Hey wire- I was going off the Joe Talmadge Steel FAQ, which I've never had go wrong in the past.
Specifically, after cleaning up the format:
0170-6 - 50100-B - Case Chrome-Vanadium - Carbon V?
These are different designations for the same steel: 0170-6 is the steel makers’ classification, 50100-B is the AISI designation. A good chrome-vanadium steel that is somewhat similar to O-1, but much less expensive. The now-defunct Blackjack made several knives from 0170-6,
and Carbon V may be 0170-6. 50100 is basically 52100 with about 1/3 the chromium of 52100, and the B in 50100-B indicates that the steel has been modified with vanadium, making this a chrome-vanadium steel.
Carbon V is a trademarked term by Cold Steel, and as such is not necessarily one particular kind of steel; rather, it describes whatever steel Cold Steel happens to be using, and there is an
indication they do change steels from time to time. Carbon V performs roughly between 1095-ish and O-1-ish, in my opinion, and rusts like O-1 as well. I've heard rumors that Carbon V is O-1 (which I think is unlikely) or 1095. Numerous industry insiders insist it is 0170-6. Some spark tests done by a rec.knives reader seem to point the finger at 50100-B. Since 50100-B and 0170-6 are the same steel (see below), this is likely the current Carbon V.
Just my informed opinon. Reality may well vary. <img src="smile.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0>
Never underestimate the impossible.