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Thread: 550 cord

  1. #1
    Member ozhunter's Avatar
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    Question 550 cord

    Can someone tell me what 550 cord is or what else it is known by?

    I ask for it in the shops here and all I get is blank looks.

    Is it like thin nylon rope or venetian cord or what...

    Thanks

    oz
    il vaut mieux Ítre bon que la chance

  2. #2

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    Parachute cord

  3. #3

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    here is a link to buy 300 feet 550 cord for $20.

    http://www.uscav.com/Productinfo.asp...5444&TabID=548

    good luck

  4. #4
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    cabelas sells it by the spool too.
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  5. #5
    Member ozhunter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks for the help folks. I located some here in oz from a military supply company. $14 aussie for 300 ft.

    Thanks again

    oz
    il vaut mieux Ítre bon que la chance

  6. #6
    Member BigHinER's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ozhunter View Post
    Can someone tell me what 550 cord is or what else it is known by?

    I ask for it in the shops here and all I get is blank looks.

    Is it like thin nylon rope or venetian cord or what...

    Thanks

    oz
    It has a tensil strength of 550 pounds meaning 1 piece will suspend 550 pounds. Take the "guts" out and it has less tensil strength, but is easier to tie. It's used for parachute suspension lines. AKA parachute cord.

    Anything can be fixed with 550 cord and 100 MPH tape.

  7. #7

    Default But don't trust your life to it

    Quote Originally Posted by BigHinER View Post
    It has a tensil strength of 550 pounds meaning 1 piece will suspend 550 pounds. Take the "guts" out and it has less tensil strength, but is easier to tie. It's used for parachute suspension lines. AKA parachute cord.

    Anything can be fixed with 550 cord and 100 MPH tape.
    There's lots of "generic" 550 cord out there so don't bet your life on the 550 lbs. rating. I've broken supposed 550 cord at about 200 lbs.

  8. #8
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default How do you know?

    How do you know if it is generic or not? Seems like there should be a way and I would certainly like to know before I tarzaning with the stuff!

  9. #9
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Some Gee Whiz on 550 cord. (I used to work with the stuff)

    550 cord is a Kernmantle type rope. Meaning that it incorporates an outer sheath and an inner core. Modern climbing ropes are constructed the same way.

    It's common name "550 cord" is derived from it's nominal tensile strength-550 lbs.

    The outer sheath by itself is rated at 200lbs and each of the 7 inner cords or kerns is rated at 50lbs. 7x50=350+200=550

    If you're ever stuck out in the boonies with a limited supply and a lot of need, you can "stretch" it by gutting it and using sections of the core for smaller jobs.

  10. #10
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default Army Navy Store

    has it. and they have different ratings right on the different packages. Same I have seen in other stores. Look at the fine print. Some only for 250 and some in between and then the 550. True parachute cord is like mentioned above. 7 strands inside a outer layer. I have always had good luck with it. Bought 3-100' packs at Army Navy, they had it on sale. Just read the packages, I was surprised.

  11. #11
    Member AKGUPPY's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BucknRut View Post
    How do you know if it is generic or not? Seems like there should be a way and I would certainly like to know before I tarzaning with the stuff!
    If it says "Made in China," it's generic.

  12. #12
    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Parachute Cord

    Genuine 550 has a "Mil-Spec" Here's another discussion of it: http://survival.com/IVB/index.php?showtopic=11381 550 is only one type of parachute cord, but it's what most of us consider "standard parachute cord."

    As others have said, genuine 550 is very handy. The whole cord in good shape is strong stuff. I've used the guts (and strands of the guts) for thread, fishline, frayed it and tied it to the end of my rifle to use as a wind indicator, and a whole lot more.

    I am really into going light while backpacking, but I always try to carry a little extra 550 cord.

    One other point: it seems to be in vogue to use green, black or camo cord. I find white or brighter colors to make more sense so you can actually see and find it. Makes a difference if you're using it for tent guylines or if you just dropped a piece in the tussocks. (Don't get me started on camo knives!)

  13. #13
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default

    What about camo GPS units? A friend of mine lost his over on the AK Pen years ago. I'm sure the GPS knew right where it was for about 8 hours after it fell off his gear.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  14. #14
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    Default

    That's exactly why I now tie bright pieces of surveyor's tape it my GPS, camera and anything else small and dark that may be put down and suddenly lost. Personally I think they just run off or the ground squirrels steal them to see where they are.

  15. #15

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    In my ARMY days, we would use this stuff for everything because it would hold up. Make sure to get the good stuff. Some makers sell big spools of it for really cheap, and that is usually very cheap quality. You get what you pay for here!

  16. #16
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    Default Commercial Fishing Twine

    For what it's worth.I would try some of the commercial fishing "twine" at commercial fishing gear store or online.You can get it in different thicknesses (2mm,4.5mm,etc)and construction(poly,etc)and a whole lot cheaper than "para cord".Tough stuff for general purpose.
    Been using it commercial fishing for 15 yrs and for everything in between.It's cheap and a spool lasts a long time

  17. #17
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Default

    I used to use it for knitting lobster pot heads(tunnels) when i fished back east. The number i always thought meant how many feet were in a pound of it, 550=550 ft per pound. We also used 750 & 1000. You can buy it by the 2lb ball from Hamilton Marine or New England Marine & Industrial both have websites. The stuff we used didn't have a stranded core in it. It also comes in both flat and round braids. I think BJ's and or Donaldsons in anchorage also might have some by the ball. Look for size number 48,60 or 72.

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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    Some Gee Whiz on 550 cord. (I used to work with the stuff)

    550 cord is a Kernmantle type rope. Meaning that it incorporates an outer sheath and an inner core. Modern climbing ropes are constructed the same way.

    It's common name "550 cord" is derived from it's nominal tensile strength-550 lbs.

    The outer sheath by itself is rated at 200lbs and each of the 7 inner cords or kerns is rated at 50lbs. 7x50=350+200=550

    If you're ever stuck out in the boonies with a limited supply and a lot of need, you can "stretch" it by gutting it and using sections of the core for smaller jobs.
    And that's why gutted is "rated" at about 200 pounds.

    For tying off survival items, 100 pound works really well because it isn't as bulky as 550 cord. If you ever get a chance to see a military survival vest, survival kit or raft pack, the pockets / compartments are lined with small loops for tying off all survival items in the vest (and 100 pound is what is used) to secure them in the vest kit or raft pack.

    As for identification, if your intended use requires the full 550 pound break strength, I'd suggest buying it from a reputable dealer such as Paragear (google paragear). Paragear supplies the military (with real mil spec material) and the civilian skydiving community with rigging materials.

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