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440C is pretty rust resistant and its a strong stainless steel. My friend bought me a 440c custom knife last christmas and I asked myself the same question. Why would someone spend time building a custom knife with 440 steel. But after some research and some field tests the steel held up very well. I came back from a wet 5 day trip with rust on my 1095 BoB knife, but not on the custom 440c. As far as a low maintenance wilderness knife goes 440C fits the bill well.
I think 440C has gotten a bum rap because its been churned out it in poor quality knives, but it is actually a really good knife steel and not as brittle as I had heard. Also the second part to a good blade besides the steel type is the heat treatment. Buck has built their reputation on a very good heat treatment of 420HC(!).
But don't take my word for it, listen to a custom knife maker: