Destiny Vendor Machine Guns Comparison

Destiny Vendor Machine Guns Comparison by Garrus1138

In this guide I want to go over every single vendor machine gun and explain their stats, scopes and recoil.

This will hopefully be helpful for you if you want to decide which machine guns you should buy before HoW comes out or which ones you should upgrade with Etheric Light.

I did not include Corrective Measure and Song of Ir Yût because I don’t raid a lot and therefore sadly don’t have them.

I have uploaded a video that shows each vendor machine gun in action, its recoil curve, as well as its scope:


You’ll find an image of the weapons recoil curves here:

Each of the weapons kicks into a slightly different direction and some obviously have better stability. I tried my best to mark the hits with red dots to show the curve. I also wanted to show the general direction of each recoil curve with the red ellipses.

Please note that some of the weapons shown here have the perk Counterbalance, which gives a bonus of 9% to recoil control. I used Field Choke, if available, as a barrel upgrade on my machine guns.


An image of all the different scopes can be found here:

You’ll notice that each machine gun has a set scope that can not be changed. The scopes basically look the same as the equivalent scout/auto/pulse/fusion rifle scopes, but all have the same zoom factor of 1.5x. Jolder’s Hammer is an exception and has a zoom level of 1.75x.

The weapon stat spreadsheet from exxtrooper says that both Against All Odds and Jolder’s Hammer have a zoom factor of 1.25x. This is wrong according to my testing. When overlapping the scopes of AAO with Deveiant Gravity-A, the zoom is the exact same (proof). Overlapping Deviant Gravity A with Jolder’s Hammer however shows a clear difference (proof). Look at the truck in the middle of the picture. The zoom factor of Jolder’s Hammer is also clearly higher than the zoom of other machine guns.

Corrective Measure’s scope looks like the Focus Lens FLA5 scope and the scope of Song of Ir Yût looks like the TrueSight IS scope.

Against All Odds

The TDB crucible vendor machine gun has the lowest rate of fire and highest impact of all legendary machine guns, alongside Jolder’s Hammer. AAO has the highest range of all current legendary machine guns and slightly below average reload speed. The biggest flaws of this weapons are its low Stability and Aim Assistance, although it doesn’t hurt that much because of the low ROF. The recoil is also really easy to control and goes almost straight up.

The AAO can kill in 3 headshots or 4 bodyshots in PvP.

This is one of the best machine guns in the game, for both PvE and PvP and I would definitely pick it up from the crucible vendor and upgrade it when HoW comes out.

The Culling

The FWC machine gun belongs to the high ROF, low impact archetype. The range is below average and the the stability is the lowest of any legendary machine gun. You definitely want to upgrade your stability with perks or barrel upgrades. The reload time and aim assistance are both above average.

The Culling can kill in 8 to 9 headshots or 10 to 11 bodyshots in PvP, depending on your barrel upgrades.

Although it is fun to use, I really can’t recommend using this weapon because it is way too hard to control.

Deviant Gravity-A

The Dead Orbit machine gun belongs with 360 rounds per minute to the low to mid ROF machine guns. The range is below average, but the stability is really good. The general handling of this weapon is great not only because of its stability, but also because of the high aim assistance and recoil control. Reload speed is around average.

The Deviant Gravity-A kills in 3 to 4 headshots or 4 to 5 bodyshots in PvP, depending on barrel upgrades and armor stats of your opponent.

This is a really balanced machine gun. None of its stats are far below average and it is really easy to control and get kills with it. I would definitely buy one and upgrade it when HoW comes out.

Jolder’s Hammer

The Iron Banner machine gun has the lowest rate of fire and highest impact of all legendary machine guns, alongside AAO. Jolder’s Hammer and AAO are basically identical. Jolder’s Hammer has a bit more stability, while AAO has a bit more range. However, Jolder’s Hammer has a bit more aim assistance and recoil control than AAO.

Jolder’s Hammer can kill in 3 headshots or 3 to 4 bodyshots in PvP, depending on barrel upgrades and armor stats of your opponent.

The Jolder’s Hammer is the best legendary machine gun in my opinion. The high impact enables you to kill your opponents quickly and the weapon is easy to control. If you don’t have one already, grind Iron Banner next time Lord Saladin sells it.

MG18A Harm’s Way

The MG18A Harm’s Way from the TDB vanguard vendor has the same ROF as Corrective Measure, but does a bit more damage. Although its other stats are around average, they are all worse than the stats of Corrective Measure.

MG18A Harm’s Way can kill in 5 to 6 headshots or 7 bodyshots in PvP, depending on barrel upgrades.

If you have a Corrective Measure, or another good machine gun, I think you don’t need to buy one from the vanguard weapon vendor.

Prestige IV

The New Monarchy machine gun is another high-ROF and low impact weapon, with terribly low range and stability. The average reload speed, relatively high aim assistance and the biggest magazine size out of all machine guns don’t make up for that.

Prestige IV can kill in 8 to 9 headshots or 10 to 11 bodyshots in PvP, depending on your barrel upgrades.

Like The Culling, the Prestige IV is fun to use but way too hard to control.

The Swarm

The pre-TDB vanguard vendor machine gun The Swarm is really similar to the Deviant Gravity-A. It has slightly more stability, magazine size and aim assistance, but a bit less range, equip speed and recoil control. The weapon is easy to control and serves you well in both PvE and PvP.

The Swarm kills in 3 to 4 headshots or 4 to 5 bodyshots in PvP, depending on barrel upgrades and armor stats of your opponent.

If you still have one, then it might be worth considering to upgrade it when HoW come out. However, it can easily be replaced by a Deviant Gravity-A if it has better perks.

Zombie Apocalype WF47

The pre-TDB crucible vendor machine gun Zombie Apocalypse WF47 is unique in terms of ROF at the moment. With 450 rounds per minute, it fires faster than The Swarm, but slower than the MG18A Harm’s Way. Range and stability are both above average and the recoil is relatively easy to control, but goes up to the right while the recoil of most other slow to mid-ROF machine guns goes up to the left.

The Zombie Apocalype WF47 kills in 4 to 5 headshots or 5 to 6 bodyshots in PvP, depending on barrel upgrades.

If you still have one, then you might want to consider upgrading it when HoW comes out. The weapon is an in-between solution between low ROF and mid to high ROF machine guns and easy to control.


Good perks for the first perk options would be Counterbalance, Rangefinder ans Rodeo, to increase either the stability or range of your weapon. Especially on high ROF machine guns, upgrading the stability is really important.

Perfect Balance, Hammer Forged and Field Scout are all good options for the middle perk column in PvP. For PvE, I would always prefer Field Scout.

Good perks for the second perk options would be Crowd Control or Surplus for PvE and Feeding Frenzy for PvP.

All my data is either from the PlanetDestiny Database, the weapon stats spreadsheet or my own observations.


Because it was requested, I am going to add the raid machine guns to my text guide. Please note that I haven’t tested their recoil curves and my thoughts about this weapons are only based on stats and what I have heard from other destiny players.

Corrective Measure

The Vault of Glass machine gun has the same ROF as MG18A Harm’s Way, but slightly less impact. Alongside The Swarm, the Corrective Measure has the highest base stability of all machine guns. This increases even further due to the Persistence perk. Range and reload speed are around average and both aim assistance and recoil control are above average.

Corrective Measure kills in 6 headshots and in 7 to 8 bodyshots in PvP, depending on barrel upgrades.

Corrective Measure is probably the best fast firing machine gun. It has great stability and will give you more ammo due to the Surplus perk. You should upgrade it when HoW comes out, if you can.

Song of Ir Yût

The Song of Ir Yût belongs to the high ROF and low impact archetype. Its range is the lowest out of all legendary machine guns, but the stability is good for a weapon of this archetype. The Song of Ir Yût has the highest aim assistance out of all legendary machine guns and the highest magazine size alongside Prestige IV. The reload speed is above average. The weapons perks however are not that great. Grenadier on a heavy weapon is solid but Dark Breaker is really situational in PvE and has no effect in PvP. The middle perk tree also lacks Field Scout or Perfect Balance.

Song of Ir Yût kills in 8 headshots and in 10 bodyshots in PvP.

If you like high ROF machine guns, then this weapon is probably your best choice. Due to its arc damage and Dark Breaker perk, it can become really useful against hive enemies but other than that it is not very good compared to other machine guns.

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