The stocks on ALL the Americans I own contact the left side ever so slightly. I removed a small amount so when the stock is handled, twisted, ect - it does not contact the barrel.
If you are shooting off a bench, hang onto the hand guard like you would when normally shooting - forearm grasping hand resting on sandbag. The forearm can not be left just to do whatever on a light rifle like this. Also, DO NOT put your hand in contact with the barrel. It will effect the vertical grouping - significantly.
Factory ammo will shoot 1 inch or less. Reloads - depends on you.