Top 15 Best Hand Cannons in Destiny 2 (Ranked)

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Hand Cannons are easily top contenders for the most popular weapon types to bring into the Crucible or Gambit matches.

Especially on PC thanks to how easy it is to fire precise shots are incredible speed if you have the reflexes(and a good mouse).

Even on console, their high damage and ease of movement make them a wonderful choice for both PVP and PVE… as long as you learn how to handle them.

And few things look quite as daunting as a flying space-warrior going around throwing light grenades and wielding a massive revolver.

For those of you looking to add a solid hand cannon to your arsenal, this list goes out to you.

15. Sunshot

Sunshot Destiny 2 Hand Cannons

How to get: Can be obtained from essentially any Exotic Engram, and Xûr will sometimes have it on sale. You can also get one as one of three possible rewards from the Sacrilege mission on Io.

This Exotic Hand Cannon offers amazing range and handling, but is better known for its Sun Blast trait.

With Sun Blast it can fire explosive rounds which highlight anything it damages on everyone’s HUD. Nice!

Fire enough shots into a single enemy and you’ll trigger a Solar explosion that’s sure to make clearing mobs en masse a simple affair, which makes it quite ideal for PVE.


14. Waking Vigil

Waking Vigil Destiny 2 Hand Cannons

How to get: The Waking Vigil can be acquired either as a reward from Lord Shaxx, or from the Menagerie on Nessus by entering a certain rune sequence in the Chalice of Opulence.

In contrast with our previous entry, this Legendary Arc Hand Cannon is better suited for Crucible matches than strikes or raids.

Not only does it have a Lightweight Frame for increased mobility, but also offers solid impact.

And it can roll with superb traits like Ricochet Rounds, Outlaw, and Opening Shot.


13. Crimson

Crimson Destiny 2 Hand Cannons

How to get: This Exotic Kinetic Hand Cannon is a random drop from Exotic Engrams, and can also be bought from Xûr on some weeks.

The Crimson doesn’t only look menacing but packs a massive punch to back it up.

Its Banned Weapon trait makes it fire in three-round bursts, which is pretty unique among Hand Cannons.

Coupled with Cruel Remedy, which heals the user and reloads the weapon on precision kills, this makes it into a sustainable and really fun weapon to use mainly in PVE.


12. Eriana’s Vow

Eriana’s Vow Destiny 2 Hand Cannons

How to get: Eriana’s Vow was a Season Pass reward during Season of the Undying, and it’s unclear whether it will be possible to acquire it in the future.

While unobtainable right now, make sure you check whether you got this Exotic Solar Hand Cannon back in Season of the Undying.

Because it’s one of the best weapons for PVE.

Thanks to its Exotic traits, this weapon has great range, massive impact, a wonderful scope, and extra damage when aiming down sights.

Plus it fires shield-piercing shots, which is amazing for most raids.


11. The Last Word

The Last Word Destiny 2 Hand Cannons

How to get: This is given out by the Drifter as a reward from the Draw Quest, which will have you killing a lot of larvae to cleanse a hive artifact.

This ridiculous hand cannon fires full-auto thanks to its Fan Fire trait, which also makes its hip-fired shots deal bonus precision damage.

That may sound a bit hard to achieve with an automatic revolver, but its great accuracy and stability should at least make it possible.

Insane in both PVP and PVE, if you know how to use it.


10. Lumina

Lumina Destiny 2 Hand Cannons

How to get: This unique weapon is found in a chest on the EDZ during the Lumina quest from Benedict 99-40, who you’ll find in the Tower’s Annex.

Easily the most unusual weapon in this ranking and possibly in the entire game.

Here we’ve got an elfy-looking Lumina, Destiny 2’s first healing gun.

This Exotic Kinetic Hand Cannon will turn your kills into healing rounds that you can use to… well, heal your companions.

Which can be amazing on strikes or raids if you’re coordinating with your team. Overall a great choice with a lot of strategic options.


9. Ace of Spades

Ace of Spade Destiny 2 Hand Cannons

How to get: The Ace of Spades is a reward from Cayde’s Will, a multi-step quest from the Forsaken expansion that revolves around reclaiming Cayde’s gun from Uldren Sov. Get the quest from Banshee-44.

This Exotic Kinetic Hand Cannon not only has incredible range, but its traits are off-the-charts.

Memento Mori reloads your weapon with enhanced bullets whenever you kill someone.

Moreover, Firefly makes precision kills increase reloading speed overall, and it causes targets to explode in a Solar blast that’s quite useful in PVE.



8. Trust

Trust Destiny 2 Hand Cannons

How to get: This weapon can be obtained by completing Gambit matches and ranking up with the Drifter, or crafted with the Chalice of Opulence on the Leviathan.

What makes this Legendary Solar Hand Cannon so popular is that it grants access to a very nice trait pool including Explosive Payload, which makes its projectiles blow up on contact.

Considering it’s an accurate quick-shooting revolver, this makes it potentially devastating in the right hands.


7. Dire Promise

Dire Promise Destiny 2 Hand Cannons

How to get: The Dire Promise is a random drop from Legendary Engrams, and could also be obtained from the Dead Orbit faction when Faction Rally was active.

With a very classic revolver look and a Lightweight Frame, this Year 1 Legendary Kinetic Hand Cannon is back with better rolls than ever.

It can be especially destructive with Ricochet Rounds, Rangefinder and Overflow if you’re good at aiming.

But can also work with Swashbuckler instead of Rangefinder if you’d rather get a bit more up-close and personal.


6. Austringer

Austringer Destiny 2 Hand Cannons

How to get: This Legendary Kinetic Hand Cannon can be acquired from the Menagerie on the Leviathan, as long as you input the right combination of runes into the Chalice of Opulence.

The Austringer is a very consistent and easy-to-use weapon thanks to its Adaptive Frame and massively good trait pool.

Out of this pool includes top picks like Rampage and Demolitionist.

Get it with Rangefinder and the range masterwork and you can easily max range while leaving some spots open for other helpful traits.


5. Thorn

Thorn Destiny 2 Hand Cannons

How to get: You’ll have to clear the Independent Study quest from Banshee-44, which starts when you find a Melted Hunk of Metal in the EDZ.

This vicious-looking Exotic Kinetic cannon has been widely used since it was introduced.

Mostly thanks to its Mark of the Devourer trait, which gives it piercing rounds that wound enemies and damage them over time. One hit can feel like an eternity here!

Kills with this weapon produce Remnants too, which strengthen Mark of the Devourer and refill the magazine upon collection.

You’ll be one-tapping everything on your path and never reload manually in PVE.


4. Not Forgotten

Not Forgotten Destiny 2 Hand Cannons

How to get: After getting the Luna’s Howl Hand Cannon, you can get this weapon by completing the Keepsake quest from Lord Shaxx.

Along with its sister weapon Luna’s Howl, the Not Forgotten is one of the most well-loved weapons in the game by far.

It’s amazing in PVP thanks to the intense level of bullet magnetism and solid stability. It’s like getting free headshots!

Thanks to its Magnificent Howl trait, which increases the power of the third shot after two precision hits, it will let you reliably take out two enemies in three shots if you’re a good aim.


3. Malfeasance

Malfeasance Destiny 2 Hand Cannons

How to get: The Darkness in the Light quest from the Forsaken expansion, which is given by the Drifter. The quest revolves around killing Taken in Gambit and hoping for an entirely random alternative boss called the Chimera Primevil to spawn.

One of the most popular weapons for PVE content and especially Gambit, this is totally worth scoping out although it’s a tough one to get.

This bad boy is excellent at murdering Taken enemies thanks to its Taken Predator trait. This extends to Gambit invaders too.


2. Luna’s Howl

Luna’s Howl Destiny 2 Hand Cannons

How to get: Now this weapon is obtained by completing the Shock and Denial quest from Lord Shaxx. It (unsurprisingly) involves playing a lot of Crucible, and reaching Fabled rank in the Glory competitive playlist.

Similar to Not Forgotten, this Legendary Solar hand cannon will get stronger after two precise hits thanks to its Magnificent Howl trait.

The main difference is that this weapon is a tad more precise, while its sister provides a bit more in terms of damage.

Still, both are incredible for PVP content.


1. Spare Rations

Spare Rations Destiny 2 Hand Cannons

How to get: Acquired by completing Gambit Prime matches and hoping for it to drop. Tier 3 of the Reckoning should give you the best results.

If you want to be the one calling the shots in PVP, you can’t go wrong with Spare Rations. Ever.

Its Lightweight Frame makes in very mobile, but both range and stability are also excellent on this Legendary Kinetic gun.

Plus it’s pretty hard to get a bad roll for Spare Rations.

Farm this for a bit and your biggest problem will be whether you use the one with Kill Clip, Rangefinder, or Rampage.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.