There are distinct differences between “Commercial” and “real” Mil-Spec Paracord. The differences are well-defined, but not well-known, especially by people who are not in the Military Specification Paracord manufacturing and certification business.
These differences are difficult to determine for a “normal regular” person without specialized training, or access to manufacturing audit or inspection information or documentation.
However, there are four, easily-learned observations that a “normal regular” person CAN use to easily determine the difference between MilSpec Paracord and commercial paracord.
Additionally, coupled with the PIA (Parachute Industry Association) specification, C-5040E, there is no wonder why there is so much confusion about the differences.
Complete Mil-Spec C-5040H PDF