First Look: Leupold Freedom RDS Black Ring

First Look: Leupold Freedom RDS Black Ring

Leupold Freedom RDS 1

Redesigned for a sleeker, more tactical look, the Leupold Freedom RDS Black Ring still boasts the top-notch functionality of the original.

If you’re familiar with the Leupold Freedom RDS Gold Ring, then the company’s new red dot sight shouldn’t throw you any curveballs. The Freedom RDS Black Ring model is essentially the same optic, except with a black ring. Explains the name, eh?

The aesthetic change, according to Leupold, was a customer demand for something a bit sleeker and more in tune with the rifle on which most will be used—the AR-15. Sensible request, especially for those with a truly tactical bent. Iconic as Leupold’s gold ring is it’s an eye-catcher akin to a struck match in the dead of night.

Outside of coming back in black, the Freedom RDS Black Ring boasts all the features that won it accolades when released around a year ago. These include exceptionally clear and scratch-resistant glass, true 1x magnification, highly-visible Twilight red-dot system, motion control activation and shutdown, and 1,000-hours operation time between battery changes.

The eye-catching—quite literally—aspect of the Freedom RDS is its fine 1 MOA red-dot, a break from the bulky 3 MOA dots that make up most of the market. While certainly, the lion’s share of the work the optic is meant for is of the close- to medium-range kind, the finer dot opens up its downrange potential. Leupold bills it as a 500-yard aiming solution, most certainly when talking about any target that’s not shy a dinner plate in diameter.

Leupold Freedom RDS 2

Two Freedom RDS options are available: a capped turret model and exposed BDC model. The capped version is aimed at more precision work, with ¼-MOA per click adjustments. The BDC iteration is optimized for 55-grain .223 Rem. ammo, giving a rifle the ability to quickly adjust to targets at various ranges. In either case, the Freedom RDS comes with a mount height-optimal for the AR and both have versions have 80-MOA of adjustment for elevation and windage. Also, the red dot is well-sized, less than 5.5 inches length and under 7 ounces in weight.

As to price, Leupold has hung a reasonable MSRP on the Freedom RDS Black Ring, with a starting MSRP of $365.

For more information on the Leupold Freedom RDS Black Ring, please visit

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