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Posted by Madeline Kenninger on Oct 9th 2019

550 Mil Spec Paracord is paracord that follows the military’s MIL-C-5040H requirements and standards that can be distinctly differentiated from regular 550 paracord. The following identifiers are things anyone can look out for to confirm the authenticity of their 550 Mil Spec Paracord.

  1.  It should be made of Nylon. Polyester is a common material used for low-quality paracord and has a duller appearance. Quality paracord manufacturers use nylon to make their products because of its durability. 
  2. There should be between seven and nine strands inside the paracord. It is common to find seven, but some will have more.
    Inner Strands
    West Coast Paracord Tan 550 Type III MIL-C-5040 Paracord
  3. One of the inner strands is colored. It can vary in color due to each manufacturer having a different assigned color but will be different from the other inner strands. This strand is called the marker strand and is assigned to each manufacturer by the U.S. military to ensure consistent quality.
    Three Strands - Inner Strand
    West Coast Paracord Tan 550 Type III MIL-C-5040 Paracord
  4. Count the number of strands in each of the inner strands. Each inner strand should be made up of three strands. Sometimes, low quality, non-550 Mil Spec will have two. There three strands must be twisted together.