I’ve rarely been dissatisfied with Leupold optics. Their consistent quality and durability are characteristics I have come to rely on throughout the years. For certain, that gold ring carries some weight.
In late January 2018 Leupold announced their newest family of optics, the VX-Freedom Series. One hundred percent designed, machined, assembled, and (if necessary) serviced in the company’s Oregon factory, Leupold markets the lineup of riflescopes as highly reliable all-weather, all-terrain scopes with “elite optical performance” at highly a competitive price.
The VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20 (above and below) is one of eleven scopes in the VX-Freedom line of optics. It’s an extremely simple and compact 1-inch maintube optic. Last month I got my hands on one and once I had it, I didn’t want to let it go.
Specific features of the VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20 include:
- 1″ Tube
- Duplex Reticle
- 1/4 MOA Finger-click Dial System
- 3:1 Zoom Ratio
- Scratch Resistant Lenses
- Waterproof & Fogproof
- Twilight Light Management System
- 6061-T6 Aircraft Quality Aluminum
• Length (A): 9.35″
• Mounting Space (B): 5.40″
• Illustration (C): 2.17″
• Illustration (D): 1.85″
• Eyepiece Length (E): 3.50″
• Objective Diameter (G): 1.00″
• Eyepiece Diameter (H): 1.56″
• Tube Diameter (K): 1.00″
Like most optics, VX-Freedom optics are packaged in a double-walled cardboard box and protected by multiple foam inserts. A user’s manual, warranty card, Leupold sticker, and an NRA membership advertisement accompany the scope.
As I lifted the VX-Freedom from the foam, I immediately took notice of its matte-black finish. It’s consistent across all parts of the scope and exhibits the slightest bit of texturing (which is very nice to the touch). The finish appeared to be nothing less than top-notch.
Being that this Leupold optic was made in the USA, the word “FREEDOM” on that gold ring felt right.
The optic’s low-profile power adjustment ring is impressively smooth, especially given how tight it is. Over the course of a few weeks the ring broke in a little and became easier to rotate, but it took a little extra finger strength to operate in the beginning.
Under their covers, the VX-Freedom’s polymer turrets were clearly marked. Each click of the turret adjusts the reticle 1/4 MOA up, down, right or left, easily accomplished by hand with Leupold’s Finger Click Dial System. There’s no need for a special tool, super-skinny screwdriver, or pocket change.
As with many capped turret scopes, this model does not allow zero to be reset.
I really like that Leupold chose to forgo O-ring seals and instead uses flat rubber washers. In my experience these seal just as well as O-rings and have more longevity.
The glass in the VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20 is phenomenally clear and the duplex reticle exceptionally crisp. It has second-focal-plane reticles and features 1-inch main-body tubes. It’s one of those scopes you just keep looking through over and over again because it seems to somehow make normal vision 10 times clearer.
Leupold also uses Mil-spec lens coatings for excellent abrasion resistance. It does not come with lens covers, but they can be purchased on the Leupold website.
Leupold’s proprietary Twilight Light Management System improves low-light shooting while also managing glare on bright, sunny days or in snowy conditions.
Beginning from the right, the series of images above (4x power) were taken at 30-minutes before sunset, 15-minutes before sunset and at sunset on a sunny evening with sunset to my back. Although I could not capture it well enough on camera, the optic brought in more than enough light to hunt almost 30 minutes after sunset.
The Leupold VX-Freedom rifle scope isn’t designed to be a dedicated rimfire optic; it can also handle the abuse of centerfire cartridges. But due to its compact size, 4x-power, 1-inch tube, and duplex reticle, I decided to run it on a Henry Repeating Arms Frontier Model Long Barrel 24″, a .22LR lever action rifle (LAR).
Having previously had great results with the BKL-261 scope mount on the Henry LAR, I reached for it again.
Once I had the VX-Freedom securely mounted to the Henry Frontier, I couldn’t wait to get it outside.
At the range I set up in a Caldwell Stinger rest, sat down, and found my target at 50 yards.
The VX-Freedom’s clarity at 1.5x is quite amazing and at 4x (above) my camera just can’t do the glass or crisp duplex reticle justice.
After removing the turret caps I began to dial-in the scope. As I rotated the turrets I could easily feel each finger-click adjustment. Still, the overall feel of the turrets was “mushier” that I expect from Leupold.
Within minutes I was consistently creating 1-inch groups at 50 yards with Federal Premium 40-grain Hunter Match .22LR. Then it was onto off-hand shooting, smashing every bit of orange clay pigeon left on the 15-yard, 25-yard, and 50-yd berms.
Over the course of several trips to and from the range, more than 500 rounds of various .22LR, and several show-and-tell sessions, the scope held zero like a champ.
The combination of rifle, optic, optic mount, and ammo have all of my confidence, but the VX-Freedom is now what I enjoy most about the setup.
Leupold continues to impress me with the compact VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20 scope. It’s precise with a very crisp reticle, is highly durable and rated for all types of weather and terrain. The turrets and power adjustment ring are tightly sealed yet smooth to operate. This optic’s best feature is the clarity of the glass — it’s quite exceptional, particularly for this price point.
During the time I was testing the Leupold scope, the company released an AR-specific version, the VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20 AR, designed for .223 Rem/5.56 NATO/.308 NATO. The two primary differences between the two models are the reticles and the turrets.
No matter if you’re looking for a top-quality compact adjustable power optic for your rimfire, AR-15, or AR-15 rifle or pistol, Leupold’s VX-Freedom 1.5-5×20 will rise to the task without breaking the bank.
Specifications: Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20 Riflescope (Duplex Reticle)
Weight: 9.6 oz
Length: 9.35 in.
Eye Relief (in): Low 4.17
Eye Relief (in): High 3.74
Elevation Adjustment Range (MOA): 125
Elevation Adjustment Range (MIL): 36.4
Windage Adjustment Range (MOA): 125
Windage Adjustment Range (MIL): 36.4
Ratings: (out of five stars):
Quality: * * * * *
From glass to housing, Leupold’s VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20 compact scope is a very high-quality optic. Built with very tight tolerances and finished with a highly durable best-of-class matte black anti-reflective finish, this optic won’t let you down in the field.
Durability: * * * * *
Made from 6061-T aircraft quality aluminum and coated with an excellent matte-black external finish as, well as Mil-spec lens coatings; the VX-Freedom can handle abuse from all weather conditions and types of terrain.
Glass: * * * * *
Phenomenal clarity of glass from 1.5x through 4x. Wide field of view (FOV). The Twilight Light Management System improves low-light shooting while also effectively managing glare.
Reticle: * * * *
The duplex reticle is very crisp. The absence of any hash marks reduces the usability of this AR-rated optic on those platforms.
Power Adjustment Ring: * * * * *
Very tight at first, but still extremely smooth and reliable.
Overall: * * * * *
Once again Leupold has met the mark of high-quality optics, while also managing to offer the VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20 at an extremely reasonable price. (The VX-Freedom series supports muzzleloader, rimfire and centerfire options. Duplex, Pig-Plex and the new Rimfire MOA, Tri-MOA and UltimateSlam reticles are available.) The VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20 is a great scope and is a highly recommended option for anyone looking for a very crisp and clear compact variable power optic.