Bonanza Wiki
Bonanza episode
“Invention of a Gunfighter”
Season 6, Episode 1
#169 in Series
Normal IoaG-MCwoA2
Air date September 20, 1964
Production code
Guest starring:
Written by Daniel B. Ullman
Directed by John Florea
Episode Guide
Previous Episode:
Walter and the Outlaws
Next Episode:
The Hostage
External links
Invention of a Gunfighter on IMDb


Johnny Chapman comes to Joe to learn how to use a gun after being humiliated by the town bully. Joe doesn't see the deadly consequences that will follow when Johnny learns to shoot well.


Humiliated by a professional gunslinger in front of a bar crowd that included his girlfriend, timid Johnny Chapman asks Little Joe to teach him how to handle a gun. But Johnny changes as he gains skill and confidence and Joe soon doesn't recognize his friend in the hard, ruthless man he's become.

Much to Joe and Olive’s dismay, Johnny quits his job to become a bounty hunter. Word gets back to the townsfolk in Virginia City and the Cartwrights through the newspaper that Johnny will kill a wanted man instead of taking him alive, just to get the bigger bounty. Olive is so dismayed at how Johnny has changed that she tries to die by poisoning herself. Joe visits her just in time to get help from the doctor and save her life.

After killing six or so men for bounty, Johnny goes to Virginia City to find Olive. Sheriff Coffee tells him that he has no friends anymore in Virginia City and he should leave town, never to come back. Olive is staying at the Ponderosa, ready to start a new life. Johnny finds her there and forcibly takes her with him, leaving a note for Joe. Johnny knows full well that Joe will come after her.

When Johnny sees Joe in town, he tries to goad Joe into a gunfight on the street, which Joe wants no part of and turns to walk away. Johnny draws his gun and forces Joe to shoot. Joe purposely wounds his former friend in the arm Instead of killing him. Johnny again feels humiliated in front of all the townsfolk and Olive. Olive says she will leave on the next stage and if Johnny does, too, maybe they both can put the pieces back together.

Cast and Characters[]

The Cartwrights



  • Al Haskell: Barfly
  • George DeNormand: Barfly
  • Guy Stockwell: Johnny Chapman
  • Jack Tornek: Barfly
  • John Hubbard: Doctor
  • Martha Manor: Saloon Girl with blonde hair
  • Ron Foster: Al Mooney
  • Valerie Allen: Olive


Did you know?[]

  • German episode title: "Zieh schneller, Johnny", meaning "Draw Faster, Johnny".


You see why the blanks?

-Little Joe




See also[]