HHA Sports has long be synonymous with single-pin sights. There are two basic versions of the sights, the Optimizer Lite and Optimizer Lite Ultra series. The main difference is that the Ultra version uses a dial and gears to move the pin while the standard version uses a more simple lever arm. Also, the Ultras come with an integrated Harmonic Damper (Mathews) to help tame any vibration.
Within each version there are several options:
- Pin diameter (0.010, 0.019, 0.029)
- Housing diameter (1 5/8″ or 2″)
- Fiber optic length (3-6′)
- Option of rheostat to control pin brightness
For this review we’ll be taking a look at one of each version, the Optimizer Lite Utra DS-5510 and the Optimizer Lite OL-5019.
HHA Optimizer Lite OL-5019 Specs and Overview
The DS-5019 features a 1 5/8″ housing, 0.19″ pin, 3 feet of fiber optic and can accept lens kits and the Blue Burst Light. With the standard lever arm adjust and level, it weighs in right at 8 oz.
HHA Optimizer Lite Ultra DS-5510 Specs and Overview
The DS-5510 features a 1 5/8″ housing, .010″ pin, 5 feet of fiber optic, brightness adjusting rheostat and can accept lens kits and the Blue Burst light. These features along with the standard dial-adjust, harmonic damper and level bring the total weight to just over 10 oz.
Setting up HHA Optimizer Sights
All HHA sights come with everything necessary to set the sights up on just about any bow. The mounting bracket features a series of holes to mount the housing with, allowing the sight to be set at the right height for each individual’s bow configuration. Housing brackets are sturdy and held in place with two screws with no room for play. Each main mounting bracket has two sets of standard holes to mount the sight to the bow, allowing the archer to place the sight closer or further from the bow, with about a 5/8″ difference.
One really nice feature on the Optimizer sights is that once the sight is initially mounted and setup, there are no tools necessary for any further adjustments. All adjustments to sighting in the pin at all yardages are done with the Totally Toolless system. This is a welcome feature for anyone (like me) who doesn’t always have a hex set handy. I own approximately 324 hex sets, one of which can usually be found but not always so not having to have any tools to make adjustments is quite handy.
Sighting in with the HHA Optimizer
All HHA sights are sighted in using the same basic principle. To start, one of the set-up tapes is first placed on the sight. They are numbered from 0-80 or 0-65 depending on the model. These are NOT yardage markers but rather just reference points. The bow is sighted in at 20 yards, as accurately as possible and the reference number that the indicator points at is noted. Now the archer much step back to 40 or 60 yards (60 being much preferred) and the bow sighted in again. I would highly advise that if you are not familiar with approximately how far apart your 20 and 60 pins should be that you slowly step back and make smaller adjustments until you reach 60 yards; unless of course you don’t mind sticking and arrow in the dirt or flying over the target if you guess wrong!
In my case with my Bowtech Destroyer 350 shooting 334 fps, my 20 yard number is 22 and my 60 yard number is 50. Now it’s time to choose one of the final sight tapes included to have accurate marks everywhere in between. Each sight includes many sight tapes to match bows of just about any arrow speed. To pick the right one, simply take the top number (50) and subtract the lower number (22) and for my setup I get 28. To properly mount the tape, I put the pin back to being dead on at 20 yards, remove the #28 tape, and place it so the 20 yard mark is right on the pin. Once the tape is in place, all markings from 20 to 60 yards are now accurate.
This was a fairly simple procedure and only required about 20 minutes to accurately dial in. After getting the proper yardage tape installed I checked the accuracy at various yardages and found the tape to be very accurate. For archers that want a sliding, one-pin sight that takes minimal fuss to setup, this is a quick and easy sight to use.
If you would rather not use the included sight tapes or would like to make marks for yardages below 20 or above 60, there are blank tapes included that can be used to make your own marks. I regularly sight in out to 80+ yards and will be adding my own marks past 60. For me, practicing at much longer ranges is a great way to feel more comfortable at the shorter yardages (plus it’s just plain fun to shoot far).
Features of the HHA Optimizer Sights
As mentioned before, my favorite feature of the HHA Optimizer sights is the Totally Toolless adjustments. There is starting to be more equipment available that does not need tools (the NAP Apache drop-away rest being another of my favorites) and I hope to see more in the future. Horizontal adjustment is made by loosening a single thumb screw and then turning a dial along the marked crossbeam. The mechanism is nice and sturdy and locks down tight when not in use.
Of course the main feature of a one-pin slider is that the vertical adjustment can be made on the fly. Both the wheel of the Ultra and the lever-arm of the standard version are easy to use and work smoothly. One major difference between the two is that the wheel allows for much further travel along the perimeter of the wheel itself. This results in the yardage markings being farther apart and easier to dial in to a specific yardage. The Ultra tapes are marked every yard while the others are marked for every five yards.
Another feature that I have grown to really like is the rheostat system used to adjust the brightness of the fiber optic pin. I tend to prefer small pins, .010″ if available, but often even these small fibers can be extremely bright and almost obnoxious. By turning the rheostat housing that surrounds the length of fiber optic, part of the fiber can be shaded thus reducing the total light coming out of the end of the pin. This is great when shooting outdoors under variable lighting conditions or when shooting against variable backgrounds. I especially appreciate the feature for shooting indoor 3D leagues where the lighting varies greatly and so do the colors on the 3D targets. Depending on the lighting on the target and it’s color, I can adjust the fiber optic pin to show up best for me.
The ARMOR Pin Technology features a stout fiber housing with a generous curve to it that protects the fiber from damage. Because of the way the housing, pin and fiber work together, it would be difficult to damage deflect the pin out of position. Hunting in dense brush and trees have claimed a few of my pins and fibers in the past and have them well protected can prevent issues in the field.
To round out the features are a highly visible, yellow ring around the housing to help visually line up the sight with a peep, all aluminum construction and a large level with and anti-glare coating. In the past I have been known to remove smaller levels from sights and replace them with larger versions. I like a level that is large enough that I can focus on the pin and have the bubble visible enough that my peripheral vision can pick it up and subconsciously level the bow.
Price and Availability
HHA Optimizer Ultra sights are widely available from most retailers and vary in price from $80 to $240 depending on the model and features. Bass Pro Shops features several of the Optimizer sights and by purchasing there you help support ArcheryReport.com.
Conclusion and final thoughts
The first impression I had when opening the packages was that these sights are well built. They are solid, all-aluminum and look great. There were no blemishes or defects of any sort and are very well built. I have yet to have to tighten any screws due to loosening or rattling. Setting up the sights was a breeze and the provided sight tapes are easy to use and very accurate. I do wish that the sights had an option for third-axis leveling and if you really want to tweak the sight in for those extreme shooting situations, the sight will have to be shimmed on either the base or the housing bracket. It would also be nice to see an option for sight tapes at distances beyond 60 yards.
I have been shooting both versions of the sight on two different bows and have not had any problems with either. After using them for a while, I have come to prefer the dial of the Ultra series over the lever arm of the standard series for a couple of reasons. The dial offers a finer adjustment due to the gear system that results in having the yardage marks on the tape further apart. Also, it has been easier for me to get the reference pin exactly where I want it with the dial because it tends to be easier to adjust by grasping the large knob rather than moving the lever-arm.
It is nice to have several choices of features and models so that each individual archer can find what they are looking for in a sight. If you want more precision in dialing in the distance and don’t mind a few extra ounces on the sight, than the Ultra version would be a great choice. If you would rather make simple adjustments with just your thumb and prefer a more budget conscious choice while shaving a few ounces of the weight, than the standard version is for you.
What I like about the HHA Optimizer Sights
- Well built, durable and solid
- Easy to setup and sight-in
- No tools required for adjustments!
- Rheostat to adjust pin brightness
What I didn’t like about the HHA Optimizer Sights
- No third axis adjustment
- No sight marks past 60 yards