Rooster.....I Like your thinking. Considered this myself, but couldn't bear to cut even one of my (numerous) 1860's. But, I did "bob" my Remington 15-20 ys ago).
One of my thoughts on a cut-down 1860 is the convenience to continue using the loading lever. You can save the full-length lever, keeping it safe in your possibles bag & attach it to load, then remove it. For convenience, make yourself a screw having a large knurled head. This way you have a "speed screw" to attach and remove the lever. Much better than trying to load with one of those stubby levers like I have on my Remington.
Great minds think alike Slim. I have had the same loading techniques in mind, but I didn't think about a knurly bolt head for the rammer.....it will be done for sure. The gun has made it from the gun safe to the coffee table now. Just has to go from the coffee table to the shop now to meet the saw.