Gun or Car Mods.....need help.


August 23, 2007, 02:39 PM
Ok I have two main hobbies....shooting and driving. I recently bought a Subaru WRX and am looking to slightly modify it. I also want to buy an AR-15. I can only afford to do one or the other in the near future. Im worried that if I buy the car mods then the AWB will come again soon after. Am I over paranoid that the AWB will pop right up and AR prices will skyrocket? I want the car mods more than the AR and its only 650 dollars versus 900 for an AR. What do you guys think?

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August 23, 2007, 02:42 PM
This may or may not go over well here, but I say if you want the car mods more, then get the car mods. May as well get what you think you would enjoy more.

August 23, 2007, 02:47 PM
Get the AR. The car modifications will always be available, but there is a fairly substantial (non-zero) chance that the AR will not be available in the future.

August 23, 2007, 02:47 PM
Having been really into cars before I got into guns I say go with the gun. From my experience cars are a money pit and do nothing but depreciate in value. With a firearm its usually the opposite.

August 23, 2007, 02:48 PM
Get the AR, it will outlast the car.

Having been really into cars before I got into guns I say go with the gun. From my experience cars are a money pit and do nothing but depreciate in value. With a firearm its usually the opposite.

August 23, 2007, 02:49 PM
Never been interested in car mods myself, for me cars are just a means to get from point A to point B, so I say go with the gun;)

But I agree with Rugbyer go with what you really want, only you can decide what to spend your money on. I think on this forum most people will encourage you to go with the AR.

August 23, 2007, 02:49 PM
The car mods are going to do you very little good when you trade it in or sell. The AR is like money in the bank and will most likely appreciate over time.

August 23, 2007, 02:54 PM
Two schools of thought going on in my mind:

Everybody you know will be able to see and appreciate the car mods, and be impressed thereby. Only you and your closest circle will even know about the gun mods.

Most mods car guys do to their cars at home only involve looks, not performance. Most gun mods gun guys do at their homes involve performance, not looks. What are you into more? Looks, or performance?

Okay, three things: Which thing works best for you right now, as it is? In which thing are you already happy with it, so it needs the mods the least? Yes, the rifle will outlast the car, and yes it will appreciate in value, not depreciate, but if you're more unhappy with the car, fix it up first. As long as you're happy with the rifle's performance right now, that is.

August 23, 2007, 02:57 PM
A stripped AR-lower is ~$100. If you have the mechanical ability to mod your car, you can assemble an AR from a parts kit. And as much as I love cars, they are a money pit and all of the fun mods just make it easier for your to get a speeding ticket. Not to mention, quality performance mods are big $$$, especially if you don't have the tools and/or expertise to install them yourself.

I dig the WRX, fast, fun little car. I'd get some quality rubber for it and upgrade the stereo. Unless you're racing competitively in SCCA racing, I'd hold off on rotors, calibers, rims, exhaust, chips, clutches, etc.

I got my AR lower about 2 months ago and I'm slowly adding to it. Mags one week, a stock a few weeks later, etc. I was ready to get an upper but Garands surfaced at the CMP again so the AR got postponed. That's what's great about an AR build: it can go as slow or as fast as you need. Arfcom has all of the info you need for free.

August 23, 2007, 03:11 PM
Having been really into cars before I got into guns I say go with the gun. From my experience cars are a money pit and do nothing but depreciate in value. With a firearm its usually the opposite.

He is so right that it hurts!

In my youth I was a car junkie. I worked hard and blew every dime I made on my car. I mean how many college kids do you know with a 425 horse Vette? But when I had to eventually sell it (it broke my heart) because my main ride died and good luck driving a Vette in New England during the winter, I ate almost all of the money that I put into the mods. You see, for the most part, the people with the money to buy it didnít want the mods, and the people who liked the mods didnít have the cash.

In general, a car is a depreciating asset, while guns, after the initial hit of becoming ďusedĒ pretty much hold their value, and in some cases can appreciate.

Quick story:
A few months before the 1994 AWB my uncle bought 5 Colt AR15ís, after the bill passed he sold 3 of them for almost what he paid for all five.

Tin Gizel
August 23, 2007, 03:13 PM
Been there done that with cars and trucks....always regretted the money i felt I wasted on them...

I have never felt that I have wasted any money on a gun.

But then again, at the time i was into cars I wasn't nearly as into guns as I am now....

Buy whichever one you'll get more enjoyment out of now. But if you choose the car, I'd make sure you start putting away money for the AR as I agree with others, you won't be able to get them forever, and they'll usually go up in value once you own them.

August 23, 2007, 03:20 PM
I'm a gearhead. It's hard to give an opinion because you don't say what mods you are thinking of. Some will give you great back for the buck (a decent chip, better tires, good sway bars, good brake upgrades, good springs and struts), on the other hand something like a Ground Effects kit, carbon fiber hood, coffee can muffler or neon lights won't do a thing for you except (maybe) make your car more cosmetically appealing (if you go for that type of thing). I favor the first type of mod and consider the latter type a waste of money personally.

I've done a number of things to my car that I appreciate every day on my drive to work or store. On the other hand a gun I will only appreciate on the weekend (unless it's a CCW and even then it's out of sight, out of mind 90% of the time).

That all said, I'd buy the AR. Right out of the box, the WRX is certainly very quick and handles great. You can always mod the car (or rifle) later.

Nice car BTW. I love the WRX. :)

August 23, 2007, 03:25 PM
What mods for the car are you planning? Most things like exhaust/intake, etc. don't add a whole lot of power for how much they cost, and you won't get a dime back out of them when you sell the car.
A lot of cars have cheap or "free mods" you can do to them (removing factory intake restrictions, making a mechanical boost controller for $20, etc.) I'd check out some Scooby forums and do those first.
I hate having to make decisions like that. "The camaro needs headers, but those PLR-16's look like so much fun!"

August 23, 2007, 03:54 PM
Buy the AR! bought my first AR a couple of years after the AWB. Bushmaster A3 20" Target for $890.00. Withing a month after the silly AWB was not renewed, I bought a Bushy lower with a collapsable stock and a RRA 16" carbine upper with A2 flashider. If it gets close to looking like another AWB will be passed, I will buy another AR and as many 30rd mags as I can afford.:cuss:

Come SHTF or an extensive weapons ban. AR's will be worth more than gold. So will ammo for that matter.

Jorg Nysgerrig
August 23, 2007, 04:11 PM
My advice? Don't live your life in fear of bans.

Buy what you want now. Life is too short to fret constantly about what they may take away from you. I know some people claim that the minute a Democrat enters the White House it'll be game over, but many of these same people claimed that Nancy Pelosi was going to try to ban all guns back in January the second she crossed the threshold. You've seen how much traction those bills have picked up. All you can really do is keep up the activism and converting folks to the cause.

And if the sweeping ban does come down, there's no guarantee of a grandfather clause or even a sunset provision. It could be full on confiscation of evil guns. I suppose you could bury it as some suggest, but a buried gun is a worthless gun.

Get the car parts and enjoy them. Sometime later buy your AR.

Come SHTF or an extensive weapons ban. AR's will be worth more than gold. So will ammo for that matter.
Since SHTF is a fairly silly topic, I won't touch on that, but if there's an extensive enough ban, your AR may be worthless. Well, I suppose you could trade it in for a pair of sneakers through the amnesty program.

SG Merc
August 23, 2007, 05:12 PM
How about doing both?

It's already been suggested that you assemble your own AR to save money, so another thing you can do is only buy AWB threatened parts. Someone with more knowledge of the bill would be able to offer you more specific advice, but getting a stripped lower and some 30+ round magazines would be a solid investment in your future rifle build.

Sounds like you have enough money to get your car parts and the minimal AR parts.

August 23, 2007, 06:38 PM
I race SCCA and would like to tell you something. The more you mod a car for the track or strip, the harder to drive on the street and the less reliable it becomes. I had an 86 starion esi-R with a bigger turbo and suspension goodies that blew the head and turbo. Even doing all of the work myself, I could have bought 4 ARs for the cost of replacing the damaged parts. Moral of the story is : the car is already more than fast enough for driving anywhere in the US and is reliable. Why trade that fact for increased performance you will never see and less reliability. (Fast and the Furious was cool and all but when are you ever going to be driving over 90mph at the most)

August 23, 2007, 08:02 PM
Hey man, SUBIES ROCK!! having owned a Stg 4 bugeye wrx, and an Evo, and Having AR's I gotta tell you that the AR's are the better investment for sure. Also I would enjoy the Car as it sits for now.... and modify it in a few months or a year, that way you can enjoy your mods more. I bought my wrx and threw all the mods on at once, and I got bored. If you do your mods slowly and enjoy each one it makes it better.... not to mention you NEVER get your $$ back on car mods. Best of luck with what ever you decide to do. Also my SN on is the same!

August 23, 2007, 08:03 PM
Cars are always heartbreakers. With few exceptions, no matter the care you lavish on them, they are money pits--in twenty years they will (likely) not be around. A quality firearm will require little upkeep money after the initial outlay and can last in rugged and usable condition for generations.

Hey, a hobby is a hobby--and when money is tight you have to choose sometimes.

Will Learn
August 23, 2007, 08:26 PM
"Get the AR. The car modifications will always be available, but there is a fairly substantial (non-zero) chance that the AR will not be available in the future."

Get the AR, put it together yourself for cheaper if you want to keep it under $900- $290 +
$490 = $780 AR w/ flip up sight and RRA 2 stage national match trigger. That took me 5mins to find so i'm sure theres cheaper deals out there.

You know everyone on a gun forum is goin to tell you to get the gun right?
Get the gun, get the gun, shoot,shoot,shoot,shoot.

August 23, 2007, 08:40 PM
The ar will retain value better, but you probably drive your car every day. Never underestimate the fun of turning up the boost a little.

August 23, 2007, 09:12 PM
I have mixed feelings.

Two of my biggest interests are guns and fast cars (love the WRX, BTW). I love to drive an engaging car, and a big part of that is horsepower...which is a big reason why my "family sedan" has an Eaton M90 sitting atop the intake. I love it when a kid in a Civic pulls up behind me at a red light, then jumps into the left lane because he thinks a big sedan must be slow...hehehe...

Having said that, the WRX is already one of the quickest and sharpest-handling sedans on the road. You're already under 6 seconds to 60 and under 15 seconds in the quarter, IIRC, and you can put power down off the line and in the corners like nobody's business, thanks to 4WD.

So I think if I were in that situation, I'd enjoy the car as it is, and get the AR. BUT, you're not me, and if you'd enjoy having the car mods more than the rifle, then by all means get them. As others have mentioned, you can start building an AR gradually on the side using quality parts. OR, buy a few magazines, set a credit card aside with at least $1K of room on it, and think about what you'd order if a ban started to loom, so at least you could get one then.

August 23, 2007, 09:45 PM
get that you want man. i have done both. i will say guns have been, for me anyway, the coolest thing to be a part of. if i had the money i would do both but shooting stuff is much more fun.

Il Duca
August 23, 2007, 09:54 PM
Man, I am in the same predicament. I have a 1979 Mercury Capri that I need to buy a mess of parts for if I'm going to start whipping punks in WRXs:p, JK. But right now I can't seem to stop buying rifles. I just seem to keep coming across these great deals. As much as I hate to say it if I were you, I would bite it and buy the parts. I'm not buying any more guns til I get something done with the car.

August 23, 2007, 10:04 PM
funny...i drive the same car.... 06 WRX, cobb stage 1, some little suspension and brake upgrades
HOWEVER, i purposely don't spend too much on my car, the more power you make and the more you race it (especially AWD cars with the t-case and all) the more you break it. you have to pay to play.
i had a 99 mustang cobra that i literally DUMPED money into, had every possible upgrade you could think of, supercharged, built motor, fully upgraded suspension, big brake kit, huge drag radials, tt2 wheels....went 11.5@130ish, then i started breaking stuff, and it sucked majorly, $1500 on a trans, $1000 on tires... ect
modding cars is a very expensive hobby

my advice?
get a cheapo car you can mod....old WRX, old nissan 240sx, 5.0 mustang, 98 camaro (ls1), maybe an lt1 camaro, and mod that, DO NOT mod your only mode of transportation or you will find yourself having to bum rides off people

August 24, 2007, 12:03 AM
Get the AR.

The WRX is already pretty hot out of the box ... you'll have to spend a LOT more than what a good AR would cost to modify it enough that you'll really notice it.

August 24, 2007, 12:12 AM
Seriously, you've got to take the car to at least stage 2 as the difference is night and day. I just got rid of an 03 bugeye (that I put 80,000 on at stage 2 w/ no problems). The car as it was from the factory was quick but not FAST. My advice is to look for a used downpipe on the forums and get the accessport. You don't need to replace the catback or the uppipe (I believe the 06 and up don't have a catted up) right away. If you search the cobb forums and read a little nobody has ever seen a performance gain from changing out the uppipe when one already has the down and is stage 2. In addition, the factory exhaust is not all that restrictive, I barely noticed a difference when I went from the stock exhaust to the HKS Carbon Fiber. Anyways, I'd say do the AP and DP and buy the AR and wait for the catback and any other mods...

I should also note that you won't lose money on these mods. A used DP does not generally depreciate and the used AP's are going for maybe $50 less than new. When I parted out my car, I got every cent I spent on the AP, DP, and HKS exhaust back (all bought used).

August 24, 2007, 01:17 AM
You bought a Rex, whaddya mean you can't afford to do both! :neener:

Dr. Peter Venkman
August 24, 2007, 04:57 AM
Depends on the car.

My father sold his '73 Barracuda about 8 years back.


August 24, 2007, 06:20 AM
Well thanks for the replies. I figured I would get a more even response here than on (suby site), some of those guys are crazy. I hadnt really thought of the stripped lower, I think I'll go that route.

By the way the mods I was talking about are rear sway bars and going Stage one with a COBB AP and a protune. None of this is harmfull to the car. Its not going to add a lot of power (probably around 35-40hp tops) but it smooths out the power delivery and makes the car easier to drive as a daily driver. Not to mention the rear sways will make it corner like a madman.

August 24, 2007, 06:34 AM
You will never loose money on a AR..if you take care of it !! you will never
make money on a Car ..unless you Buy a VET or Himi (old ones).......
just my 00.2......Echo Out.....

August 24, 2007, 01:40 PM
Take it from another car guy. Cars or fast trucks are money pits, as was said. My "toy" is a 2000 Ford Lightning with 4lb pulley, shift kit, ram air, along with the usual aesthetic and or people friendly items. "Mere 12s" is never enough and you always strive to go quicker. Thrilling, yes, but when does it become enough? Usually a Lightning will tell you before you ventilate the block, but that is never a guarantee as many in my club will tell you. Thankfully, my daily driver, a 2003 Harley Davidson edition has been left pristine, save for a K&N filter. The Eaton M112 superchargers are pretty much the only things on the trucks that compare, though the HD is pullied for 6 lbs of boost rather than 8. The HD is a terrific driving cruiser, while the L is brute force. My AR15 was bought instead of further modding of the L. It was worth it in my opinion. Part of it was the possibility of another idiotic "assault weapons" ban. Part, of course, was that I always wanted an AR15. If you always wanted one, I heartily recommend buying it over further modding of something that will continuously drain your wallet, while satisfaction continues to elude you.

August 24, 2007, 06:02 PM
I'm also a huge car guy. I'm rolling in a lightly modified S2000 these days. Previous car was an M3. I'd love to do more with my S2000 but my fun budget has gone towards nothing but semi-auto rifles, standard cap mags, etc. this year. Now's the time to buy gun stuff. You can always mod the car later.

chris in va
August 24, 2007, 09:24 PM
Get a Saiga conversion *and* the WRX mods. You'll have your Evil Black Rifle...and your Evil Black Car.

August 24, 2007, 09:34 PM
Why not buy a AR lower (or 2)? That way you can finish the AR later on, but still mod the Subie. You could also setup 2 savings accounts, one for mods, one for guns.

I used to mod my cars, and the urge is still there. I'd love to pick up a set of wheels and some suspension upgrades for my Mazda 6. (yeah, I know, it's wrong wheel drive:neener:) I should probably just get rid of it for a WRX anyways.

August 24, 2007, 09:49 PM
well, I had one of the earlier bugeye wrx's, and all I will say is that they were known to be a bit hard on the tranny's even WITHOUT any power boosts. You also either have to pay money to have the parts taken back off to return to stock or often it will often be worth LESS at trade in time if it's been modified--think about it, if it were YOU buying a used wrx, you'd be leery of a modded one too--who knows if it was done right or some do it yourselfer who botched the job and then wanted to unload it. Mods can also void the warranty and it varied dramatically from one dealer to the next how that goes. If yours is a mod hostile one they can not only tell you the warranty is off but can blacklist you or whatever so all the other dealers would automatically know if you tried go elsewhere. You could probably get away with the sways for better handling without anyone realizing it in that regard.

OTOH, you could always get an AK to hold you over and do some of the car mods. Everyone should have at least one AR in the collection, though. And 1911. And model 10 smith. And some lever guns...hmmm, maybe you should just get a second job...;)

milo z
August 24, 2007, 09:52 PM
Buy a stripped AR lower for $85-100. Put it in the safe for the future.

Then spend the rest of your budget on car mods (though honestly I'm not sure what can be done to a car these days for the price of an AR).

August 24, 2007, 10:47 PM
A few years back, I got the wild idea of how cool it would be driving into work in a vintage Mercedes roadster.

So I got one.

The guys at Hanz and Franz in Metairie, LA became rich on me. I began to add up that I had almost $30K in the car JUST in the restoration I did to it. Oh, it LOOKED beautiful and it was screamin' fast. It oozed style.

Then I took a hard right and the driver's side door flew open.

I realized that that old thing would always have something that needed to be worked on. It got nicknamed "Satan."

And then I traded it straight for a BMW 328i and I lived happily ever after. (until it left with my ex-wife and I got a Z3)

Lesson learned: If you don't know how to work on it yourself, you are in for some bills with a car hobby.

I drive a Jeep now and could't be happier. :)

-- John

August 24, 2007, 11:02 PM
Get a Saiga conversion *and* the WRX mods. You'll have your Evil Black Rifle...and your Evil Black Car.

A Saiga conversion isn't going to be any cheaper than an entry-level AR, unless you do the conversion yourself, which requires a nontrivial knowledge of gunsmithing and careful treading in regards to 922(r).

August 24, 2007, 11:49 PM
In my opinion, vehicles are one of the worst investments that anyone can make, and making modifications to one only makes it worse. An AR on the other hand is not likely to ever loose a penny in value and stands a very good chance at increasing in value especially if the AWD is reinstated. I have bought and sold 14 AR-15's and 1 AR-10 over the last 10 years and have made money on every single one. For me, pre-89 Colt AR's have been the best gun investments I have ever made. I currently have two in my safe that I am holding on to for my sons.

Red Dragon
August 25, 2007, 12:04 AM
get the rifle and "Mod" it to your car :D

August 25, 2007, 03:57 PM
Who ever said a vehicle is an investment? Its just something you spend money and time on. For example, a filet mignon is a bad "investment" but that doesn't make it any less tasty.

August 25, 2007, 06:32 PM
Go with the AR-15 you won't regret it,your car can wait, now if it was an old Chevy the gun would wait.

PS: My Chevelle is why I don't have an Eddystone yet.

August 25, 2007, 09:54 PM
As someone who loves cars and does autoX, I say get the gun. For the last 9 months I've been building a decent collection of guns before the 08 elections. You can always mod your car later but you never know what legislation may be around the corner.

August 25, 2007, 10:12 PM
Ah crap, that means I need to hurry up an buy an Eddystone and any other guns I might want, and we all might need to stock up on ammo.

August 26, 2007, 12:29 AM
speaking as someone who used to dump needless money into his car, i would have to say get the ar-15. Your car could be wrecked tomorrow, and although theoretically your guns could be stolen tomorrow, what im trying to say is eventually the car will get old and nickle and dime you, it will need repairs, you might sell it, etc...

Like someone else said, the gun will outlast the car. But, its your cash, do what your heart desires most. :)

August 26, 2007, 12:34 AM
quote from Red Dragon:

get the rifle and "Mod" it to your car

After reading through, i saw this suggestion. Now THATS an idea! Let any car enthusiest try and top that mod! :D:D

August 27, 2007, 07:30 PM
If it were me, I'd save 900.00, get a regular Saiga in .223 (300.00) and put a factory pistol grip stock on it (75.00). Then spend the rest on mods.


Get a Kel-Tec PLR 16 or SU-16 (both are .223) for 450.00, then spend the rest on mods.

No reason to not have both. :)

August 27, 2007, 08:05 PM
I had an '02 bugeyes that I modded to Stage 2 + suspension and brakes. I researched and fretted over it for over a year before I bought the first part. It was driving me crazy so I just had to go ahead and do it or wreck my health by staying up late every night looking at JSC Speed, Mach V, and the other sites. Spent about $3K, did all the work by myself in my tiny attached garage, had fun with it for a year, sold it (probably a good thing, it was too much fun if you know what I mean). Every red-blooded American boy should have a hot rod at some point - even if he has to wait until he's in his 40's to get it. Now I can finally grow up - a little. I'm out of cars and back into guns now. I say do the car now, since you apparently have other things to shoot. As far as a money pit goes, my guns, shooting habit, gun safe, ammo cabinet, and reloading cabinet have the car beat easily. Heck, the car actually got better gas mileage in Stage 2!

August 27, 2007, 08:20 PM
Buying a lower and expecting to finish it after the proverbial ban is dangerous. Who knows what kind of foolish anti-second bill Hilary will produce. I guarantee you that if she does pass a law you won’t be able to get a collapsible stock or flash suppressor. There goes all of the fun parts of an AR.

This is a trick question anyways because the answer is to crash the WRX into a pond, collect the insurance money and stock up for the second Independence War. :neener:

BTW I have a little over $35,000 in a Toyota MR2, and am 6 hours on a dyno away from 400whp. :scrutiny:

August 27, 2007, 10:16 PM
Going on a gun board and asking should I spend money on guns or cars is kinda like going to the Lesbian Socialists for Government Provided Womyn's Healthcare and asking "Hillary Clinton or Mitt Rommney?" :rolleyes:

Get the gun.

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