Top 5 Hand Cannons for PvP

Published on: Nov 8, 2014 @ 1:22

With the right hand cannon, you can dominate in the Crucible. Which of them are the best? Do you agree with this list? Let us know what hand cannons you prefer to use!

In this article we’ll give our opinions on the top 5 hand cannons in the game. If you missed our Top 5 scout rifle video, click here to watch that.

Top 5

Check out this video, where we list our opinions for the top 5 best hand cannon choices for PvP and what perks you want to look out for.

Disclaimer: As explained in the video, the reason Hawkmoon is not on the list is because PD staff member Wally (the video creator) didn’t have footage or experience with it, and therefore couldn’t give a solid report on it.

It’s definitely worthy of being in the top 5 though!

1. The Last Word – 68 Impact


  • Fully Automatic
  • Stability/precision damage upgrade
  • High rate of fire
  • High stability with perks


  • Exotic Only/ RNG Drop, Xur Might Sell
  • Low magazine size
  • Low Range
  • No Sight Changes


2. The Thorn – 68 Impact


  • Final Round, with small clip size, increases damage output
  • Perfect Balance perk increases Stability
  • Potential three shot
  • Burn Damage Perk can finish off weak opponents


  • Low Clip size
  • No sight changes
  • Long reload time
  • Only obtainable with an Exotic Bounty


3. Timur’s Lash – 94 Impact


  • Very high Impact
  • More damage with Luck in the chamber/Final Round
  • Almost on par with the Hawkmoon
  • Great range for a hand cannon
  • Reforging in the next Iron Banner could lead to an even better Timur’s Lash


  • Low Fire Rate
  • low clip size at 7
  • RNG drop from Iron banner
  • Rng Perks, meaning not all timur’s lashes are equal


4. Red Hand IX – 81 Impact


  • Excellent Impact
  • Fantastic Stability, even without RNG Perks, making it a fantastic handcannon to use in pvp
  • 10 Round Magazine, above average for semi automatic


  • RNG perks, meaning that beyond the primary stats, you could get a red hand not as beneficial as others
  • Low range
  • Average Reload time
  • Average Rate of fire


5. FateBringer – 81 Impact


  • High rate of fire and Impact
  • Very large magazine size
  • Precision kills grant quicker reload for a short time


  • Only obtainable in VoG
  • Most perks are better suited for PvE

Check out if you’d like to talk to others about Destiny in a friendly and welcoming community! :)

  • rairomusicboy

    My thorn has 84 Headshot Impact. With the burn damage it is 2 Headshots kills.

    • Anthony Adams

      Can confirm this. Maxed out thorn. 2 shots to the head in PvP & they drop even time.

  • Jason David Anderson

    I think Devil You Know should be in this list.

    As well as some of the rare handcannons that have ridiculously high impact compared to anything the legendary’s have to offer.

    To be honest there are two rare hand cannon’s in the game that are only surpassed by the Last Word in PvP. They two shot everyone because of their ridiculously high impact.

    • delta 6655

      to be honest, i hated the devil you know, i really dont know why, i just hated it.

  • Brandt Denham

    Lord High Fixer! Third Eye is critical in PvP, keeps your radar up while aiming. Combined with Rangefinder and Send It and you have huge impact and range.

    • Micah Yang

      Third eye? I want this gun

      • captaincrazy

        third eye isent a gun its a upgrade

  • IaincredibleX

    Just to be clear, Hawkmoon is number 1 and The Last Word is number 2.
    I don’t have extensive experience USING hand cannons in pvp, but 90% of the time I actually die to a hc its one of those.
    A smart, skilled player with Hawkmoon is almost unstoppable.
    Also Devil You Know should be on here someplace. Good damage, stability, and clip size plus if you get a kill you can basically 2 shot people for a few seconds.

    • delta 6655

      hawkmoon is a playstation exclusive, and the last word is FULL AUTO, i really dont think you can beat that, plus the last word looks kick ass.

      • Micah Yang

        last word is an auto rifle 😛

        • delta 6655

          no, its everything every other weapon wants to be, cowboy revolver for the win!

    • Lundy189

      The Chance should be on this list.. Very high impact and magazine size is 13

      • True Radiant Free

        The Chance is amazing.

    • joakin2k

      Fatebringer to day (300atk) is the best vs enemy on the game…. april 15

    • With no experience with Hawkmoon, or EVEN HAND CANNONS, you really have no room to speak. TLW is very unpopular, I almost never see it, but when I do it’s fucking deadly. The TTK is unrivaled, if you are a pro with HC’s it’s a go to gun all the time. The ONLY time Hawkmoon wins in a firefight with TLW with 2 evenly matched players is if it’s final luck in the chamber perk procs. So, 11 times out of 12, TLW is going to run through you before Hawkmoon. Full auto, Best stability and RoF, and shortest time to kill in the game.

  • SGT_Pannenkoek

    and what about the golden gun? 😀

    • Micah Yang


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  • Micah Yang

    Why isn’t hawkmoon on this list?

    • You obviously didn’t read or pay any attention to the video lol omg.

  • Rolingachu

    Really? Hawkmoon for PvP is all, a list where Hawkmoon wasn’t tested is as worthless as the Dark Below maps right now.

  • Tycally Vicano

    no Devil You Know or Lord High Fixer?? c’mon, son :

  • Michael Watkins

    Lord High Fixer that was granted as a reward in the crucible! Its even better than the one being sold by the Crucible QuarterMaster!!! So hype man!!!!

  • as soon as he said fatebringer does “shock” damage, i was done lol. they should’ve let someone on PS4 do this video so they could add Hawkmoon, although I’m a TLW fanboy (;