Seismic surveying within the upper few meters of the Earth's shallow subsurface requires a high-frequency source. To ascertain the important features of such sources, experiments were conducted at test sites in central and eastern Kansas using various impulsive seismic sources (4.5-kg hammer, 30.06 rifle, and .22-caliber rifle) to examine the effects of minimizing source energy on the frequency content of reflection data. Results indicate that the higher energy near-surface seismic-reflection sources (e.g., sledgehammer, large-caliber projectiles) lack some of the high-frequency energy exhibited by smaller sources, precluding the detection of reflection signal from ultrashallow depths (<3 m) at the sites tested. At the test site in eastern Kansas, the .22-caliber rifle yielded more energy above 250 Hz than either the sledgehammer or 30.06 rifle. At the test site in central Kansas, where three reflective interfaces shallower than 3 m exist, the .22-caliber rifle with subsonic ammunition yielded the largest amount of energy at frequencies above 300 Hz and produced the best data.