Destiny 2 Hand Cannons
You don’t exactly splash a hand cannon on the primary artwork of an expansion without hinting to players that they’re kinda a big deal. The aesthetic, the feel, and the power all contribute to making these signature weapons a long-standing go-to for players looking to empower a character and be ready to face challenges.
The problem, if an embarrassment of riches can be called such, is the large number of Destiny 2 hand cannons to choose from. Finding the best one is a combination of luck, purpose, and knowledge. We can bypass the first one and give you the last, it’s up to you to pick your own purpose in the game.
Some of these you can pick up pretty quickly through quests, some from events and raids. You don’t necessarily need to go the exotic route, but it does feel pretty good to wield that kind of power.
Read on to learn more about the feel, use, where to get, and what perk rolls to look for on each of these top-tier hand cannons.
The Gritty Details of Destiny 2 Hand Cannons
To be clear, don’t just jump to the bottom oft he list and set your sights on one weapon and only one weapon. The best weapon isn’t the one with the god rolls and the fancy, rare cosmetics. The best hand cannon, the same as any weapon, is the one that fits your build and works for you.
A gun you suck with is never going to be worth it no matter the stats. A Poor weapon in the hands of an expert player is better than a god roll weapon wielded by a noob.
So pay attention to the details on the handling and feel included with each weapon. It’s nice to plan and track your stats/perks to keep some perspective when farming up a big one.
On the other hand, stats do make a difference when edging out two weapons that you handle well and know you like. IN that case, pay attention to the common perk rolls and restrictions to shoot for the better of your bests.
Good Destiny 2 hand Cannons
These hand cannons include new offerings from Season of the Worthy in both exotic and legendary flavors. If you get your hands on one, you’ll feel strong and ready for the world. You won’t exactly pin your career on them, but you’ll get a lot of use out of them.
Despite its promise, it’s a bit soon to see if the Officer Revolver will make this list. As the newest hand cannon in Season of the Worthy, it may yet see its day.
Warden’s Law makes this list because of its unique double shot mechanic. An aberration among the other hand cannons, this mechanic primes the weapon for some synergy when combining the right perks.
You won’t see direct double damage from the two shots but you can play it with an intent to get more rounds downfield. The slight spread on the shots also helps out those with not-quite-there accuracy.
For perks, you’ll crave the ever-useful Rampage but also consider the advantage of Feeding Frenzy and Kill Clip to make use of that extra shot per trigger pull.
Destiny 2 Hand Cannon Warden’s Law drops from the Warden of Nothing during Nightfall Strikes. You’ll need a solid team to farm Nightfall Strikes but it puts this hand cannon in a direct loot pool.
For a much harder to secure weapon with an even higher RPM, Destiny 2 Hand Cannon Not Forgotten is the name.
It’s rewarded to players reaching Legend in Crucible’s competitive PVP mode if you already own Luna’s Howl. It’s not exactly easy to get but it brings some benefits for the effort. OF course, it also is a go-to for going Flawless in Trials of Osiris.
The main benefit being the Magnificent Howl perk. When landing a pair of precision hits, you receive a damage bonus to the next shot. This makes it possible to take down even the strongest guardians with a three-hit combo in PvP. Given the amount of competitive play needed to gain it, you’ll certainly have the skill to make full use of the weapon by the time you receive it.
Speaking of Luna’s Howl…
This is also earned through competitive Crucible and gives as good as it gets in that mode.
Even though the hand cannon is earned by playing Crucible, it’s actually a quest reward. It comes with a static set of perks which makes it easy to decide if it is on your list or not. Like the Destiny 2 Hand Cannon Not Forgotten, you’ll enjoy Magnificent Howl but Precision Frame works best for PC players.
Trust has two main things going for it: it makes you feel like a true Old West gunslinger with its style and handling and it fires the second-fastest of all hand cannons.
How fast? How does 180 RPM grip you? That’s three rounds a second when tuned properly.
Okay, technically there are three things that make this a solid choice for the burgeoning hand cannoneer. It can roll RAmpage, Drop Mag, and Dragonfly, giving you the ability to reload at speed and blast hordes in a succession of chaining damage.
You’ll want to practice your headshots while keeping an even bead while you fan that hammer to make the most out of the weapon.
You can farm this up in Gambit or the Menagerie. Take a peek at some extrapolated drop tables to give yourself an idea of how much strain you might have to endure on a regular farm.
After enduring years of balancing issues, Destiny 2 Hand Cannon Thorn now gets to shine. It’s the best of the good hand cannons with a strong set of stats and excels for those able to take advantage of its unique ability.
When Thorn finishes off an enemy, it absorbs their soul and empowers the next shot. The bonus is enough to turn a three-shot kill into a two-shot kill.
In PvP, this can accelerate your victory into a snowball affair. In PVE you can make solid use of a boss’s lackeys to pick up extra damage on nearly every other shot.
You can collect Thorn by taking on the quest starting in the Salt Mines and completing a range of tasks. It’s nice to have your pick so you can play to your strengths in earning this weapon.
Great Destiny 2 Hand Cannons
These are near the top of the line and will serve you for a lot of Raids and Events when needed. You’ll be a bit sad to part with them and only really feel it’s worth it when you see the right stats on the tier ahead.
The creme of the Menagerie, the Destiny 2 hand cannon Austringer provides the dual bonus of rewarding from a guaranteed set of tasks and also letting you change the Masterwork roll through choice, not just chance.
Austringer does well in damage and range with some high reload in a typical get. The handling is the roughest, so you will want to be prepared to dodge and reset yourself if you want to keep your shots on target in a prolonged firefight.
As an Adaptive Frame weapon, you get some bonuses and roll variety that expands outside the usual. For those that like to experiment and customize the Austringer provides a steady, comfortable option.
The Last Word
Destiny 2 hand cannon The last word of the Last Word is speed. With 225 RPM it’s bordering on auto pistol speeds but with hand cannon damage.
Unlike most weapons, where you do some amount of aiming and gain bonuses and accuracy from doing so, The Last Word excels at hip-firing.
Each headshot made while not looking down the sights improves damage. Given its high Accuracy and reliable Handling, nailing those headshots only takes a bit of practice and a steady hand.
The weapon does equally well in PvE and PvP. Except people to try and wiggle their way out of taking that extra damage if they see you coming in a PvP arena.
Find this hand cannon in Broodhold and let your hammers get fanned.
The oldest entry on this list, Destiny 2 hand cannon Midnight Coup premiered with the game.
Even with its age, it sets a bar for other weapons of this class, rather than trailing behind. This weapon showed the community the power of an Outlaw and Rampage combo and put them on eery god roll itinerary.
Complete the Leviathan Raid to hope for this drop. Or cash in Raid tokens to secure if your luck doesn’t come through.
It’s a bit stingy on mod slots and no magazine mod. For there relative ease of acquiring it and its power, you have to expect some drawbacks.
Something of an underdog that makes good if you get the right rolls, is the Destiny 2 hand cannon Kindred Orchid. It’s a bit boxy and a little strange in comparison to other hand cannons.
It tends to roll poor perks but you can fix that by curating the rolls.
Pick this up through Bergusia Forge. Crafting some weekly frames for Ada-1 gets you curated rolls to upgrade this so-so weapon into a beast. You’ll enjoy it a lot more with Kill Clip, Drop Mag, and Rampage all ready to go from the curated version.
Best Destiny 2 Hand Cannons
They do the job fast, easy, and make everyone a bit envious when they see you firing them. Until they add some more in the next seasons, these are the hand cannons beyond all others.
Ace of Spades
The hand cannon so good it was the cover art for Forsaken. You can farm up Cayde’s gun with a quest and consider yourself well-positioned to farm up some other items.
As a quest weapon, and one celebrating a hero, it gets a lot of extra value beyond its perks.
It has a Kill Clip effect after each reload that lasts 6 shots. You get Solar damage from precision hit explosions. Those stack well with the innate flinch inflicted by its High Calibur rounds.
If that wasn’t enough, you also get radar while aiming and some nice high stats out of the box.
It is an Exotic, so you have to keep that in mind depending on the build.
Jack Queen King 3
One of the most variable of hand cannons on this list. Jack Queen King 3 isn’t always going to be the second-best, it can plummet if you don’t get the rolls.
That said, it can get some exciting combinations that shape and push the meta, rather than following it.
Its best feature is the use of grenade energy to reload. This gives you a solid synergy if you know how to use your grenades and gun in tandem.
Acquire this through farming Timelost bounties. Since those went out with Season of Dawn, you’ll need to look elsewhere for this one. Kudos to those that managed to grab it in time.
If you’ve made it this far you know that the right perks and the right stats make for the best hand cannon you’ll find. It’s got high range and it works equally well in PVP and PVE.
If you’ve had a hard time getting used to the slow reload and sometimes brutal frustration of missing a few choice shots, the aim-assist of Spare Rations will feel like a dream. When using Moving Target it maxes out the aim assist (almost).
Add in a Multikell Clip to punish those who think they can dodge your barrage. An excellent Handling stat gives you room to maneuver and fight back without losing ground.
You can find Spare Rations in the Tier 2 and 3 Reckoning but only when Oryx is the boss.
There’s no better time to dive in and blast the field with your trusty Destiny 2 hand cannons. There’s a lot of Season of the Worthy yet to fight through and, given current events, a little more time to do so.
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