Destiny 2 Hand Cannon Tier List [2024]

After extensively going over 500+ hours of playing Destiny 2, I was able to create a tier list for the Hand Cannons in the game!

Destiny 2 Hand Cannon Tier List
About The Author
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I have spent more than 500+ hours playing Destiny 2, so you can easily trust the information I provide related to the ins and outs of Destiny 2!

Destiny 2 is a popular multiplayer game with a vast player base, featuring a variety of weapons, including hand cannons. In this Destiny 2 Hand Cannon Tier List, we’ll showcase the best hand cannons and explain why they are ranked as such.

The game offers three weapon systems: Energy, Kinetic, and Power, each with varying levels of rarity, from basic to uncommon, rare, legendary, to exotic. To excel in Destiny 2’s open-world Player vs. Player activities, players must adapt and understand their opponents’ behaviors.

It’s worth noting that this Hand Cannon Tier List is not official and is based on our personal experience with the game. While some players may disagree with the rankings, this list is not subject to criticism as it reflects our own evaluations.

Key Takeaways

Here’s a breakdown of the hand cannons in Destiny 2, categorized by tiers:

S Tier:

  • Bottom Dollar: 120 RPM hand cannon with multiple powerful perk options.
  • Igneous Hammer: 120 RPM hand cannon with a fast time to kill once Rampage begins.
  • Sturm: 120 RPM hand cannon with a unique design and a large magazine.
  • Crimil’s Dagger: A legendary 120 RPM hand cannon from Iron Banner.
  • True Prophecy: A kinetic energy 120 RPM hand cannon with good perks and a large magazine.

A Tier:

  • Ace of Spades: A rare 140 RPM hand cannon with fantastic stats and a large magazine.
  • Hawkmoon: A rare 140 RPM hand cannon with good stopping power and range.
  • Ancient Gospel: Renowned energy hand cannon with useful perks.
  • Palindrome: A legendary 140 RPM hand cannon with long range and elite perks.
  • Dire Promise: Capable of 2-tap potential with the right perks.
  • Steady Hand: Can roll Iron Grip for stability at the cost of reload speed.

B Tier:

  • Nation of Beasts: 140 RPM hand cannon from the Last Wish Raid with explosive payload.
  • Sunshot: Stability issues due to noticeable recoil.
  • Thorn: Rare 140 RPM hand cannon with a unique damage-over-time perk.
  • Waking Vigil: 140 RPM energy hand cannon with range potential.

C Tier:

  • Ikelos_HC_V1.0.2: 140 RPM energy hand cannon with Rampage.
  • The Last Word: Kinetic hand cannon with a high rate of fire.
  • Lumina: Rare 140 RPM hand cannon with a supportive function.

D Tier:

  • Crimson: Unusual three-shot burst hand cannon with a high rate of fire.
  • Posterity: 180 RPM archetype with drawbacks in peek-shot and range.
  • Malfeasance: Exotic 180 RPM hand cannon with a unique defect.
  • Nature of the Beast: Energy 180 RPM hand cannon with limited usefulness.
  • Seventh Seraph Officer Revolver: 180 RPM hand cannon with timed payload as a notable advantage.

Keep in mind that tier rankings can vary based on personal playstyle and preferences, and the effectiveness of a hand cannon may also depend on the specific perks and rolls it has.

You all may be familiar with the tier list system, and if not, I will be discussing the first five-tier systems in this article, starting with the S-Tier known to be the highest in the tier system. By the end of the article, you will get an in-depth idea about which hand cannon weapons are the best to go after and which ones are not so good.

Here you go with the comparison table for the Hand Cannon Tier list in Destiny 2:

No.WeaponsImpactStabilityReload TimeInventory SizeRounds Per Minute
1Bottom Dollar92283.71s59120
2Igneous Hammer92353.55s55120
3Sturm92512.97s30120
4Crimil’s Dagger92233.74s56120
5True Prophecy92223.81s52120
6Ace of Spades84403.19s56140
7Hawkmoon84632.74s62140
8Ancient Gospel84583.16s57140
9The Palindrome84583.19s50140
10Dire Promise84473s60140
11The Steady Hand92253.88s40120
12Nation of Beasts84573.11s51140
13Sunshot80402.45s53150
14Thorn84553.25s60140
15Waking Vigil84432.82s46140
16Ikelos_HC_V1.0.278553.46s53180
17The Last Word78402.3s40225
18Lumina84502.7s58140
19Crimson92802.72s100415
20Posterity78602.79s53180
21Malfeasance78802.3s57180
22Nature of the Beast78613.71s57180
23Seventh Seraph Officer Revolver78523s52180

Related: Destiny 2 Best Rocket Launcher

S Tier

In our Destiny 2 Hand Cannon Tier List, the highest tier is the S tier. Hand cannons ranked in the S tier represent the pinnacle of versatility, firepower, perks, and overall stats. If a hand cannon is in the S tier, it’s considered the best in the game due to its exceptional capabilities and effectiveness.

Bottom Dollar

Destiny 2 Bottom Dollar
Bottom Dollar
Attribute Value
Impact92
Range60
Damage Fall-off~25.40m Hip / 34.92 Ads
Stability28
Handling31
Reload Speed25
Reload Time3.71s
Aim Assistance66
Inventory Size59
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness10
Recoil85
Bounty Intensity15
Rounds Per Minute120
Magazine9

Why did I Choose Bottom Dollar?

Bottom Dollar is a versatile hand cannon that is effective in both PvE and PvP scenarios.

Destiny 2’s Season of the Chosen introduced the Bottom Dollar, a 120 RPM energy hand cannon with 12 perk options. It’s exclusively found in the Gambit playlist with a low drop rate, requiring luck.

Notable perks include Rapid Hit + Multi-Kill Clip, Slide Shot + Rampage, Slide Shot + High Impact Reserves (rare), and Rangefinder + Explosive Payload. A god-roll can 2-tap guardians with <40 resilience in the bottom half of the magazine.

Bottom Dollar boasts impressive stats and barrel options, including the rare Thresh perk for extra super energy in PvP. It’s an excellent hand cannon, deserving an S-tier spot.

  • High damage
  • Long range
  • Aggressive frame
  • Dragonfly perk

  • High recoil
  • Mediocre stability and handling stats
  • Middling aim assistance 

Igneous Hammer

Destiny 2 Igneous Hammer
Igneous Hammer
AttributeValue
Impact92
Range65
Damage Fall-off~25.85m Hip / Ads
Stability35
Handling37
Reload Speed30
Reload Time3.55s
Aim Assistance69
Inventory Size55
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness23
Recoil95
Bounty Intensity5
Rounds Per Minute120
Magazine9

Why did I Choose Igneous Hammer?

Igneous Hammer has a highly customizable perk so I can tailor the hand cannon according to my play style.

The Igneous Hammer, a 120 RPM hand cannon, is the latest addition to Trials of Osiris loot. The adept version is exclusive to flawless players.

The adept version, obtained from the flawless chest, offers an ideal mix of Stability, Range, and Handling, along with Rampage for potential 2-taps.

This hand cannon combines pulse rifle coverage, 140 RPM hand cannon stability, and the snappiness of lightweight hand cannons, with a rapid 0.5-second time-to-kill after Rampage activates.

Players can also maximize range to 100 while keeping Rampage for remarkable 2-tap kills at a distance. The adept version benefits from the Icarus mod, enhancing range and airborne precision. Igneous Hammer is in the S tier for its overall excellence in Destiny 2’s hand cannon lineup.

  • High damage and recoil
  • Celerity perk
  • Impressive stats
  • Aim assistance and recoil management

  • High recoil
  • Limited close-range efficiency
  • High dependence on celerity perk

Sturm

Destiny 2 Sturm
Sturm
AttributeValue
Impact92
Range60
Damage Fall-off-
Stability51
Handling40
Reload Speed50
Reload Time2.97s
Aim Assistance50
Inventory Size30
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness12
Recoil80
Bounty Intensity20
Rounds Per Minute120
Magazine9

Why did I Choose Sturm?

With each kill you get, the hand cannon will automatically get reloaded, hence I can keep shooting for a longer while.

Sturm, a unique 120 RPM hand cannon with the “Dream of a New World” ornament, pairs exceptionally well with its sidearm counterpart, Drang. Each Drang kill overcharges Sturm’s bullets, dealing significant PvP damage, enabling easy follow-up kills.

The overcharged bullets synergize with various PvP damage buffs like empowering rifts, Well of Radiance, Titan slide, Whisper of Hedrons, Weapons of Light, and Charged with Light mods, ensuring one-shot kills.

Sturm’s excellent base stats, particularly with the unlocked exotic Catalyst, make it perform like a 140 RPM hand cannon with improved recoil and handling, plus a generous 12-round magazine.

While Sturm lacks an inherent damage buff and can’t use an Icarus mod due to its exotic nature, its airborne accuracy remains reasonable. For these reasons, Sturm earns a spot in the S tier as one of the best hand cannon choices in Destiny 2.

  • Exotic status
  • Free-to-play
  • Kinetic damage

  • Limited availability
  • Lack of elemental affinity

Crimil’s Dagger

Destiny 2 Crimil's Dagger
Crimil’s Dagger
AttributeValue
Impact92
Range60
Damage Fall-off~25.40m Hip / 34.92 Ads
Stability23
Handling23
Reload Speed24
Reload Time3.74s
Aim Assistance67
Inventory Size56
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness10
Recoil98
Bounty Intensity2
Rounds Per Minute120
Magazine8

Why did I Choose Crimil’s Dagger?

Although it has a small magazine, Crimil’s Dagger has exceptional base range and stability stats, due to which I can target the far away enemies with ease. 

Crimil’s Dagger, a legendary 120 RPM hand cannon from Iron Banner, boasts solid base stats. What makes it stand out is the potential roll with Rangefinder and Kill Clip, a lethal combination for 2-tap kills, especially effective on 120 RPM hand cannons.

Kill Clip allows for a swift kill with a head and body shot, while Rangefinder extends your effective engagement distance, mitigating damage drop-off.

The drawback is its 7-round magazine, resulting in frequent reloads. However, this pairs well with Kill Clip, and you can optimize it further with Hunter’s Marksman’s Dodge and Dragon Shadow exotic armor to reduce reload times and gain a Kill Clip damage bonus.

In summary, Crimil’s Dagger is an outstanding 120 RPM Hand Cannon, earning its S-tier ranking thanks to its potential with Rangefinder and Kill Clip.

  • Aggressive playstyle
  • Legendary rarity
  • Kinetic damage
  • Cost effective

  • Limited magazine size
  • High skill ceiling

True Prophecy

Destiny 2 Hand Cannon Tier List
True Prophecy
AttributeValue
Impact92
Range58
Damage Fall-off~25.22m Hip / 34.68 Ads
Stability22
Handling30
Reload Speed22
Reload Time3.81s
Aim Assistance62
Inventory Size52
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness10
Recoil93
Bounty Intensity7
Rounds Per Minute120
Magazine9

Why did I Choose True Prophecy?

True Prophecy hand cannon is visually distinctive, rare, and it also has high damage output for quick enemy eliminations.

True Prophecy, a kinetic legendary 120 RPM hand cannon, offers solid perks and stats, serving as a precursor to the Steady Hand. It excels in damage with Rampage, similar in effectiveness to Swashbuckler.

Moreover, True Prophecy boasts valuable perks like Opening Shot or Rangefinder to maximize its range potential, along with a generous 9-round magazine, a suitable capacity for a 120 RPM hand cannon.

It can also roll with Overflow, which pairs nicely with Rampage, automatically reloading your hand cannon and granting an extensive magazine of 18 or more rounds when picking up heavy or special ammo.

In summary, True Prophecy is an excellent 120 RPM hand cannon, on par with the Steady Hand, earning its place in the S tier of our ranking.

  • Exotic perks
  • Higher RPM
  • Unique design
  • Special mod slots

  • Limited availability
  • Higher cost
  • Less versatile

A Tier

The weapons ranked in the A tier can also compete with the S-ranked hand cannons, which does not mean that these A-tier guns are no match for those above them. The A tier makes sure that a fair ranking is offered to all the weapons. The only areas these guns might lack are perks, reload speed, damage, and a good roll potential.

Even though these hand cannons are in the A tier, they can beat any S-ranked weapon any time a gun is nerfed. So keep your ears sharp and your eyes on the new updates, folks!

Ace of Spades

Destiny 2 Ace of Spades
Ace of Spades
AttributeValue
Impact84
Range75
Damage Fall-off-
Stability40
Handling40
Reload Speed42
Reload Time3.19s
Aim Assistance70
Inventory Size56
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness14
Recoil100
Bounty Intensity0
Rounds Per Minute140
Magazine13

Why did I Choose Ace of Spades?

I praise this hand cannon for its reliability. It tends to have a lower chance of failing to fire, making it a dependable weapon in the heat of battle.

Ace of Spades is an exotic 140 RPM kinetic hand cannon with a massive 13-round magazine, high-caliber rounds for extra flinch, and the exotic perk Memento Mori, which lets you fire five explosive rounds after killing an enemy. Reload to activate the perk, but it’s lost upon running out of ammo.

However, Ace of Spades lacks Rangefinder, affecting its performance in long-range duels, especially against 120 RPM hand cannons, making it fall short by a few meters.

While it’s excellent overall, its performance during jumps and the potential impact of future 120 RPM nerfs prevent it from reaching S tier. Still, it’s a versatile choice for various playstyles.

  • Excellent stats
  • High damage potential
  • Versatility
  • PvP effectiveness

  • Lack of range boosting perks
  • Cost

Hawkmoon

Hawkmoon
Hawkmoon
AttributeValue
Impact84
Range52
Damage Fall-off-
Stability63
Handling71
Reload Speed59
Reload Time2.74s
Aim Assistance93
Inventory Size62
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness26
Recoil96
Bounty Intensity4
Rounds Per Minute140
Magazine8

Why did I Choose Hawkmoon?

Through hawkmoon’s exotic perk, you are able to one-shot enemies and escape from an enemy crowded area with no difficulty.

Hawkmoon, an exotic 140 RPM hand cannon with a unique feel and random rolls, stands out as the only exotic hand cannon with this feature. It boasts excellent base stats, and its Catalyst enhances range and handling.

Its exotic perk, “Paracausal Shot,” stacks with each headshot or kill and grants a damage buff on the last shot of your magazine, potentially allowing one-shot-body shot kills at seven stacks. Collateral kills are also possible.

Drawbacks include a slightly small nine-round magazine, even with the Catalyst, and its exotic nature prevents it from using an Icarus mod, impacting its airborne accuracy. Hawkmoon falls slightly short compared to Ace of Spades and 120 RPM hand cannons, placing it in the A tier.

  • High stat package
  • Paracasual charges
  • Ease of use

  • Exotic limitations
  • Cost

Ancient Gospel

Ancient Gospel
Ancient Gospel
AttributeValue
Impact84
Range41
Damage Fall-off20.50m Hip / 28.19 Ads
Stability58
Handling46
Reload Speed43
Reload Time3.16s
Aim Assistance74
Inventory Size57
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness10
Recoil100
Bounty Intensity0
Rounds Per Minute140
Magazine11

Why did I Choose Ancient Gospel?

Ancient Gospel hand cannon is remarkably stable, hence I have no trouble with recoil. The damage output also increases after killing and reloading which is a bonus.

It is a legendary 140 rounds per minute (RPM) energy hand cannon. The Ancient Gospel is from the Garden of Salvation Raid and has an overall decent amount of stats and a polarizing aesthetic. Moreover, the gun packs a decent perk pool to match its stats.

However, the lower part of the screen is somewhat obstructive and slightly affects the overall visibility when you aim down the sights. Its significant perks include Rapid Hit-Kill Clip and Slide shot-Rangefinder, making it a solid handgun to carry in the game.

New additions and updates to the game have made it fierce for the Ancient Gospel to compete as an energy slot handgun. Don’t hesitate to try out the weapon, as it is undoubtedly a perfect handgun, considering its overall stats and great roll potential.

  • Unique design
  • Perks
  • Aesthetic

  • Limited availability
  • Perk dependency
  • Resource intensive

The Palindrome

The Palindrome
The Palindrome
AttributeValue
Impact84
Range50
Damage Fall-off~21.28m Hip / 29.26 Ads
Stability58
Handling50
Reload Speed42
Reload Time3.19s
Aim Assistance79
Inventory Size50
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness21
Recoil98
Bounty Intensity2
Rounds Per Minute140
Magazine11

Why did I Choose The Palindrome?

Its easy for me to land my shots on the enemies with The Palindrome, considering it has high aim assist stats. 

The Palindrome is a unique 140 RPM hand cannon introduced in the Season of The Chosen, making a triumphant return from Destiny 1. It boasts the highest base stats among all 140 RPM hand cannons and offers the potential for excellent perk rolls.

The adept version of the Palindrome drops exclusively from Grandmaster Nightfalls and features the highest range of all 140 RPM hand cannons, with a maximum damage range of approximately 38 meters. It can roll with balanced stats, with handling, range, and stability all above 75.

One standout perk combination is Killing Wind and Rangefinder, offering extra range and handling after a kill, enhancing the Palindrome’s performance. Alternatively, Quickdraw is an S-tier perk for those who prefer it.

With its exceptional stats and versatile perk options, the Palindrome is currently the best legendary 140 RPM hand cannon, earning its place in the A tier of the Best Destiny 2 Hand Cannons.

  • Adaptive archetype
  • Void element
  • Highest base stats
  • Strong performance

  • Limited to void slot
  • No exotic features

Dire Promise

Dire Promise
Dire Promise
AttributeValue
Impact84
Range42
Damage Fall-off~20.59m Hip / 28.31 Ads
Stability47
Handling57
Reload Speed49
Reload Time3s
Aim Assistance83
Inventory Size60
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness10
Recoil84
Bounty Intensity16
Rounds Per Minute15140
Magazine11

Why did I Choose Dire Promise?

Dire Promise is my go-to hand cannon for close-range combat, as it has high damage output and consistent function with high aim assist

Dire Promise is a legendary 140 RPM hand cannon that was a popular choice in PvP before Beyond Light. It stands out with its exceptionally high aim assist stat and solid perks and stats. Notably, it can roll with both Opening Shot and Rangefinder, significantly extending its effective range when combined on a max range roll, reaching approximately 39 meters.

Dire Promise also has the potential for 2-tap kills when using Swashbuckler on specific classes, like the Striker Titan or Stasis with the Whisper of Hedrons Buff. It’s the only legendary kinetic option for 140 RPM hand cannons, making it valuable when paired with energy slot special weapons like Frozen Orbit sniper rifle or Felwinter’s Lie, both top choices for PvP.

In our assessment, Dire Promise teeters between the A and B tiers. What pushes it to the A tier is its presence in the kinetic slot and the ability to roll with Rangefinder and Opening Shot, which challenges the range of 120 RPM hand cannons.

  • Legendary rarity
  • Higher stats
  • Unique perks

  • Limited availability
  • Less flexibility
  • Higher cost

The Steady Hand

The Steady Hand Destiny 2
The Steady Hand
AttributeValue
Impact92
Range60
Damage Fall-off~25.40 m Hip / 34.92 Ads
Stability25
Handling20
Reload Speed20
Reload Time3.88s
Aim Assistance65
Inventory Size40
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness10
Recoil85
Bounty Intensity15
Rounds Per Minute120
Magazine8

Why did I Choose The Steady Hand?

The Steady Hand offers a wide range of viable perks suitable for both PvP and PvE, making it difficult to receive a poor roll.

The Steady Hand, a legendary 120 RPM hand cannon from the Iron Banner, shares a design with Better Devil’s. It offers several perks suitable for a 120 RPM hand cannon, with none being particularly bad. Swashbuckler stands out as the primary damage perk, allowing for clever playmaking potential, especially when combined with long-range melee options like celestial fire on the Dawnblade subclass.

The Steady Hand can also roll Iron Grip, providing a substantial 20 stability boost at the cost of reload speed. When paired with Slideshot, which reloads two bullets per slide, it creates a highly controllable 120 RPM hand cannon, ideal for game modes like Trials of Osiris.

The drawback is its small eight-round magazine, but this can be mitigated with exotic armor options like Dragon’s Shadow or perks like Outlaw or Ophidian Aspect for faster reloads. Overall, the Steady Hand offers multiple excellent roll options and ranks in the A tier of hand cannons.

  • Crowd control
  • Small bore
  • Feeding frenzy

  • Small magazine size
  • Mediocre handling
  • Terrible sound

B Tier

The B tier is the most subjective and is the third-highest rank in the tier system. The weapons ranked in this tier are considered a decent choice for skilled players. The guns you see in this section can compete with some of the A-ranking hand cannons. Also, they couldn’t make it to the A tier because of their lack of overall effectiveness.

Nation of Beasts

Nation of Beasts Destiny 2 Hand Cannon
Nation of Beasts
AttributeValue
Impact84
Range40
Damage Fall-off~16.96m Hip / 28.07 Ads
Stability57
Handling42
Reload Speed45
Reload Time3.11s
Aim Assistance71
Inventory Size51
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness10
Recoil95
Bounty Intensity5
Rounds Per Minute140
Magazine11

Why did I Choose Nation of Beasts?

I like to use Nation of Beasts hand cannon particularly due to its strong perk combination, particularly when paired with Dragonfly and Voltshot. 

The Nation of the Beast is a 140 RPM hand cannon obtainable from the Last Wish Raid. It is similar to the Ancient Gospel and stands out as the only 140 RPM hand cannon that can roll with explosive payload. This perk allows you to damage enemies behind cover, reducing damage drop-off.

However, the hand cannon has a significant muzzle flash and causes substantial flinch on your enemies’ screens. Its aiming down sights can obstruct a considerable portion of the player’s screen, which can be a drawback. Nonetheless, it possesses commendable stats.

  • Adaptive archetype
  • Legendary rarity
  • Primary ammo
  • Arc damage type
  • Forsaken pack

  • Range
  • Reload time

Sunshot

Sunshot Destiny 2
Sunshot
AttributeValue
Impact80
Range31
Damage Fall-off-
Stability40
Handling81
Reload Speed72
Reload Time2.45s
Aim Assistance60
Inventory Size53
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness27
Recoil98
Bounty Intensity2
Rounds Per Minute150
Magazine12

Why did I Choose Sunshot?

Sunshot is the only 150 RPM Hand Cannon in Destiny 2, so it fires faster than the 140 RPM variants. This increased rate of fire makes a difference for me in PvE activities.

Sunshot is a unique and volatile hand cannon, the only 150 RPM hand cannon in the game. Its Catalyst comes with high stats and intrinsic perks like explosive payload and a supercharged version of Dragonfly. This means you get flinch and splash damage from explosives, along with a Dragonfly explosion on each hit, even on splash damage or body shot kills. However, the explosions and visual effects can obscure your reticle and make it challenging to see your target.

Sunshot also has noticeable recoil, which can make it feel less stable. The recoil can disrupt your aim, and while practice can help you improve, consistently landing shots at its high rate of fire can be tricky. The relatively low aim assist of 60 adds to the challenge.

Taking these issues into account, we’ve ranked Sunshot in the B tier of the Best Destiny 2 Hand Cannons List.

  • Explosive damage
  • High RPM
  • Explosive payload
  • Chain reaction
  • Damage buff in season of the witch
  • Synergy with solar subclasses

  • Limited PvP utility
  • Requires specific synergies
  • Less versatile in PvP

Thorn

Thorn Destiny 2 Hand Cannon
Thorn
AttributeValue
Impact84
Range34
Damage Fall-off-
Stability55
Handling65
Reload Speed40
Reload Time3.25s
Aim Assistance85
Inventory Size60
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness21
Recoil100
Bounty Intensity0
Rounds Per Minute140
Magazine11

Why did I Choose Thorn?

When facing a crowd, I prefer Thorn due to its effectiveness through the unique Exotic perk, which allows it to deal with multiple enemies at once, making it highly effective in duels and team fights.

Thorn is an exotic 140 RPM hand cannon that inflicts damage over time on tagged targets. It can secure kills with two headshots and one body shot, but with a delay. It generates remnants on kills, enhancing the damage over time effect, potentially leading to a 2-tap kill. However, you need to retrieve these remnants for the damage buff. Thorn has limited range, no mod slot, and can hinder opponent recovery and revive in Trials of Osiris. It also provides rudimentary wallhack capabilities by showing damage numbers through walls.

  • Exotic status
  • Kinetic slot
  • PvP excellence
  • Forsaken pack availability

  • Limited to PvP
  • Exotic slot occupation
  • Learning curve

Waking Vigil

Waking Vigil Destiny 2 Hand Cannon
Waking Vigil
AttributeValue
Impact84
Range37
Damage Fall-off~20.16m Hip / 27.72 Ads
Stability43
Handling63
Reload Speed56
Reload Time2.82s
Aim Assistance82
Inventory Size46
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness10
Recoil98
Bounty Intensity2
Rounds Per Minute140
Magazine12

Why did I Choose Waking Vigil?

Its thin frame does not obstruct my view, which is crucial for close-range combat where visibility is all that you need.

Waking Vigil is a 140 RPM hand cannon in the energy slot. While its stats are not remarkable, it boasts a reasonably high aim assist stat. The notable advantage of this hand cannon is its potential to roll with both rangefinder and Opening Shot, offering substantial range on your initial shot.

You can also choose perks like Kill Clip to reduce the headshot requirement for follow-up kills or Snapshot to enhance its handling. With its decent base stats and lack of standout features, we’ve ranked Waking Vigil in the B tier of our Tier List.

  • Adaptability
  • Free-to-play
  • Easily accessible
  • Perk pool

  • Range and stability
  • Dungeon-specific perks
  • Competition in the meta

C Tier

The hand cannons listed in the C tier are not that great and will not help players in competitive matches, and they lack range, stability, and sometimes perk benefits. The C tier is a moderate-level of tier system that only ranks weapons used just for the fun of the game. Maybe, through a few updates to Destiny 2, these hand cannons might have a chance of getting up to the B tier.

Ikelos_HC_V1.0.2

Ikelos_HC_V1.0.2 Destiny 2 Hand Cannon
Ikelos_HC_V1.0.2
AttributeValue
Impact78
Range32
Damage Fall-off16.72m Hip / 27.12 Ads
Stability55
Handling33
Reload Speed33
Reload Time3.46s
Aim Assistance75
Inventory Size53
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness10
Recoil91
Bounty Intensity9
Rounds Per Minute180
Magazine12

Why did I Choose Ikelos_HC_V1.0.2?

The Ikelos_HC_V1.0.2 does not have a power cap, allowing it to scale well with my character’s power level.

The Ikelos is a 140 RPM energy hand cannon but belongs to the less effective 180 RPM archetype due to limited range and visibility issues. It lacks standout perks and falls short of achieving a 3-critical shot kill in Crucible.

  • High RPM and accuracy
  • Void damage
  • Recoil direction
  • Perk options

  • Limited PvP focus
  • Higher-end content requirement
  • Circumstantial perks

The Last Word

The Last Word Destiny 2
The Last Word
AttributeValue
Impact78
Range20
Damage Fall-off-
Stability40
Handling20
Reload Speed80
Reload Time2.3s
Aim Assistance40
Inventory Size40
Zoom11
Airborne Effectiveness19
Recoil100
Bounty Intensity0
Rounds Per Minute225
Magazine8

Why did I Choose The Last Word?

Despite its short magazine size, The Last Word has a low time-to-kill at close to mid-range, making it a powerful weapon in close combat scenarios.

The Last Word is an exotic hand cannon with a high-speed 225 RPM in the kinetic slot. It excels when firing from the hip and has a favorable range of about 18 meters, offering a rapid time to kill with three hip-fire headshots. However, its performance varies between console and PC due to differences in aiming precision and aim assist. On PC, it can be challenging to consistently land shots, but skilled players can still make it work effectively.

  • High damage output
  • Versatility
  • Rapid fire rate
  • Explosive payload

  • Reload time
  • Less effective against tankier enemies
  • Limited range
  • Dependency on perks

Lumina

Destiny 2 Hand Cannon Tier List
Lumina
AttributeValue
Impact84
Range53
Damage Fall-off-
Stability50
Handling71
Reload Speed61
Reload Time2.7s
Aim Assistance88
Inventory Size58
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness27
Recoil95
Bounty Intensity5
Rounds Per Minute140
Magazine13

Why did I Choose Lumina?

Lumina not only is good in combat but it also offers supportive features such as healing and empowering allies with Noble Rounds, which can restore 80% of their health and start shield regeneration.

Lumina is an exotic 140 RPM hand cannon with moderate stats. Its unique perk makes it shine in team scenarios. When you get a kill, it spawns orbs that can be used to give you and your teammates a damage buff and heal them. This works best in coordinated teams, especially with the Warlock’s Middle Tree Dawnblade subclass. However, in uncoordinated play or 6v6 modes, it can be frustrating to use since it relies on having nearby teammates to be effective.

  • Supportive mechanics
  • Versatile utility
  • Damage bonus
  • Exotic damage buff

  • Limited damage output
  • Dependent on team coordination
  • Cost and acquisition

D Tier

The D tier is the lowest rank in the tier system. The hand cannons in this tier are of no use in the game whatsoever due to their lowest damage output and poor range. Unless the producers of Destiny 2 intend on releasing new updates that buff these weapons, they show no signs of benefit to the players.

Crimson

Destiny 2 Crimson
Crimson
AttributeValue
Impact92
Range55
Damage Fall-off-
Stability80
Handling45
Reload Speed60
Reload Time2.72s
Aim Assistance75
Inventory Size100
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness15
Recoil55
Bounty Intensity45
Rounds Per Minute415
Magazine14

Why did I Choose Crimson?

Upon a kill, Crimson regenerates 40 points of health, which can be a significant advantage in prolonged fights or when facing tougher enemies.

The Crimson is an exotic hand cannon with a three-shot burst at 386 RPM, dealing kinetic damage. Its performance falls short in practice. The burst fire removes the traditional hand cannon advantage of one-shot damage and maneuverability. The range is limited to about 33 meters even with the Catalyst, and recoil makes it challenging to land consistent shots. The auto-reload and health regeneration perks can’t compensate for these drawbacks, placing it in the D tier among Destiny 2 hand cannons.

  • Useful exotic status in PvP scenarios
  • Kinetic slot
  • Free-to-play

  • Average tier
  • Limited PvP utility
  • Less focus on PvE

Posterity

Posterity Destiny 2 Hand Cannon
Posterity
AttributeValue
Impact78
Range39
Damage Fall-off~20.33m Hip / 27.95 Ads
Stability60
Handling36
Reload Speed57
Reload Time2.79s
Aim Assistance79
Inventory Size53
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness22
Recoil100
Bounty Intensity0
Rounds Per Minute180
Magazine13

Why did I Choose Posterity?

Posterity has a very high fire rate as it belongs to the 180 RPM class. This makes it useful for aggressive gameplay, as you can score quick eliminations and plan an escape simultaneously.

It is similar to the Nature of the Beast hand cannon from the Beast Stone Crypt raid. Posterity is a 180 RPM archetype that has some nice perks like rampage. The model of the hand cannon bounces right in front of your enemy and makes it hard for you to see them.

It also has a fragile range and peek-shot ability of all hand cannons, which is not good. The pc players find it extremely hard to control the recoil of this hand cannon, although the console players have a much more significant advantage in terms of the peek-shots.

  • Versatility
  • Range and peek shooting
  • High skill ceiling
  • Potential for synergies

  • Mastery required
  • Limited effectiveness in certain PvE content
  • Dependence on player skill

Malfeasance

Malfeasance Destiny 2 Hand Cannon
Malfeasance
AttributeValue
Impact78
Range40
Damage Fall-off-
Stability80
Handling29
Reload Speed80
Reload Time2.3s50
Aim Assistance50
Inventory Size57
Zoom1
Airborne Effectiveness53
Recoil98
Bounty Intensity2
Rounds Per Minute180
Magazine14

Why did I Choose Malfeasance?

 

Malfeasance is an exotic 180 RPM hand cannon with a critical flaw. Despite being a precision frame hand cannon, it doesn’t have the Icarus Grip mod intrinsically, leading to noticeable bullet spread in the air. Its main advantage is the ability to kill in five body shots at any range thanks to the exotic perk that causes targets to explode when hit by five slugs. This perk works well in a team setting, but the hand cannon struggles against agile opponents and is generally considered subpar. It’s placed in the D tier of Destiny 2 hand cannons.

  • Capable of countering unstoppable champions
  • Synergy with Hunter’s lucky pants
  • Damage output

  • Dependency on perks
  • Limited PvP effectiveness

Nature of the Beast

Destiny 2 Nature of the Beast
Nature of the Beast
AttributeValue
Impact78
Range33
Damage Fall-off~19.81m Hip / 27.24 Ads
Stability61
Handling35
Reload Speed25
Reload Time3.71s
Aim Assistance76
Inventory Size57
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness10
Recoil80
Bounty Intensity20
Rounds Per Minute180
Magazine13

Why did I Choose Nature of the Beast?

 

You should not confuse Nature of the Beast with Nation of Beasts. It is an energy 180 RPM hand cannon from the World Loot Pool. Compared to the other 180 RPM hand cannons, this particular cannon is pretty worthless. The precision frames usually hide the target, and that’s frustrating. It also has access to a rangefinder which can help diminish a few poor range stats.

The 180 RPM hand cannons have a slow overall time to kill at a full one second, but they don’t offer the range advantage of the 120 RPM hand cannons. 

  • Precision
  • Arc element
  • Free-to-play

  • Rarity
  • World loot pool
  • Ranked as worst

Seventh Seraph Officer Revolver

Destiny 2 Seventh Seraph Officer Revolver
Seventh Seraph Officer Revolver
AttributeValue
Impact78
Range28
Damage Fall-off~19.38m Hip / 26.65 Ads
Stability52
Handling30
Reload Speed49
Reload Time3s
Aim Assistance68
Inventory Size52
Zoom14
Airborne Effectiveness10
Recoil84
Bounty Intensity16
Rounds Per Minute180
Magazine11

Why did I Choose Seventh Seraph Officer Revolver?

 

Another one of the 180 RPM hand cannons, The Seventh Seraph Officer revolver, has an exciting perk with the ability to roll a timed payload. The perk can be even more vicious than the explosive payload since it springs your enemy twice on two different occasions and is extremely annoying on the receiving end.

However, it also slightly extends your adequate time to kill unless you land four consecutive headshots, so there is a bit of a tradeoff, and you’re hoping that the extra flinch causes your enemy to miss their shots.

Like with the other 180 RPM hand cannons, the Seventh Seraph Officer Revolver also ranks in the D tier.

  • Elegance and aesthetics
  • Kinetic damage
  • No power cap
  • Equippable
  • Part of seraph gear set
  • Precision frame

  • Low stats compared to competitors
  • Poor perk pool
  • Not craftable
  • Limited drop locations

Eriana’s Vow

Destiny 2 Hand Cannon Tier List
Eriana’s Vow

Why did I Choose Eriana’s Vow?

 

There is also another particular hand cannon that hits like a truck and emits fire from the barrel. The Eriana’s Vow uses special ammo instead of primary ammo, which is why it is not included in our Hand Cannon Tier List Destiny 2. Eriana’s Vow is similar to a sniper rifle to a hand cannon, and with the proper damage buffs, it can outright kill in one headshot, which is incredibly satisfying. If I have to rank it in the tier system, I will put it in the S tier.

  • Special ammo
  • Range and damage
  • Solar 3.0 compatibility
  • Strong competition from other hand cannons
  • Investment required

My Opinion On The Hand Cannon Tier List

Overall, some of the hand cannons in Destiny 2 can be used as a fun way to troll enemies with their exceptional perks and overall stats. If you found this article useful, you may look at many of our numerous guides, such as Destiny 2 Finishers.

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