I have a bunch of Speer NT also,crimped, that is smalle primers. I don't think the press was blown up,not very likey. I can see the primer tubes and feed part being dismantled unhealthy, but not the entire press. The operator would be dead if it did.
As for the brass debate, small primers have been in some 45 brass for ten-fifteen years now,just more of it within the last couple years. I grabbed 2500 of the Federal and like them better than the large. No problems for me to spot the difference.
I don't see how so many don't know of them, there is a thread about them every week in every forum on the web.