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Thread: Question about paracord.

  1. #1

    Default Question about paracord.

    I've heard that not all paracord is the same. That civilian paracord, while more common, is not as strong as official military paracord.

    Id like to purchase the strongest paracord possible, for my hurricane kit, so any info, on this subject, would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Raven; 01-20-2006 at 08:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* DUQ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    There are mostly two available. 550lb 7 strand and 450lb 4 strand. 550lb being the strongest of course. You can get it form hundreds of store online but I would get it from Lighhound----> Lighthound Paracord
    LED's impress but Incans satisfy

  3. #3

    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Some parachute shops call it MIL-C-5040H, so is that what most 550 cord is?

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Jumpmaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    You could always get Spectra or Kevlar...It's used in sport parachuting quite a bit -- higher strength than standard 550...

    JM-99

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    Flashaholic fasuto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    A good source to buy it is from
    http://www.supplycaptain.com/

    I bought a month ago and i'm very satisfied.

    Also lightbound sells 450 in a lot of colors

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    sorry for the dumb question. what is paracord used for? i see it being mentioned as essential stuff for emergency bail out bag. thanks.
    amlim aka lim (sometimes mis-identified as amlin)

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    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    You want the 7 strand 550 lbs test cord.

    Get it at...
    www.ubraidit.com
    www.countycomm.com
    www.supplycaptain.com

    You should not have to pay over 7 cents a foot.

    ~John

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Jumpmaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Spectra and Kevlar are stronger than 550 cord.

    Depends on your application, I suppose...I make my lanyards out of 550 cord -- for higher strength applications, Spectra.

    JM-99
    Last edited by Jumpmaster; 01-20-2006 at 12:26 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Quote Originally Posted by amlim
    sorry for the dumb question. what is paracord used for? i see it being mentioned as essential stuff for emergency bail out bag. thanks.
    Not a dumb question.
    Paracord is an all-around great material for tying things up. Think of it as twine that is REALLY strong. Or think of it as a strong rope that is really thin.
    The key to 550 paracord is that each foot equals 8 feet of good twine.
    It is composed of a hollow woven nylon tube that is quite strong. Inside the tube are 7 internal "threads" that are also quite strong on their own. Together, the hollow tube and the internal threads can hold 550 pounds.
    In a survival situation, you could pull out one of the internal threads and use it for a fishing line. Or you could use one thread to tie up a tarp shelter.

    450 cord has only 4 internal threads.---Marc

  10. #10

    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Exactly right - the big thing about the 550 7-strand paracord is that it breaks down into amazingly useful components. The whole paracord is good for 550lbs (working load lower, of course). Then the outer sheath by itself is very supple, and good for something like 200lbs.

    The seven internal strands are good for light twine or very heavy thread usage, and each of those breaks down into (3?) fineer strands which are good for all kinds of normal thread-type uses. I understand they've been used for stitches, repair work on tarps, cloth, etc, and for snares, and other outdoor needs.

    Even a few feet of 550 cord will supply an amazing amount of material for various emergency/survival needs.

    The 'civilian' clothesline-style cord doesn't have all the layered cords, just a weak outer sheath, and a fuzzy bunch of hair-thin fibers inside - USELESS for any of the above needs.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Quote Originally Posted by amlim
    sorry for the dumb question. what is paracord used for? i see it being mentioned as essential stuff for emergency bail out bag. thanks.
    As the name implies, it was originally used in military parachutes. What you use it for is only limited by your imagination.

    Michael

  12. #12

    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Well, I'm already beginning my prep work for the next hurricane season, and a few hundred feet of paracord might come in very handy.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Just remember, it won't hold up a person if you're rappeling,etc

  14. #14
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Quote Originally Posted by DUQ
    There are mostly two available. 550lb 7 strand and 450lb 4 strand. 550lb being the strongest of course. You can get it form hundreds of store online but I would get it from Lighhound----> Lighthound Paracord
    I ordered some 550 OD paracord from Lighthound. It's the civillian stuff, thin hair-like fibers inside. Still handy though. Does LH even sell the 7-strand stuff?
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  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Jumpmaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Paragear has the mil-spec 550 in limited colors:
    www.paragear.com
    Item: W9690 -- TYPE III NYLON CORD
    White, black, OD green, and red.

    JM-99
    (Not affiliated with them...I've ordered from them before...)

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    I have also dealt with ParaGear and would recommend them.. They also have a great selection of the stronger lines as well.

    I have also found lots of the mil-spec 550 cord on eBay.

    Michael
    Last edited by AESOP; 01-20-2006 at 11:30 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Quote Originally Posted by GarageBoy
    Just remember, it won't hold up a person if you're rappeling,etc
    why not? its called 550 lbs paracord. or is you must use a minimum number of paracords to hold 550 lbs? thanks.
    amlim aka lim (sometimes mis-identified as amlin)

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    thanks to all who have kindly replied. cheers
    amlim aka lim (sometimes mis-identified as amlin)

  19. #19

    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Amim, it looks like others answered you privately, but I'll just put it on here for everyone.

    550lbs is the rated BREAKING strength of the line - the amount of static weight that it will hold before breaking under ideal conditions. Safe Working Loads are generally considered to be 10% of Breaking strength, and that goes down a bit more if you're using block and tackle, or knots, or running it around corners, or whatever.

    Real-world, dynamic situations are so much more stressful, and having loads drop because of line failure is so bad, that the 90% cushion is absolutely required. If you're doing things that involve suspending people, or suspending objects over people, or anything that relates to safety, it's not a bad idea to cut that in half again - that's one of the reasons that strength ratings on carabiners and other climing gear is so high - the idea is that even a maximum real-world dynamic load comes nowhere even CLOSE to the breaking strength of the gear involved.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* offroadcmpr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jumpmaster
    Spectra and Kevlar are stronger than 550 cord.

    Depends on your application, I suppose...I make my lanyards out of 550 cord -- for higher strength applications, Spectra.

    JM-99
    Where can you find spectra cord? Most climbing shops have it in 5.5mm for climbers, but I thought that paracord was thinner, like around 3mm? Or am I just not thinking right now?

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* DUQ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    I just measured my boot laces (which are OD parcord) and they are 5mm.
    LED's impress but Incans satisfy

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* Jumpmaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Quote Originally Posted by offroadcmpr
    Where can you find spectra cord? Most climbing shops have it in 5.5mm for climbers, but I thought that paracord was thinner, like around 3mm? Or am I just not thinking right now?
    Paragear also sells quite a few varieties of Spectra.

    JM-99

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    I recently bought a 1200 foot roll of 550 paracord on Ebay for $35.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    What deanster said..yea, if you rappel with paracord..the shock will cause it to snap

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deanster
    Amim, it looks like others answered you privately, but I'll just put it on here for everyone.

    550lbs is the rated BREAKING strength of the line - the amount of static weight that it will hold before breaking under ideal conditions. Safe Working Loads are generally considered to be 10% of Breaking strength, and that goes down a bit more if you're using block and tackle, or knots, or running it around corners, or whatever.

    Real-world, dynamic situations are so much more stressful, and having loads drop because of line failure is so bad, that the 90% cushion is absolutely required. If you're doing things that involve suspending people, or suspending objects over people, or anything that relates to safety, it's not a bad idea to cut that in half again - that's one of the reasons that strength ratings on carabiners and other climing gear is so high - the idea is that even a maximum real-world dynamic load comes nowhere even CLOSE to the breaking strength of the gear involved.
    hi deanster, thanks for the helpful explanation. that means the safe load is 55 lbs. right?
    amlim aka lim (sometimes mis-identified as amlin)

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    I have been looking for some 4mm or 5mm emergency cord. I saw it years ago, and it was suppose to be good for a "one time" emergency rappel. It might be kelvar or spectra cord, I don't know.
    Maybe someone has an idea. I'll go check Ebay.


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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Anyone know about this cord??
    CMC Pro Series Rit Line, item # 292005
    Weight: 1.57 lbs. / 100 ft. Temperature Rating: 900ş F
    Diameter: 5.6 mm MBS: 2,285 lbs.
    CMC's new ProSeries RIT Line is 100% aramid fiber
    link on Ebay:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/CMC-Pro-Series-R...QQcmdZViewItem


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  28. #28

    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Ok.. someone set me straight... Northern Tool has 'paracord' which is 1/8" wide in various colors (black, white, camo).. seems to be the paracord described above...

    Is this the same as para/550 cord?

  29. #29

    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Quote Originally Posted by thatguybme
    Ok.. someone set me straight... Northern Tool has 'paracord' which is 1/8" wide in various colors (black, white, camo).. seems to be the paracord described above...

    Is this the same as para/550 cord?
    I went to thier site and didn't find it. Any chance of a link?

    Do you understand what 550 is? This place has a pretty good close up pic.

    550 that is commonly referred to is all nylon construction, and has 7 separate inner strands with an outer shell that is tightly woven. Some of the lesser quality 550 will have inner strands that are more woven not separate. More like a bunch of fibers. It’s 3mm or 1/8 inch although the way its made can vary it‘s density making some feel thinner. The nice thing about 550 para cord is that the tightly woven outer shell resists fraying better than much of the accessory cord which usually isn’t woven so tightly. Hopefully someone else will come along to better help you.
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  30. #30
    Flashaholic* parnass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about paracord.

    Quote Originally Posted by jtice
    You want the 7 strand 550 lbs test cord.

    Get it at...
    www.ubraidit.com
    www.countycomm.com
    www.supplycaptain.com

    You should not have to pay over 7 cents a foot.

    ~John
    John,
    Thanks for the references. After reading your posting, I bought paracord from Supply Captain:

    http://www.supplycaptain.com/store/i...&category_ID=6

    They shipped immediately via US Mail and I am satisfied with the product.

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