lot and had compensated — just didn’t think it would break. It broke.

Ever since, as to paracord for the kits for my family in particular, I’m committed to maintaining them with genuine MIL-C-5040H cord (Type II especially as to the small kits) and other cord (particularly low stretch Dacron cord) that I know to be predictable.

Here’s an excellent article about MIL-C-5040H vs. commercial cord that was posted on the Consumer Planet blog about a year ago:

#244626 - 04/08/12 04:54 AM Re: Finds on ebay [Re: GradyT34]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
GradyT-34 trainer,I must Thank You for the info!However,I don't know how much,all this Good info pertains to my personal use of typeIII paracord,I normally use it for lashing or expedient shelter construction in practice mode,& I've used it as handle wrap to good effect,also my boots are laced with it,& I did catch 2- Bluegill using 1/3 of an inner strand for line a while back.Junk or just a placebo,It boosts my confidence,significantly,Knowing I have it with me!Being a gear puto,I may have to make the same purchase as yourself,to keep that edge of confidence intact,Afterall what's a life worth?A Heck of alot more than twice the price,That's for sure!& Thanx Again to Cauldron for initializing this Grand outcome of info,to begin with,Cheers!

#244639 - 04/08/12 08:29 PM Re: Finds on ebay [Re: Cauldronborn2]
GradyT34 Offline

Registered: 02/14/09
Posts: 118
Old Hand, just trying to earn my journeyman stripes while keeping our fellow board members between the ditches - - -

Grady T-34 (KhPZ)

#244643 - 04/08/12 10:26 PM Re: Finds on ebay [Re: GradyT34]
Cauldronborn2 Offline

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 83
Loc: UK
Thank you for your quick and honest review. I'm happy it turned out to be the real McCoy.

Out of curiosity have received your bandana/wild rag order yet?

#244645 - 04/08/12 11:08 PM Re: Finds on ebay [Re: Cauldronborn2]
GradyT34 Offline

Registered: 02/14/09
Posts: 118
Not yet - however pandas states on her website that she "custom makes all items" when they are payed for. I've received two updates from her on the status and expect they will arrive in a day or two. My other bandanas have been acquired over the years from LifeView Outdoors and Survival Resources, so I'll have several high quality benchmarks to compare pandas' with. Stay tuned.

#244815 - 04/12/12 05:10 AM Re: Finds on ebay [Re: Cauldronborn2]
GradyT34 Offline

Registered: 02/14/09
Posts: 118
The extra large cotton bandanas/wild rags came in today. Here’s my initial impression:

Quality of material: heavy duty, all cotton, excellent

Toughness of material: exceptionally rugged

Thickness of material: something from 75 years ago - pre-air conditioning era that was used for mopping up honest sweat from brow when doing a task

Stitching: very precise

Bulkiness: much too bulky to put in an ordinary shirt pocket

Appearance: from a by-gone era (e.g. depression era); looks to be a bandana that a railroad man would have used to signal with — or looks like something a woodsman would wear; masculine [or unisex in that my wife, immediately upon the bandanas’ arrival, confiscated (she says “liberated”) the entire lot for her own purposes - much to my consternation - she says these bandanas are cool looking, a “millinery triumph”, whatever that means — she says any one of them “turns a straw hat into 10 different hats”]

Uses: when riding a horse through dust - wet it and put over nose and mouth to keep dust out of lungs; large and strong enough to use as a sling for a broken arm; tourniquet; polishing glasses; pre-filter for dirty water; for gathering eggs or berries and bringing them back to hut; can swab up a lot of sweat

Comments: an order of magnitude better overall than any other bandana out there

Price: an order of magnitude higher than any other bandana out there --- if you have to ask, you can’t afford it (get the 34X34 "blacked striped" one)

#244818 - 04/12/12 05:43 AM Re: Finds on ebay [Re: Cauldronborn2]
Mark_M Offline

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey

You've easily quadrupled my knowledge of paracord and even have be considering the purchase of a $14 bandanna. I'd say you're Journeyman stripes are well-deserved. Kudos!
2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
'13 Wheeling: 8 Camping: 6 | "The trail was rated 5+ and our rigs were -1" -Evan@LIORClub

#244827 - 04/12/12 12:20 PM Re: Finds on ebay [Re: GradyT34]
Cauldronborn2 Offline

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 83
Loc: UK
Thanks again for your honest review Grady. I know the paracord and bandanas are pricier compared to the ordinary ones but if the quality is better then I'd say its worth it.

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