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The Restless Gun


NBC Network
1957 - 1959
30 Minutes

John Payne starred as Vint Bonner a quiet, but restless drifter, who wandered the Southwest in search of adventure in the days following the Civil War. He had earned a reputation as a gunfighter, but he'd rather just talked his opponents out of a fight than draw on them..

Vint rode a horse named Scar (played by John Henry). Vint's retired grandfather, Jebediah Bonner was once a marshal.

Vint's .45 Colt hand gun could be converted in to a rifle. When he attached the barrel extension and shoulder stock to his pistol, he effectively turned it into a rifle. The attachment could be worn on holster belt or carried in his saddle bag.

John Payne as Vint Bonner - THE RESTLESS GUN

Here some of the adventures from the many people and towns Vint encountered on his journeys:

  • Vint confronts a band of renegade Civil War veterans from Texas who have taken over Prairie Town, Kansas.
  • Vint escorts a southern boy orphaned during the Civil War to live with an uncle, whom the boy thinks is a traitor.
  • Vint protects an artist from the boyfriend of a woman who had a portrait painted to be hung over a saloon bar.
  • Vint faces down an ex-gunfighter friend who comes out of retirement to kill avenge the murder of his son.
  • Vint discovers the ranch foreman of a wealthy man has plans to take over his employers property.
  • Vint is mistaken for the man who robbed a bank.
  • Vint helps a mother of three children accused of being unfit because she works in a saloon.
  • Vint gets involved with a naive English valet and a bank robbery.
  • Vint searches for the men responsible for beating a young boy.
  • Vint provides a lynch mob with evidence that a man they just hung was innocent.
  • Vint helps an old woman's grandson rethink his desire to become a gunfighter. The boy has already killed two people and targets Vint as his third victim.
  • Vint joins a posse in search for an outlaw who has since taken refuge at a ranch owned by a lone woman.
  • Vint temporarily takes a job as sheriff at the town of a friend, and has to face down an infamous bunch of outlaws.
  • Vint suspects the killer of an office clerk is the sheriff's son.
  • Vint questions whether he should protect a former outlaw who who shot the leader of his gang in the back.
  • Vint informs a frontier gambler his wife has died and travels with the man to a reunion with the son whom he hasn't seen in years.
  • Vint helps a marshal transport a mute man accused of injuring a ranch worker.
  • Vint protects a Quaker family from intolerant neighbors.
  • Vint has a dilemma. Hand over a girl to drunken Apaches for the safe passage of himself and a killer he is transporting.
  • Vint is mistaken for a woman's fiancé.
  • Vint teaches a man to shoot a gun and then must face the man in a showdown.
  • Vint is shot by robbers and nursed back to health by his aunt who then tries to convince him to give up his life as a gunfighter.
  • Vint and his sheriff friend who just celebrated his retirement set out to track down a bunch of bank robbers.
  • Vint councils a young boy bent on revenge after his ranch was burned and his parents were killed by a roving band of Indians.
  • Vint makes a promise to a dying mountain man to make a lady out of his wild mountain daughter after he is dies.
  • Vint helps a posse hunt for a crippled killer with a missing arm.
  • Vint tries to reunited a Quaker girl now working in a saloon with her fmaily who thought her lost in a wagon train accident.
  • Vint is the target of two gunmen hired by a woman who believes he killed her brother in cold blood.
  • Vint protects a man from those who would steal his money.
  • Vint investigates the murder of an old friend.
  • Vint searches for evidence to free a friend about to be hung.
  • Vint teams with a newspaper editor to rid a town of  bunch of corrupt town officials.


TRIVIA NOTE: The series was based on the 1953- 54 NBC radio series called "The Six Shooter" created by Frank Burt and starring James Stewart.

The 1957 series pilot episode aired on "Schlitz Playhouse of Stars" on 29 March 1957. The Vint Bonner character was called Britt Ponset.

Dan Blocker (of BONANZA fame) made his first TV appearance on episode "The Child" (12/23/1957) as Fred Burgermen. James Coburn (famous for the movie The Magnificent Seven (1960) made his first major TV role on episode "Take Me Home" (12/29/1958).

Obituaries: John Payne: 12/06/1989;

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