International Guild of Knot Tyers Forum

General => Practical Knots => Topic started by: TMCD on July 03, 2012, 10:10:51 PM

Title: Paracord 550
Post by: TMCD on July 03, 2012, 10:10:51 PM
I've been buying lots of cheapish rope lately and I want to quit doing that. I'd rather spend a little money on paracord 550, like possibly buy five hundred feet worth. I need better quality rope than what I've been getting because some of these tasks I'm using it for require decent rope.

Where's a good place either online or box store to buy legit paracord, color really doesn't matter. I need good rope for my painter line on my boat and my anchor ropes, I guess paracord would work for that. My camping trips obviously require some rope too, also like decent rope for tying down my ladders and several other situations on the workplace that require small amounts of rope.
Title: Re: Paracord 550
Post by: knot4u on July 04, 2012, 10:40:08 PM
Here's where I get mine:
http://www.adventuresurvivalequipment.com/survival-accessories/survival-parachute-cord.html

I go with the 550 Parachute Cord that's labeled "MIL-C-5040 Type III".
Title: Re: Paracord 550
Post by: Mike on July 08, 2012, 01:05:15 AM
http://parachute-cord.com/100.htm
Title: Re: Paracord 550
Post by: SS369 on July 08, 2012, 01:42:20 AM
Hi TMCD, here is a link to material suppliers of different kinds, including paracord.
http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=3623.msg20681#msg20681 (http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=3623.msg20681#msg20681)

I personally would not use paracord to tie down ladders. It is rated to 550 lbs. (if it is the true stuff, not the cheap imitation), but that is max. and no knots. A ladder shifting on braking could exceed the rating and that wouldn't be good.

Get some adequate rope for that.

SS
Title: Re: Paracord 550
Post by: firebight on July 08, 2012, 05:48:34 AM

I personally would not use paracord to tie down ladders. It is rated to 550 lbs. (if it is the true stuff, not the cheap imitation), but that is max. and no knots. A ladder shifting on braking could exceed the rating and that wouldn't be good.

Get some adequate rope for that.

SS

I was thinking the same thing, can't get around ol' Newtons law. I would probably go with some 6mm kernmanle. Then again I just love kernmantle rope.
Title: Re: Paracord 550
Post by: TMCD on July 08, 2012, 03:13:57 PM
Thanks for the responses guys. It seems most of these internet sites are actually selling fake or knock off paracord. I've done a little research and there's thousands of negative comments from people who thought they were getting the real mccoy only to learn it's a knock off.

I think I'll drive down to Ft. Knox which is only about 45 minutes from my house and check around their surplus stores. They used to have TONS of quality and real military items, hopefully paracord will be on hand. I do need to upgrade my ladder tiedown ropes, they're not very strong.
Title: Re: Paracord 550
Post by: knot4u on July 08, 2012, 08:44:49 PM
Thanks for the responses guys. It seems most of these internet sites are actually selling fake or knock off paracord. I've done a little research and there's thousands of negative comments from people who thought they were getting the real mccoy only to learn it's a knock off.

I think I'll drive down to Ft. Knox which is only about 45 minutes from my house and check around their surplus stores. They used to have TONS of quality and real military items, hopefully paracord will be on hand. I do need to upgrade my ladder tiedown ropes, they're not very strong.

They got duped because they don't know how to identify the real thing. Real is labeled "MIL-C-5040 Type III". Fake is often called "Commercial". Do an Internet search to learn more about the specifics. Commercial doesn't mean it's necessarily inferior. It just means it may not be the same as the real thing. You need to know this even if you walk into a store.  If someone tells you it's the real thing, tell them to show you the label.

Some sites sell both fake (commercial) and the real thing (MIL-C-5040 Type III). Commercial is usually about a dollar less per 100 feet.

I have bought paracord many times from the link I posted above. It's the real thing. Read the site. They would have been sued a long time ago, by me and others, if the whole site was a fraud.
Title: Re: Paracord 550
Post by: TMCD on July 08, 2012, 10:11:25 PM
Thanks for the responses guys. It seems most of these internet sites are actually selling fake or knock off paracord. I've done a little research and there's thousands of negative comments from people who thought they were getting the real mccoy only to learn it's a knock off.

I think I'll drive down to Ft. Knox which is only about 45 minutes from my house and check around their surplus stores. They used to have TONS of quality and real military items, hopefully paracord will be on hand. I do need to upgrade my ladder tiedown ropes, they're not very strong.

They got duped because they don't know how to identify the real thing. Real is labeled "MIL-C-5040 Type III". Fake is often called "Commercial". Do an Internet search to learn more about the specifics. Commercial doesn't mean it's necessarily inferior. It just means it may not be the same as the real thing. You need to know this even if you walk into a store.  If someone tells you it's the real thing, tell them to show you the label.

Some sites sell both fake (commercial) and the real thing (MIL-C-5040 Type III). Commercial is usually about a dollar less per 100 feet.

I have bought paracord many times from the link I posted above. It's the real thing. Read the site. They would have been sued a long time ago, by me and others, if the whole site was a fraud.

It seems like there's some fuzzy areas concerning what's real and what's fake. I was reading that real paracord actually reads like this, MIL-C-5040H Type III. Notice the H in that series, and that if it doesn't have that it's a knock off. Hell, I don't know but anything's better than the rope I've been buying.

The more I read concerning paracord, the more confusing it all becomes. Nothing like the government to create such silly issues, as they've contracted the manufacturing process out. It seems most of the knockoff rope has inferior strands and not the military speced seven strands. One minor deviation from the specs creates an automatic reject. It's even reported that the cheaper stuff may well be the same specs but wasn't thoroughly checked and gauged during the manufacturing process. It's quite confusing to me.
Title: Re: Paracord 550
Post by: knot4u on July 09, 2012, 06:01:43 PM
Well, here's a site that uses the "H" sometimes, and sometimes not:
http://www.bestglide.com/550_cord_info.html
Checking my records, I've bought from them too!

Here's the solution for the skeptics. Take the time to learn exactly what are the specifications, which are not that complicated. Then, you can get a sample (maybe buy the smallest amount), cut the rope, physically inspect it, and make your own determination. Worst case scenario is you learn something while spending money on paracord that's not quite genuine but will still perform well in your applications. Another scenario is you come across cord that's slighter stronger than the genuine 550 paracord, for example, if there are 8 strands in there, instead of just 7. By the way, I heard the military is moving (or has moved) over to 8 strand paracord. There's another monkey wrench in the confusion.

I wouldn't buy from a walk-in store. That would be worse. I want to sit and read their literature they have in writing. What a store employee, manager, or owner tells me verbally is irrelevant to me. However, if it's in writing in my hands, they can be sued over it.
Title: Re: Paracord 550
Post by: firebight on July 09, 2012, 06:41:07 PM
Considering the value of your ladders, and the cost involved if a ladder should leap off your truck, I would invest a few bucks in some good cordage. Check out this link, the price is reasonable and at around 11KN (KiloNewtons) your ladders and other gear should be safe. :)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dacron-double-braid-sail-Sheet-line-rope-1-4-x-100-Yellow-/360451863714?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53ec9af4a2

Title: Re: Paracord 550
Post by: firebight on July 09, 2012, 08:38:14 PM
One other cord I would recommend. I bought a 100 feet of this stuff and it is really good accessory cord. You cant beat the price.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/7mm-x-50-Prusik-Cord-Pack-Rope-NEW-/160838377022?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2572b6de3e

Title: Re: Paracord 550
Post by: knot4u on July 12, 2012, 08:15:18 PM
This site sells 550 paracord, but there are 8 strands in there. So, it may give you a little more strength than the 7-on-3 strand paracord.

http://parachute-cord.com/mil.htm
Title: Re: Paracord 550
Post by: KnotMe on April 15, 2014, 04:28:19 PM
Is there any way to tell, assuming that there is no labeling/packaging, if your cord is milspec (visually)?

Also, if it's not, for a cord length of, maybe, 15' are there applications where it makes an actual difference safety-wise?
Title: Re: Paracord 550
Post by: SS369 on April 15, 2014, 05:02:11 PM
Hello Carol.

The information here >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parachute_cord (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parachute_cord) is pretty factual according to my memory from skydiving days. Certainly enough for decorative/survival constructs. Nice looking spears and emergency lashings, etc....  ;)

One possible resource of quality paracord you could check into is R&W Rope. http://rwrope.com/ (http://rwrope.com/)
They are a very helpful group, Bob Dollar goes the extra yard (Pun intended), prices are good and color selection wide, and are located in the U.S. northeast. They ship internationally too.

Hope this helps some.

SS
Title: Re: Paracord 550
Post by: KnotMe on April 15, 2014, 05:33:18 PM
Actually, I have already ordered what is supposed to be milspec paracord from eBay.  I'm generally expecting it to not be milspec, I'm expecting it to not have any packaging or labeling.

For my personal purposes, there is no difference.  Milspec or not, it's irrelevant.  But for practical use, for shorter lengths 9-15', so no actual parachuting, no climbing, does it make a difference?  Is there a "short length" use for which it would be a safety issue that the cord is not milspec?
Title: Re: Paracord 550
Post by: SS369 on April 15, 2014, 08:42:00 PM
For me, a short length of cord is always handy and welcome. Nothing like having some in a needful scenario.

I don't see towing happening with this cord, but there may be a time where you might have to lock a steering wheel or some-such in a particular place.  More than adequate for this I believe.

One could use it while climbing to lash a splint in place should some misdeed happen. Might get you out of the woods.

Could fix a hose or pipe, tie something on a motorcycle or bicycle, etc., or just provide hours of fun tying knots for the therapy of it.

Short length use should be guided by some common sense and imagination.
And then there is that the knot(s) used will further weaken the affair.

I'd mention adamantly, that the cord if used, though strong enough to suspend oneself, Should Not Be Used for any purpose of this sort.

SS
Title: Re: Paracord 550
Post by: KnotMe on April 15, 2014, 11:00:43 PM
I'd mention adamantly, that the cord if used, though strong enough to suspend oneself, Should Not Be Used for any purpose of this sort.
Ah, makes sense.  That's what I was after.  Thanks!