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Leupold VX Freedom Review {How This Stands in Our Test}

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In 2018, Leupold decided it was time to retire the VX-1 and VX-2 scopes.
These scopes were budget versions of the Leupold brand. They replaced
them with a more budget-friendly option that is nowhere near a pushover in
terms of quality – Leupold VX freedom.

The famous gold ring rifle scope is renowned for its durability and quality, and
the freedom series is no different.

If you’re looking to enjoy the benefits of a brand like Leupold, known for its
quality but on a limited budget, the freedom series is just right for you.
Another thing that makes this scope series so attractive is the variety it
contains. There is something for everybody. No matter the magnification or
range you’re looking for, Leupold ensured everyone is covered in this new

You may be looking to upgrade the scope you’re currently using or maybe
start using a rifle scope for the first time. If the latter is the case, the learning
curve should not be too steep for you, as the Leupold VX freedom series is

As already stated, this series consists of several scopes with varying
magnification and specs.

Scopes in the Leupold VX Freedom Series

Leupold VX Freedom series scopes

Here are some of the scopes in the VX freedom series:

  • VX freedom 4-12×40
  • VX freedom 3-9×40 CDS
  • VX freedom 3-9×50
  • VX freedom muzzleloader 3-9×40
  • VX freedom 1.5-4×20 AR
  • VX freedom AR 3-9×40
  • VX freedom 1.5-4×20
  • VX freedom 2-7×33
  • VX freedom 3-9×40
  • VX freedom Rimfire 3-9×40
  • VX freedom Rimfire 2-7×33

Whatever your shooting peculiarities, maybe, you’ll see the scope you need
in the VX freedom series. The scope in this series does not just vary in
magnification ranges; you’ll also find varying reticle types, with most using
basic duplex reticle while some like the VX muzzleloader 3-9×40 uses a
muzzleloader reticle.

The AR scopes in this series come with matching turrets and reticles, while
the custom dial service (CDS) designated scopes like the VX freedom 3-9×40
CDS comes with adjustable turrets that fit your ballistic specifications.
There’s so much more to enjoy and choose from in this Leupold series.
Leupold VX freedom 3-9×40mm is by far the most popular scope in this
series, and in this guide, we’ll be focusing on what this scope brings to the

We ran a couple of tests and checks. We came up with interesting theories
on the specifications of this Leupold scope.

Leupold VX Freedom 3-9×40 Review

Leupold VX Freedom 3-9×40 Review

Released in 2018 as part of the new scopes replacing the dependable VX-1
and VX-2 Scopes. Leupold VX freedom 3-9×40 didn’t take long to establish
itself as the king in this series as it started gaining massive reviews and fans
across the US.
It upheld the notion of the Leupold optics barns with their durability and
amazing optics. Still, this time, also affordable as it is priced at the lower end
of the spectrum. Some would argue that it is greatly underpriced, but we’re
not complaining, are we?

It was hardly a surprise when it won the editor’s pick 2018 by the American
Rifleman, just a couple of months after its release. There are so many things
you can use this scope for, from hunting, target practice to tactical shooting.
This scope is an all-rounder. Let’s go into more specific details.

Magnification Range

It comes with a magnification range of 3-9x. You can switch from a lower
magnification of 3× to a higher magnification of 9x longer ranges. The lower
magnification means that you can comfortably aim and shoot at targets
placed at short distances without losing accuracy. And at 9x magnification,
medium to long-range targets would not be an issue.

Depending on where you’ll be shooting from and the type of target, the
magnification you need may vary. Ideally, hunting requires you to stay far
away from the target to not spook them and for your safety. This is also valid
for tactical shooting.

The Leupold VX freedom 3-9×40mm scope settles this by giving you an
option to increase the magnification up to 9×.

Now, magnification is not everything in scope if these magnification ranges
cannot provide clear and crisp images at those ranges. It is common to find
scopes with high magnifications but cannot produce clear images at this
range. And it is, for this reason, we’ll be looking at the image quality next.

Image Quality

There are so many factors that affect the image quality on a scope. These
factors, when put together, will determine the quality of images you can get
from your scope.

Naturally, at higher magnification, image quality depreciates. But even
though this is natural, you do not want this type of scope. A scope that can
keep its image quality clear and crisp instead of blurry.

For the Leupold VX freedom 3-9×40mm scope, the 40mm objective lens is
the first thing pushing its clear picture quality even at higher magnification.
This objective lens size is wide enough to allow a good amount of light into
the scope. The light helps to produce clear and better images.

It uses a duplex reticle which for most parts is hardly interesting. This reticle
brings basic reticle features to the scope without actually standing out. Some
may argue that it is severely limited on what you can do with it, but perhaps
that is even a plus on its own. Since it is hardly complicated and would be
perfect for people who want something simple and straightforward.

Don’t get it twisted, the duplex reticle may be simple, but it is no pushover.
The posts make it possible to aim when you look through the lens as it draws
your eyes naturally to its target through the help of the outer and inner posts

You’ll also enjoy Leupold’s 3:1 zoom ratio erector system.
With a ballistic computer, you can reduce the limitations of this reticle. In the
next factor we looked at, you’ll find out in more detail how a ballistic
computer can further help you enjoy this scope better.


One of the biggest factors affecting accuracy. It can be the difference
between an average shooter and a pro. Knowing how to zero your scope
properly will dramatically improve your accuracy.
But that’s not all there is to it. The type of scope you have will determine
how successful your zeroing efforts will be. It is so much easier and more
accurate to zero some rifle. In contrast, some others will only give you a
decent amount of accuracy or continue to deviate from your zero no matter
how many times you try.

Zeroing is setting your scope so that the particular point you see through the
lens will be where the bullet will hit at a certain distance. Now, for your scope
to do this with utmost precision, it must have the turrets for adjustments, the
right turret design, among other things.

How does the Leupold VX freedom 3-9×40 measure up when zeroing?
It comes with two dials; the elevation dial located at the top and used to
adjust the vertical direction of the bullet caused by bullet drop and the
windage dial located at the right side of the scope and used to adjust the
the horizontal direction of the scope caused by wind effects.

The elevation turret has a custom dial system (CDS) that makes it easier to
adjust the elevation.

The turrets are finger adjustable with a positive feel to them. This way, you
can make adjustments even without looking at the turrets. The elevation and
windage turrets use ¼ MOA gradients. While the erector system has a 60
MOA adjustment range.

The turrets on this scope are not as crisp as required, but they make up for
this with capped turrets to lock in your adjustments and prevent the loss of
your settings.

All these make it easier to zero this scope which is a powerful advantage to
have. This scope, however, uses a fixed parallax at about 60 yards. Shooting
shorter distances than this will require a lot more effort on your part. Without
a parallax dial attached, the flexibility is a little limited.

Build and Design

With scopes, you also want something that looks appealing and is easy to

Leupold VX freedom 3-9×40 scope has a 1-inch tube which is the standard
tube size for most scopes. What this means is that you wouldn’t find it
difficult to get a matching scope mount for this scope.

Popularly known as the gold ring scope, this scope has a gold ring attached
close to the objective lens. This gives it this exotic look that matches
perfectly with its matte black finish that is aesthetically pleasing and
functional. It is anti-glare. You can use it in the sun without the fear of the
sun’s rays reflecting off the surface and spooking your target or giving away
your location.

Optical Glass

The glass used in all the VX freedom scopes is the special Leupold Twilight
Light Management System. Here, the lens is multi-coated to keep the lens
free from scratch and ensure it is dust-free.

The system also helps to properly utilize the light entering the scope so you
can still use the scope even in low light conditions. Its 40mm objective lens
plays a huge role here.

Leupold ensured their lenses are of high quality by passing them through
rigorous quality control tests. This is why they have such a strong reputation
in the optics industry.


How durable is Leupold VX freedom 3-9×40 mm scope? You’ll find out soon,
but before then, why is durability that important?

You can purchase a scope with the best features and still regret it if it is not
durable enough. A scope is supposed to serve you for years and should not
have to be changed every season. You should also be able to use your scope
in various weather conditions without the fear of damaging the scope.

Leupold VX freedom 3-9×40 is made from single piece 6061-T6 aircraft-
grade aluminum. This type of aluminum is as strong as it gets. It is capable
of withstanding shock from recoils of high-velocity weapons. It can also
withstand external impacts like accidental falls without damage. Its durability
is not the only advantage this type of aluminum brings; it is also lightweight.
As already stated, the multi-coating on the lens helps to keep scratches
away and ensure its image quality is not affected.

The tube is nitrogen-purged to keep water from entering inside and prevent
fog from forming on the lens and impede vision. Now, you can comfortably
use this scope in wet conditions and extreme temperatures without an effect
on the quality of the image it produces. It will also ensure the scope serves
you for long without damage.

Eye Relief and Eye Box

If you don’t want to be “scope-kissed” after you pull the trigger, then you
need a scope with good eye relief. The Leupold VX freedom 3-9×40 can
boast a good eye relief of around 4.2 inches at lower magnification and 3.7
inches at the highest magnification of 9×.

It is best to test the eye relief in your most comfortable shooting position and
the position you’ll often be shooting from. This way, you get a wide eye relief
in your shooting position and get comfortable shooting from that position.


Leupold has a special warranty for its optics products and Leupold VX
freedom 3-9×40 is not exempted from it.

A lifetime warranty will repair or replace your bad or underperforming
Leupold VX freedom 3-9×40 scope. The good thing is you do not need to
present any document or fill any forms—no need to present the receipt
either. You do not even need to be the first buyer; you can buy this scope
from another user and still be covered under its warranty.

Do you want to know the best part? There’s no time limit for this warranty. It
does not expire.


You’ll be surprised to hear that this scope is priced at just under $300. Yes,
this is not a drill.

With its specs, you would expect this scope to be priced far higher than its
going price, but here we are. Its price is arguably its biggest pull, and rifle
owners take full advantage of it, going by its popularity since its release in

It is in the price range of low-end scopes but with far from average
specifications. If you’re looking to save money on your scope but still get a
huge value in return, you’ll hardly do better than this scope.


Leupold VX freedom 3-9×40mm is a fantastic rifle scope that Leupold
introduced to replace the VX-1 and VX-2 line of scopes that weren’t doing
bad themselves. This scope has since blown them out of the water with
showing the optical quality and durability Leupold brands are known for and
a surprise budget option.

Leupold optics aimed to create a solid scope for their customers who may
not purchase some of their high-end scopes. This is one of the best budget
scopes you’ll find in the market.

About Author

James Towndrow, a NRA-certified Firearms Instructor. During a career of 18 years had won several shooting competition including major leagues. Taking all those experience down the road, is now a successful Shooting Instructor in Texas, US.