New Jersey man installs massive .44 Magnum mailbox
Roger Buchko, 49, made the giant replica of the ‘Dirty Harry’ Smith & Wesson firearm as a challenge — and to promote his cabinet making and metal fabrication business.
BY DOYLE MUPRHY / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2013, 4:53 PM
Roger Buchko, a semi-retired cabinet maker in New Jersey, installed his new mailbox in late August.
Go ahead, send junk mail.
A New Jersey man’s .44 Magnum mailbox would make Dirty Harry jealous.
Roger Buchko, 49, built an oversized replica of a Smith & Wesson firearm to replace his old letter box, drawing attention from across the globe.
“I got people commenting from England,” the semi-retired cabinet maker told the Daily News.
Buchko says he was just hoping to attract some attention to his cabinet-making and metal fabrication business when he built a sidearm fit for Paul Bunyan.
The truck-sized sidearm weighs about 350 pounds and sits on a 1,200-pound steel base on his front lawn in the Lopatcong Township in rural New Jersey.
Buchko said he saw a similar project online and thought he could build it better. His neighbor donated the eight-inch PVC pipe for the barrel, and he built the rest from plywood scrap he had lying around.
The replica Smith & Wesson weighs about 350 pounds and sits on a 1,200 pound steel base.
Buchko said the unusual lawn ornament wasn’t designed as a political statement. He was just hoping to pick up work for his cabinet-making and metal fabrication business.
“It’s just to drum up business, because I’m broke,” he said.
That hasn’t stopped people on all sides of the gun debate from weighing in. Long-distance Web commenters claim it gives them nightmares or tell Buchko to slap an orange cap on the tip to identify it as a fake.
“You can’t even believe it,” he said.
The gun is built of plywood with a barrel made from 8-inch PVC pipe.
It took about four months, working an hour or two each day, to finish. Buchko has built mini-choppers and sprint car hybrids in the past and considers himself an artist of “off-the-wall” projects.
He said he checked with the postmaster before he started the mailbox project to make sure he wasn’t breaking any laws.
He doesn’t want to make anyone angry, he said, and the feedback from neighbors has been mostly positive.
A strong breeze will spin the faux firearm’s giant cylinder, which is mounted on ball bearings.
“I got nothing but compliments,” he said. “I had one person throw eggs on it, but I’m sure that was just kids.”
He estimates 500-700 people have stopped to take a picture of the gun. It hasn’t earned him any more business yet, but he’s hopeful.
“I built it because I can,” he said. “You know what I mean?”