The training revolver was designated for use teaching disassembly and assembly of the revolver. The goal of using separate training revolvers was to teach care of the revolver without undue wear and tear on revolvers in active service. Thus, training revolvers were sometimes assembled from parts unfit for service revolvers (factory rejected parts, etc).
The first standard for the training revolver was established by the weapons department of Artkom (the artillery commission) in 1897 (Order № 219). In accordance with this order units were required to have a number of these revolvers in store for teaching revolver safety and maintenance. For example, Infantry units were required to have one training revolver per battalion and cavalry units were to have two revolvers per squadron. These would have probably been the single action (soldier's) model. However, in 1903 Order № 383 of the military department established normal production of training revolvers for Junkers Schools/Academies. They were used for teaching salutation with the revolver, and for every 10 junkers there was supposed to be one officer's model training revolver.
The only requirement for training revolvers was that they have a good working mechanism. The first training revolvers were designated with the letters “УЧ” in an oval on the right side of the frame where the Acceptance Commission mark would normally be found. The “УЧ” is for учебный or training. Additionally, the grips on the training revolvers were painted black, this appears to be true for training revolvers through out production and is referenced in manuals as late as 1940.
Since they were made with rejected parts and not intended for firing of live cartridges, many of these guns were finished without the accuracy proof on the front right side of the frame. Barrels and cylinders were also marked “УЧ” if they were rejects.
Later guns were designated as training revolvers by putting the letters “УЧ” after the serial number along with painting the wooden parts of the grip black. Most of these had shortened firing pins so that they could not fire a cartridge for safety reasons. Some examples had holes in the cylinder or barrel.
Here is an example of a 1903 trainer. The frame, barrel and cylinder are all marked ‘УЧ’. The black paint has been worn off the outside of the grips but still shows on the grip insert when the sideplate is removed. This particular revolver is single action and would have beeen used to train enlisted troops.
If anyone has an another example of a training revolver, I would be very happy to post pictures.