Customer Spotlight

At Manchester Firing Line, our objective is to always help people feel safe and become comfortable with firearms. It is a message that has resonated with men and women, people of all ages, and from all walks of life. Many have said that learning to shoot has been life-changing—and often in ways they did not expect. We want you to meet some of them and read their stories. Please look for our new series of monthly profiles of some of our friends and fellow shooters. Read their testimonials and see why Manchester Firing Line is much more than just a place to shoot.

  • Jennifer Sherer: Aiming for Empowerment

    Jennifer Sherer had always been intrigued by firearms and as a young woman, had wanted to learn to shoot. However, life was hectic and somehow lessons were never possible—until recently.

    Read More

    Jennifer Sherer had always been intrigued by firearms and as a young woman, had wanted to learn to shoot. However, life was hectic and somehow lessons were never possible—until recently.  Now a single mom, Jennifer felt an even stronger desire to learn how to safely handle a firearm, and to own one herself. She took a pistol class in August of 2019, and quickly realized that she wanted to learn more.  She also knew she needed more one-on-one instruction if she was to feel truly comfortable with a handgun.  At the Manchester Firing Line, she found not only the training that she wanted but much more. 

    ​“I was really nervous early on, when I took my group class,” she relates. “But when I started working with a private instructor at the Firing Line, the change was amazing. He put me at ease right away. He taught me how to handle the gun properly and emphasized that if I always follow all of the safety protocols, there is nothing to be afraid of. Once I became comfortable, I wanted to keep learning and started taking additional classes. I now shoot a rifle and have enjoyed exploring my proficiency with other guns, such as a Glock 20 10mm, an RPD machine gun and a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver, among others. It’s been very empowering.”

    ​Jennifer has become so proficient that she is now an assistant instructor at the Manchester Firing Line, helping with group classes. She feels that because she is a woman, female students sometimes relate better to her. “There are a lot of women taking classes now and they can be unsure and a little afraid just as I was in the beginning,” she explains. “But when they hear my story, they feel more comfortable. They know that they can learn just as I did.”

    ​Jennifer’s daughter, who is 17, totally supports her mother’s interest in shooting and now joins her at the range, where she is also taking lessons. “She got to fire an AR-15 the other day, which makes a really loud boom,” recalls Jennifer. “At first she was afraid, but then when she did it, the look on her face was amazing. You could see the confidence, because she overcame her fear and used her knowledge. We have a great time shooting together, and I feel it has bonded us.”

    ​Jennifer, who works for a defense contractor, BAE Systems, says her coworkers have also been intrigued by her expertise as a shooter and applaud her time spent training. “Many of them are avid hunters and shooters so it’s helped me build stronger relationships with them. They understand why I enjoy it. Every time I go to the range, I learn something knew—whether it’s how to improve my aim, how to shoot at a longer distance, or how to correct my stance. The whole experience has just improved my confidence overall. I NEVER want to have to draw my gun but knowing that I can operate a weapon safely and can defend myself or my daughter, is a great comfort.”

    ​Shooting at the Manchester Firing Line has also opened the doors to new friendships for Jennifer, who frequents the range as many as five nights a week. “The staff is great to be around and I’ve met some really nice people who have become friends,” she says. “There’s a small group of us that shoot together regularly now. The Manchester Firing Line’s atmosphere definitely fosters a sense of camaraderie, so that’s been an unexpected benefit. Also, when I’m at the range, even though we are shooting, it’s peaceful. It gets rid of a lot of stress and I’ve had a stressful life. When you’re shooting, you are so focused that you let go of everything else. It’s a great escape.”

    ​When Jennifer started shooting, she never dreamed of competing but that changed this fall, when she entered a charity event for Dreams for Marines, a nonprofit. Manchester Firing Line regularly hosts charity events and is a long-time supporter of veterans’ causes as they are a veteran-owned business. The Dreams for Marines event involved contestants firing 10 rounds at a target 35 feet away using a .380 handgun. To Jennifer’s surprise, she won. “It was so much fun!” she enthuses. “After I won, I met with the top officers of the organization, who were former Marines. I was thrilled when they invited me to shoot with them, and even asked my advice. Marines don’t shoot handguns that much, they fire rifles, so they actually welcomed a few pointers. I was over the moon! I couldn’t believe how far I’d come.”

    ​Jennifer hopes to become an instructor and help more people become as comfortable with firearms as she is. “There are not a lot of female instructors out there, so I think I can make a difference,” she says. “Manchester Firing Line encourages female instructors and students so it’s a good place to teach and to learn. I’ve fallen in love with teaching from my time assisting and I’m passionate about learning all I can. I want to share that passion with others.”​

    ​For those who are curious about learning to shoot, but still hesitant to begin, Jennifer has this advice: “Sign up for a class or private lesson. Go ahead and take that first step. It’s not that intimidating once you get good instruction, and Manchester Firing Line is a great place to go. A class can help you feel at ease handling and using firearms and give you more power over your own safety.  Knowing I can protect myself and my daughter has made all the difference in my own education and perception of firearms, and I think many others will feel the same once they start the learning process.”