"NONTE TAYLOR" .40-90 3 1/2" Sharps

I have a .40-90 3 1/2" Sharps case headstamped “NONTE TAYLOR”. Who were/are Nonte Taylor?

The case has a label attached to it that reads “.40-90 3 1/2” Sharps Straight Case by Kynoch".

Thanks in advance for any info.

Falcon–I don’t have time today but I will post the whole story of these cases tomorrow. I have been in contact with George Nonte’ son and have copies of many original letters concerning these, including the letter ordering the cases from Kynoch.

Falcon–As promised, here is the information on the “NONTE-TAYLOR” headstamped cartridges. Most of this are direct quotes from letters between myself and George Nonte’s son:

Laird Taylor and Capt.(later Maj.) George Nonte were high school buddies and fellow firearms enthusiasts. In late 1959 or early 1960 they formed the company to import 100,000 “.45 basic” cartridge cases. These were manufactured by Kynoch. The majority of cases were sold “as is”,or formed into the caliber requested by the customer. Loaded rounds always had the load data written on the back of the box. The company also provided ammo in any obsolete caliber that a proper parent case could be found. (Nontes’ first book “Cartridge Conversions” had just came out. Great advertising) They also imported Kynoch and military surplus ammo. The company dissolved in 1962.

The whole idea was to have a case that could be formed into as many different calibers as possible. Plans were made to have two other cases made, but the company dissolved before that could happen. All the cases made by Kynoch had the same headstamp. If the customer wanted a specific cartridge or loading, that information would be written on the appropriate spaces on the box. This means that it is impossible to ID a cartridge as company loaded, or formed, if it’s not with the original box.

The press release gives a list of some of the cartridges that the case can be formed into. Some where I have another list, much longer. The case is 3 1/4 " long and tapers to .455 at the case mouth. This is smaller than normal for .45. This is because some of the cases would be necked down to other calibers, and it is easier
to expand a case mouth than reduce it. As to other Sharps cartridges; the company would use parent cases made from some of the British sporting calibers that they also imported from Kynoch. (See the list at the end of this post) These would have the headstamp of the parent case. (Not what a serious collector wants to hear, but the idea was to get old guns shooting again.) All calibers not based on the .45 basic were put up in generic brown boxes and had either a rubber stamped ID, or a gummed label containing the load data.

This is off subject, but some of the other things they did was make cylinder length .45ACP shot cartridges for the S&W 1917s, using the .30-06 cases, form 7.62 x 39 from Norma 6.5 Carcano (this was for the Korean war SKSs) and even had a duplex version of the .308 Win. (Nobody called it 7.62 in those days)

Nonte on the left–Taylor on the right

Here is the headstamp, a picture of some of the various Sharps cartridges that could be made from the .45 Basic case (the first one on the left) and the original box.

This is the second price list. The first one was just a typewritten list

Here is a list of what cases were used for which Sharps. The .50 cal. Sharps would have a “KYNOCH 500 N or 500 NITRO” headstamp.

N= necked St = straight

On the 45 basic case should be 40-70 N, 40 2 5/8, 44-90 2 7/16, 44-90 2 5/8, 45-100 2.4, 45 2.6

40-50 St was made on the 30-40 Krag

40-65 St, 40-70 St., 40-90 St. were made with 9.3 x 74 R

40-50N, 40-65 N, 44-60, 45-75, were made with 45-70

50-90 and 50 3 1/4 were made with 500 Nitro

Only those made with the 45 basic case would have a Nonte Taylor headstamp

The 45-70 cases were almost exclusively W-W, and

The 500 N were from Kynoch,as the company imported their products.

Thanks for the info. So I take it that my .40-90 Sharps, which it says was formed from 9.3x74R, has a Nonte Taylor headstamp.

On a personal note, George Nonte, who I had the honor to meet several times at my earliest visits to Trade Shows, was a real character, and one of the most knowledgeable guys I ever talked to. He was a far cry from the bulk of the popular gun press writers, in my estimation. George pioneered case forming of one caliber to another as something for just any handloader to do with his excellent book on Cartridge Conversions. On top all of all of that, he was simply one damned nice guy! A great shame he left us so early. Spending time with him gabbing in a hospitality room, with a couple of other well-known and knowledgeable people was one of the great evenings of my life.

I didn’t make my post very clear. I meant it to mean that the 9.3x74R, which according to the label on my case was made by Kynoch) must have had their headstamp as well, even though the article says not. Could .40-90 be formed from the .45 Basic case?

Falcon: no, a .40 Sharps straight can’t be formed from a .45, as the latter is way too large in diameter. Another problem here is that the .40-90 Sharps straight has a 3.25 in. case, not a 3.5. JG

I would have thought that making the 40-90 Sharps (c11.5mm base) from a 9.3x74R (c11.9mm base) would have been somewhat difficult.

I also have no record of Kynoch ever producing the 9.3x74R.

Seems unlikely !?

Man, this is getting confusing. Is it just me??

The 40-90 Sharps cannot be made from the 9.3x74Rmm. As WBD said, the dimensions are quite a bit different. And it could not be made from the 45 Basic, as JG said. It could be made from the 405 Basic, I believe.

Maybe you guys should start over. ;)


So Kynoch must have made the .405 Basic case as well?

The 405 Basic case that I am talking about is made by Bertram, HDS, and possibly others. It has nothing to do with the Nonte-Taylor or Kynoch. I was simply responding to the comment about 40-90 being formed from 45 basic.

I still cannot understand where this thread is going, or has been. ;) ;)


Falcon–The ONLY case with the NONTE TAYLOR headstamp was the .45 Basic, which served as the basis for the other cases listed on the Price List I posted.

Are you SURE the case you have is a .40-90 Sharps?

Well,according to Barnes there are some dimensional differences between the 405 winchester case ( 3 1/4" long if BASIC) and the 40 - 90 Sharps stright.If not the two cartridge cases should be identical…

That was the reason I wrote the thread about the 405 winchester,I couldn’t explain why Bertram produces the 405 win case in both standard and BASIC lenghts if there weren’t any or very few cartridges that can be formed from the longer one


You are right. The 405 Basic case is not identical to the 40-90 SS case but the dimensions are close enough that someone could make perfectly useable cases. I have an Everlasting case that has dimensions almost identical to a 405 Basic.

The 405 basic could also be used to make 40-90 Ballard and 40-85 Ballard. Again, not perfect but OK in a BP rifle.


The label around my case saying that it was made by Kynoch must be wrong then.

I don’t think it is actually a Sharps 3 1/2", as it is too short. The case dimensions are:

Inside mouth Dia. : Around .400" (Case neck is dented)

Case length: 3.125"

Rim dia. : 0.608"

Rim thickness: 0.070"

Dia. above rim: .502"

That’s an odd rim size. Are you sure you don’t mean .608"?? A 608 rim and 502 base would make it a 45 Basic. How does the case get from a 502 base to a 40 cal? Is it bottle necked?

Got photo??


Sorry, it is .608", I will go back and change it.

The case is visibly tapered, not bottlenecked.

I will try and sort out a photo soon.