William's Bonanza game art
(while restoring  the screened game art , I created this version to use here) see below for more info.

 William's Gun (Rifle) Electro Mechanical (EM) Game, 6/70, Game #384, Electronic (Reverb) Sound, 26" Wide 69" High 35.5" Deep

Here is the game as purchased
As you can see the artwork normally on the cabinet has either been painted over or removed and painted over.
Also, the lower grill that covers the bell seen here is missing and will have to be created.

This is the original rifle, the barrel has a fair amount of rust. It is also missing the sash chain at the barrel's end
(see the transformation later)

There are 2 versions of the sound board used in this game
Both versions utilize a Muntz 4 track car player for the background music.

The version in this game is the more common version.
It has an auxiliary amplifier used for the sound effects.
                  See below. On the right is the alternative version (probably an earlier machine) where sound effects are amplified by the deck


Above are images of the separate pre amp /amp board. This is used to amplify the reverb unit's sound effects on games equipped with the amp.
The last image shows the germanium output transistors mounted to a heat sink.

The basis for this schematic was created by an unknown author, I have altered it a bit. The outputs are PNP & NPN Geraniums
The 2 drivers are general audio PNP silicon devices. The device connected between the power outputs is a themister.

Here is what the original 4track tape looks like, appears to be an 8track but it's not.
On the reverse side (not shown) there is a hole for the pinch roller to enter the cartridge from the player. 8tracks have the pinch roller in the cartridge.

I have begun the hunt for a recorder capable of  recording these tapes.
Finally, after years, I found one and restored it.
Later, I will produce a working copy of a soundtrack recorded on a 4 track tape

This is my Muntz M500 recorder!

Here is the the replacement 4 track tape I made for the Muntz tape deck
If your reading this and have an original Bonanza sound system in your game but don't have the tape- email me, I can help.
I took the original sound track and copied it over and over to the end of the track so there would be enough material to over write the
donor tape music completely. This way there would be no dead silence or previous music track heard.
(A prerecorded music tape was used since no blank tapes could be located)

Later on this page is a digital alternative to having a working player and tape to provide background sound effects.
This option was not used on my game, since I finally had the solution to fully restore the original sound system.

The above schematic came from the inside lid of my muntz, it was in poor condition, if you have a cleaner one and can scan it please email it.


Before I had the ability to make a 4track tape to use the Muntz player, I created an alternative sound system, using some modern circuit choices.

Of note: if you are reading this and have your own Bonanza, you may be able to restore the original internal game sound effects easily.
(* This applies to the Bonanza version that does not have an external amplifier added to the sound board.)
If you are fortunate enough to have the Muntz sound tape deck in your game but no tape , you may be in luck if the player amp is good along with a working reverb unit in the game and delay relays (good 250uf & 1500 uf caps). (update: I can make you a replacement 4 track tape and restore your deck if needed)
Just pop the cover off the player and manually engage the tape drive as though a tape was installed, turning it on.
Close up the player. If the amp in the player works , volume controls up, you should now have the effects working. No background music of course.

There is some misinformation out there on how this system works, it's very simple.
Short duration of the amplified reverb pickup on = gunshot, long duration of  pickup reverb on = mine explosion.
Those 250uf & 1500uf are what keeps the sound on along with the rectifier diode, which hold the relays closed after the momentary shot / explosion
Volumes for both effected by the master volume on the sound board amp along with the volume controls behind the grill. Obviously the gunshot should be lower and the explosion louder.
In the sound board version without the auxiliary amp there is no master volume.

Notice: The Willaims wiring diagram for this game does NOT show the version of this game equipped with the auxiliary amplifier. So, the wiring is different than shown. Most notably is that the auxiliary amp does NOT share grounds with the 4 track player.

For those that do not have the Muntz tape deck, (no Aux Amplifer) you too can re-activate the original effects by adding an external amp with magnetic cartridge pre amp.
Here is a cheap one that shows up on ebay and will work. It's a radio shack SA-150 . You could use the second channel for the back ground sounds with an 8track player and available 8track tape, or now  add the board below  for  complete sound restoration.
(Since this was originally written, there are now small self contained mp3 players with onboard amps, as well as separate individual boards that can be programmed through USB)

Game Cabinet Sound Wiring Information

The connector on the board is setup like this. Unfortunately there isn't a color code chart on the wires .
To get the correct orientation if  you use a meter you should be able to locate (DE) about 14 volts ac or easier, the pickup coil signal (BG) is on a shielded cable.

This lettering represents looking down at the connector on the sound board. So it's equal to looking at the back of the connector...if that makes sense.

  A B C D E  
  F G H  I  J

A=Ground (also Music / Background effects Out Gnd)
B=Reverb IN (Comes from reverb unit pickup coil-shielded cable)
C=Music / Background effects OUT (connected to output of Muntz) out to game
D=AC (input to bridge rectifier for muntz 12volt power, on sound board)
E=AC (to bridge on sound board)
=Sound Effect (Gun shot / explosion) output to game ( not be used on later games would be considered common on Muntz since both sounds went through it)
G=Reverb IN (Comes from reverb unit pickup coil-shielded cable)
H=Sound Effect  (Gun shot / explosion)  output to game
I=12volt + power for tape deck
J=12volt+ power from bridge rectifier (on sound board)

The Reverb In  (BG) would go to the Magnetic phono input.on an amp (one side ..say left)
The sound effect out  (HF) would go to speaker output of the amp (one side ...say left)  

For the Music / Background effects OUT (AC) , connect to digital source, tape player etc. (must auto repeat)
If the source for this is the right impedance / level  it may be possible to use the other preamp / amp channel for this.

Note: this may not be acturate for the non amp version of this game.


Don't forget the volume controls behind the front grill
(Later I have reproduced the volume label located behind the grill, that may be missing since it was stapled across the interior cover edge)

You will be able to control how loud the gunshot is versus the explosion. The difference in sound between them being how long the sound stays on from the vibrating spring on the reverb. Note: if you fire quickly after the mine explosion, a rifleshot may sound like an explosion until the relay times out.

Also,  the available schematic shows the reverb pickup coil sharing one side with the speaker common, on my unit this is not true. If your unit is wired that way,
attention will have to be paid to hooking up the inputs and outputs so that the grounds match. Do this by checking that none of the pins (BGHF) are connected together using an ohm meter. If  they are, those are the common ground wires.

Alternative Sound System Idea

Here is one working solution to alter the sound system when the Muntz player is missing or non-working.

This board has the background music recorded on it. It runs on 12 volts and can auto start and loop play.
It's only major drawback is it's .5watt output limitation. I have tested it and it works well. As I write this I  have
not tried running it with game's speaker along with the game running (motor noise etc)
So the jury is out whether the output is sufficient to overcome the games operating noise.
This board is normally sold for use by model railroad enthusiasts. I had the background audio file custom loaded into it.
Effectively this tiny board replaces the 4track player along with an  additional amplifier for the sound effects.
I'm looking into a 12volt  stereo amp one channel for the background and on channel for the effects.
All of the above can be mounted on the sound system board and be connected there including power.

Adding realistic sound effects to replace the reverb output will take a bit more work and require additional module(s) and a circuit
change to allow for different sounds to be used. Unlike the original sounds which are really one sound with different time lengths.

A single additional module wired to respond to the control of the reverb relay could substitute for that unit. This could provide more realistic sounds for both
the explosion and gunshot.

The best solution would be 2 additional modules for the separate sounds

NOTE: The idea above was envisioned about 10 years ago, but never fully implemented  I never gave up on the idea of fully restoring the original
sound system as it was designed.
In recent times, I have seen others replacing vintage game components with modern design choices often not really putting in the effort to
 restore the games defective or missing components.
I now believe , unless there is no alternative every effort should be made to restore games to operate under their original design.
If not possible, to at least utilize a method consistent with the time the game was made.
Such as replacing a missing 4 track player with a 8 track player.

A recent example I saw posted , of a poor idea for game restoration. A technically skilled servicer working on a 1953 bowling machine, was working on a "upgrade" to remove the back glass and scoring components and replace it with a LCD monitor and a computer yuk


As mentioned earlier, I now have the means to create a 4 track tape to be used with the original Muntz player.
This is my intention. Since a  4 track loop tape of the correct original length is not available, a tape of any length will be used with the original sound track stacked
to increase the materials length. It is unlikely I will be able to locate a blank 4 track tape so a prerecorded music tape will be overwritten.
Additionally, I will now restore the Muntz player which was left as found.  (this has begun, photos will follow)
The Muntz 4 track tape deck has been restored.
There were only 2 issues. First the belt had disintegrated, next without the belt the flywheel  did not spin freely.
The flywheel was removed, the bearing cleaned, the rubber ring above it removed, and the flywheel capstan shaft cleaned using 0000 steel wool.
A new belt was installed, head and pinch roller cleaned  and the deck was good to go.

Here are the dimensions of  M-35-69 Muntz deck belt: 11.75" in length, x 7/32" in width x .040 thickness
I used a precorded 4 track music tape, and recorded the Bonanza sound track over it. I stacked the music track to about 25 minutes to assure I put enough material on the tape to over write the entire original content.
It worked great.
Fellow Bonanza owners, email me if you need a tape. (8 or 4 track)

I now have a fully working  original sound system in the game.
There were a few other issues that had to be corrected after the deck restoration.

On my game there is a separate amplifier for the  reverb sound effects that had a bad preamp transistor.

Previously I had corrected an issue with the reverb unit itself.
There is an arm on it, called the spring striker.
The end of that striker had broken off .
I had to make a repair to that arm as it is no longer available.
It's possible that the arm on the reverb unit was fabricated as a replacement

See photo below.

I riveted a piece of brass to the striker end to replace the missing piece.

TECH TIP: It is critical that the connectors on the sound board feeding the signal from the reverb pickup are clean.
On this game besides the dirty sockets and pins on those connectors, on the larger sound board socket the soldered tabs on the bottom were touching the
 painted board creating a resistance path between pins.

The output of the reverb unit, either is processed by the early bonanza's Muntz player's unused music channel or later fed to the input of the
separate sound board mounted preamp/amp. The both in and out signals are connected through the plugs and sockets  on the sound board and  then through
the delay relays (rifle & explosion) before going on to the speaker located next to the background music speaker.in the game front.

This wiring diagram found on the Williams Wiring fr the game, only applies to the Bonanza Game that does NOT have the separate reverb amplifier
What appears to be the more common version using a separate amplifier is NOT wired this way.
The Speakers do NOT share a common ground.

This drawing shows how the Non amp version of Bonanza Reverb was set up.
The "pickup coil"  is the reverb pickup and as seen here is connected to the tape deck. (unused music channel)
Of note is that the pickup is NOT grounded. The cable shield is grounded to reduce or eliminate hum.
This is not the case when the Bonanza game that has the auxiliary amp board.
It's all basically the same with the exception that the deck's unused  music channel was NOT used at all. Instead the amp board serves that purpose.
 Below is how the amp version is setup.

I've included signal path information to make this a bit easier to follow.
A fellow owner came to me with a problem of no gunshot / no explosion sounds.
I have included everything here that should help solve the issue.
This setup is a bit confusing especially if the Bonanza game owner does not have the customized Muntz deck or is missing the sound board.
As can be seen here , in this version of the sound board the tape deck and speaker share nothing with the reverb amp and  speaker.
This information is NOT included in the drawing supplied by Williams for this game.

Note: the writing in pencil on the control backs,  so they knew which spot to put them in.
The big difference in this version's wiring is that in this version the speakers do NOT share the chassis ground.
The amp output is isolated from the deck ground.

Note: the missing art in the center is not missing just not attached.
The missing rider is also not attached, received this way. The chain was missing the master link as well as having the following issue.

Again thanks to Pinball Resource who had the actual replacement part  (B-7300) this will be replaced shortly!
The master link is a  #41 (pitch ½" roller width ¼")  not available from Pbresource.

Note: total plays 39,877
Also note the slightly?  melted knocker  (thanks to Pinball resource this will be replaced shortly)

Here is the rifle on the game and next to it the stock has been stripped and restoration begun on the barrel.
I will refinish the stock in the near future plus try my hand at restoring the finish on the barrel. (though hard to see most of the rust has already been removed.
See picture of above for condition as received.



A few people have asked how this was done.
Here are the steps:
After disassembly. I stripped the stock using a product called Citrustrip. There are NO fumes and it strips multiple layers of varnish including pigmented wood stains.
This product works great. I sprayed it on and waited 5 minutes and literally wiped off 40 years of grime and the original finish in moments. This photo shows the start of the process.

I then sanded the stock, removing imperfections. This is an important step. It's tempting to say "that's enough" but any imperfections left will be amplified by the new finish. I only sanded with the grain and started with a coarser paper moving higher in grit #  finally to steel wool. For the next steps I purchased a kit  made by Birchwood Casey "complete Tru-oil gun stock finish kit"   It pretty much includes everything you need to do this job. It even includes sandpaper and steel wool!
Next was to apply the stain, in this case a water based walnut stain provided in the kit. I put on multiple coats to achieve the color I liked. I then went over it with 0000 steel wool. Finally wiped the wood off ("tack cloth"). Then onto the finish. The kit comes with Tru-oil finish. Here's where you put your personal touch on this, literally.  Using my finger I applied the finish to the stock. Once coated I let it dry. I hung it up by the front mounting hole.
Once dry, I again hit it with the steel wool and a few spots with 400 grit paper. Then onto the next coat after wiping it down.
And so it went for about 4 coats.  At this point I have not used the final product provided with the kit, which is "stock sheen and conditioner" . This product removes any imperfections and leaves a satin Finish behind. I haven't decided if I will do this yet.
Again everything you need to do this is in the Birchwood Casey kit # 23801 GSK, it also includes more detailed instructions then I have included here.

Next on to the barrel.
I used a "Bluewonder" gun blue kit to refinish the barrel. This is a liquid kit not a paste kit.The hardest part of this process is sanding down the barrel to remove all the rust. The cleaner the parts are the better the finish, go figure.Once that is done.... using this kit is like magic. I heated the barrel with a hair dryer and applied the finish, in an instant the metal turns Blue!.When I was happy with the color there is a protective finish to apply. Again everything you need is in the kit.
The finished product is ....amazing. Judge for yourself.

I was surprised to learn Williams used an actual 22 rifle on the game. Makes sense rather than try and create a replica.
The early version  of this game has the bolt in the cutout on the stock, I believe the parts list shows it that way, it appears later it was removed.
If someone knows the history of this email me

Here it is restored


This is a 1961 Ad for the  model 514 rifle used on Bonanza, check out that price!                            Here is another Ad for the rifle that was adapted for Bonanza

Announcement in Billboard

Here is the start of the cabinet restoration. Since all the art on my cabinet has been painted over I have no visible art to trace.
Unfortunately I'm not aware of any local collectors that has one of these that I can trace the art from.
I thought it would be possible to carefully remove the top layers of paint to expose the original art without much difficulty, that proved to be not true,
I tried a number of suggested methods. None worked well on what appears to be paint that is many years old. Using a heat gun I was able to get at enough of the art to begin recreating  the front side of the cabinet art.
Here is the art re-created on the side door and a pix showing my archeological "dig" to uncover the art.

I'm currently in contact with a fellow owner (Steve Moritz in Long Beach Ca.)who has offered stencils he has created to repaint his Bonanza game, when he is done with them. This is a welcomed development given how much work it is to get at the original art work.

Grill ( 2 versions)

The front pegboard cover which hides the volume controls ( gunshot, explosion, background sounds), speakers and bell is also missing from my game.
The choice of pegboard is an obvious one to allow the 2 speakers behind the grill to be heard.

Here is a picture of the grill provided by another Bonanza owner ( Jim Divoky)  and  an alternative version.

I've seen 2 versions of this grill. Possibly  an early version and a later version.
Or, a an original and modified version

Here are some pictures of the process to create the grill.

Using the pegboard holes as a grid , and the photo of an original, I produced the replacement grill

                    Here is the finished grill                                                                                                                                    Getting closer

At this stage of it's restoration, for a number of reasons the project was put on hold, the game in storage.
Finally after a looong delay, it's time has come to be finished.

                                    Finishing the Side Art  (finally)                                                    Here is the finished game (less the new back glass)

Internal Art Restoration
I was able to "cleanup" most of the scenery art using color matched paints but after starting to work on the "target score scenery", I wasn't happy with how it was turning out. Though the blue and white areas turned out ok, the rest proved to be a challenge to restore (see above for art condition as received). It appears that some of the damage may have come from excess oil on the chain used to move the rider target.  I decided to try my hand at re-creating the art rather than continuing the restoration of the original. First the art was scanned. Next a crude cleanup was done. Then it was broken into layers. Each layer was then repaired and redrawn as necessary (thanks to my daughter for her help here). Finally it was printed on a heavy inkjet paper using a commercial sign printer. The result was better than I had expected. I then sealed both sides of the paper using  a product called "super surface sealer". I then glued the art to illustration board using spray adhesive.
The final step is to add the black light sensitive paint to the areas that need it.
The end product is actually better than the original. The original had  errors in overlapping the different layers, this does not.
My daughter's artist talent helped here in achieving this result.

The small blacklight flashlight as you may have guessed illuminates the fluorescent paint which helps when trying to paint this.
The paint (Wildfire paints) for the sky was mixed to achieve a match for the original, orange in normal light, yellow under black light.
Another positive of doing this, it got rid of the ugly staples and holes caused by the method they used to attach this to the game.
I intend to use velcro to attach the new art!.

This is a short video, not the best quality but it does show the operation of the sounds and lighting effects of my game.
This is an MOV file, some computers and phones may not be able to view this. It can be downloaded and played by a video player that plays MOV files
Originally it was a AVI file but a Mac user could not play it. So I changed it to a MOV file. If you have trouble playing this on a Windows platform let me know.

Coin Door Information

First though not documented, the lamp(s) used in the coin door is a type 51  (7.5v .22amp)

The coin door is attached to the wiring harness of the game through a 8 pin plug.
The plug can only be inserted in one direction.


A- Lockout Coil
B- Not Used
C- #3 Coil
D- Lockout Coil
E- Lamp
F- #3 Coin Sw.
G- #2 Coin Sw.
H- Return (lamp & Switches

Note: This wiring chart may change with different door configurations.
These doors can have 1 to 3 coin mechs.
This reflects the wiring on a single mech door.

Game Lighting

Backglass lighting- (21)  type #44/47 lamps
Fired Shots- (14) type #44/47 lamps  (covered by number plastic with game over)
Explosion Lamp- 60w 120v Orange
Target assy- (8)  #455 Red Blinking Lamps , (1) #44/47 lamp in mine
Bottom target rail - (14) #44/47 (remove staples in scenery-4 screws to open)
Coin Door Lamp- #51
Black Light- F15T8

Backdoor Control Relays

Available Documentation

There are 3 available for purchase, a total of 5 that I know of.

1. The Instruction Manual
2. The Wiring Diagram/Schematic
3. The Catalog Supplement "X" with new parts and units for Bonanza
4. The William's 1971-72 Parts Catalog  (covers all William's games from space pilot 11/68 to Cimarron 12/70 including prices!)
     (according to the above catalog the replacement screened glass for bonanza in 1971 was $24.00)
5. The Game Flyer
The first 3 are available from pbresource.com

Here, with new backglass and finished

Here are a few images from the left and right inside cabinet walls.
These are illuminated with black light.

If anyone has any more information on this game (parts sources etc.), including those responsible for it's design, and art, please email me.
Also looking for a copy of the original schematic showing the sound board with the external preamp.
Email Steve

I recently found this and thought it interesting...I intend to use it as a "TEST" token for the game when complete

This is a recreation of the sound control instruction  label normally found behind the front bottom game door.
Of course the knobs don't look like that, but it's what the factory used.
To print this out I suggest  heavy Tan #67 weight paper.

Recently I received a photo of a Bonanza currently on location earning money.  How cool is that!

It's included here:

Thanks Jan.