Top 10 Best Destiny 2 Hand Cannons (Ranked)

Top 10 Best Destiny 2 Hand Cannons
Get ready to buy some more holsters.

What Are The Best Hand Cannons in D2?

It’s no secret that with the release of Forsaken and its old west theme, Hand Cannons have clawed their way back into relevancy in PvP and PvE alike. 

Hand Cannons became viable because of their range, precision, and ability to three tap most Guardians in the Crucible.

Don’t rage quit yet, get revenge and make Shaxx proud by picking up the top 10 Hand Cannons in Destiny 2 Forsaken.

10. Sunshot

“Can’t outrun the sunrise.” -Liu Feng

This PvE focused Hand Cannon possibly the best ad clearer in the game. It’s exotic perk sun burn fires explosive rounds and highlights targets that are hit. With Sun Blast, any enemy killed by this weapon will trigger an explosion. If this explosion kills another enemy, they will explode as well. Starting to see why this weapon is on this list?


It’s the unique perk, Sun Blast, that can destroy a room of adds. All you need is one kill in the middle of a group and watch the fireworks go off.


It takes an exotic slot and clearly created with PvE in mind. This gun doesn’t feel exotic in PVP. With only 8 shots, you’ll be hard pressed to take on more than a single guardian at a time.

How to Obtain

If you didn’t grab it after the completion of the mission Sacrilege, Xur occasionally sells this item. Otherwise, you can get it as a random drop from an Exotic Engram.

Sunshot full details:

9. Crimson

“According to official Vanguard policy, this weapon does not exist.”

An absolute beast year 1, Crimson is still being stained red in Forsaken. Don’t let the bayonet trick you, this Hand Cannon is actually best used in mid ranged fire fights.


It’s unique perk, Cruel Remedy, makes turns you into an invincible reaper in PvE. Any kill with Crimson heals the user, precision kills refill the magazine. You will pretty much walk into a room and not stop shooting until everything is dead.


Crimson more on the average side for something that takes up an exotic slot. Not only that, the Range on Crimson is deceiving. Due to its burst firing nature, it makes it hard to keep a target in your sights at longer ranges. That being said, it’s a gun more meant for PvE.

How to Obtain

Random drop from an Exotic Engram. Occasionally, Xur may sell it.

Crimson full details:

8. Better Devils

“Angels can’t help you here.”

A contended from year 1, this gun wrecks to this day. An all around solid choice for a Hand Cannon.


Good in both PvE and PvP, Better Devils has an adaptive frame which makes it a consistent killer that feels good to shoot.


At a 140 RPM, you’ll be out-gunned by most other guns on the list if you don’t shoot first. You also have the possibility to get a bad perk roll causing for a bit of farming.

How to Obtain

Random drop from completing Crucible matches.

Better Devils full details:

7. Waking Vigil

“We have a duty to this solar system that goes deeper than oaths.” -Paladin Devi Cassl

In year 1, there was a faction gun called Dire Promise that was an absolute beast. This is its year 2 iteration.


With a 150 RPM, it sits in the hand cannon sweet spot of fast shooting and accuracy. Mix this together with a good perk roll and you’ve got yourself a winner.


You may have to farm this weapon for a while considering it has random perk rolls.

How to Obtain

Random drop from anything in the Dreaming City.

Waking Vigil full details:

6. Trust

“Worlds end. And when yours does, make sure you have a partner you can rely on.” –The Drifter

I’ve heard it dubbed “The Poor Man’s Luna”. Trust hits fast and bites hard. Add that with a good perk roll and you’ll destroy your enemies.


With 180 RPM, it shoots really fast and has an ammo pool to back it up. Not only that, it’s in the precision frame archetype meaning it has high accuracy and a predictably vertical recoil. You won’t miss with this bad boy.


This gun has a steep learning curve. It has an optimal time to kill of 1 second with two body shots and 2 head shots, it takes getting used to.

How to Obtain

Random drop from the end of a Gambit game. Also, you can obtain a curated one from The Drifter by resetting your infamy for the first time.

Trust full details:

5. Malfeasance

“Nothing kills a Guardian faster than another Guardian.” -The Drifter

A sick-looking gun that has an interesting perk. Explosive Shadows causes an explosion every couple of consecutive shots. This gun has a lot of bullets to make sure it activates. When its older brother Thorn arrives in Destiny 2 next week, the transition will be seamless.


It has a large magazine, 180 RPM and high stability. That alone is a deadly combination, add in Explosive Shadow and your enemies will be greeted by a nasty surprise.


It is a PvE focused gun. In PvP, it can sometimes feel as though it waste an exotic slot because of its perk Taken Predator. This allows the gun to do more damage on Taken and Invaders in Gambit, which you’ll see none in the Crucible.

How to Obtain

Finish “City of Secrets” questline. It’s a long quest that has some luck involved to start it.

Check out the video guide below for a walkthrough!

Malfeasance full details:

4. Ace of Spades

“Folding was never an option.” -Cayde-6

Passed down as a memento of our late vanguard friend, its power is a reminder of his strength. Viable at from mid to long range, perks like Memento Mori and Firefly, the Ace of Spades destroys in PvE and PvP alike.


The range on this Hand Cannon is incredible! In the right hands, it can easily compete with a scout or sniper rifle. It also keeps your radar when you aim down your sights which is great for PvP. It has 13 rounds. Can’t forget Memento Mori which grants you bonus damage bullets. What’s not to love?


It’s lacking in close quarters combat. With its 140 RPM, you will most likely be out-gunned in these situations.

How to Obtain

Complete the “Caydes Will” questline. This multi-step quest actually is obtained early in the Forsaken campaign. It will involve completing the campaign, mastery of the Hand Cannon weapon class, Cayde’s caches, and a mission.

Check out the video guide below for a walkthrough!

Ace of Spades full details:

3. Luna’s Howl

“Guardians never die. But we don’t forget those who do.” –Lord Shaxx

Absolutely worth the grind. This beauty could shut down most enemies and lands spectacular multi-kills in PvP. Also, with the way Magnificent Howl works, it absolutely melts bosses in PvE.


If you asked Shaxx about the gun, he would exclaim, “THIS IS AMAZING!”. It’s signature perk Magnificent Howl makes it that rapidly landing two precision shots grants a period of bonus damage until your next kill or miss. This makes it possible to two shot an opposing Guardian.

Imagine, shooting down one opponent and activating Magnificent Howl with the kill, just to two shot his buddy. Can’t think of much more satisfying than that.


At longer ranges, it could be hard to activate Magnificent Howl. At closer ranges, it can be outgunned by faster shooting weapons.

How to Obtain

Complete the quest “Shock and Denial” offered by Lord Shaxx in the tower.

Luna’s Howl full details:

2. The Last Word

“Yours, until the last flame dies and all words have been spoken.” -Shin Malphur to you

Reminiscent of the old west, The Last Word is meant to be fired in quick succession from the hip. This Hand Cannon is perfect for close combat. The current shotgun meta and most maps tight quarters ensure your enemy will be in ideal range. In PvE, it’s plain ol’ fun to let your inner cow boy out and tear through some adds.


This Hand Cannon is the answer to the shotgun meta. This thing is an absolute beast in close quarters. With 225 Rounds per minute, you’ll turn the next shotgun ape into swiss cheese before he can get into range.


RECOIL! This gun was meant to be fired in close range from the hip. If you try to fire all 8 shots while you’re aiming down your sights on console, you will probably end up doing a complete backflip. On PC, this issue is almost nonexistent and in the right hands might even be number one of this list.

How to Obtain

Complete The Last Word questline, “The Draw”. This is a multi-step questline that The Drifter in the Tower gives.

Check out the video guide below for a walkthrough!

The Last Word full details:

1. Not Forgotten

“Guardians never die. But we don’t forget those who do.” -Lord Shaxx

The perfect hand cannon for any situation.


This is Luna’s Howl big bad older brother. It has the same signature perks, Zen Moment and Magnificent Howl, with a huge increase to the Range stat. This is because of its Range Masterwork, and its first two perks, Extended Barrel and Accurized Rounds.


Like the Luna’s Howl, if you aren’t good with getting headshots, you will probably be out-gunned at closer range.

How to Obtain

Not Forgotten is a earned by the quest “Keepsake” offered by Lord Shaxx when you complete the Luna’s Howl questline. You will need to get 500 Luna’s Howl kills in the Competitive playlist. After you accomplish this, you will then need to reach Legend rank in the Competitive playlist.

Not Forgotten full details:

Has our list helped you out? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to share it with a fellow Guardian.

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When the world falls into darkness and destruction, a hero rises. Chris is there to tell their story.
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Destiny 2: Forsaken
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Battlefield 4, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

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