I haven't held a SEAL Pup, but I have held a SEAL 2000, and the coating doesn't seem to be bead-blasting to me. It is rough, but it does not appear to be bare steel and the roughness seems to be something added, not the pitting of a bead-blast. I wish I could answer this question, but actually I'm just as curious about what that stuff IS!
Of course, it's only 440A under there anyhow, right?
I believe the coating is teflon based. I used my seal pup in the snow for three days and the knife showed no signs of rusting. Plus after I use the knife to cut food, the grease washed off with ease. The only concern that I have is that the kydex sheath that came with the knife is really tight and is starting to wear off the coating on the side of the blade.