Parachute Cord


Browsing around on the web I have run in to several articles regarding parachute cord. You can make bracelets with it or use it as a survival item.  Just in case you are in need of some cord, or the components to make a bracelet, we have them.


1/2″ Side Release Buckles

We only sell commercial grade parachute cord which is not designed for use in parachutes. Parachute cord is often referred to as 550 cord, denoting its theoretical breaking strength. That is for the mil-spec version which is really designed for parachute use.

Parachute cord gets its strength from the parallel strands of nylon in the center of the cord.


They are covered by  tightly woven nylon which protects them from chafe. Being made from nylon, parachute cord is very stretchy (good for adsorbing shock when the parachute opens) and offers pretty good UV resistance. Nylon does adsorb water and it tends to shrink after being wet which will make it a bit stiffer.

Oh, the first picture? Joe took that during a training jump in Europe. From what he has told me being a paratrooper was not a pleasant experience. Something about having someone shooting at you while being airsick. We have to thank Joe and others from the “greatest generation” for having the courage to do what they had to do.


Side Release Buckles

SRB1We stock three types of 1 inch side release buckles. As you can see they are all a bit different which means the parts will not interchange. These are all manufactured by American Cord and Webbing and are made out of acetyl plastic.

Buckle “A” is the original side release buckle. It is the most common version if you are trying to match something already in use. Note that everything is rather straight, and the corners are angular.

Buckle “B” is the newer “contoured side release” version. It is what we use on our standard straps and it is much more curved than the original model. Due to volume it is also a bit less expensive than the original.

Buckle “C” is designated as a Type V buckle which was designed for use on United States Coast Guard approved life jackets. It is larger than the other two and a bit stronger. Like the original, the Type V has straight sides and angular corners.

SRB2The photo above shows the three buckles unsnapped so you can see what the male portion looks like. It is easy to understand that the parts are not interchangeable.

Buckles from different manufacturers also can vary so you need to physically try to see what will work. We have found that the buckles used on Rigg’s motorcycle bags will work with our original pattern.

Should you need only half of a buckle, we can fill your order. Just give Rollie a call at (253) 627-6000 – they are not listed on our web site. If you want to place an order check out our complete selection of buckles and hardware Sizes from 1/2″ to 2″ are shown in both plastic and metal.