Best Hand Cannons for PVP - Destiny 2

Lean into the meta and increase your killing potential by using the best Hand Cannons for PVP in Destiny 2.


Destiny 2 has a lot of Hand Cannons, but there are some that perform better in PVP than others. If you want to improve in the Crucible or Trials of Osiris, one place to begin is with your weapon selection. Below you’ll find the best Hand Cannons for PVP in Destiny 2. Some will be easy to get, others will require farming, and some can even be crafted.

Best Hand Cannons

The king of Hand Cannons right now is the 140 RPM archetype. A bit faster than the powerful 120s and a bit slower than the zippy 180s, the 140s dominate PVP. If you’re killed by a Hand Cannon, there’s a high chance it was one of these. Here is a table of the Hand Cannons and the perks you want for PVP. Further down is a quick overview of each one.

Best Hand Cannons for PVP
Hand Cannon Perks RPM
Cantata-57 Rapid Hit / Rangefinder 140 RPM
Eyasluna Outlaw / Kill Clip 140 RPM
Austringer Snapshot Sights / Rangefinder 140 RPM
The Palindrome Killing Wind / Rangefinder 140 RPM
Waking Vigil Rapid Hit / Kill Clip 140 RPM
Fatebringer Killing Wind / Kill Clip 140 RPM
Dire Promise Snapshot Sights / Rangefinder 140 RPM
Hawkmoon Killing Wind 140 RPM
Igneous Hammer Killing Wind / Rampage 120 RPM
Bottom Dollar Killing Wind / Eye of the Storm 120 RPM
Posterity Rapid Hit / Ramage 180 RPM
Frontier's Cry Rapid Hit / Kill Clip 180 RPM
IKELOS_HC_V1.05 Slideways / High-Impact Reserves 180 RPM
Nature of the Beast Snapshot Sights / Rangefinder 180 RPM
The Last Word - 225 RPM


destiny 2 best hand cannons pvp

Cantata-57 busted onto the scene in The Witch Queen and has been a key contender in Crucible play. Given its position in the secondary slot, you may need to find a viable primary weapon to fill your Special ammo needs. Check out our Cantata-57 god roll guide for more perk recommendations.


Eyasluna returned from Destiny 1 with the Bungie 30th Anniversary Update. This is a primary weapon that deals Stasis damage, meaning your Special weapon can be dedicated to one of the main forms of elemental damage. Here’s our Eyasluna god roll guide.


Austringer is another returning Hand Cannon that feels great to shoot. Given the fact you can craft one, you’ll be able to find other perks in the event the ones listed above don’t mesh with your playstyle.

The Palindrome

The Palindrome has been kicking around for a while now but remains a viable option in Crucible. You might not see it as much as the others, on this list, but it has some neat Origin Trait perks that make you tough to kill in Crucible.

Waking Vigil

Waking Vigil is one of those Hand Cannons that handles quite nicely. Plus, given the fact this is an Arc weapon positions you in a good place for when the Arc 3.0 update arrives. Get one of these into your build and prepare for Season 18.


Not one of the most common PVP Hand Cannons, but one that’s easy to farm. Fatebringer has a suite of perks that make nearly any roll viable in Crucible.

Dire Promise

With no elemental damage, this is a bog standard Hand Cannon from back in the day. In saying this, it does offer some tasty perks. If you don’t want the combo listed above, try leaning into its damage potential with the curated roll: Triple Tap and Swashbuckler.


On the Exotic side of the equation, Hawkmoon is a majestic weapon that is worth throwing on if you’ve got a roll that suits. With something like Killing Wind, each kill will make you more accurate, which is what you want when you reach the final round.

Ace of Spades

Ace of Spades is one of those Hand Cannons you hate dying against in Crucible. It might not be as powerful as it once was, but it can still shred face. If you’re not rolling around with Gjallarhorn and want to use an Exotic, equip Ace of Spades and have a blast.

Igneous Hammer

Getting shot by Igneous Hammer feels like getting hit by another player’s Super. With the right perks, this can knock a foe down with ease. The only trouble with acquiring it is that it’s a potential drop from Trials of Osiris. Finding a god roll Igneous Hammer might take a bit of work, but it’ll be worth it.

Bottom Dollar

There are a bunch of great Bottom Dollar god rolls out there, mainly due to the outrageous size of the gun’s perk pool. Get one todrop and you might just walk away with a Hand Cannon that feels great to use in Crucible, even if it is a slower archetype.


destiny 2 posterity

Posterity is an Arc Hand Cannon that drops from the Deep Stone Crypt raid. This gun features a few excellent perks in both columns but it's pool isn't as huge as Bottom Dollar. What this means is that you've got a better chance at getting a roll you need. Plus, the fact that this thing is Arc means it could see more use with Arc 3.0.

Frontier's Cry

The 180 RPM archetype of Hand Cannons doesn’t really have a place in Crucible right now. However, Bungie is addressing the underperforming archetype with an update during Season 17, which could make them far more viable. If you get any one of these, hold onto it and see how the meta shifts once the update lands.


destiny 2 ikelos hc v1.02

As one of the Void Hand Cannon in this archetype, the IKELOS_HC_V1.02 could work well with some Void builds, especially after the 180 RPM buff. It has one of the smallest perk polls, making acquiring a god roll quite easy.

Nature of the Beast

destiny 2 nature of the beast

Nature of the Beast is much like Posterity, albeit with different sights. Unfortunately, it's slightly worse than Posterity based purely on stats. However, it's not locked behind raid encounters, so it's a bit easier to acquire.

The Last Word

destiny 2 the last word

And, of course, there is The Last Word. This thing has its own RPM archetype given how fast it fires. It’s a great Hand Cannon that can rinse through enemies. Consider using it, especially if you’re rocking a Special with Disruption Break.

There are plenty of great Hand Cannons to use in PVP in Destiny 2. For the most part, you’ll be sticking with the 140 RPM archetype, but you might want to branch out into 120s and maybe 180s should they receive a decent buff. Stop by the Shacknews Destiny 2 Strategy Guide for more weapon recommendations and endgame help.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

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