24

In the first season of The Walking Dead, Rick ransacks his Sheriff's station, fills a bag with guns, carries it to Atlanta, drops it, leaves it behind, then goes back for it. Here's how he describes the contents:

Rick: Six shotguns, two high-powered rifles, over a dozen handguns. I cleaned out the cage back at the station before I left. I dropped the bag in Atlanta when I got swarmed. It's just sitting there on the street, waiting to be picked up.

Shane: Ammo?

Rick: 700 rounds, assorted.
- The Walking Dead, Season 1, Episode 3: Tell it to the Frogs

I have always had an issue with this, because Rick fills the bag and starts flinging it around like it's a kindergarten student's backpack containing nothing but animal crackers and a box of crayons, despite the fact that he had awoken from a month-long coma the previous day.

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With some help from the Internet Movie Firearms Database, I compiled a list of the guns and ammo in the bag:

"Six Shotguns":

  • Harrington & Richardson Pardner Pump Compact 20 gauge

  • Harrington & Richardson Pardner Pump Protector 12 gauge

  • Mossberg 500 12 gauge with high-capacity magazine tube

  • Mossberg 500 12 gauge with high-capacity magazine tube1

  • Remington 870 Wingmaster 12 gauge

  • Remington 870 Police Magnum 12 gauge

"Two High-Powered Rifles":

  • Browning Automatic Rifle Safari .30-06 (with scope)

  • Remington 700 BDL .308 Win (with Bushnell High-Contrast scope)

"Over a Dozen Handguns":

  • Glock 17 9x19 mm (possibly more than one)

  • SIG-Sauer P226 9x19 mm

  • Smith & Wesson Model 10 .38 special snub-nose

  • Smith & Wesson Model 586 .357

  • At least 9 other unidentified handguns

"Seven Hundred Rounds" of Ammo, "Assorted":

  • Unidentified, but we can probably assume that he took ammo suitable for use in the guns in the bag

Here's an imgur album with caps of the Mossberg, the Remington 700 BDL and scope, the Browning Automatic Rifle Safari and scope, and the only box of ammo we see clearly in the series premiere, Days Gone Bye.

I know that some of these models come in a variety of different variants, which affects the weight of the gun; I also realize that there is some variation in how much a round of ammo for any given firearm will weigh. Thus, I am aware that a specific, concrete number is impossible, and we'll have to make do with a ballpark estimate.

How much would Rick's bag2 of guns and ammunition weigh, roughly?



Notes:

1 The Mossberg 500 is listed twice because there are two in the bag

2 Let's assume the bag itself weighs 2 pounds

20

At least 100 pounds

Shotguns

  • Harrington & Richardson Pardner Pump Compact

    Weight: 6.5 pounds

    enter image description here

  • Harrington & Richardson Pardner Pump Protector

    Weight: 7.5 pounds

    enter image description here

  • Mossberg 500 12 gauge with high-capacity magazine tube (x2)

    Weight: 7.5 pounds (+0.5 pounds for tube)

    enter image description here

  • Remington 870 Wingmaster 12 Gauge

    Weight: 7.0 pounds

    enter image description here

  • Remington 870 Police Magnum

    Weight: 7.0 pounds

    enter image description here


Rifles

  • Browning Automatic Rifle Safari .30-06

    Weight: 7.5 pounds (+1.0 for scope)

enter image description here

  • Remington 700 BDL .308 Win

    Weight: 8 pounds (+1.0 for scope)

enter image description here


Handguns

  • Glock 17

    Weight: 710 grams, or 1.57 pounds

enter image description here

  • SIG-Sauer P226

    Weight: 2.1

enter image description here

  • Smith & Wesson Model 10 snub-nose

enter image description here

Weight: 1.9 pounds

  • Smith & Wesson Model 586

    Weight: 1.6 pounds

enter image description here

  • At least nine other handguns

    Weight: Let's take the average weight of a handgun to be about 2.0 pounds, which is generally in the vicinity of the weights of the other handguns. Thus these handguns add around 18 additional pounds, with more of course a possibility, since there are at least nine more handguns.


Ammo

The bag apparently contains about 700 rounds of ammo. This probably includes rifle rounds, handgun rounds, and shotgun shells.

  • According to this list of common bullet weights, it would seem that a common weight for a handgun bullet is around 200 grains, or about 0.03 pounds. In accordance with this, the lightest ammunition is

  • One rifle has ammunition with a caliber of .30-06. This suggests that bullet weights are around 160 grains (or 0.022 pounds). Similarly, this suggests that the .308 ammo weighs a bit less. The lightest ammunition we have is for handguns such as the Glock, and weighs in at 2.6 pounds per hundred.

  • This website suggests a weight of around 0.1 pounds for a shotgun shell (10 pounds per 100). Indeed, our heaviest ammunition has a weight of 9.59 pounds per hundred (2 3/4" #00 Buckshot).

  • The heaviest ammunition (casing+projectile), is the 12 gauge buckshot

We really have no easy way of concluding how much ammunition of each type Rick has. He might favor one type of gun over another, or he might keep roughly the same number of reloads for each gun (e.g. 17-round magazines for the Glock. It seems probable that the handguns, though, with their ~15 capacity, account for a larger share of bullets than the rifles or shotguns, with their ~5 round capacities. However, it makes sense to shoot for a lower bound, so lets pretend all the ammunition is made of up 0.026 pound bullets. That still accounts for 18 pounds. If it were all 0.0959 pound shotgun shells, it would be 67 pounds.


Total

We have about 87 pounds from the guns plus accessories (scopes and magazines). Assuming a lower limit of 18 pounds of ammo, we still have 105 pounds in the bag. With the upper limit of 67 pounds of ammo, the bag should contain 154 pounds.

While an average adult male can certainly lift the lower end of this range, it is still very heavy. A military backpack, for example, may weigh 60-100 pounds—less than the lowest estimate. And, as indicated in the linked article, this requires extensive training and can cause serious problems. Further, a backpack is worn on the back, whereas Rick seems to sometimes sling the bag over one shoulder.

5

I did some work myself to supplement Jonah's brilliant, accepted answer. I made a Google Sheets spreadsheet of the data, available here.

Guns:

I got the weights of all the shotguns and rifles from the manufacturers' websites. I did the same for the four identified handguns, but this left me with at least nine unidentified handguns. Thus, some assumptions were necessary.

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  • I decided to shoot for a valid baseline by supposing that "over a dozen handguns" means "exactly 13 handguns".

  • To set a minimum weight for the guns, I assumed that there are 9 unidentified handguns, and they are all the same weight as the lightest identified handgun (the Glock 17, at 1.6 lbs/0.73 kg). This gives us a total minimum of 22.6 lbs (10.23 kg) of handguns, and a minimum of 85.1 lbs (38.68 kg) of guns overall.

  • To set a maximum weight for all the guns, I assumed that there are 9 unidentified handguns, and they are all the same weight as the heaviest identified handgun (the Smith & Wesson Model 586, at 2.6 lbs/1.18 kg). This gives us a total maximum of 31.6 lbs (14.36 kg) of handguns, and a maximum of 94.1 lbs (42.77 kg) of guns overall.

  • I averaged out the weights of the 4 identified handguns, and came up with a weight of 2.1 lbs (0.95 kg). Multiplying this by the 9 unidentified handguns, I got 18.5 lbs for the unidentified handguns. This gives us a total of at least 26.7 lbs (12.14 kg) of handguns, and a total of at least 89.2 lbs (40.45 kg) of guns overall.

  • In the interests of a comprehensive answer, I also made a calculation based on the supposition that all of the unidentified handguns would be chambered for the extremely common 9 x 19mm Parabellum round. Averaging the weights of the two identified handguns chambered for 9 x 19mm Parabellum, we get 1.85 lbs (0.84 kg) each; this makes the estimated weight of the 9 unidentified handguns 16.65 lbs (7.57 kg). Thus, we have 24.85 lbs (11.30 kg) of handguns, and at least 87.35 lbs (39.71 kg) of guns overall.

  • To estimate the likely weight of the guns, I added the weights of the shotguns and rifles to the average of the two estimates for handguns above, and came up with 88.28 lbs (40.13 kg)

Estimated weight of guns: 88.28 lbs (40.13 kg)

Minimum and maximum weight of guns: 85.1 lbs (38.68 kg) to 94.1 lbs (42.77 kg)


Ammunition:

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This was even trickier, because the only information we have is "700 rounds, assorted." Therefore, I had to make even more assumptions here; this is what I assumed:

  • The ammunition in the bag is intended for the guns in the bag.

    • Five 12 gauge shotguns
    • One 20 gauge shotguns
    • Eleven 9 x 9mm Parabellum handguns1
    • One .357 handgun
    • One .38 Special handgun
    • One .30-06 rifle
    • One .308 Winchester rifle
  • To set an estimate of the ammo weight, I assumed that Rick took the same number of rounds for each gun. Thus, 700 rounds divided by 21 guns = 33.3̅3̅3 rounds per gun. This means he has 363 rounds of 9mm2, 165 rounds of 12 gauge, and 33 rounds of each of the other calibers3. This gives us an estimate of 35.17 lbs (15.99 kg) of ammo.

  • To set an upper limit for the ammo weight, I assumed that Rick took 700 rounds of the heaviest ammunition - 2 3/4" 12 gauge shells filled with #00 buckshot. Each shell weighs 1.54 ounces; 700 rounds weighs 67.38 lbs (30.63 kg).

  • To set a lower limit for the ammo weight, I assumed that Rick took 700 rounds of the lightest ammunition - Hornady 115gr JHP/XTP 9 x 19mm rounds. Each round weighs 0.42 ounces; 700 rounds weighs 18.38 lbs (8.36 kg).

  • I also decided to average out the upper limit ( 67.38 lbs/30.63 kg) and lower limit (18.38 lbs/8.36 kg), which comes out to 42.88 lbs (19.49 kg).

Likely weight of ammunition: 35.17 lbs (15.99 kg)

Minimum and maximum weight of ammunition: 18.38 lbs (8.36 kg) to 67.38 lbs (30.63 kg)


The Bag itself:

As I said in my question, we're assuming that the empty bag weighs 2 lbs, which is what I found when I looked for heavy-duty duffel bags of similar size and appearance.

Estimated weight of bag: 2 pounds (0.91 kilograms)


Conclusion:

Likely overall weight: 125.45 lbs (57.02 kg)

88.28 lbs (40.13 kg) of guns, 35.17 lbs (15.99 kg) of ammo, 2 lbs (0.91 kg) of bag.

Minimum: 105.48 lbs (47.95 kg)

85.1 lbs (38.68 kg), 18.38 lbs (8.36 kg) of ammo, 2 lbs (0.91 kg) of bag

Maximum: 163.48 lbs (74.31 kg)

94.1 lbs (42.77 kg) of guns, 67.38 lbs (30.63 kg), 2 lbs (0.91 kg) of bag



Notes:

1 Based on the second speculative solution for the weights of the unidentified handguns, mentioned in the "Guns" section - namely, that all the unidentified handguns are chambered for 9 x 19mm Parabellum

2 I found two different weights for two different kinds of 9 x 19mm Parabellum rounds (one weighed 0.42 ounces per round, the other weighed 0.52 ounces per round), and because we don't know which kind Rick took, I averaged them out to 0.47 ounces per round

3 Every caliber and gauge of ammunition comes in different variations, according to powder load, type of projectile, type of casing, etc; I simply used the weights of the most common commercially available variants of everything except the 9mm ammo

4 The TWD wikia identifies more handguns than IMFDb did, but lacks citations, so it is less authoritative. Their list differs from IMFDb in the following ways: four additional Glock 17 9 mm; one Colt Detective Special .38 Special; one Colt Official Police .38 Special; one Browning BDA; and one of the Mossberg 500's is described as a Persuader model.

Based on this, and assuming that there are 2 unidentified 9 mm handguns weighing ~1.83 lbs, and that Rick took 33-rounds per gun, we get a total weight of 122.67 lbs (85.51 lbs of guns, 35.16 lbs of ammo, and 2 lbs of bag). I didn't include these figures in the main text of my answer because I cannot confirm the accuracy of the wiki's information.

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