I am an avid student of "Terminal Ballistics"and bullet study. You will find photos and information pertaining to terminal performance of various bullets by caliber. Each link to a caliber will be a page with all the bullets listed and tested under that caliber.
Test medium is a mix of wet news print and wet catalogs or magazines. I have tested enough over 25 years to be able to correlate data between the test medium and animal tissue, as a "RULE OF THUMB" only of course. No test medium can duplicate animal tissue period. But if one uses a consistent test medium and does enough field work you can correlate that data to have a good idea of what you may expect of your bullet in the field.
There are of course no absolutes, and there will be many factors involved in the field that are beyond your control. With expanding bullets or Trauma Inflicting bullets, I have found that you will attain from 75% to 100% deeper penetration in animal tissue than this test medium. With solids one can expect roughly 35% deeper penetration in animal tissue than that of the test medium. Expanding bullet behavior under most normal conditions will be the same in animal tissue as it is in the test medium. Solids under normal conditions will actually do some better in animal tissue than in the test medium.
Test mediums are used to test one bullet against another, and to test bullet behavior and should in fact put stress on the bullets for proper testing. It is better to learn the point at which a bullet might fail in the lab, instead of learning that in the field where not only one takes the risk of wounded and lost game, but in some circumstances hunting "Dangerous Game" lives could be at stake. Nice rifles and efficient cartridges are just dandy, but in the end, it's the bullet that does all the heavy lifting! Choose the right bullet for the mission at hand!
If one looks one can find a niche for a bullet depending on it's working velocity and how it performs. While it may fail in one area, it may very well excel in another, it's up to us to choose properly! If we choose poorly, then it might not be the bullets fault, it could be our fault!