Can You Put CDS on Any Leupold Scope?

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Leupold scopes are among the most popular and reliable scopes on the market. Their products are available in different price brackets and offer top-notch features. One of those features that make them stand out is the Custom Dial System (CDS). 

This custom deal system is very useful for shooters as it helps them to customize their scope’s elevation adjustment. This small adjustment helps hunters & shooters to match the ballistics of their specific load, muzzle velocity, and other conditions which increase the accuracy of shots from long range. Got it? Hopefully, you will have!

But the question is: Can you put a CDS on any Leupold scope? The short answer is yes, and you can put CDS on almost all the high-end rifle scopes made from the Leupold brand. It is noteworthy that Leupold itself offers CDS dials for all their scopes. With the help of those CDS, you would be able to customize the elevation adjustment on any Leupold scope to match your load.

This was a brief introduction, but I have got more in-depth information about CDS on their compatibility with Leupold scopes. So, stay tuned so you don’t miss anything!

Related Article: How to Sight in a Crossbow Scope Without Shooting?

Can You Put a Custom Dial System on Any Leupold Scope?

Yes, you can put CDS on any of the Leupold rifle scopes, and you won’t find any issues at all. Putting CDS on the scope will help you in getting accurate and error-free adjustments to your scope’s elevation dial. 

Hold on! There are many things that you’ll have to keep in mind before putting the CDS on scopes. First of all, buy CDS that is compatible with your specific model of scope. Many people make the mistake of buying the wrong CDS which is not compatible with the Leupold. 

When buying, make sure that you choose CDS that is compatible with the mounting system of your scope. I’ve experienced that there are a few CDS that don’t fit properly on a few models of Leupold scopes that’s why I am asking you to be careful and keep the compatibility factor in mind.

Do you have an old Leupold scope? If yes, then chances are high that CDS won’t fit properly on the mount as those scopes are not compatible with CDS. For example, Vari-X II models cannot be retrofitted to the CDS dial. 

Useful Tip: If you are confused and don’t know if your Leupold scope can be fitted with a CDS dial or not, you can call or email them at the following phone number and email address and get all the details.

Phone: (503) 526-1400


If you have a newer model of Leupold’s scope then you can check its box where all the information about its compatibility with the CDS will be mentioned. According to my experience, almost all the latest models of Leupol’s scopes are compatible with CDS.

Compatibility of CDS with Leupold Scopes

I understand it is a very difficult thing for newbies to know about the compatibility of the CDS with the scope. So, I am going to make it a lot easier by giving you more information about different models.

  • Some VX-2s have the CDS installed, but some of the older Vari-X II aren’t able to be retrofitted to the CDS dial.
  • Leupold VX-3i scopes are compatible with CD dial
  • Leupold VX-5HD is compatible with CD dial
  • All the Leupold VX-3HD, VX-6HD, VX-6, Mark 5HD compatible with CDS
  • All the Leupold VX-Freedom scopes are also compatible with the CDS dial

Note: Those scopes that don’t come with CDS compatibility can also be retrofitted. But only the manufacturer can tell you which scope can be retrofitted. You can contact Leupold’s official representative and get all the information. I have given the contact details in the above section.

Also Read: Does Zooming in a Scope Affect Accuracy?

How to Put a CDS on a Leupold Scope?

So, you have got basic information about if you can put CDS to Leupold scope or not. However, if your Leupold scope is compatible, then the next question that will come into your mind is: how to put it? Alright, you don’t need to be worried, as I am going to give a procedure for putting CDS on the scope. Let’s get started!

  • Choosing the right CDS for your shooting scope is important. As I mentioned earlier, Leupold offers a variety of CDS options, including pre-made dials for popular calibers and custom dials that can be tailored to your specific load data.
  • After choosing the suitable CDS, then you will have to position it on your scope. To do this, you will have to loosen the set screws on the elevation turret of your Leupold scope. Then, remove the factory dial and replace it with the CDS dial.
  • Align the CDS dial’s zero mark with the elevation turret’s zero mark. Once done, you can use the wrench to tighten the set screws which you initially loosen and secure the CDS dial in place.
  • Keep in mind to ensure the CDS dial stays securely in place. I recommend you use a torque wrench to tighten the screws to the recommended torque setting, which can be found in the Leupold scope owner’s manual.
  • After securely fastening the CDS dial, it is very important to conduct a range test to verify its proper calibration for your specific load data. Leupold advises first sighting in your rifle at 100 yards. Once the 100-yard test is done, you can then increase the range limit and keep testing to ensure accuracy.

Additional Information: To choose the right CDS, consider the type of shooting you will be engaged in, the caliber of your rifle, and the specific load data for your ammunition. Leupold’s website offers a ballistics calculator that can help you determine the correct CDS for your needs.

Is Leupold CDS worth it?

Leupold’s Custom Dial System is indeed a popular feature that makes you able to make precise, long-range shots. But is it worth the investment? This question is very common among new hunters who are just starting their hunting and shooting journey. 

In the section below, I’ll list some pros and cons of Leupold CDS that will give you an idea if they deserve your investment or not. After these benefits and drawbacks, I will give you my opinion if you should use it or not.

Benefits of Using CDs on Leupold Scopes

  • Customized to your rifle and allows you to dial in the exact yardage for your particular rifle
  • It is very easy to use. Once the dial is set up, all you have to do is range your target, adjust the dial, and shoot. That’s it – no complex jargon
  • Available on multiple Leupold scopes which enhance their versatility
  • Leupold’s CDS is easy to install and can be done by the shooter themselves

Potential Drawbacks of Using CDS on Leupold Scopes

  • Leupold CDS is customized to one specific load, so if you change your ammo, you’ll need to reconfigure the dial. 
  • Not suitable for extreme long-range shooting (Good for shooting under 600 yards range)
  • Require some additional time and effort to set up properly which can be time-consuming
  • As CDS are customized to one specific load, they limit the flexibility of shooting. 

So, now we are in a better position to answer if the Leupold CDS is worth its hype. I’ve given you all the ins and outs. I believe that the Leupold CDs certainly deserve the investment as they allow you to shoot at the target with excellent accuracy. 

I recommend you to use them if you shoot the target which is under 500 yards range. CDS may not be ideally effective if you are shooting the target which is very far away from you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you install a CDS dial on any Leupold scope?

Yes, all the Leupold scopes manufactured within the last decade are compatible with the CDS dial. If you’re having older Vari-X II models then they won’t be compatible with CDS.

Are there any Leupold scopes that are not compatible with CDS?

Yes, older  Vari-X II models are not compatible with CDS. In fact, they cannot be retrofitted with the CDS dial.

Can you retrofit an older Leupold scope with a CDS dial?

Yes, it is possible to retrofit an older Leupold scope with a CDS dial. Leupold offers a retrofit service for older scopes. The cost for retrofitting an elevation adjustment is $89.99 while retrofitting both elevation and windage adjustments costs $179.99.

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