Leupold VX Freedom Review: Is It a Good Budget Scope?

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It is undeniable that most scopes are costly. However, you don’t need thousands of dollars for a high-quality hunting scope.

Let me introduce you to the Leupold VX Freedom series.

The VX Freedom line delivers the same top-notch quality of high-end scopes for a fairer price.

In this article, I’ll break down the VX Freedom 3-9x40mm riflescope and give an overall review of the VX Freedom line.

Overview of the Leupold VX Freedom 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope

Leupold VX Freedom 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope

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Specifications

  • Magnification Power: 3-9x
  • Objective Diameter Lens: 40 millimeters
  • Scope Tube Diameter: 1 inch
  • Windage and Elevation: 1/4 MOA per click
  • Eye Relief: 4.17″/3.66″
  • Suggested Retail Price: $390

The Leupold VX Freedom 3-9×40 is a LIGHTWEIGHT scope designed for shooting in clear or rainy weather.

This scope is made from 6061-T6 aircraft-quality aluminum, giving it lasting durability.

Like the other VX freedom scopes, it is 100% waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof.

It can take a beating, as I’ve learned through my testing procedure.

Along with this, the Leupold VX Freedom 3-9x40mm scope lenses incorporate scratch-resistant technology. This scope does not need a lens protector.

Another great thing about the VX Freedom scopes is that you can choose between a variety of reticles:

  • Duplex Reticle CDS (174182)
  • Hunt-Plex (181307)
  • Tri-MOA CDS (180603)

What makes this hunting scope unique from other scopes?

The Leupold VX Freedom 3-9x40mm scope features a 3:1 zoom erector system that makes reticle adjustments smooth and repeatable in any shooting condition.

In addition to this, its duplex reticle can be easily made clearer through a textured lock ring.

What I Liked About It

The Leupold VX Freedom 3-9x40mm scope offers excellent eye relief, making it a great entry-level scope for beginners.

I’ve been shooting for quite a while, and I still find its variable magnification useful!

It rocks a standard duplex reticle that incorporates what Leupold calls the twilight light management system.

This system aims to maximize low-light imaging for varmint and deer hunting.

Compared to some rifle scopes, you can adjust the turrets by hand.

It offers state-of-the-art technology at an affordable price.

Leupold also provides an excellent warranty with a full lifetime guarantee whether or not you are the original owner.

No need for a warranty card!

What I Didn’t Like About It

The main concern with the Leupold VX Freedom 3-9x40mm scope is that mounting it on certain rifles could be difficult.

I’ve found it to be far too long for shotguns and even some ARs.

Hitting long-range shots could also be a problem for this scope due to its unchangeable parallax.

Lastly, many users have pointed out that the quality of the adjustment turrets is underwhelming.

What’s in the Packaging?

The packaging of the Leupold VX Freedom 3-9x40mm is quite simple.

When you unbox it, the things you’ll see are the optic and the operation manual only.

It’s so straight to the point that there aren’t even lens covers.

I could’ve used a bit more accessories, like what other brands do, but I guess receiving just the optic and manual is fine.

Things to Consider When Buying a Rifle Scope

Rifle mounted on stand

I want to ensure you get the BEST SHOOTING EXPERIENCE, so here are some things you should note when purchasing a rifle scope.

#1 Reticles

Hunters need to know where their bullet is going.

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With this in mind, the reticle of a great scope should be designed to give you the true point of aim.

Line height should also be a factor when choosing reticles because you need to gauge for bullet drop.

Different reticles offer different functions, but if you want something simple and easy to use, I recommend a Duplex reticle.

#2 Lenses

Both the ocular and objective lenses need to have lens coatings that help with the light-gathering aspect of these scopes.

Regarding the ocular lens, providing a CLEAR sight picture is a MUST.

On the other hand, the objective lens should deliver a bright image of your target.

REMEMBER: The LARGER the objective lens diameter, the more light is gathered and the BRIGHTER the image.

#3 Magnification Power

Zooming in and out is a perk that hunters obtain when purchasing a variable power scope.

However, getting a powerful scope wouldn’t make sense if you own a short-range hunting rifle.

In that case, I recommend sticking to single-magnification scopes if you are a beginner.

Start off with short distances that require smaller magnifications before moving on to farther distances where higher magnification is better to use.

#4 Windage and Elevation Adjustments

The quality of both the windage and elevation adjustment turrets is another important thing to check.

Making smooth adjustments to where you want the bullet to impact makes a big difference when shooting.

You should be able to slide it smoothly while feeling reassuring clicks.

About Leupold

Leupold logo

Leupold is a family business founded in 1907. Around the 1940s, the story goes that Marcus Leupold was out hunting and missed a buck because the scope fogged up.

He decided to take the matter into his own hands. Thus, came the birth of fog-proof Leupold scopes.

Fast forward to the present day, Leupold is known as one of the best manufacturers of optics in the industry.

Their biggest selling point is that their lenses have various lens coatings guaranteeing pristine image quality.

Many hunters stick with the Leupold brand because their scopes offer them great value and quality that lasts a lifetime.

I’ve found them to be reliable even in the worst conditions.

I have another Leupold Scope Review on the VX-R Series if you’re interested!

Where Are Leupold VX Scopes Made?

Leupold VX Freedom scopes are designed, assembled, and manufactured in Beaverton, Oregon.

Their facility in Oregon is the ONLY place where Leupold riflescopes are made.

Furthermore, the serial numbers found on the scope body prove their authenticity.

Beware of Leupold counterfeits that are shipped and made elsewhere.

Are Any Leupold Scopes Made in China?

NONE of Leupold’s scopes are made in China. However, some counterfeits are being shipped from there.

I certainly WOULD NOT recommend it, as replicas are almost always unreliable.

What Is the Leupold Warranty?

As mentioned earlier, the warranty for any Leupold scope has no time limit.

Beyond this, Leupold guarantees LIFETIME quality optics that will get the job done!

Their optics are impact verified, waterproof, fog-proof, and still functional after extreme climate exposure.

Leupold VX Freedom Review

The VX Freedom is Leupold’s successful attempt to bring hunters all the benefits of an expensive scope at a cheaper price point.

Let’s break down the reasons why:

VX Freedom Line Overview

These scopes have 1-inch scope tubes that apply a Second Focal Plane reticle.

There is even a model that offers a Custom Dial system with custom dials for your ballistic specifications.

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The lens coatings that set this line apart from the others are unique to the VX Freedom series.

Twilight Light Management System

The purpose of the Twilight Light Management System is to help hunters see more in less light.

This system provides an extra 15-30 minutes of shooting time when the sun rises or sets.

I’ve found this extra stretch of time invaluable during an intense hunt!

Leupold has made sure that the color and contrast of their lenses are unparalleled, giving you bright, clean, and clear images when looking through their optics.

Can You Use Leupold VX Freedom With Air Rifles?

The fine duplex reticle makes the Leupold VX Freedom compatible with air guns.

Another thing is the recoil-tested guarantee that delivers LESS shock.

While I wouldn’t recommend using regular scopes on air rifles, the Freedom will do just fine!

Here are some of the best VX Freedom scopes for air rifles:

  • Leupold VX Freedom 3-9x40mm
  • Leupold VX Freedom 450 Bushmaster 3-9x40mm
  • Leupold VX Freedom 1.5-4x20mm

User Reviews

The Leupold VX Freedom line received high praise from the hunting community.

Many users have said that the performance of these optics has made their shooting more accurate.

However, not all users are satisfied with their VX Freedom scope.

Positive Testimonials

One Amazon user stated that the Leupold VX Freedom 3-9x40mm scope worked great for their hunting.

“One of the lightest and clearest scopes I’ve handled. It works great for my featherweight bolt action. Leupold knows what they’re doing and they’re selling it for a great deal.” – Anonymous

Another user praised the performance of the Leupold VX Freedom 3-9x40mm.

“On range day, my oldest daughter was on the trigger. Eye relief is 3.7-4.2 in with a generous eyebox. This scope will not intimidate novice shooters. Sighting in was quick and easy. We sighted in the bore-sighted scope at 100 yards in three shots. The ¼ MOA turrets produced the expected shift in POI.” – Anonymous

One user commented that the VX Freedom line offers excellent features for a reasonable price.

“Leupold makes the very best scopes for the money. Rugged and reliable. And Leupold stands behind their products. I mounted this Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 1 inch Riflescope to my Tikka T3X Superlite .308 and I get 1/2″ groups at 100 yards. Very pleased.” – Anonymous

Negative Testimonials

An Amazon user was not satisfied with the turret quality and the predetermined parallax.

“The fixed parallax prevents optimal focusing on objects under about 30 yards… The turret adjustments are very mushy and don’t have a feeling of quality.” – Anonymous

Another user commented that the only thing unsatisfactory with the Leupold VX Freedom is the quality of the dials.

“The turret caps felt cheap and I imagine they could be easily cross threaded if you weren’t mindful… The magnification adjustment ring did not have the same quality feel that I’ve come to expect from Leupold.” – Anonymous

Overall Rating: 4.6 out of 5 Stars

Leupold VX Freedom Alternatives

A riflescope review wouldn’t be complete without other options. Here are 3 of the best alternatives I’ve found if you don’t fancy the VX Freedom 3-9×40.

Don’t worry; these alternatives are all budget-friendly!

1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9x40mm

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9x40mm

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See also 

The Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9x40mm is a fast-focusing eyepiece that allows you to point and shoot.

The fully multi-coated lenses on this scope increase light transmission and decrease reflection.

In addition to this, like its Leupold VX Freedom counterpart, it applies the Second Focal Plane reticle assembly, making it perfect for a bright image shooting experience.

The Vortex Optics Crossfire II series is known for its capped and resettable MOA turrets that provide more durability and convenient adjustments.

I compared more Leupold and Vortex scopes if you want to know more.

2. Nikon Buckmaster II 3-9x40mm

Nikon Buckmaster II 3-9x40mm

BUYING OPTIONS: » DISCONTINUED BY MANUFACTURER «

The Nikon Buckmaster II 3-9x40mm is one of the MOST AFFORDABLE hunting scopes on the market.

This highly accurate scope is fully weather-proof with great multi-coated lenses.

A great thing about this scope is the BDC reticle with see-through ballistic holes that aid the accuracy of long-range hunters.

However, the only downside of this great scope is the poor image quality.

Unfortunately, it’s also been discontinued by Nikon, so I suggest buying it through a third-party reseller.

3. Sig Sauer Whiskey 3 3-9x50mm

Sig Sauer Whiskey 3 3-9x50mm

BUYING OPTIONS: » Best Price on OpticsPlanet « » Check Price on Amazon «

The Sig Sauer Whiskey 3 3-9x50mm is an ALL-PURPOSE hunting scope that offers flexibility like no other.

This scope is great for varmint hunting, big-game hunting, target shooting; you name it.

For a budget scope, the fully-coated lenses go hand in hand with low-light environments.

It rocks a Quadplex reticle that enhances your shot in close to mid-range distances.

Frequently Asked Questions

1_Frequently Asked Questions-

Where Can I Buy the Leupold VX Freedom?

You can buy the Leupold VX Freedom from several retail stores or online stores, including Amazon and OpticsPlanet.

If you want to save money, you can try looking at secondhand sellers, but chances are it is lower quality after use.

It is always better to buy a new one straight from legitimate sellers.

Does the Military Use Leupold?

Yes!

Leupold Optics is one of the many brands that is commonly used in military and law enforcement.

Their scopes’ durability and high-quality performance (specifically the Mark 5HD)

Which is Better, Vortex or Leupold?

In my opinion, Leupold is better in terms of features and experience, while Vortex is a go-to for affordable products.

Both brands offer excellent performance, so you really can’t go wrong with either one.

However, I can both brands for beginners who don’t want to spend too much right off the bat.

Final Verdict: Is the Leupold VX Freedom 3-9×40 Any Good?

For a budget scope series, the Leupold VX Freedom scopes deliver GREAT VALUE to beginners and pros alike.

I recommend getting a scope from the Freedom line to hunters that want impeccable internal scope technology at an affordable price.

Consider getting a Leupold VX Freedom 3-9×40 scope if you want:

  • A simple reticle that will increase your accuracy
  • Coated lenses that maximize resolution
  • Generous eye relief
  • Lifetime guarantee and warranty

However, the quality of the adjustment turrets isn’t anything special.

I hope you enjoyed this VX Freedom review, and I wish you enjoyable hunting experiences.

FINAL TIP: If you want to look for other alternatives, you can also check out my $500 Riflescope Buying Guide for more options!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>