I gave up on the pins a few years ago. Wash em(citric acid & dawn) and go. Blingy brass makes for great pictures, zero affect down range. The real advantage of wet tumbling is the lack of dry media dust gumming up the press.
I don't always wet tumble, but when I do, I use pins that are about 50% larger than the ones that came with my Franklin Armory Rotary Tumbler (F.A.R.T.) Makes the pins MUCH easier to separate. I also put a circular magnet around the drain in the garage sink, to catch any strays.
I've got a rotary media separator, that works great on crushed walnut or the larger steal pins.
I always think I've got all the pins out with the rotary separator, but I still find a few floating in the case feeder. I wonder how many have gone downrange? I've done many batches without pins, also, and agree that the brass is clean, enough. But I still throw a half-load of pins in anyway.
This doesn't count the times I come home from the range with brass that looks clean enough to just get thrown right back into the casefeeder as-is.
I highly recommend it. The brass peens itself on the exterior for a satisfactory shine, case interior and primer pockets are 85-90% cleaned. IMHO the trouble of separating pins does not justify the slight difference in carbon removal.
I'm thinking of making the change to wet tumbling, and if I don't really need pins I might as well get the smaller FA rotary tumbler. Any of you use that one? Is it worth it to upgrade to the larger one?
Wet tumble, run through pin separator, pat with paper towel and let air dry. Been doing it for 10 years and maybe found 1 or 2 pins ever. My presses stay clean, operate smoothly and I use less case lube. Better than factory loads.
I run all my brass thru a universal de-primer, then into my tumbler with Dawn soap and a little bit of Lemmi shine for 4 hours. Both inside and outside including the primer pocket come out very clean. Dump out most of the gray water and them pull the brass out and put it in a different bucket of hot water. Then pull the clean brass out and lay it on a large towel to dry. Then put it in plastic bags in batches of 100.
I also never mix my brass caliber wise as they will sometimes be stuck together and not get clean.