The reason SASS members dress in western clothing is because it is part of the game. Some folks,myself included,enjoy the clothing part as much as the shooting. If their motive is to imagine being an Old West gunfighter,what's wrong with that? CAS is a shooting sport,plain and simple. Most folks do it to have fun. At nearly every shoot I attend,there are folks who are either new to shooting, or have taken up shooting again after a long layoff,just to try CAS. I doubt few other shooting sports can say that. If we lined up all these new shooters at a shoot,and told them,"You can't wear that-you can't shoot that",we risk alienating entusiastic shooters at a time when we need all of the enthusiastic shooters we can get-on that point we agree.
SASS is booming. In the 18 months since I joined,there have been over 10,000 new members added to the rolls. There are SASS clubs in nearly every state,including Alaska and Hawaii.
NCOWS has stricter guidelines as to clothing and guns,but it is still CAS. It isn't re-enacting. If it was,you'd be loading up blanks,riding around on horses,and shooting at each other,instead of targets.
I'm not a big fan of the Winchester '97,but I don't see anything wrong with using a '92. And I'm sure that there were cattlemen in Montana and Wyoming who believed the Frontier to be alive and well past Turner's 1890 cutoff date.