One of the primary complaints I hear after we run our club matches at West Coast Armory is “I didn’t get to shoot very much.”
You should never go into a local match environment expecting to shoot a lot. Club/local level IDPA matches usually have round counts right around 100 rounds, and USPSA matches are a little bit higher, maybe 150ish. A better place for a high round count would be to take a class from someone like Todd Green or Insights Training Center, especially since you’ll improve your skills while shooting lots of bullets. If you want to just fire a high round count and aimlessly turn money into smoke and noise I know plenty of ranges that will absolutely love your business, including mine. If you want a new experience, a social environment and to take your shooting to the next level then go to a local match.
You should expect to spend a lot of time standing around. The best thing you can do with this standing around time is to talk to the people around you. You can learn a lot from the people who attend these matches, especially the ones who attend these matches and shoot well at them. Look for the guy who knows what he’s doing and then ask him about it. People who have guns love to talk about them, that’s one of the reasons matches are so successful. Welcome to the mixer of the gun world.
I would also encourage everyone to go out with a group at least once after a local match. I have found that most people opt to meet up at a local restaurant and this serves as another great learning opportunity (if you can survive through the inevitable slew of bad jokes). People will discuss their favorite and not-so-favorite firearms, break down the match and talk about what they did right or wrong, discuss the set up of the match and otherwise gossip about the day.
All local matches should be taken as social experiences, learning experiences or a chance to test your skills. If you’re going for the high round count you’re doing something wrong.