Leupold Freedom RDS Review


Leupold Freedom RDS Review

Leupold has been in the optics and lenses industry for over 100years, since its inception back in 1907, and many users are finding it incomprehensible how a company that was created out of a mulfunctional rifle can produce an optical sight in this day and age that offers only 300 hours.

If you are passionate about firearm accessories especially the optical sights, then you must be familiar with the different brands, and their level of proficiency, not to forget the major units that run the industry such as Aimpoint and Vortex. Now when it comes to Leupold, we must say that it has a rather lean reputation as regards the manufacture of optical sights, and this is because it hasn’t been known to manufacture high-quality sights in the red dot industry.

So while the above sentiments might be true, we set out to discover more about the Leupold Freedom RDS, its features and functionalities, and whether it suffices as a professional tool or one that can only be used for indoor and recreation activities. There are a couple of features equipped on the Leupold that could either make it gather more dust on the shelves instead of being used in the range, read on.

Leupold Freedom RDS features and Breakdown

According to Leupold the Freedom RDS is one of its best optics and can be used with any rifle, the unit is a simple red dot sight but one that does not compromise on performance. The sight has, therefore, obliterated all the features that are not necessary but present in the other models and left you with what you need for precision and accuracy in target acquisition.

Users will, therefore, interact with a twilight red dot system, known to offer the best color consistency and enhanced clarity, with the above, you can, forget about the distortion that is common with most of the red dot sights in the industry. And unlike the common 2 MOA, Freedom RDS will furnish users with a crisp 1 MOA Red dot, which according to the manufacturer is the most accurate.

The rather small aiming point is believed to enable shooters, get a clear vision of their target consequently engaging accurate fire. The 1 MOA, is best when used on targets that are at longer distance, because if a bigger dot is employed for such a cause, then there are possibilities that it could obscure the target.

When it comes to illumination, shooters have been provided with the daylight brightness settings, the unit has also incorporated some of the innovative technology, “the motion sensor technology,” complete with an intelligent shut off system, where the sight will automatically go off after five minutes of inactivity. And the most interesting thing is that when you pick the sight up or when movement is detected it will come back to life and ready to fire.

Now, to prove its stability in different temperatures and environments, the Leupold RDS, does exceptionally well when exposed to situations of high impact, and did well when exposed to the extreme climate and pressure test. Well, if you decide to settle with this unit and it fails to perform as promised, just know that the company will repair or replace it at no extra price.

What we liked;

  • Can easily acquire target at longer distances
  • Can be used in the most extreme temperatures without compromising on performance
  • Features a motion sensor battery saving technology
  • The unit intelligently deactivates after five minutes of no use
  • The matte finish helps camouflage the shooter

What we didn’t like;

  • The optical sight is heavy
  • The battery life is incredibly poor at 300hrs

Leupold Freedom RDS Specifications

Leupold Freedom RDs
Objective lens diameter
Brightness settings
Magnification type
Water-resistance level
Illumination type
Gun type

Leupold Freedom RDS features

Overall performance

A good optical sight should counter the various environmental changes and at the same time afford the user, precision in target acquisition. The Freedom Rds is a high functioning unit and will offer the best performance when used in dynamic environments, the sight can, therefore, be used in humid or moist environments, given the incorporated proprietary gas bend and the seals that have been tested to withstand submersion up to about 33-foot depth.

Scopes from Leupold have been designed to survive, up to 5,000 impacts on the punisher while the force from each impact is about 3x the recoil of a .308 rifle. Even more interesting is that all the Leupold riflescopes have been established to offer the best performance in extreme temperatures ranging from -40 to 160° F.

Objective Lens Diameter

The optical sight comes equipped with an objective lens diameter measuring an impressive 34mm, and as a rule of thumb, most users are advised to get an optic sight with a large objective lens diameter because it has greater light-collecting power when compared to a small objective lens diameter. The above consequently leads to the shooter being provided with higher resolution and brighter images.

A downside to this feature is that the optical lens will add a few pounds to your firearm; a feature that boils down to personal taste and preference. Some people, therefore, prefer a weighty weapon while others would appreciate an optical sight that will not add extra pounds to their weapons. The above is because they believe that the weight affects their transitioning between targets.

Waterproofing and submersion

Waterproofing and submersion are two different things, so while an optical sight can be used in humid environments without compromising its performance, the ability to use it underwater for extended periods qualifies it as a professional unit. The Freedom Rds is not only waterproof but fog proof, the sight can, therefore, be submerged up to 33 ft deep, and still offer the best performance even with the subsequent temperature changes.

The tunnel vision sight is quite bulky but the good thing is that all the movable parts do not lead anywhere into the optical sight, thus water, dirt, and dustproof.

Build and Design

The Freedom RDS is quite heavy which is a turn-off for many shooters, weighing up to 120z; now if we take a look at its build and design we are not able to pick any extra functional features that warrants the weight. In overall therefore the Freedom RDS is just an ordinary but bulky red dot, equipped with innovative features, like the built-in bullet drop compensator.

At the top part, users have been provided with a dial, which they can use to customize the distance, and the dot will adjust automatically to the distance that you have dialed. We have also noticed that the unit does sport some interesting aesthetics, a combination of both gold and matte black which will effectively complement whichever environment and firearm that it is being used with.


Who is it best suited for?

The lightweight yet robust optical sight is best for use by the AR shooters, the cross bow owners can also mount it on their weapons but must ensure that they have the right type of mount.

Are there any alternatives to the Leupold Freedom RDS?

Yes there are alternatives to the Freedom Rds, and these are the Leupold FX-II Ultralight Riflescope, Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20mm, and the Leupold 177226, VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20 (30mm)

Features of the alternative optical sights

Leupold FX-II Ultralight rifle scope
Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20mm
Leupold 177226, VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20 (30mm)
Objective lens diameter
Scope finish
Matte black
Matte black
Matte black
Eye relief
4.9 inches high and low
4.17-3.74 in, 106.99mm
3.74” – 4.17”
Magnification range
Field of view
Ft/100yd)-low: 39.5
(ft/100 yd): 74.2-29.4
74.2ft – 29.4ft @ 100yds

Verdict: so, should you get the Leupold Freedom RDS?

Yes, why not; the Freedom RDS is a powerful scope, with amazing capabilities when it comes to using it in the many different applications such as hunting or range shooting. What you must, however, note is that the battery life is rather limited, which means that you might have to carry extra two or three depending on how long you want to use the sight while in the field.

Most importantly, is that the Freedom RDS sight can be used underwater, and can withstand varying temperatures without compromising effectiveness. It is additionally shockproof and waterproof and can hold zero perfectly.


  1. Can I find a lens cover that fits the Leupold Freedom RDS?

Yes, you can, the Leupold Alumina EP flip cover #59055 will perfectly fit the eyepiece and the lens cover.

  1. Is it possible to mount the Leupold Freedom RDS on the raven crossbow?

The first thing that you must understand about the Leupold Freedom RDS, is that it can be used with any standard cross-slot rail base. So for the raven crossbow, all you need is a standard Picatinny rail, that is also 5” long.

  1. Are the scratched and the broken lenses of the Leupold Freedom RDs covered under the warranty?

Damaged and scratched lenses are replaced at a fee, meaning that the lenses that have been scratched or otherwise damaged by the user are not covered.

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Terrence Miller
Terrence Miller is a hunter by birth, picking it up from a lineage of hunters and will probably hand the skill down to his son. He has been hunting since he was a young boy and has knowledge of both the new and old hunting equipment. This goes to say that the information provided is very reliable and conclusive. Using the hunting rifles and getting the right hunting gear seems to be a challenge for many individuals who want to learn the skill of hunting. And the reason why the information presented by Miller has detailed coverage on the different types of rifles, and rifle scopes. When not in the wild hunting, Miller loves horseback riding.


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