An accurate solution for high-frequency pulse propagation in an axisymmetric elastic bar is obtained using a new finite element technique that yields accurate non-oscillatory solutions for wave propagation problems in solids. The solution of the problem is very important for the understanding of dynamics experiments in the split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB). In contrast to known approaches, no additional assumptions are necessary for the accurate solution of the considered problem. The new solution helps to elucidate the complicated distribution of parameters during high-frequency pulse propagation down the bar as well as to estimate the applicability of the traditional dispersion correction used in the literature for the analysis of wave propagation in a finite bar. Due to the dimensionless formulation of the problem, the numerical results obtained depend on Poisson's ratio, the length of the bar and the pulse frequency, and are independent of Young's modulus, the density and the radius of the bar.