Donald V. (Warts) Warter, 51, a special agent of the FBI and a firearms instructor at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Va., died Friday at the Naval Hospital at the Quantico Marine Base of cardio-respiratory failure.

Mr. Warter was born in Tacoma, Wash. He served in the Marine Corps just after World War II and then attended Washington State University. After graduating, he worked briefly for a lumber company and then joined the FBI in 1951.

He was assigned to FBI field offices in Savannah, Ga., and New York City. In 1967, he was assigned to the staff of the FBI Academy which is located at the Quantico Marine Base. He was an expert on firearms and police equipment.

At the time of his death, Mr. Warter was chairman of the subcommittee on weapons and protective equipment of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He also served on the IACP's national advisory committee for law enforcement equipment.

Survivors include his wife, Christine Skinner Warter, of the home in Spring-field; four sons, Stephen, of Fairfax, and Jeffery, Michael and Thomas, all of the home; his mother, Ann S. Warter, of Tacoma, and a brother, George, and two sisters, Eileen Sandstedt and Betty Lindeman, all of Tacoma.