I can't remember the last time it happened to me, but it dosen't happen often.
Usually it's caused by an ejector rod that backs out after extended firing, or if you're shooting reloads, a primer that isn't seated all the way will jam against the breechface and halt cylinder rotation.
- My dad bought a 44 special and told me that it kept jamming on him. Since I was skeptical I borrowed it and went to the range... Sure enough, it couldn't make it to the end of a box of ammo without seizing up.
Seems to be a problem with the cylinder out of tolerance. Or at least, that's what my local gunsmith thinks after a long phone conversation (I'm skipping details here.) ... He'll have it soon to confirm/fix.
The S&W revolvers once had the right handed extractor rod threads, which would sometimes back out, causing the cylinder to bind.The Yoke/Crane retaining screw can cause cylinder binding if it backs out. Metal tool shavings from the factory have been known to bind the trigger lock work up.
To be honest I have never experienced a problem myself, I have heard of the very occasional difficulty with a revolver, and all when down to poor maintance or a worn or damaged cylinder hand (cowboy damage). I once bought an aged M36, fired ok but the ejector rod was bent (caused by a gangster movie mad individual repeatedly tossing the cylinder into the frame whilst pouting with a hand dog look reminisant of Philip Marlowe!), had to straighten it out with a hammer (forging I think they call it, not to alarm the customers). Even though it was a first model it served me well for a number of years.
All joking aside, like all things machanical they need a little looking after, but notwithstanding my view is that the revolver is utterly dependable, a good choice and variety of ammunition, and yes, still has a place as a defensive firearm.
I think it's down to qualitity of the caps, and in the old days they tended I've been told that beeswax was used to assist in keeping them on. I suppose you needed something of the like in them days, particularly when your waggons surrounded with arrows in your hat?......................
I have a Taurus .44 Mag revolver that jammed for some reason, but after a session with a good gunsmith, it has never failed to please. 7 1/2 inch comp'd barrel, full underlug, kicks less than the Smith model 65 4-inch .357