Paracord aka parachute cord or 550 cord is a product with numerous options and uses.
Paracord initially was one of the many lines that secured the parachute to the parachute harness of a parachutist. It was useful for survival kits as the cord could be used to make shelters, etc. and the inner fibers could be used to catch small game in snares.
However there is also a lot of confusion about the product
Standard commercial paracord is 1/8". The strength rating is 450 pound test which translates into minimum breaking strength of 450 pounds. The number of fibers in this cord varies but averages about 4.
550 Cord is has the same size but has 7 fibers giving it a breaking strength of 550 pounds test.
Milspec 550 cord has special color coding on the inner fibers that signify that it was made on a govt contract and where it came from.
For most civilian and commercial use none of the cord will appear that much diffent, however the 550 will be arounder cord due to the fact that it has more stuffing or fibers inside. The big difference is the number of colors currenly available. 450 test currently has at least 34 colors available while the 550 cord only has 8.
Sizes vary widely but 450 test is available in hanks of 50 or 100 feet or spools of 250, 500 or 1000 feet.
550 test Paracord is available in the same lengths except the largest spool is 1200 feet instead of 1000.
Parachute Cord is now available in 1000# test as well, but the only color available is green.
Questions contact Barre Navy Store at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-448-7965