Dummy Cord Your Gear - ITS Tactical

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Dummy Cord Your Gear

By The ITS Crew

Dummy Cord 01The purpose of using a Dummy Cord on important gear is to prevent it’s loss in a situation where you have a temporary lapse of motor control, or you just plain drop it!

Dummy cording works by tying a line from your person to the said piece of gear, or can be as broad as tying in a motor in case a rouge wave knocks the motor off a Zodiac (this application will obviously take a heavier duty cordage.)

Imagine navigating at night when a branch sneaks up on you and knocks your compass out of your hand. It falls to the ground just as the man behind you conveniently steps on it.

Hopefully in that situation you’d have a backup, “two is one and one is none,” right?

To circumvent the possibility of even letting yourself fall into that position, take a few seconds and dummy cord that compass!

What To Use

Dummy Cord 03Traditionally dummy cords are as simple as gutting 550 cord and using a strand of the inner guts to secure your gear, or just whole 550 cord depending on what you’re tying in.

We now carry Dummy Cord in the ITS Store, available in black and coyote. It’s similar to the cord used in pilot’s vests, the USGI Strobe Light Pouch and the dummy cord in the leg pocket of flight suits.

Dummy Cord typically has a tensile strength of 100 pounds and a diameter of 1/16″.

Shot Line

Dummy Cord 02Another product we’ve used as Dummy Cord is Military Shot Line, which is traditionally used in U.S. Navy ship-to-ship transfers during UNREP (Underway Replenishment).

Shot Line is connected to a projectile housed in an adapter at the end of an M14.

The projectile is then fired by a blank round in the M14 and received by the opposing ship’s crew.

Parting Words

051106-N-9641C-003Whatever you decide to use to lash in your gear, make sure you use something. Losing gear is preventable, and there’s no excuse for it!

The simple act of tying in critical items could mean the difference between life and death in certain situations. Seriously.

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  • AAron

    Where can I buy Shot Line?

    • AAron, I really wish I knew! We looked all over when writing this article and no one seems to carry it. The type 1 cord through Supply Captain is the closest thing we can find that’s commercially available. Perhaps one of our readers knows how to track some down? ~ Bryan

  • I should have added that you have to call them, or establish direct email contact with their sales team to purchase just the line or canister, etc. They have respooling tools and all kinds of things available for sale separately, but they don’t advertise it. FYI, they don’t use 550 cord, its just a nylon (maybe 7 strand?) line. Nothing special. You can buy standard 550 at cabela’s by the foot.

  • Bullfred

    Genuine Navy shot line is like a mini-paracord. It has and outer sheath with three inner 3-ply strands. It’s treated so that it will float on sea water for 24 hours and strength tested at 125lbs for 10 minutes. I called rocknrescue.com and they told me their line is braided, but has no inner core. The only place I’ve found that sells it is the manufacturer (Consolidated Cordage) in Florida, and they only sell to businesses and have a 17-roll minimum purchase requirement. I received a sample and it matches the shot line I have from my Navy days back in the early 70’s. I’m considering ordering from them, but I only want a few rolls and would have to sell the rest.

  • Bullfred

    Update – Shipmates, I recently purchased eight rolls of genuine Navy shot line and plan to keep three. If anyone is interested, I’m willing to part with the other five rolls. It’s exactly like the line shown in the bottom two pictures – very nice stuff.
    I used it to re-cord my dog’s retractable leash after the original got melted over a campfire while I wasn’t paying attention. Smooth as silk now and I was able to add an add’l two feet.

    • Clark

      Would love to get my hands on some shot cord if you still have any.

    • Bullfred

      Clark – Yes, I still have some – how much are you looking for?

    • Bullfred

      Clark, Please contact me at email: [email protected]

    • Rob

      I would like two rolls if you stil have it.

    • Bullfred

      Rob, yes I still have several rolls. Email me at: [email protected]

  • Bergman

    Just be sure, when you’re tying down essential gear, that you don’t leave any little loops hanging out. Nothing makes you look less cool (or feel less cool) than getting yanked off your feet by your dummy cord as it snags on something solid, immovable, moving in a different direction than you or all three.

  • robs114

    @Bullfred I know im a cpl years late on this thread but do you have any of the shotline left? if so id love to get some from you.

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