US Ambassador to Hungary goes to the range

The US Ambassador to Hungary, Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, recently attended a joint training session with the Hungarian Afghanistan OMLT (Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team) unit and the Ohio National Guard. She tried all of the available firearms including the AK-63F (Hungarian AKM), PKM machine gun, Glock 17, M4, and the Szep Sniper Rifle. Judging by the video, she seemed to be having a genuinely good time.

Ambassador with Glock
Ambassador with AK-63F
Hungarian Szep Sniper Rifle chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO
Ambassador with Glock

I had never seen or heard of the Szep Sniper Rifle before I saw the above photo of the Ambassador using it. The rifle was manufactured by Sero Ltd. It is similar in design to he Gepárd M1 line of anti-material rifles, having been designed by Ferenc Szép who participated in the development of the M1. It is used by the Hungarian Army and police.

[ Many thanks to Gabor ( http://www.kaliber.hu ) for emailing me the information. ]



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Raymond

    Ok, she seems relatively average sized, so she appears to be standing next to some sort of mutant giant in the first picture. Then again, at 6’4″ and a foot taller than my girlfriend, I probably don’t get much right to talk.

  • Allen

    First pic needs to be retitled “Ambassador with giant”

  • Mount

    Goliath really has to crane his neck to see the little ambassador. Damn that guy’s enormous!

  • Dom

    I see she is rocking the requisite U.S. State Department’s Women’s Uniform, the almighty pants-suit. She wears it well though, good job. Weight a little more forward on that AK, and she could be an action movie extra. Maybe even co-star or stunt double.

  • Todd

    She looks nice when prone. 🙂

  • Rusty Ray

    Left eye dominant on the AK-47 I see. Also, note the rarely used ‘nose welded to the stock’ technique. Hats off to her though, she seemed to have enjoyed herself. Good on ‘er.

    Cheers- Rusty

  • ComradeCole

    She does look rather comfortable firing with the Szep rifle.

  • Spiros-Hellas

    This guy in the first picture seems like a giant!

  • Mike

    The Szep looks like a bullpup bolt action gun. Speaking of, that magazine is huge and looks like it’d be big enough for .338 Lapua Mag. Also in the background is the M4 with an Acog.

  • Tahoe

    Clearly the press office has a flair for the dramatic, throwing that gigantor soldier in there to impress the American. Either that, or the rest of them in the background are Munchkins.

    I like the looks of that Szep; is that S&B glass?

  • Patrick Bateman

    She’s got a good noseweld on that AK.

  • Matt

    She needs some eye pro shooting that Glock. Good for her, though. And either she’s a midget (judging from the first photo with the Hungarians in the background), and the guy she’s talking to is normal sized, or, more likely, the guy talking to her in the first pic is a monster. He looks like Lurch in cammies.

  • she actually looks pretty comfortable behind a firearm which cannot be said about all politicians

  • Doug

    That’s one of the coolest ambassadors I’ve seen. Looks like she knows what she’s doing.

  • El Duderino

    We need some captions on these.

    “Oh, you’re NOT going to give me diplomatic immunity? Well say ‘ello to my lil’ friend!”

    “War is an extension of diplomacy. Consider THIS,” *BLAM* “your extension!”

    I like how the range officer sticks his fingers in his ears. Are they that bupkus that they can’t get $0.25 earplugs let along some ‘muffs? Or did they give their only pair to her?

  • Hmmmm, yeah, tell me more about that Szep. Like, where can I get one, and how much?

  • Jorge_Banner

    The punks let her shoot the Glock without eye protection.

  • Lance

    I see the M-4s she shot are with the ANG unit with the Hungarians. I like the AKM copy the FEGs are some of the best in the world. I like it has a AK gas holes in the tubes while has all the other features AKM style.

    Not Surprised not many east European countries did NOT dump AKs in original Soviet calibers.

    What caliber is there sniper rifle? NATO or 54R?

  • Rusty Ray

    Nope, I sit corrected. That AK is in full recoil, the spent case is still flying high. The probably explains her head position. As I said, good on ‘er.

    Cheers – Rusty

  • Snow and Ash

    No safety glasses in the Glock pic. She’s doing a “tactical squint” that deflects debris with the eyelashes.

  • j

    Shorty

  • Matt G.

    Ok. Is it me or is that the only expression secret service guys ever have?(2nd pic)

  • paramedic70002

    I checked her bio. Hardcore Dem, business background with her Dad’s company, big $$$ contributor to the Dems. Obama appointed her to the position in 2010. Grew up in NoCal. Doesn’t seem to fit the gun nut stereotype but definitely not scared of those weapons. Think the “Boss” is happy with these pics?

  • Candu

    In the second picture there’s a bald guy with an earpiece who looks pissed. State Dept. Security?

  • Luther

    brilliant made my day.

  • Harmon

    Surprisingly good form on the AK. Her handgun grip could use a little work, but pretty good assuming it’s her first time.

  • Bill Lester

    “Goliath” is that huge. Looks at the size of his hands. He could easily cover the lady’s entire face with an outstretched palm.

  • Gerald

    More photos and a video of her shooting here:

    http://www.honvedelem.hu/cikk/25327/megtapsoltak-a-katonak-az-egyesult-allamok-nagykovetet

    Also, it looks like she is indeed a very short woman.

  • Tahoe

    Geez, are you guys kidding, going on and on with the eyepro stuff? I don’t remember ever using eyepro on a military range before 10 years ago or so.

  • subase

    Well a pantsuit is a versatile outfit, demonstrably shown here with the ambassador shooting various weapons in it. Would have looked pretty silly if she did it in a skirt and blouse.

  • William C.

    Damn that guy is huge, the result of some Soviet-era super soldier program?

    Good for the ambassador. Seems like a good time.

  • Jamie

    It’s refreshing to see a politician actually shooting guns and enjoying herself.

    • Jamie, that us what I first thought, but I don’t think she would be considered a politician, she would be a diplomat who serves politicians.

  • I don’t know if they still do it, but diplomatic staff assigned overseas used to go through a brief OPFOR weapons course. I remember an article covering this training where they mentioned that Ambassador Shirley Temple-Black had gone through the course. Pity the pirates that try to storm the Good Ship Lollipop.

  • tincan

    I know this is an apolitical gun blog, but as a Dem I just want to double underline for all you guys that this lady is a California Democrat and an Obama appointee. She’s not a reg shooter, but she looks pretty comfortable behind a gun (and pretty cute), too. A minority of us are what the NRA would call “anti-gun,” so feel free to ignore the scaremongering and come on over in 2012. 🙂

    • John Atkinson

      As a member of the Ohio Army National Guard unit mentioned in the article, and the guy in the lane next to her when she was firing, I can tell you 100% that she was not only comfortable but quite proficient behind a weapon! And… that “huge guy” in the photo with her was Lt. Istvan (nickname Scuba Steve). He is fairly tall… but looks even taller because she was extremely small!

  • Jorge_Banner

    “Tahoeon 17 Apr 2011 at 9:37 am link comment
    Geez, are you guys kidding, going on and on with the eyepro stuff? I don’t remember ever using eyepro on a military range before 10 years ago or so.”

    Hey, Tahoeon, we only have two eyes and they have to last. Eye protection is a sound idea. Same goes for those that use casings as ear protection. That’s bad in any form you want to consider it. Use proper protection at all times. Rambo is only a movie. When I take newbies to the range I don’t let anybody shoot without proper eye and ears protection and I don’t care who thinks I’m kidding cause I’m not.

  • charles222

    “When did Hungary recruit Bigfoot?”-my wife on seeing this.