My post above:
I have kept a cap and ball revolver loaded for two years, and it fired fine. Seemed like it had full power.
I put 28 grains of black powder in the .44, and the ball, no wad.
I put no wax or grease on the ball or cap. Just setting in a drawer, it doesn't look like much humid air would get past the cap, or the ball.
I have been thinking of trying the beeswax on the cap and over the ball, it certainly couldn't hurt.
I have a .44 in the drawer right here that has been loaded for 3 years.
I might take it out tomorrow and try it out.
I will put up some boards and try a penetration test, compared with a fresh reload.
I am in the North Carolina mountains. Very high humidity.
What is worse I am right on the French Broad River. Every other night the fog rolls in from the river and envelops the house. I am in a cloud all night long, which is, I imagine, 100 per cent humidity.
I do have a window unit in my little log cabin, but run it only on the hottest days. Always at night, in the summer, I am running fans to blow the ultra humid air through the house, I mean, it is humid, but it is cool.
Besides my pistols, I have a Savage muzzleloader that I keep loaded. I just fired it three days ago, it had been loaded for 11 months. It fired flawlessly and was dead on accurate.
Now, these muzzleloaders are kept inside the house. Lugging them around the woods in heavy dew, or rain, that would be a different story, I'm sure.
I have no doubt that the pioneers who lived here 200 years ago kept their muzzleloaders loaded all the time. They couldn't afford to discharge their guns every day, and they didn't have access to enough gun powder to do that.