First Look: Leupold Freedom RDS Black Ring Model

posted on May 11, 2020

Leupold & Stevens, Inc. is releasing its award-winning Freedom RDS (Red Dot Sight) in a Black Ring model. Originally, the sight featured the company’s trademark Gold Ring around its objective bell, but now the RDS will have an all-black finish similar to the company’s Mark 5HD, Mark 6 and Mark 8 riflescopes. The new RDS is available in two models, one which features capped precision 1⁄4-MOA click adjustments, the other a precision exposed BDC elevation turret. The BDC model is built with measurements for standard 55-grain .223 Rem. ammunition that reach out to 500 yards, and both sights include a mount designed for the optimal height for AR-style rifles. A third version which features a turret with capped precision 1⁄4-MOA click adjustments will be available without an included mount.

“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.”

It features a 1-MOA dot reticle that is supported by Leupold’s battery-saving Motion Sensor Technology (MST), which sets the sight into a battery-saving standby mode after 5 minutes of inactivity. When the MST detects motion, though, it instantly activates the sight for use when it’s needed the most. A manual mode also allows the sight to shut off when not in use. Eight illumination settings are available which make the dot easily visible in low-light conditions or in the bright mid-day sun. The sight has 1,000 hours of illumination without a battery change on medium setting, and thanks to its MST, that will actually equal 1,000 usable hours of battery life.

The scratch-resistant lenses on the sight feature Leupold’s Twilight Red Dot System, which delivers consistent color and outstanding 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 ultra-lightweight construction disperses recoil energy, making the RDS one of the toughest red-dot sights in its class.

Freedom RDS Black Ring Features:

  • 1⁄4-MOA adjustments
  • 34 mm maintube
  • Motion Sensor Technology (MST)
  • Push-button illumination
  • Waterproof & fogproof


MSRP on the Freedom RDS starts at $364.99, and more information is available at


silver 1911 facing right
silver 1911 facing right

First Look: Kimber Rapide Dawn & Scorpius 1911 Pistols

Kimber recently introduced two new models of 1911s, the Dawn & Scorpius, to the Rapide family. 

First Look: MasterPiece Arms DS9 Commander Pistol

MasterPiece Arms (MPA) is known for making high-performance pistols, chassis systems and bolt-action rifles, and now the company is adding the new MPA DS9 Commander to the wide-body, double-stack 1911 pistol lineup.

Why Lightweight Carbines Are a Game Changer

Technology and demand are driving a light-rifle trend that shows no signs of slowing down. Purpose-built, flyweight guns are a dream to carry and shoot, but the additional machining, exotic materials and manufacturing methods that can bring something like an AR rifle down to 4.5 pounds make it expensive.

Black Friday Bonanza

If you’d rather visit the dentist than attend the annual Black Friday stampede, Shooting Illustrated has a solution for all your holiday shopping needs.

I Carry: Springfield Armory SA-35 Pistol in a Galco Holster

In today's episode of "I Carry," we have the brand-new Springfield Armory SA-35 9 mm pistol carried in a Galco Summer Comfort holster along with Mec-Gar and ProMag magazines.

2021 Holiday Gift Guide: Outdoors

Check out these gun-related products for that firearm-enthusiast friend or loved one. Whether he or she spends time at the range, tinkering with their guns in the shop, in their special space at home, whipping up food and drink in the kitchen, driving to or from work or in the outdoors, we’ve got you covered this holiday season, no matter your budget.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.