Tuesday, March 11, 2014

More Mil-Spec Fun!

On my last post I said we were going to beat the Mil-Spec horse a little longer. Apparently I was wrong. We're gonna ride that sucker around! So, more Mil-Spec cord fun!

Today we are going to look at other types of  MIL-C-5040H/PIA-C-5040E cord. Other than the most popular being the Type III 550, there are five other types;

TypeInner StrandsBreak Strength
Type I495
Type II4400
Type III7550
Type IV11750
Type IAnone100
Type IIAnone225

Types IA and IIA are listed separately by me. For the reason that they do not have a requirement for inner strands. The inner strand count listed for the other cords are a minimum number. I have seen cord with additional strands. Although it is very rare.

I have heard Type I & IA described as accessory cord, dummy cord and vest cord. It is used to secure objects to your person that you cannot afford to lose.

I have also heard Type IV described as the bigger beefier cousin of Type III. The cords have identical construction with the addition of four extra inner strands in Type IV. I don't believe that Type IV is used all that much. Hence the lack of availability.

I have found sources for all of these cords except Type IIA. I am not sure that anybody is manufacturing it. (I have seen a 425 Tactical Cord that sounds like Type II.) Here is a list of sources for the others, except Type III 550 which I covered in a previous post.

These cords are rare, so don't expect to find any deals.

Type I     The Paracord Store. - Commercial, Not Mil-Spec - 100' - $6.75
Type IA  Adventure Survival Equipment - Genuine Mil-Spec - 100' - $6.95
Type II   Horizon Industries - Genuine Mil-Spec - 1200' $85.87 Very limited selection. One color.
Type IV 5col Survival Supply - Genuine Mil-Spec - 100' - $16.49 Free shipping.

If anybody has any input on additional sources for these cords, I would be happy to hear them.


  1. I found this type IV on Amazon. Is it the real deal? They are a little bit cheaper than 5col.

  2. I recently purchased tactical cord from Survival Pax. It has three inner strands and has the tensile strength of 425. I also went to our local paracord place and they had tactical cord from Atwood Rope. It's tensile strength was listed as 275 lbs. It contained 3 strands. However, it was as thin and as pliable as the Type I paracord (tensile strength of about 100 lbs) I buy from Survival Pax. I can't find anything that tells me why it could have 3 strands, be as thin as Type I and still have the tensile strength of 275 lbs. I can't find anything on the Atwood site that tells me what material is used for the sheath. Anyone have any ideas?

  3. Thanks for the information, Regards, MAC

  4. Tactical cord is a catch all name for any small diameter general purpose cord. There is no defined standard for tactical cord. It is usually braided cord with or without inner strands. The three inner strand cord from Survival Pax can be compared to Type I mil-spec cord. Although Type I has four inner strands. As for strength, it's a function of material. I don't believe Atwood produces cord for the U.S. Military so their products don't typically emulate Military cord.