No idea if this is the true 100% story or not...but this is one of the hundreds of links I found when I Googled "1095 CroVan Steel''. Took me like 30 seconds.
Question as answered by KA-BAR:
I’ll give you the 50cent tour of our steel and hope that it answers your question.
Yes, our steel is indeed, the now defunct, Sharon Steel Co. 170-06.
Long ago (way before Mike Stewart) the knife industry did in fact call Sharon 170-06 : Cro-Van or 1095 Cro-Van or 1095CV. Not just as a marketing name but actually on POs and specs and shop documents.
Notice that Case also calls their carbon steel: Cro-Van. A look through old turn-of-the century advertising literature and catalogs will confirm this for you. Also remember that Case, KA-BAR, Alcas (Cutco) were all related (Not to mention Platts (Western), Cattaraugus, Robeson, Kinfolks ,Champlin, Crandal, et al.) All located in South Western NY/North Western PA. So there was a lot of cross- over of personnel and knowledge between the companies. We are still on very friendly terms with Case even though the blood connection no longer exists. Also Sharon Steel was in Sharon, PA. A look on the map will show you why they supplied the turn-of-the-century knife industry.
If you look at the Chemical composition of 170-06, it is basically AISI 1095 with the addition of small amounts of Chrome, Vanadium, and smaller amounts of Nickel and Moly so the term 1095 Cro-Van is not off base.
For many years we called Cro-Van just 1095 in our advertising literature, but went back to calling it 1095 Cro-Van as it is a better steel than just straight 1095,
and we felt there were advantages to making the distinction. We did that in 2005. We make no attempt to hide the fact that it is 170-06. Nor do we make extravagant claims for the steel.
1095 Cro-Van is just the name we have always used.
I hope this answers your question. If you have further, feel free to e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Product Development & Quality