Destiny 2 – 7 Best Hand Cannons

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Looking for the best Hand Cannon for your PvE or PvP build in Destiny 2?

This list goes over the most notable Hand Cannons you can find, with Exotic and Legendary weapons both making the list. Read on and find a new weapon to add to your arsenal!

Recommended Read: What Is the Veil in Destiny 2?

The Best Hand Cannon in Destiny 2 is Ace of Spades for PvP and Warden’s Law for PvE.

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Best Hand Cannon in Destiny 2

For a very long time now, Hand Cannons have been a community favorite weapon type.

They feel good to shoot and have almost always been decent regardless of the meta in PvP. Many Hand Cannons have even become PvE staples.

What makes a good Hand Cannon is something with versatility, good Range, good damage, and a way to speed up reloading.

A Hand Cannon that covers all of these key points will score highly on this list.

Ace of Spades

Since its release in the Forsaken Expansion, Ace of Spades has been the Hand Cannon that many Destiny 2 players find themselves using in both PvE and PvP activities.

This 140 RPM Exotic Hand Cannon has everything you want out of a Hand Cannon, with enhanced Range, damage-boosting Perks, and a fast reload speed.

The Intrinsic Perk Momento Mori acts as a better Kill Clip, giving you six rounds with increased damage after killing an enemy and reloading.

These rounds will have no time limit and will stay chambered until you reload again or stow the weapon.

The damage boost from Momento Mori gives Ace of Spades a very forgiving time to kill, not requiring you to land all headshots. This increase to damage also effectively increases your Range, allowing you to have a fair fight with Scouts and Pulse Rifles.

Momento Mori will also keep your radar open when you aid down sights. This is great for holding angles in PvP, as you won’t be caught off guard by a flanking enemy.

The Firefly Perk causes any precision kills to explode and deal Solar damage to nearby enemies.

You will also gain increased reload speed as a bonus. This area of effect explosion is great for both PvP and PvE, deterring enemies from grouping up in PvP and taking out entire hordes of enemies with a single kill in PvE.

The Catalyst for Ace of Spades grants it the Funeral Pyre Perk, causing Firefly to deal more damage when Memento Mori is active.

This Catalyst is rewarded randomly to players who complete playlist activities such as Vanguard Strikes or Crucible matches.

You can purchase the Ace of Spades from the Exotic Kioske in the Tower. It costs 1 Exotic Cipher, 125,000 Glimmer, 200 Legendary Shards, and 1 Ascendant Shard. Expensive but well worth the price.

Igneous Hammer

120 RPM Hand Cannons have always been great in recent Seasons, with ample Range to make up for the Hand Cannon nerfs and damage-enhancing Perks that allow for some quick two-taps in PvP.

Igneous Hammer is the 120 RPM Hand Cannon to have. It comes with many, many great Perk combinations that can craft a decent gun with just about any roll.

The first Perk column rolls with Rappid Hit, Keep Away, Fragile Focus, and Range Finder, while the second Perk column rolls with either Golden Tricorn, Frenzy, Opening Shot, Moving Target, or Eye of the Storm. These are all amazing Perks for PvP.

One of the most sought-after rolls is Keep Away and Eye of the Storm, giving this weapon a massive boost in Range and accuracy to make it that much better when fighting Pulse Rifles and Scoute Rifles at range.

While 120 RPM Hand Cannons are great, they will almost always lose to 140 RPM Hand Cannons in a mid-range fight.

Ingeous Hammer is best suited for team play, not solo fighting. Stick with your team, and you will instantly kill any Guardian that peaks you with this weapon.

This weapon is a Trials of Osiris reward. You can pick one up through Trials Engrams. An Adept variant is available by getting a Flawless Passage to the Lighthouse.


Thorn is the aggressive Hand Cannon that PvP players need.

This 140 RPM Exotic Hand Cannon checks a lot of boxes that make for a great PvP weapon, with ways to cheat reloading, poison effects, and a damage boost that is unlike any other weapon on the list.

The Mark of the Devourer Intrinsic Perk causes shots to pierce targets and deal damage over time. Kills with this weapon leave behind Remnants which are a very important part of this weapon.

The Soul Devourer Perk allows you to absorb Remnant to partially refill your magazine and boost its damage over time effect.

This damage boost is massive, causing Mark of the Devourer to deal seven damage per tick instead of two. In PvP, this allows you to kill any Guardian with five or less Resilience with only two head shots.

Guardians with more than five Resilience can be killed with one additional body shot, giving this weapon a very forgiving time to kill.

This weapon is the choice Hand Cannon for aggressive PvP players, rewarding them for following up with a kill by continually feeding off of Remnants and maintaining the Mark of the Devourer buff.

The only downside to this weapon is its Range. It has a mediocre Range stat for a 140 RPM Hand Cannon, relying on the user to close the distance and make this weapon as effective as possible.

The damage over time effect is great for chasing enemies, giving you a trail of damage numbers that follow them behind walls.

This DoT will also keep enemies from recovering their health until the burn ends, giving you the advantage when it comes to peak shooting. If you enjoy PvP in Destiny 2, this is a great weapon to have handy.

Outside of PvP, this Thorn can be a great weapon for ad clearing, with Remnants constantly refilling your magazine and boosting burn damage.

Thorn is a Weapon of Sorrow, meaning you can paint it with the Warlock’s Necrotic Grip Exotic gauntlets to spread poison to nearby enemies on precision kills.

You can purchase Thorn from the Exotic Kioske in the Tower. It costs 1 Exotic Cipher, 125,000 Glimmer, 200 Legendary Shards, and 1 Ascendant Shard.

Kept Confidence

Kept Confidence was a surprise addition to the sandbox with the release of the Season of the Witch. It has quickly become an all-time favorite inside The Crucible.

This 140 RPM Strand Hand Cannon doesn’t look special on paper. It has a fine base stat line and an OK Perk pool.

What surprised players was how good this gun felt to fire. It just handles like you would want a Hand Cannon to handle. This has led many players to start using Kept Confidence as their main Hand Cannon inside of PvP.

The Perk options are pretty limited for this weapon. Quickdraw and Killing Wind are the only good options in the first column, with Eye of the Storm being the only real option for the second column.

While not versatile, these Perks are more than enough to help give this weapon the base stat increase it needs to compete with other top contenders in PvP.

You can pick up a Kept Confidence from any Season of the Witch activity or Witch’s Engram. It is a craftable weapon, letting you get that very specific god-roll much easier.


The Exotic Hand Cannon has been a part of Destiny 2 since release.

Sunshot is a classic 150 RPM Hand Cannon that has always been amazing at ad clearing and can hold its own in The Crucible.

The Sunburn causes Sunshot to fire explosive rounds that deal a slight area-of-effect damage on impact, highlighting targets that are hit.

The Sun Blast Perk is what makes this weapon so good. Enemies killed with Sunshot will explode and deal Solar damage to nearby enemies.

This Solar explosion can cause a chain reaction of enemies constantly dying to one another after only a single shot. Taking out Minor enemies in PvE is what Sunshot was made for.

In PvP game modes, Sunshot can be a fine weapon to use. The explosive damage of the shots has no damage drop-off, making up foweapon’sweapons lack of Range.

The explosive shots also allow you to shoot the ground next to enemies who are hiding behind corners, making this a versatile Hand Cannon in PvP.

Sunshot’s Catalyst gives it increased Range and Stability, both of which are very welcome for this weapon. You can obtain the Catalyst randomly after comp[completing Strikes or Crucible matches.

Sunshot is a random world drop Exotic. You can find it in an Exotic Engram or purchase it from Xur.

Warden’s Law

One of the most unique Hand Cannons that recently got re-released into the game. It has since become a staple for many players.

Warden’s Law is a unique 257 RPM Hand Cannon, firing a hard-hitting two-burst round with every trigger pull. This burst-fire plays nicely with some of the Perks available to this weapon, creating a very, very potent Primary weapon.

Warden’s Law has some great Perks for PvP, with Perpetual Motion, Enlightened Action, Moving Target, and Snapshot Sights in the first column and Frenzy, Rampage, Zen Moment, and Kill Clip in the second column.

Any combination of these Perks on a Hand Cannon can make for a good PvP weapon.

Sadly, Warden’s Law just doesn’t cut it in the current PvP meta. Even with these Perk options, it can be difficult to make the weapon work, as you need to land both shots of your burst to maintain a competitive time to kill.

Warden’s Law was made to be a PvE beast. The Perk combination of Fourth Time’s the Charm and either Frenzy or Vorpal Weapon make this a great DPS weapon.

One shot from this weapon will count as two shots for Fourth Time’s the Charm, massively increasing your effective magazine size.

Hunters can take full advantage of Warden’s Law with their Lucky Pants Exotic leg armor. It only takes a few shots of Warden’s Law to activate Lucky Pants and massively increase the damage of every successive shot.

Using Lucky Pants, Warden’s Law becomes the highest damage per second Primary weapon in the game, shredding Bosses and Champions like no other weapon.

Warden’s Law is rewarded from Grandmaster Nightfalls. You will have to wait for it to be on rotation before getting one. There is an Adept variant available that will allow you to equip the Adept Big Ones Mod.


A weapon that is so close to being the best.

Malfeasance is an Exotic 180 RPM Hand Cannon and is the only 180 RPM Hand Cannon on this list for a good reason. 180 RPM Hand Cannons just aren’t that good in the current meta.

They lack the damage and range that 140 RPM Hand Cannons provide. What sets Malfeasance apart is its Exotic Perks.

The Intrinsic Perk Explosive Shadow causes this weapon to fire tainted slug rounds that stack as you shoot the same target.

Stacking enough of these slugs will cause all of them to explode and deal a ton of damage to the target, Staggering Unstoppable Champions.

The Taken Predator Perk give this weapon bonus damage against Taken enemies and Gambit Invaders.

Extra damage to Taken enemies is very important, as a single shot from Witherhoard will cause any blighted enemy to count as a Taken enemy for this Perk.

The massive explosion after sustained damage makes this weapon good at taking out Major and Champion enemies.

It used to be mediocre for Boss DPS until the Catalyst was released, giving Malfeasance the Vorpal Weapon Perk, increasing its damage to Bosses.

Once again, Hunters with Lucky Pants love this weapon. Once you shoot enough slugs to begin detonation, you will have stacked enough shots for the Lucky Pants Perk to activate and cause your detonation to deal a lot more damage, especially to Boss enemies thanks to Vorpal Weapon.

Before Warden’s Law, Malfeasance was the highest DPS Primary weapon in the game. It is still a great option if you don’t have a god-roll Warden’s Law and is even more versatile in the right situations.

Like the other Catalysts on this list, Malfeasance’s Catalyst drops randomly from Strike or Crucible matches.

Malfeasance is unlocked by completing the Light and Darkness Exotic Quest. You can follow our guide on How to Get Malfeasance for more info.

These are the best Hand Cannons in Destiny 2!

How many of these Hand Cannons do you already have unlocked? Are there any rolls you are still trying to get? Let me know in the comments!

Opie Cain

Opie has played Destiny 2 since release. Crafting articles that capture the essence of this epic universe. Beyond this, he enjoys 3D printing and 3D modeling, along with social and competitive VR gaming.

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