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#50983 - 10/03/05 12:13 AM "Real" paracord vs. "fake".
ianjbs Offline


Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 24
How can I tell the difference between mil-spec and commercial quality 550 cord? What are the differences? Do I need the mil-spec stuff? Also, where can I find a source for the real stuff, as well as a site which lists the many uses for it. I have heard of the myriad of tasks it can accomplish, but would like some specifics. Thanks for the help! <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


Edited by ianjbs (10/03/05 12:16 AM)

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#50984 - 10/03/05 12:26 AM Re: "Real" paracord vs. "fake".
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 885
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
County Comm has several colors. They carry Mil spec cord for $6 / 100'.

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#50985 - 10/03/05 01:07 AM Re: "Real" paracord vs. "fake".
xbanker Offline
Addict

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 484
Loc: Anthem, AZ USA
You'll find more than you ever wanted to know about paracord by using the SEARCH feature (menu bar at top of forum page); type in "paracord" w/o quotes; for max results, be sure to change Date Range to All Posts. To get you started, here's near identical thread from couple of months ago.

You might find these pages useful if you intend to do any lanyard braiding (great use; easy way to carry small lengths) w/paracord.
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"Things that have never happened before happen all the time." Scott Sagan, The Limits of Safety

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#50986 - 10/03/05 01:09 AM Re: "Real" paracord vs. "fake".
Fitzoid Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 289
Loc: WI, MA, and NYC
The real stuff has 7 inner strands within the main cord. They increase the strength, but more importantly, you can pull the strands out and use them separately, e.g., a single strand can replace a broken shoelace in a pinch.

Many people remove the inner strands for tying lanyards. (If you do this, you may want to soak the outer cord in hot water to shrink it afterwards.)

All things being equal, it's worth having those inner strands, although paracord is plenty strong without them. (Caveat: do not support your body weight with paracord, no matter what's inside it.)
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"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading." Henny Youngman

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#50987 - 10/03/05 04:02 AM Re: "Real" paracord vs. "fake".
jamesraykenney Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 310
Loc: Beaumont, TX USA
Quote:
The real stuff has 7 inner strands within the main cord. They increase the strength, but more importantly, you can pull the strands out and use them separately, e.g., a single strand can replace a broken shoelace in a pinch.

Many people remove the inner strands for tying lanyards. (If you do this, you may want to soak the outer cord in hot water to shrink it afterwards.)

All things being equal, it's worth having those inner strands, although paracord is plenty strong without them. (Caveat: do not support your body weight with paracord, no matter what's inside it.)


You know, it sound very funny for someone to say not to support your body weight with paracord, when that is what it is used for!!! <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
But I know that it is use in parallel to do that...And while 550lbs SOUNDS like a lot, you lose a LOT of strength with ANY knot you tie, AND, just the slightest bounce, can double your body weight!!! <img src="/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />
Just for your info, you can get paracord with a LOT more strands from a 'jump' rigging supply house, I have some ot the 11 strand stuff and about 50' of the 13(or was that 15) strand stuff, and it is a LOT stronger!!!
Weave a belt out of that stuff and you would have enough string to make a large net, or make a lot of almost ANYTHING...

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#50988 - 10/03/05 04:05 AM Re: "Real" paracord vs. "fake".
Fitzoid Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 289
Loc: WI, MA, and NYC
Yeah, I agree with you that it sounds funny to say that for paracord... <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

You just have to worry about someone trying to repel with it. Other than jumping, it'd be the fastest way down. <img src="/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
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"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading." Henny Youngman

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#50989 - 10/03/05 04:43 AM Re: "Real" paracord vs. "fake".
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
When I was younger I made a zip-cord trolly from a big tree in my parents house to a smaller tree. We started at 20ft and went down to 2ft above the ground using 2 pulleys and a black concrete mixer (that looked like a boat to us![and we used it for that too!]).

Anyway, we used 130lb 'white' nylon cord from wal-mart. Looking back the rope was only rated at ~150lbs and two of us weighned in at probably 200lbs (total), add 15lbs for the tub and a couple for the pulleys and secure ropes we were WELL over our limit. We went down togther many times and the neighbors all had a go etc.. etc.. It finally broke one day from about 10ft we went tumbling through the branches and landed in the tub on the ground. The worst injury was a bruise form the pulleys hitting us on the way down.

While the paracord is only rated at 550lb if I was stuck on a rock ledge and had to lower some gear or myself down and it was my only option I think I would do it. Double it up if possible but if it was a matter of starving to death or using my paracord I don't think i'd hesitate. 140lbs of me x2 is only slightly more than 1/2 the paracords rating so I think there is plenty if safety margin for an emergency.

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Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#50990 - 10/03/05 12:47 PM Re: "Real" paracord vs. "fake".
Malpaso Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 815
Loc: MA
www.cheaperthandirt.com carries large spools at excellent prices.
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It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

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#50991 - 10/03/05 02:29 PM Re: "Real" paracord vs. "fake".
Ors Offline
Namu (Giant Tree)
Addict

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 633
Loc: Iowa, USA
Okay, how many of you out there have heard of
"MIL-C-5040H Type III construction" paracord?

According to One Stop Knife Shop , this cord is "official issue" and consequently they charge $11.00 for 100 ft. It is seven strand, and I bought this over the "commercial" grade seven strand cord which was much less expensive.

But then I see the cord at Countycomm advertised as "The Real Deal" and the seven strand at cheaperthandirt.com, both at a good price compared to the "MIL-C-5040H Type III construction" and I'm confused! <img src="/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

Is seven strand "the real deal" no matter what?

Can the term "mil spec" be trusted? Or has it become a term like "natural". Like BBQ flavored sunflower seeds that have "natural" flavor.

Or maybe "MIL-C-5040H Type III construction" is a marketing strategy?

Your opinions would be much appreciated.

BTW, One Stop Knife Shop does sell red paracord, but they charge more for it than black
_________________________
Ors, MT-BC
Memento mori
Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat (They all wound, the last kills)

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#50992 - 10/03/05 02:42 PM Re: "Real" paracord vs. "fake".
Malpaso Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 815
Loc: MA
I can't tell you what is "real", "milspec" or "official", but here is what I've done with the cord I got from cheaperthandirt. At a friend's house, we had a 35' radio tower that had to be raised. With the base anchored, we ran a double length of para cord from the tower, up to an eye hook at the peak of his roof, and down to the bumper of a Jeep. We had no problem rasing the tower.
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It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

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