We reviewed Leupold’s excellent American-made Freedom RDS BDC red dot sight last year. It comes in two versions, the BDC model has a bullet drop compensation turret with 1/4 MOA adjustments for 55 grain .223 ammo that lets you dial in your distance out to 500 yards and put the 1 MOA dot on your target. No holdover necessary.
The standard model is the same, just without the BDC turret. It has a standard capped elevation adjustment dial. Both versions of the 34mm sights are available either with or without a mount.
Now Leupold has come out with Black Ring versions of the Freedom RDS and we got our hands on the standard Black Ring model. Other than ring color, what’s the difference?
The Black Ring version has a slightly longer bell on the objective end of the sight.
It’s been redesigned and lengthened to better shield the objective and to allow for lens covers. The new Freedom RDS Black Mount sights come in three versions:
Standard Freedom RDS (no mount): MSRP = $364.99 (retail about $280)
Standard Freedom RDS (with mount): MSRP = $389.99 (retail about $300)
Fredom RDS BDC (with mount): MSRP = $519.99 (retail about $399)
We got our hands on a new standard Freedom RDS Black Ring site with the mount. And since readers still write occasionally asking us to bring back the weekend photo caption contest, we’ll run one next week on Friday, May 15 and the author of the best caption will win the red dot.
Here’s Leupold’s press release for the new Black Ring sights . . .
Leupold & Stevens, Inc., provider of the world’s most rugged, lightweight, and clear riflescopes and reflex sights, is pleased to announce that its award-winning Freedom RDS (Red Dot Sight) is now available in a Black Ring model. Originally featuring the company’s trademark Gold Ring around its objective bell, the RDS will now have an all-black finish similar to the company’s Mark 5HD, Mark 6, and Mark 8 riflescopes.
A tubular red dot sight built for performance and versatility, the new RDS is available in two models: One features capped precision ¼-MOA click adjustments, the other a precision exposed BDC elevation turret that ships with measurements out to 500 yards for standard 55-grain .223 Rem. ammunition. The RDS is designed to install easily with an included mount that sits at the optimal height for use on AR-style rifles. A third version, featuring the capped precision ¼-MOA click adjustments, will be available without the included mount. A 34mm maintube allows the RDS to be mounted using any appropriately-sized rings.
“The RDS is a premium red dot and is perfect for anyone who values performance.” said Tim Lesser, Vice President of Product Development at Leupold & Stevens, Inc. “It is designed, machined, and assembled in our factory in Beaverton, Oregon. So, when our core consumers asked for a ‘Black Ring’ version, we responded quickly, and in a way that only a true American manufacturer can.”
The Freedom RDS features a 1-MOA dot reticle that’s supported by Leupold’s battery-saving Motion Sensor Technology (MST), which puts the sight into a battery-saving standby mode after five minutes of inactivity. When the MST detects motion, it instantly activates the sight so it’s ready when you are. A manual mode allows the sight to shut off when not in use. Eight illumination settings are available, making the dot easily visible in low-light conditions or the midday sun. On the RDS’s medium setting, you get up to 1,000 hours of battery life – which, thanks to its MST, truly equals 1,000 usable hours.
The scratch-resistant lenses feature Leupold’s Twilight Red Dot System, which delivers standard color consistency and premium lens clarity. The RDS features 80-MOA of adjustment in both elevation and windage. It measures at under 5.5 inches and weighs less than 7 ounces. The ultralightweight construction disperses recoil energy, making the RDS the toughest red dot in its class.
“The RDS features lightweight construction that disperses recoil energy and creates unrivaled durability,” said Tom Moyle, Product Line Manager for Leupold & Stevens, Inc. “It’s been tested and verified on our Punisher, and it lives up to Leupold’s legendary standards for ruggedness. Whether you’re at the range or in the field, it will deliver steadfast performance.”
Waterproof, fogproof, and guaranteed to perform for life, the Freedom RDS is backed by Leupold’s Lifetime Guarantee.
For more information on Leupold products, please visit us at Leupold.com.
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Founded in Oregon more than a century ago, Leupold & Stevens, Inc. is a fifth-generation, family owned company that designs, machines and assembles its riflescopes, mounting systems, tactical/Gold Ring spotting scopes, and Performance Eyewear in the USA. The product lines include rifle, handgun and spotting scopes; binoculars; rangefinders; mounting systems; and optical tools, accessories, and pro gear.