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The '''Autocannon''' is a direct-fire ballistic weapon, firing HEAP (''H''igh-''E''xplosive ''A''rmor-''P''iercing) rounds at targets either singly or in bursts.
Different manufacturers and models of autocannons have different calibers (25mm-203mm) and rates of fire. Due to this, autocannons are grouped into generic "classes" of autocannons with common damage ratings, with '''Autocannon/20'''s doing massive damage while having very short range.<ref name="TMp207+">''Tech Manual'', p. 207</ref>
This autocannon class can decapitate any 'Mech with one good hit to the head, regardless of the weight class. The head of any 'Mech cannot mount more than a little more than a tons worth of standard armor. The AC/20 is capable of ripping nearly a ton and a quarter of armor off a 'Mech in any given volley (or shot, based on the model). This is enough damage to take down even the heaviest of 'Mechs if aimed well. Only [[Hardened Armor]] or [[Ballistic-Reinforced Armor]] can save a [[MechWarrior]] from a hit from this class of cannon to the head, if the full value of armor is mounted on the head of the 'Mech.